If you are familiar with Spanish geography, you will know by heart which are the 15 largest cities in Spain , at least in terms of population. If, on the other hand, you have not traveled too much throughout the length and breadth of the peninsula, we will refresh your memory with this list that we have prepared based on official data.
46.56 million people reside in Spain, being one of the 30 most inhabited areas in the world. If we look at the demography of Spain, and more specifically the evolution of the population, we can see that the historical maximum was reached in 2011 (more than 47 million), although since then it has experienced a slight decrease. It is expected that in the coming years the number of residents will continue to decline, as the birth rate has dropped, also causing an aging population.
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The 15 largest and most populous cities in Spain
We now look at which are the largest municipalities and cities in all of Spain. Although many of them are known to everyone, you will be surprised to find others on the list.
15. Gijon (272,365 inhabitants)
Although historically it has been classified as a town, Gijon has become one of the busiest cities in the country. The Asturian capital is located on the shores of the Cantabrian Sea and represents one of the key points on the Camino de Santiago. Its population level has remained stable over the last few years.
14. Vigo (292,986 inhabitants)
The next largest city in Spain is also found in the north. A diversified city, and industry, tourism and services are its main sources of income. Historically known as the city of the olive, although that is due to the ancient and enormous olive tree that some Templar monks planted in the Middle Ages. As is the case with other cities, its demography has experienced a slight setback in the last decade.
13. Valladolid (299,715 inhabitants)
This provincial capital is one of the best vertebrates in the entire country and acts as a logistics node for the European Atlantic Corridor. It is one of the cities on the list whose community has shrunk significantly since 1990. The population has moved to the urban periphery, where new residential areas have proliferated.
12. Cordoba (325,916 inhabitants)
On the banks of the Guadalquivir rises this beautiful city, one of the most populous and with the richest architectural and historical heritage in the entire country. As for its demography, the city has been growing steadily until 2011, the year in which the trend changed and the population began to decrease slightly. Interestingly, in the 10th century the city had a million inhabitants , thus becoming the largest town in Spain and Europe.
11. Alicante (329,988 inhabitants)
Also associated with the metropolitan area of Elche, Alicante is one of the most charming places on the Mediterranean coast. The tourist development makes the population increase during the summer season. In 2012 it reached its maximum number of inhabitants, although since then the number of residents has been reduced.
10. Bilbao (345,110 inhabitants)
Despite this figure, its metropolitan area has nearly 1,000,000 inhabitants, making it one of the largest and most populous conurbations in Spain. An example of urban progress, Bilbao has an enviable historical and gastronomic heritage. In 1980 the figure of 400,000 inhabitants was reached, but then the municipality of Erandio and the Asua Valley were disaffiliated .
9. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (377,650 inhabitants)
We left the peninsula to visit the Canarian capital, which has experienced ups and downs in population over the last few decades. It is one of the symbols of tourism in Spain, so it is not surprising that in summer not even a pin needle fits on its beaches.
8. Palma (406,492 inhabitants)
We continue outside the peninsula to find the next largest city in the country. Palma de Mallorca is another of the Spanish tourist symbols, so in summer the number of residents increases exponentially. Contrary to what happens with other cities on the list, demographics have increased as a result of tourist development and the arrival of foreigners .
7. Murcia (443,243 inhabitants)
Capital of the Region of Murcia and located on the banks of the Segura river. It is one of the cities with the most inhabitants of foreign origin and, for this reason, its population has not stopped growing, although in recent years it has done so at a slower rate. Although it is one of the busiest towns, the population is very scattered.
6. Malaga (569,002 inhabitants)
The second largest city in Andalusia (although many would think differently) stands at the western end of the Mediterranean. It is one of the oldest towns in Europe, since it was founded by the Phoenician civilization. Although in the middle of the century there was a very strong migratory movement and Torremolinos suffered the de-annexation , the evolution of the population shows an upward trend.
5. Zaragoza (664,938 inhabitants)
Zaragoza is an important logistics and communications hub, which makes it the fifth most populous municipality. Aragonese men and women from rural areas moved to the capital during the 1960s and 1970s, years in which demographics doubled. The change in the demographic model in Spain has caused the number of inhabitants to decrease in the last decade.
4. Seville (689,434 inhabitants)
46 municipalities make up the metropolitan area of Seville, which also has one of the most emblematic historical cases in the country. Since 1970 the number of residents has stagnated and, in fact, in 2017 the census registered a significant decrease. One of the cities that has most noticed the aging of the Spanish population.
3. Valencia (787,808 inhabitants)
We enter the podium of the largest cities in Spain with the capital of the extinct region of Huerta de Valencia. On the banks of the Turia River, the city is the scene of innumerable festivals and traditions that represent the pride of its inhabitants. Although its population has multiplied by three throughout the 20th century, in recent times the demographics have stabilized.
2. Barcelona (1,620,809 inhabitants)
Barcelona is the sixth largest metropolitan area in Europe and the second most populous municipality in Spain. A true tourist reference due to its privileged position, Barcelona has become a cosmopolitan and diverse city that welcomes countless cultures. Its architectural symbol (the Sagrada Familia) is one of the most visited monuments on the entire planet.
1. Madrid (3,182,981 inhabitants)
How could it be otherwise, the capital of Spain is also the most populous. Nothing more and nothing less than 3 million inhabitants of different origins live in the heart of Spain, which is also the administrative capital. It competes with St. Petersburg for third place in the list of the largest metropolitan areas in Europe.
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