Top 10 Catalan cities

An example of the complete bollocks with which travel sites think you’ll be satisfied is to be found on Travelcreek, which tells us that:

Gerona is the second largest city in the province of Catalunya after Barcelona and is dissected by the Onyar river.

Leaving aside the fact that Catalonia isn’t a province, Girona hasn’t been on the number two spot since before the industrial revolution. Here are the top 10s for 1900, 1975 and 2004, population-wise:

  1900 1975 2004 (position in spain)
1 Barcelona 533,000 Barcelona 1,840,000 Barcelona (2) 1,549,400
2 Reus 26,681 l’Hospitalet de Llobregat 280,640 l’Hospitalet de Llobregat (16) 239,100
3 Tortosa 24,452 Badalona 201,867 Badalona (21) 204,800
4 Tarragona 23,423 Sabadell 182,012 Sabadell (29) 187,700
5 Manresa 23,252 Terrassa 161,679 Terrassa (31) 181,300
6 Sabadell 23,214 Sta Coloma de Gramenet 137,579 Sta Coloma de Gramenet (53) 109,600
7 Lleida 21,432 Lleida 102,599 Tarragona (49) 115,100
8 Mataró 19,704 Tarragona 101,619 Lleida (50) 114,100
9 Badalona 19,240 Mataró 91,588 Mataró (52) 112,000
10 Terrassa 15,956 Cornellà de Llobregat 91,110 Reus (59) 91,600

Go on, be honest: how many of you have actually been to l’Hospitalet? Girona, with 79,900 inhabitants, is joint 11th with Cornellà this year (number 71 in Spain), the latter having lost more than 10,000 people in the last 30 years.

There has also been a shift of jobs and people away from Barcelona in the past couple of decades. The following chart–of negligible scientific value–compares the population of Barcelona with the sum total of Catalonia’s next nine cities for the dates above:

Barcelona vs the rest: population stats
2004 stats from The World Gazetteer, 1975 and 1900 from Lluís Casassas et al, Què és Catalunya (Barcelona, 1980).

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Last updated 08/02/2019

This post pre-dates my organ-grinding days, and may be imported from elsewhere.

Badalona (2): Badalona is a municipality to the immediate north east of Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain.

Barcelona (1399):

Catalonia (1155):

Cornellá (2):

Girona (10):

Hospitalet (1):

Kaleboel (4307):

Manresa (1): Manresa is the capital of the Comarca of Bages, located in the geographic centre of Catalonia, Spain, and crossed by the river Cardener.

Mataró (1): Mataró is the capital and largest town of the comarca of the Maresme, in the province of Barcelona, Catalonia Autonomous Community, Spain.

Reus (4): Reus is the capital of Baix Camp, in the province of Tarragona, in Catalonia, Spain.

Sabadell (1): Sabadell is the fifth largest city in Catalonia, Spain.

Santa Coloma (2): Santa Coloma may refer to:

Spain (1881):

Tarragona (11):

Terrassa (2): Terrassa is a city in the east central region of Catalonia, in the province of Barcelona, comarca of Vallès Occidental, of which it is the cocapital along with Sabadell. It is the site of Roman Egara, a former Visigothic bishopric, which became a Latin Catholic titular see.

Tortosa (1): Tortosa is the capital of the comarca of Baix Ebre, in Catalonia, Spain. Tortosa is located at 12 metres above sea level, by the Ebro river, protected on its northern side by the mountains of the Cardó Massif, of which Buinaca, one of the highest peaks, is located within Tortosa's municipal boundary.


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