The population of Catalonia is 7,522,596 (source: Idescat).
The Catalonian parliament declared independence from Spain on 27 October 2017. The Spanish government has refused to accept this declaration of independence, so Catalonia’s current status is uncertain.
Before Catalonia’s declaration of independence it was the second largest autonomous community (region) in Spain, with 16% of Spain’s population.
Barcelona (population: 1,608,746) is the largest city in Catalonia, and the second-largest city in Spain.
Spanish is the most widely spoken language in Catalonia, 47% of people speak Spanish as their own language. This is followed by Catalan, with 37%.
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Largest cities in Catalonia
Barcelona is the largest city in Catalonia. In 2016 the population of Barcelona was 1,608,746. The urban area of Barcelona has a population of 4,740,000, and the wider metro area is home to 5,375,774 people (2015 data).
The table below lists the largest cities or municipalities in Catalonia by population.
L’Hospitalet de Llobregat
Language in Catalonia
Catalonia is a multilingual region. The four official languages of Catalonia are Catalan, Spanish, Aranese and Catalan Sign Language. Almost everyone in Catalonia as a working knowledge of both Catalan and Spanish.
A 2008 survey indicated that 46% of people in Catalonia usually spoke Spanish in their day-to-day lives. A further 36% usually spoke Catalan, and 12% said they used both languages regularly. People living in major cities such as Barcelona were more likely to speak Spanish on a day-to-day basis, whereas people living in rural areas of Catalonia were more likely speak Catalan.
Aranese is a dialect of the Occitan language, which is spoken across Southern France and Northern Italy. Aranese is spoken by an estimated 4,700 people in the Val d’Aran region of Catalonia, where it has had a special protected status for some time. It was made an official language of Catalonia in 2006.
Catalonia Population Growth
The table below lists the population of Catalonia and population growth since 1900.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Estadística (Spain)
Religion in Catalonia
Christianity is the largest religion in Catalonia. Data from 2014 show that 56.5% of Catalans were Christian, over 90% of whom were Catholic.
Atheists are the next largest single group, comprising 18.2% of people in Catalonia, followed by agnostics (12%), Muslims (7.3%) and Buddhists (1.3%).
A further 2.3% of Catalonia’s population reported that they were members of another religion.