About 3,000 villages in Spain have no inhabitants.
According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), over a hundred of them are in Catalonia. The 50’s experienced a boom of rural abandonment increasing
the number of uninhabited villages.
Most of them are in the north of Spain (Galicia and Asturias),
while in Catalonia there are 114 (122, according to IDESC AT).
18% of the municipalities with less than 200 people have been losing population since 1998.
In the last few years dozens of abandoned villages have been repopulated
thanks to the efforts of different people, mostly related to rural tourism and organic farming, but also to touristic industry.
The number of these kinds of projects increases in times of crisis, according to Rafael Canales, web manager of the website ‘Abandoned Villages’.
The reason for this new interest of living in small villages is directly related to the fall of real estate prices in combination with the possibility to work online from home.
The proliferation of this phenomenon is also related to the new trend that involves a less consumerist lifestyle and a new-found need to live in contact with nature, away from the pollution of cities.