Often times, for the best, closest to the ground perspective on economic opportunities in any given economy, there is hardly any more convincing metric than observing the level of net migration of foreigners into a country, and subsequently out. First, it was Italy, where net immigrants from Afghanistan and Bangladesh came, they saw, and promptly took the first boat back to whereever it was they came from. Then, a year ago we first showed that the endless media propaganda has little to no impact on the marginal cheap worker in the US, as Mexican immigrants finally became emigrants after realizing that real demand for their services, even as bargain basement wages, simply does not exist. And now, it was only logical that Europe's economic basket case with unemployment levels so high one literally needs bigger charts, was the next to follow.
As BBC reports, in 2012 the Spanish population of 47.3 million declined by some 206,000 as "immigrants left the country amid a major economic crisis." The actual population change consisted of native Spaniards growing by a token 10,000 more than offset by the 216,000 registered foreign residents who decided to just pack it up and go back, mostly from Ecuador and Colombia. One could say they threw in the proverbial (Spiderman) towel, or at least sold it on Ebay.
This was the first population decline in Spain since the census began in 1990. The good news for all those who are left: all your government-managed pension and retirement money is tucked away safe and sound into the viability of Spanish government bonds. And every one knows those are "money good."
Spain's population fell last year for the first time in decades, as immigrants left the country amid a major economic crisis, officials say.
The National Statistic Institute (NSI) says the number of residents dropped by almost 206,000 to 47.1m - the decline entirely accounted for by foreigners.
Immigrants from Ecuador and Colombia showed the biggest fall.
The figures do not take into account many Spaniards who have left in search of work but are still on the census.
The figures show that the ongoing economic crisis has reversed the country's rapid population growth in the decade before the financial crisis erupted in 2008.
The bursting of the property bubble and high unemployment levels compounded the situation, forcing many economic migrants from South America and Eastern Europe to leave the country.
"Spain is less attractive because there no jobs," Albert Esteve of the Barcelona Centre for Demographic Studies told Spain's National Radio.
At least those who remain can sleep soundly at night, knowing their deposits in the country's domestic, and quite insolvent, financial system, are safe. After all Cyprus is no template. And who can possibly say no to a Spiderman beach towel.