The Registered Health Professionals Statistic provides annual information on the number of registered health professionals in Spain according to the different Councils and Associations of health professions.
For inclusion in the statistic, the criterion for the consideration of health professionals is stipulated in Law 44/2003 of 21 November on the Regulation of Health Professions. Currently, data is collected from doctors, pharmacists, dentists, veterinarians, psychologists (with healthcare speciality), physicists (with healthcare speciality), chemists (with healthcare speciality), nurses, physiotherapists, podiatrists, optician-optometrists, dieticians, nutritionists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, orthodontists and biologists (with healthcare speciality). Within the group of nurses those specialising in Obstetric Gynaecology (Midwife) are also included.
The Statistics provide the number of members both in absolute value and in rates per 100,000 inhabitants.
As mentioned in the previous section, the classification of health professions is regulated by Law 44/2003 of 21 November.
The statistics provide data disaggregated by sex, age, employment situation (non-retired and retired) and the geographical distribution of the group, understanding this as the Autonomous Community and/or province in which the professional declares to be registered.
The research is aimed at the group of health professionals registered in Spain according to the different Councils and Associations of health professions (according to Law 44/2003 of 21 November).
The unit is the registered health professional.
The total population or universe referred to in the Registered Health Professionals Statistic are professionals in the health field who are registered in a Spanish Association.
The statistics include health professional associations throughout the national territory.
The objective variables are provided with a level of regional disaggregation by Autonomous Community and/or province of registration.
The Registered Health Professionals Statistic has been produced without interruption by the National Statistics Institute since 1952.
The statistics are structural and annual. When analysing the number of members at a given time (stock), the data refers to 31 December of the reference year.
The Registered Health Professionals Statistic has been compiled without interruption by the National Statistics Institute since 1952. Since that year, considered as the base period,the statistic has evolved as new professional associations have been created in the health field, incorporating these new associations into the statistic.
Number of Registered Health Professionals
Rates of Registered Health Professionals per 100,000 inhabitants
Data refers to 31 December of the reference year.
Data referring to the period: Annual Y: 2019
The compilation and dissemination of the data are governed by the Statistical Law No. 12/1989 "Public Statistical Function" of May 9, 1989, and Law No. 4/1990 of June 29 on “National Budget of State for the year 1990" amended by Law No. 13/1996 "Fiscal, administrative and social measures" of December 30, 1996, makes compulsory all statistics included in the National Statistics Plan. The National Statistical Plan 2009-2012 was approved by the Royal Decree 1663/2008. It contains the statistics that must be developed in the four year period by the State General Administration's services or any other entity dependent on it. All statistics included in the National Statistics Plan are statistics for state purposes and are obligatory. The National Statistics Plan 2017-2020, approved by Royal Decree 410/2016, of 31 October, is the Plan currently implemented. This statistical operation has governmental purposes, and it is included in the National Statistics Plan 2017-2020. (Statistics of the State Administration).
The statistic has evolved as the concept of the health professional has changed, adapting to the regulation implemented by the Administration of the professional associations and the health profession. The last regulation corresponds to Law 44/2003 of 21 November on the Regulation of Health Professions and it is from this that the request for data and publication of the number of professionals was extended to other Associations and Councils.
The production of the statistic is the exclusive responsibility of the INE.
The tabulation of all the data collected is available for download on the INE's website.
The data requested from associations is aggregated data which prevents the direct identification of individuals.
The Registered Health Professionals Statistic has been compiled by INE since 1952.
The statistic is structural and annual.
When analysing the number of members at a given time (stock), the data refers to 31 December of the reference year.
The results of the Registered Health Professionals Statistic are published on the INE's website and some results are included in publications such as the Anuario Estadistico (Statistical Yearbook), Cifras INE (INE Figures)...
The statistical data are a basic reference to provide the information required by international organisations (World Health Organisation, European Commission, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). The data is therefore included in the periodical publications of these bodies.
INEbase is the system the INE uses to store statistical information on the Internet. It contains all the information the INE produces in electronic formats. The primary organisation of the information follows the theme-based classification of the Inventory of Statistical Operations of the State General Administration . The basic unit of INEbase is the statistical operation, defined as the set of activities that lead to obtaining statistical results on a determined sector or subject based on the individually collected data. Also included in the scope of this definition are synthesis preparation.
Information on this statistic can be found at the following link:
There is no microdata file in the Registered Health Professionals Statistic.
Requests and queries from users are dealt with through InfoINE: https://www.ine.es/infoine/?L=1
A detailed description of the methodology is available at:
The fields mentioned below (items 11.1 to 17.2) form the user-oriented quality report for this operation.
Quality assurance framework for the INE statistics is based on the ESSCoP, the European Statistics Code of Practice made by EUROSTAT. The ESSCoP is made up of 16 principles, gathered in three areas: Institutional Environment, Processes and Products. Each principle is associated with some indicators which make possible to measure it. In order to evaluate quality, EUROSTAT provides different tools: the indicators mentioned above, Self-assessment based on the DESAP model, peer review, user satisfaction surveys and other proceedings for evaluation.
The statistics are based on the collection of information directly from Associations or General Councils (depending on the type of health professional) on the number of people registered in them.
In relation to the information obtained, the information collection web application detects inconsistencies and features some warnings that allow an initial quality control of the information when the respondent unit is completing it.
After receiving the data from the respondent units, and within information processing, the internal coherence of the data is checked and compared with the historical series of each group. In case of anomalous data, the respondent unit is contacted directly to confirm the data.
The overall quality of the statistics is outstanding, since the source of information is directly the Associations or General Councils themselves and there is no non-response from the professional Associations published.
On the other hand, as registration is necessary to be able to practise the profession, there is a quality guarantee in the updating of the registers of each Association from which the information is obtained.
The main users of the statistic are:
- Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality
- Territorial administrations (Autonomous Communities)
- International institutions ( Eurostat, OECD, WHO...)
- Researchers and universities
- Specialised press and media
The needs of users pursue different purposes. For example, for the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality this type of information is a fundamental element for the planning and adoption of public health measures and constitutes a fundamental instrument in the evaluation of health policies; international institutions need information to establish comparability with other countries.
The INE has carried out general user satisfaction surveys in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 and it plans to continue doing so every three years. The purpose of these surveys is to find out what users think about the quality of the information of the INE statistics and the extent to which their needs of information are covered. In addition, additional surveys are carried out in order to acknowledge better other fields such as dissemination of the information, quality of some publications...
On the INE website, in its section Methods and Projects / Quality and Code of Practice / INE quality management / User surveys are available surveys conducted to date.(Click next link)
The statistic is a reference for the number of health professionals with the possibility of practising and is used both by the State administration and by international organisations (OECD, WHO, EU) as data on the resources of the national health system.
The survey is not regulated by European directive. The requirements are marked by the needs of governmental areas, international organisations and expert researchers in the field of health who need to know the number of Health Professionals registered.
In this sense, the information required by the National Statistics Plan is collected.
R1=100% of the information requested is collected.
As mentioned in point 11, the procedures for collection, coverage control and error filtering make it possible to obtain a high degree of accuracy for the statistic.
Among the error sources, there could be errors in the administrative registers from which the data comes and which belong to the professional Councils/Associations .
As it is an exhaustive statistic, it has no sampling errors.
The coverage is exhaustive for the data of all professions published, as information is obtained from all associations, thus providing information on the entire national territory.
Over-coverage rate (A2)= 0%
Unit non-response rate (A4)= 0%
Non-response rate per item (A5)=
Age: 0.21% Nursing ;0.75% Nutritionist dietitians and 0.02 Psicologyst with healthcare speciality In the rest of the healthcare professions the non-response rate is 0
Work Situation: 5.37% Nursing; 0.57% Pharmacists , 0.07% Nutritionist detitians and 0.01 % Psicologyst . In the rest of the health professions the response rate is 0%
Imputation rate (A7) = 0%
The statistic is structural and annual. When analysing the number of members at a given time (stock), the data refers to 31 December of the reference year. Statistics data for year t is published 5 months later.
Gap to final results (TP2)= 5 months
Data dissemination is carried out according to the structural statistics availability calendar of that the INE prepares and publishes for each year.
Punctuality ( TP3)= The calendar is complied with
The statistics design allows the comparison of results at the level of the Provinces and Autonomous Communities .
The Registered Health Professionals Statistic has been compiled without interruption by the National Statistics Institute since 1952. Within the data published by each group, the data is comparable year to year (therefore a maximum of 68 years).
Length of comparable time series ( CC2) = 68
This statistic is the main reference to understand the number of registered Health Professionals in Spain according to the different Councils and Associations of health professions both in absolute and relative terms. In this sense, the ratios of registered professionals are calculated with respect to the population estimated at 31 December for the whole of Spain and by Autonomous Community.
As regards the coherence with the figures of professionals who are active and employed in their health professional field and who are obtained from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), it should be mentioned that the methodologies of both statistical operations differ, especially with regard to the labour situation concept. Nevertheless, the evolution of LFS employed persons in some of the professions show a similar profile with the statistical data.
The information is collected from Associations and General Councils through a web application designed by the INE (IRIA). The coherence between the variables is compared from the time of completion of the data, since the web application detects inconsistencies and displays some warnings that allow for an initial quality control of the information when the respondent unit completes it.
As the information is received, the coherence of the data is checked and compared with the series of data from previous years. In case of anomalous data, the unit is contacted directly to confirm the data.
The respondent units are the Associations and General Councils that provide their information from the use of their enrolment registers. Contact with units takes place shortly before the statistical reference date (31 December) in order to facilitate the collection of information. The use of a web questionnaire has facilitated the completion of the statistics by the respondent units.
The estimate of the budgetary appropriation necessary to finance this statistic foreseen in the 2020 Annual Programme is 33.32 thousand euros.
The INE of Spain has a policy which regulates the basic aspects of statistical data revision, seeking to ensure process transparency and product quality. This policy is laid out in the document approved by the INE board of directors on 13 March of 2015, which is available on the INE website, in the section "Methods and projects/Quality and Code of Practice/INE’s Quality management/INE’s Revision policy" (link).
This general policy sets the criteria that the different type of revisions should follow: routine revision- it is the case of statistics whose production process includes regular revisions-; more extensive revision- when methodological or basic reference source changes take place-; and exceptional revision- for instance, when an error appears in a published statistic-.
No provisional data is published in the statistic.
The published data is definitive, however each year the respondent unit has the data from previous years at its disposal and, in the event that they have provided erroneous data in any of them, they are modified.
The statistical data is obtained from the information completed by the Associations or General Councils depending on the type of health professional.
The information is collected through a web application (IRIA) where the aggregate data on the number of members distributed according to the classification variables is requested. The data is collected as of the first week of January of the reference year.
The questionnaires are adapted to each of the professionals. There are two types of questionnaires:
1. General Councils of Associations: pharmacists, veterinarians, podiatrists, physicists, optician-optometrists,
psychologists, chemists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, nutritionists, orthodontists and biologists.
2. Provincial/Autonomous Associations of doctors, nurses, dentists, orthodontists, dietitians, nutritionists and physiotherapists.
Data collection takes place once a year. The data refers to 31 December of the reference year (stock variable).
The information is collected through the IRIA web application, designed by INE (CAWI collection).
The information monitoring process to guarantee its quality is carried out in two phases:
1/ During the completion of the statistics: the web application detects inconsistencies and displays some warnings that allow for an initial quality control of the information when the respondent unit completes it.
2/. Centralised data processing: as the information is received, the data consistency is checked and compared with the series of previous years. In case of anomalous data, the unit is contacted directly to confirm the data.
Once the initial data has been received, it is filtered, as described in the previous section, and the tables are prepared for publication.
No calibration or weighting adjustment is required as this is a statistic with complete coverage.