Friday, January 21

What is Empty Spain? 23 provinces and a quarter of the Congress

More than half of the national territory. Only 17% of the total population. A quarter of the seats in the Congress of Deputies. In figures, that’s the Spain Emptied that has been penetrating, little by little, the social and political agenda of the country for years. A territory of almost 300,000 square kilometers that has been losing inhabitants for years and in which a citizen movement is beginning to be forged that wants to reach the institutions to curb depopulation and seek territorial rebalancing.

What is considered Empty Spain?

Empty Spain – originally it was called Empty Spain – refers to those territories that have been affected by depopulation. Specifically, the following rule is established: those provinces that have lost inhabitants between 1950 and 2019 and that, in addition, they have a population density lower than the national average. In other words, that the number of inhabitants per square kilometer is below the country as a whole. There are 23 provinces that meet both requirements.

What provinces make up Empty Spain?

In its vast majority, the term ‘Empty Spain’ is linked to the interior territories: two provinces of Galicia (Lugo and Ourense); the nine provinces of Castile and Leon, the two of Estremadura and the three of Aragon; The Rioja; four provinces of Castile and Leon (Guadalajara, Cuenca, Albacete and Ciudad Real); and two provinces of Andalusia (Córdoba and Jaén). In total there are 23 regions that add up to 296,718 square kilometers, 58% of the national territory.

How much population do they have?

Despite the fact that more than half of Spain is part of ‘Empty Spain’, their own name indicates that they are territories that suffer depopulation. These 23 provinces have a total 8,202,000 inhabitants. This figure represents a 17.2% with respect to the total population, according to 2019 data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

How many seats in Congress are distributed in these territories?

The 23 provinces of Emptied Spain elect a total of 92 deputies of the 350 that make up the Congress. 26% of the seats are held by the inhabitants of these territories. Currently, a parliamentary group of these dimensions would become the second force in the Lower House. The tool that prepares the ‘Empty Spain’ and that will be ready by the end of January 2022 with the aim of attending the elections will fight for this parliamentary representation.

Zaragoza, with about a million inhabitants, it is the province that elects the most deputies, seven. Then they follow Córdoba and Badajoz with six seats. The rest of the territories choose between three and four deputies, with the exception of Soria, the one with the least population, where only two seats are disputed.

Which parties would the entry of the ‘Empty Spain’ affect the most?

The provinces of ‘Empty Spain’ have traditionally voted for the PSOE and the PP. In the last elections, between both formations they won 75 deputies of the 92 that are distributed in these territories (41 the socialists and 34 the popular ones). Vox, despite being a new force, won 14 seats and United We Can with two. The surprise came from Teruel Existe, which obtained a seat in Congress.

The irruption of the platform prepared by more than 80 associations of the ‘Empty Spain’ would endanger the hegemony of PSOE and PP in rural areas. Number 34% of the socialist deputies they come from these provinces. The figure is 38% in the case of the popular. Vox would be the next affected, with 26%. And the impact on United We Can, based in large cities, would be minimal. Thus, the dispute for the vote in these territories promises to be fierce.

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