(Soria, Spain. 2016)

Soria is a province of northern Spain, located in the eastern part of the autonomous community of Castilla y León. Many refer to this province as the “Spanish Lapland”.

Lapland – the Arctic region of Sweden and Finland – may be colder than Soria, but not much more: the town of Póveda in Soria reached 16 degrees below zero (Celsius) a year ago, on February 17, 2016.

Soria is by far the least populated Spanish province, with a density of 8.95 inhabitants / km2: one of the lowest population densities in the European Union (in comparison, the average density of Spain is 83.6 inhabitants / km2 and for the European Union as a whole, 116). With 2.4% of the country’s national territory, its population makes up only 0.2% of Spain’s total population. And the population has been shrinking: in 2014, there were 643 births and 1,141 deaths, resulting in a population decline of 498 people. Soria lost more than 40% of its population over the last 50 years, and has the oldest population in the European Union (26.7% of its population is over 65 years old, compared to Spain’s average of 16.9%), and 94 of its 183 municipalities have fewer than 100 inhabitants. In the inner area of Soria, density drops to just 1.63 inhabitants per square kilometer, even less than Lapland’s average of 1.87 inhabitants.