The number of foreigners registered in Spain at the beginning of January 2012 fell for the first time in the last 15 years, official figures released Wednesday show.
A total of 5,736,258 people of foreign origin were registered in Spain on Jan. 1, 2012, a figure that was 15,229 fewer than in 2011.
Spain - according to National Statistics Institute, or INE, figures - had a total population of 47,265,321 on that date, almost 75,000 more than in January 2011, when there were 47,190,493 people living in the Iberian nation.
Although Spain’s total population has not stopped growing over the past 15 years, this time the number of foreigners did not continue the trend shown since 1998, the year in which 637,085 registered foreigners were counted out of a total population of 39,852,651.
The decline amounts to 0.3 percent with respect to the year before.
By country of nationality, Romanian citizens constitute the most numerous foreign group in Spain with 897,203, followed by Moroccans with 788,563, Britons with 397,892, Ecuadorians with 308,174 and Colombians with 246,345.