Almería history

Synthetic indicator of estrangement / rooting (SIMA. IECA data).

The article here on the La Voz de Almería site is the ninth in the series.

Read More for a Google translation of the article.


Almeria stories about the landscape (IX): Extrañamiento

A series that aspires to intervene in the perception of geographical and territorial reality

The Almeria population has experienced great mutations since the middle of the 20th century. In Virado a Jibia 3 A model of human sedimentation, we analyzed the relocation of the population of the province, one of the features of these mutations. Today we are going to focus on the migratory component, responsible, as we will see, for the great demographic increase in the province in recent decades, and on one of the consequences of these changes, which we here call “estrangement”: the loss of vigor of the identity story .


Almeria's demography has historically been characterized by its atony (an adjustment with limited physical conditions) and by traumatic crises, such as expulsions or migrations, both seasonal and permanent. As Andrés Sánchez Picón rightly points out (“From the flight to the ground”, in 50 years of territorial transformations in Almería, IEA), “going from 300,000 to 400,000 inhabitants took more than 130 years (from 1850 to 1980, testimony to the intense emigration from Almeria) ”. In just 18 years, in 1998, they reached 500,000. To reach 600,000 (2005), 8 years were enough. The 700,000 were registered in 2017. In the last 30 years, the population has increased from 450,000 to 700,000 inhabitants, which represents a growth of 55%, with an average annual rate of 1.83%. This growth, unparalleled on a regional or national scale, shows three distinct periods.

Almería history

Residential variations in the province of Almería 1988-2019 (SIMA. IECA data).

From 1990 to 2001, sustained growth with rates of around 1.5% per year. From 2002 to 2009, growths above 2%, with peaks above 4% (2005-2006). Since 2011, the rate has been below 1%, reaching negative data in 2014. These growth rates can only indicate a strong migratory component.


In our statistical apparatus, both the data on geographic movements of the population and those on residential variations indicate whether these migrations occur within the same municipality, from municipalities in the same province, from the same autonomous community, from the same State or whether they come from the foreigner, which allows us to observe the diverse composition of the “new settlers” of the municipalities that receive this migratory flow. The graph represents the residential variations, indicating the immigration and emigration flows and the balance between the two. These variables correlate with the phases of demographic growth analyzed, which allows us to establish an interpretive hypothesis: of the 250,000 inhabitants in which the population increases between 1990 and 2019, 10% corresponds to natural movements of the population (the difference between births and deceased), 25% to migrations within the national territory and 65% to the arrival of foreign population.

Almería history

Almeria population growth 1990-2019 (SIMA. IECA data).

The map of estrangement

These demographic changes present a very uneven geographical distribution. For your analysis, I have developed a synthetic indicator, which measures the relationship between the part of the population born in the municipality of residence and the part of the population of that same municipality that comes from abroad. With this indicator, the municipalities of the province have been classified into four categories: very surprised, surprised, rooted and deeply rooted. There are two groups among those greatly missed: the northern municipalities, with little demographic weight, where European retirees (largely British) have settled; and the southern municipalities, whose estrangement comes from a population linked to agricultural work, especially of African origin (Maghreb and Sahel), in highly populated municipalities, which indicates the magnitude of these migratory processes. Among those deeply rooted, most are inland mountain municipalities, which have suffered a strong demographic drain, and where the presence of foreign population is testimonial. The municipality of Almería appears to be deeply rooted, despite the existence of a significant contingent of immigrants, who, however, do not represent a large percentage in the most populated municipality of the province.

Strengthening the identity story is not only necessary for the relocated local population; It is also important to facilitate a reasonable integration of immigrants from different origins who in recent decades have been incorporated into the Almeria population.