Barcelona, Spain Population

Population in Urban Area, now

5,616,317
  • World: 72nd
  • Europe: 5th
  • Spain: 2nd

Population in City Area, 2019-09-05

1,621,537
  • World: 148th
  • Europe: 15th
  • Spain: 2nd

Barcelona Urban Area Population Graph

Barcelona Population Review

The city of Barcelona is the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia of Spain and it is the second-largest city in Spain with a population of 1.7 million within the administrative limits. Barcelona’s urban area has a much larger population of 5.6 million sprawled over 101 square kilometers. The city’s urban population makes it the sixth most populous in the EU. The city is also the largest on the Mediterranean Sea.

Barcelona is a unique and architecturally stunning city and the only city in the world that was awarded a Royal Gold Medal for architecture by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Immediately recognizable from above, Barcelona's unique layout and design has meant that it continues to attract tourists, students, and new residents to this beautiful (and ancient) city. Experts predict that Barcelona’s population will reach 5.8 million in the greater urban area by 2035.

One of Europe’s most densely populated cities

Barcelona’s population is packed into a relatively small city, which means that it has a high population density. There is about 16,000 people per square kilometer in Barcelona, making it one of Europe’s most densely populated cities. There are a couple neighborhoods where the population density is even higher, such as Eixample, where there are 36,000 people per square kilometer, and the La Sagrada Familia neighborhood, with 50,000 people per square kilometer.

Home to the busiest pedestrian street in Spain

Cars inundate many major cities, but Barcelona is hoping to change that. Urban planning for the city shows multiple mixed-use spaces and car-free zones. Perhaps this also helps contribute to the fact that Barcelona has the busiest pedestrian street in all of Spain. Located in Barcelona's Old Town (Ciutat Vella) the shopping mecca of Portal de l’Àngel sees 150,000 people walking it on a daily basis. That being said, don't go expecting to find deals. Portal de l’Àngel is also the most expensive street in the city.

Religious makeup of Barcelona

The most widely practiced religion in Barcelona is Catholicism. However, like with most Spanish and Western European trends, secularization is strong. Forty-nine percent of Barcelonans identify as Christian, with the younger population (aged between 14 and 25) dropping a bit with only 45%. Most of these people identify as Catholic, after this, the largest religion is Islam, with 9.6% of the population. There are 264 mosques or Muslim places of worship in Barcelona and 70,000 Muslim pupils in the province. The city also has the largest Jewish community in Spain, with an estimated 3,500 residents.

People flowing in and out

Barcelona’s demographics fluctuate heavily between night and day, and between weekdays and weekends. This is directly related to how many residents from the metro area or broader Catalonia commute daily in and out of the city for work or schooling. On average, the city sees around 250,000 commuters into the city and then about 220,000 commuters out of the city. These demographics are also affected by the popularity of Barcelona as a tourist destination.

A tourist hotspot

Barcelona welcomes nearly 9 million tourists every year and is one of the most popular city destinations in Europe. International tourists in Barcelona help bolster the city’s economy, contributing $8.9 billion USD in spending to the city. Tourists get to the city in a variety of ways, with 76% arriving by plane, train, and bus. However, Barcelona’s harbor welcomes the most passengers in Europe and actually ranks fourth in the world. Most of these tourists come to visit one of Barcelona’s most dramatic architectural wonders: the Sagrada Familia.

Review Updated: July 9, 2020
Plaza Espana in Barcelona and National PalacePlaza Espana in Barcelona and National Palace

Barcelona Urban Area Population History

1950 1,809,000
1951 1,850,000
1952 1,910,000
1953 1,972,000
1954 2,037,000
1955 2,103,000
1956 2,171,000
1957 2,242,000
1958 2,315,000
1959 2,390,000
1960 2,468,000
1961 2,551,000
1962 2,641,000
1963 2,734,000
1964 2,830,000
1965 2,930,000
1966 3,033,000
1967 3,139,000
1968 3,250,000
1969 3,364,000
1970 3,482,000
1971 3,558,000
1972 3,588,000
1973 3,618,000
1974 3,648,000
1975 3,679,000
1976 3,710,000
1977 3,741,000
1978 3,773,000
1979 3,805,000
1980 3,837,000
1981 3,867,000
1982 3,892,000
1983 3,917,000
1984 3,943,000
1985 3,969,000
1986 3,995,000
1987 4,021,000
1988 4,048,000
1989 4,074,000
1990 4,101,000
1991 4,127,000
1992 4,152,000
1993 4,177,000
1994 4,202,000
1995 4,227,000
1996 4,252,000
1997 4,278,000
1998 4,304,000
1999 4,329,000
2000 4,355,000
2001 4,382,000
2002 4,430,000
2003 4,490,000
2004 4,551,000
2005 4,612,000
2006 4,675,000
2007 4,738,000
2008 4,803,000
2009 4,868,000
2010 4,934,000
2011 5,000,000
2012 5,068,000
2013 5,137,000
2014 5,206,000
2015 5,277,000
2016 5,348,000
2017 5,421,000
2018 5,494,000
2019 5,541,000
2020 5,586,000
2021 5,624,000

Barcelona Urban Area Population Projections

2022 5,658,000
2023 5,687,000
2024 5,712,000
2025 5,733,000
2026 5,752,000
2027 5,769,000
2028 5,784,000
2029 5,799,000
2030 5,812,000
2031 5,824,000
2032 5,836,000
2033 5,848,000
2034 5,858,000
2035 5,869,000

Map of Barcelona, Spain

All Biggest Cities in Spain