Madrid, Dec 15 (IANS/EFE) The Spanish population grew by 6 million people over the last decade (2001-11) to reach 46.8 million inhabitants, largely due to the number of foreigners living in Spain, a segment that has tripled in that period to a total of 5.2 million.
The part of the population coming from other countries grew by 234 percent over the last 10 years, with the entry of 3.5 million foreigners, while the native Spanish population grew by 5.8 percent with 2.2 million more citizens for a total of 41.6 million.
The figures are provided by the latest nationwide census, an exhaustive study that the National Statistics Institute, or INE, takes once every 10 years, and which this time reflects a 14.6-percent growth since 2001 in the total number of residents - the biggest increase in history.
With regard to foreigners, what is particularly noteworthy is the increase in the number of Romanians and Moroccans in absolute terms, and of Paraguayan and Bolivians in relative terms.
The Paraguayan population grew by 6.836 percent in that period, going from a little more than 1,000 people in 2001 to 77,000 in 2011.
At the same time the number of Bolivian immigrants grew by 1.523 percent, from 11,300 to almost 184,000 people.
Other Latin American communities that showed large growth in absolute terms were the Ecuadorians - they were up some 100,000 people for a total of 316,000 by 2011 - and the Colombians - 90,000 more for a total of 250,000 - which means relative increases of 46.3 percent and 56.2 percent, respectively.
Argentines numbered 120 percent more, increasing from 47,000 to 105,000, while 380 percent more Brazilians arrived to boost their population from 18,000 to 88,000.
As for the increase in the Spanish population, the INE attributes it to a longer life expectancy, a slight increase in the birth rate between 2005 and 2009, and the fact that many foreigners acquire Spanish nationality.