Foreign residents in Spain exceed 6m

20 Apr 2022

The number of foreign residents in Spain has risen by around a million over the past five years, to surpass a record 6 million by the end of 2021, as per new ministry data. 

As of 31st December 2021, there were a total of 6,007,553 foreigners residing in Spain, according to the most recent data published by the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Services and Migration. 

Migration growth in Spain is returning towards pre-pandemic levels, with 207,000 more foreign residents in the country last year compared to 2020, reports The Local. 

In addition, the number of non-EU foreigners who became residents in Spain last year also rose by 3.6%. 

Over the last five years, Spain’s foreign resident population has increased by 19%, with approximately one million more than at the end of 2016, the data revealed. 

Moreover, the findings show a steep decline in the year-on-year growth of migrants from Venezuela, from a 53% rise in 2020 to 7% last year. In contrast, the largest increase in 2021 was seen in migration from Colombia. 

In terms of the European Union, the largest migrations were from Italy with 7% and France with 5%. 

Although areas such as Madrid, with 972,000 and Barcelona with 895,000 are home to the largest number of foreign residents, in other provinces including Málaga, Almería, Alicante and the Balearics, foreigners represent a larger percentage of the population. 

Out of the 6 million foreigners now living in the country, 3.48 million are from other European Union countries, with 2.34 million originally from third countries, with the remainder – mainly from Britain – falling under the Withdrawal Agreement. 

The largest foreign population groups in Spain according to nationality are from Romania (1.09 million), Morocco (830,000), UK (407,000), Italy (377,000), China (230,000), Bulgaria (202,000), France (185,000) and Germany (185,000).