The population as of 2015 was estimated to be 790,201 residents. This reflects a decrease from 2010, when the population exceeded 800,000, according to the National Statistics Institute. The urban area has a population that exceeds 1.5 million.
City Size and Population Density
The city of Valencia covers a surface area of about 134.65 km2 (51.99 sq mi). When combined with the growing population, the density of that population living in the city itself comes to approximately 5,800 residents per square kilometer (15,000/sq mi).
The city of Valencia is considered a bilingual city. The two official languages are Valencian and Spanish. Spanish is currently the predominant language throughout the city proper, but schools in the city teach both languages, so most residents have at least a basic understanding of both languages.
The city is the third largest in Spain and one of the most populous in the European Union. In recent years, there has been a significant amount of growth when it comes to foreign-born residents. Growth of 14% was recorded between 2007 and 2008. The growth in 2009 was 9.1%. Most of the foreign-born population comes from the countries of Italy, Romania and Bolivia.
Valencia is one of the oldest cities in Spain, believed to have been founded around 138 BC. In early years, the city was under Christian rule, until it was put under Muslim rule in the 1100s. The city experienced hundreds of years of hardships, including what was known as the Black Death of 1348 and a series of wars and riots.
During the 15th and 16th centuries, the city had rebounded and became quite prosperous. However, the discovery of America had a major impact on trade, throwing the city into an economic crisis. The crisis only continued when Jews and Moriscos were expelled from the city during the 17th century. During the 18th century, the city changed hands to the English and was governed under the Castilian Charter. The city also saw its economy recover through the manufacturing of tile and silk.
In the 20th century, Valencia was industrialized and its economy was reliant on the production of wood, metal, hides, and exports of citrus fruit and wine. Larger companies were beginning to make their mark on the city during this time period. However, World War I had negative effects on the economy, impacting the trade of citrus.
The economy was beginning to flourish again during the 1960s and the population grew. The city also became known for its culture, including its museums. Today, the city still has a strong culture, many historic landmarks, festivals, sports teams, and attractions that appeal to residents and tourists alike.
Valencia Population Growth
Valencia has recently experienced declining populations, along with other Spanish cities along the cost. An aging population is one contributing factor to the decline in population. Also, many residents are moving from Valencia and other coastal cities to move to larger cities. Foreigners are also returning to their home countries. Valencia’s industries have the capabilities to lure in younger residents, but only time will tell if it will be enough to sustain the city’s role as one of the largest in Spain.