The study on population mobility using mobile phones (EM-1) presented by the INE is a first approach to the study of the seasonal population, taking as a reference four specific days in 2019: two in the summer, Christmas day and a weekend in November. It also analyses the daily mobility of residents in Spain.
Where were we exactly one year ago?
The data and maps released today show how the population resident in Spain was distributed over 3,214 areas, which are divided into the entire territory, on four specific days in 2019. One of these days is July 20, 2019, exactly one year ago.
It should be noted that these data only reflect the mobility of the population resident in Spain, since the original source is national dial-up telephones. Therefore, the movements of foreign tourists are not reflected.
On 20 July 2019, the Noja area in Cantabria went from 6,407 residents to 35,488 people, almost five times as many. And Sallent de Gállego, in the Pyrenees of Huesca, multiplied its population by more than four.
And in areas such as El Puerto de Santa María, Peñíscola, Oropesa del Mar, Gandía or Punta Umbría the number of residents was between three and four times higher than the registered population.
On August 15, 2019 the pattern was very similar to that of July 20, but with a greater number of people displaced from their usual place of residence. Noja was 550% more populated than usual. And there were also many more people than those registered in mountainous areas (such as Sallent de Gállego, Valle de Hecho or Alp), coastal areas (such as Oropesa del Mar, Peñiscola or Gandía) and inland areas (such as Casalarreina or Puebla de Sanabria).
The population movements between origin and destination can be known with great precision for each of the selected dates. If we focus on some of the most popular destinations, we can find out the specific areas from which holidaymakers arrive
The exodus in the big cities
On the contrary, and taking as a reference areas with more than 10,000 inhabitants, in areas of Vigo (Pontevedra) and in the provinces of Barcelona, Madrid, Murcia or Valencia, less than 20% of the population residing there was located on August 15.
As for Spain’s largest cities, the main destinations for people originating in Madrid were, in summer, on the Levantine coast (Gandía and Denia), in Cadiz (Chiclana) and in Malaga (Marbella).
In the case of Barcelona the most frequent destinations were places on the Catalan coast or the Pyrenees, such as Palafrugell, Platja d’Ar or Calafell.
The residents of Valencia chose mainly destinations on the east coast (especially Denia and Javea), those of Seville opted for coastal areas of Cadiz and Huelva (as Chipiona, Rota or Almonte) and Zaragoza by mountainous areas (as Sallent de Gallego and Jaca) and the Catalan coast (Salou).