Instituto Nacional de Estadística
  • Type of operation: continuous on an annual basis.
  • Population scope: all persons registered in Spain.
  • Geographical scope: all the population units of all the municipalities in the national territory.
  • Reference period: 1 January of each year.
  • Collection method: The list of population units is derived from the updating of the population nuclei and entities that the Municipal Councils carry out in their municipalities and that, in compliance with current legislation, they report to the INE at least once a year. The population of the entities is obtained from the coordination of the Municipal Registers.

Methodological documents

  • Methodological notes
  • Interpretation of results
  • Concepts and definitions
    • Singular entity: a singular entity of population means any inhabitable area of the municipal district, inhabited or exceptionally uninhabited, clearly differentiated within it, and which is known by a specific name which identifies it without any possibility of confusion.
    • Population nucleus: a population nucleus is considered to be a group of at least ten buildings, which form streets, squares and other urban roads. As an exception, the number of buildings may be less than 10, provided that the population inhabiting them exceeds 50 inhabitants. Included in the nucleus are those buildings which, being isolated, are less than 200 metres from the outer limits of the aforementioned complex, although in the determination of this distance, land occupied by industrial or commercial installations, parks, gardens, sports areas, cemeteries, car parks and others, as well as canals or rivers which may be crossed by bridges, must be excluded. Buildings or housing of a singular entity of population that cannot be included in the concept of nucleus are considered scattered. A single population entity may have one or more nucleus, or even none, if all of it is scattered. No housing may belong simultaneously to two or more nucleuses, or to a nucleus and a scattered.
    • Scattered: buildings or housing of a singular entity of population that cannot be included in the concept of population nucleus are considered scattered.
    • Collective entity: as an intermediate unit between the singular entity of population and the municipality there are, in some regions, groups of singular entities (parishes, brotherhoods, councils, provincial councils, and others), which make up a collective entity of population with its own personality and a markedly historical origin.