26 Oct, 2014 @ 09:00
1 min read

Spain suffers mass exodus due to bad economy

A MASS exodus of Spaniards has taken place to escape the country’s economic woes.

With a 25% unemployment rate and a lack of faith in government, some 700,000 Spaniards left Spain between 2008 and 2012, according to Fundacion Alternativa’s new research.

The institute also revealed another 547,890 departed in 2013, although officials say just 79,306 of them were Spanish.

And it appears a large proportion of those leaving are heading for South American soil as many of the continent’s economies enjoy a rise in economic fortunes.

While Spain’s economy is predicted to grow 1.2% in 2014, Peru is set for a 5.5% increase, with Mexico to see a 3% growth, Chile 3.6% and Panama 7.2%, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Combined with a lower cost of living, the South American attraction is clear.

And in a reversal of history, the Spanish follow a wave of Latin Americans who have themselves returned to the continent after large numbers migrated to Spain in the late 1990s.

Jacqueline Fanchini (Reporter)

DO YOU HAVE NEWS FOR US at Spain’s most popular English newspaper - the Olive Press? Contact us now via email: [email protected] or call 951 273 575


  1. Record breaking year for tourism. Car factories forced to re-introduce night shifts in Barcelona and Valladolid. And Spanish exports breaking new records news.kyero.com/2014/10/spanish-goods-exports-register-best-results-since-1971/18747 – no wonder the independent observers have been forced to upgrade forecasts for Spain this year. Best not to pay such attention to the doom-mongers, let’s face it they got it wrong predicting the collapse of Santander, the expulsion of Spain from the Euro, the evacuation of British expats etc etc etc.

  2. @Squiddy, you must know better than the hundreds of thousands of people who were not impressed with the car export and summer tourism figures, and moved out of Spain to try and seek a better existence. The figures speak for themselves, and they don’t even cover the massive departure of expats over the last few years either.

  3. I think most Spaniards head for the UK and they all seem to find work quite easily. London is full of Spaniards working in all types of businesses and on a recent trip to Covent Garden, there was a Spanish person working in every place I went, even the London Transport Museum. With such frightening unemployment figures in Spain, what else can they do?

  4. If you need to make money and you are not connected to the Government with their illegal activities then you best leave because the system is set up to stop you making any money and put hurdles in all the way along. As soon as a few leave and do well in the UK and other Countries you then have a snowball effect as they tell their relatives and friends and they put them up in their accommodation until they are settled, some go back when they have enough money, some stay in their adopted Country for ever and never want to return other than to see their parents.. How do I know that, that is what my Wife did from South America. I wish there was a recovery and property prices were flying but you have no chance with all that corruption.

  5. There are so many Spaniards living in the UK now, it’s not all about sun. They value the jobs and business opportunities in the UK more than sun and the manana attitudes, plus the cosmopolitan lifestyle in British cities.

    Fred, the squiddy you mention is a bloke who talks up Spain and start-ups on several forums, he moved from UK to Madrid and his small bookshop there didn’t work out so he moved back to good old England I heard. His photo is recognisable from other forums a rosy in other words.

    Anyway, with a potential new EU depression coming more Spaniards will move to the UK as well as South America where they are heading in droves.

  6. Funny, it didn’t seem like the apocalypse in town yesterday?

    Bars FULL of WORKERS drinking lager & socialising mid morning as usual. Same again for the long lunch and after work too probably. They repeat this every day in Spain, iving La Vida Loca in the hot end of October sunshine.

    Have a good one if you’re ‘back in the uk’ & writing negative drivel on this Spanish site though.

  7. That’s one of the problems isn’t it, ‘the long lunch’ oh and ‘manana’, even in Winter in Spain, include the 25% or so unemployment and you can see why so many bright young Spaniards are going to the UK and other countries? The cold weather hasn’t even started in UK yet, very unusual, supposed to be 18c later this week.

    Look at the title Derek, ‘Spain suffer mass exodus’, plus 1000’s of expats left last year, why? Property prices half what they were, negative equity, and UK property rising still. Then of course once back they can holiday in Spain and elsewhere without the worries of falling prices etc etc etc. Lol

  8. The rise in Spanish exports Jan-Aug (according to that Kyero report) contrasts with the declines seen in France (-2%) and the United Kingdom (-15.6%). Strange how the scaremongers were telling us just a few years back that Spain couldn’t compete because of the Euro, and that the UK had a great advantage being outside the single currency. Still, at least we hope no one here was stupid enough to invest in Tesco shares! The real bogus economy has been found out!

  9. @Squiddy, quote ‘Still at least we hope no one here was stupid enough to invest in Tesco shares’ let’s hope no-one here was stupid enough to invest in a Madrid bookshop for less than a year.

    Glad you pointed out the real bogus economy Spain’s has been found out, whilst the UK’s is the fastest growing economy in the G7, just great.

  10. The commentators on Ibex Salad show the August blip was (probably) down to re-tooling, but there is definitely a return to auto export growth in September! This will be reflected in the last quarter too, now that the car companies are putting on night shifts to cope with extra demand. As even the Telegraph admits “Other countries may be mothballing lines or cutting shifts as Europe flirts with a triple-dip recession, but Spain’s 17 car factories are firing on all cylinders. Output has risen 20pc over the last two years, on track to reach 2.4m this year and 3m by 2017, leaving Britain, Italy, Russia and, above all, France ever further behind. ” The numbers in work have jumped by 530,000 in 6 months. “http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11187656/AEP-Spains-export-led-recovery-comes-at-a-price.html” The biggest danger now (and yes this may affect Spain) is the housing bubble finally bursting in London/SE Enfland. The BBC today reported the biggest monthly fall in house prices this year “http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-29799937”

  11. You haven’t changed your style of writing lengthy essays as you do elsewhere with all your links (fortunately one cannot click on them here. Why on earth you live in the UK and try highlighting a fall in UK house prices, forgot the price rises though? Not the same as Spain’s crash, Lol

  12. Ibex Salad website stated aims is to talk up Spain. Let’s wait for the the last two quarter results.

    Surely no one would be crazy enough to open a bookshop these days, let alone in a business unfriendly country like Spain.

  13. Bryan/Katy – the Ibex Salad site “http://ibexsalad2.blogspot.co.uk/” does “observations on the Spanish economy”. It deals with facts and current trends. It’s obvious that YOUR aim is to talk down Spain, so you are upset when facts contradict your apocalypse scenario. Still trying to claim Santander will go under soon, or Spain to crash out of the Euro? Oh, and for the record no-one I’ve seen on this site has recommended opening a bookshop or any kind of shop, but I do know that “Tikbooks” has done well in Madrid, going from 1 to 6 outlets. Not so business unfriendly as you claim ;)

    Fred – This may already be too late, but I’d advise you not to side with Mike/Angie and Bryan/Katy. They have already been banned from the SPI forum for lying, multiple identities and organising a smear campaign “http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/discussion/forum-topic/censorship-at-spi/” I try to keep to subject topics, and away from personal attacks, but you can see already on this thread that they both switch to personal jibes almost from the start. By trying to discredit other people’s personal status they destroy their own credibility. If they had any sense they’d run their own site openly and publically, and publish their “reasoned” arguments, instead of trolling on various Spain talkboards. Since it costs nearly nothing nowadays to set up a site you wonder why they don’t do that?

  14. You would HAVE to be mad or suffer from O.C.D to go typing all these idiot links in. If you have a valid argument, or apt comment, let’s hear it. It’s easy to see why someone would try to “talk Spain up” – commercial considerations in particular. But what gain is there in “talking Spain down”?
    Sorry Squid, the ring of truth doesn’t sound from your bell.

  15. @Squiddy, it’s hard to verify what you say, indeed on a public access blog nothing can be easily verified, so it’s really a waste of time making accusations to begin with.

    Sticking to topic, the debate here is that hundreds of thousands of Spaniards have left Spain, and whilst Spain is seeing some (welcome) growth, it does tend to give the impression that Spain is not a good place to do business. I would tend to agree based upon my own experiences. The black market, the tax system and the brain-drain show Spain to be massively backward as a place to do business.

  16. Squidgy, I have to say it does not sound like you know what you are talking about. You give out all this advice and you opened a bookshop, almost as bad as opening a CD music shop. Although Tesco shares have halved they have not closed and it is not good to gloat about the investments where many will have lost money…

  17. @Fred, Reap, Bryan, stefanjo, Jane, Iestyn, all of you make constructive comments on here whereas someone called English Damp Squid suggests trolling on various Spain talkboards by others. This is no doubt because his cover has been blown on here by (a) inserting his photo, (b) listing numerous links as he does elsewhere under different names which his photo and style are a giveaway. This suggests he is the one trolling.
    I agree with Reap that it is not good to gloat about those who bought Tesco shares, why would he bring that into play, when he has his own failings in Spain. Agree with Bryan’s comments too.
    I was in Wimbledon today and although raining it was mild and noticed a lot of young Spanish there working in coffee houses and restaurants and enjoying their employment.

  18. Just answer 1 question honestly Mike. Did you post on the SPI forum as Angie, and did you get banned, as per the link given, for lying, multiple identities and starting a smear campaign?

  19. John Weeks, an American living in London, is professor emeritus of economics at SOAS, University of London. He has advised numerous governments and written and commented widely on economic and social issues in the United States, Europe and developing regions.

    The UK recovery from the Great Recession can be summarized as follows:
    1. the slowest on recovery.
    2. burdened with falling productivity, probably due to a shift toward low wage, low skill, low productivity sectors based on part-time employment.
    3. a weakening of export performance, due to stagnant productivity; and
    4. dismally low private investment.

    The Chancellor George Osborne is celebrating that the economy is on the road to recovery with one of the highest growth rates among the G7 countries. Indeed, the UK does appear on a road, the low road to low wages, poverty and external vulnerability. I think anyone who moves here is a crackpot.

  20. Someone who gloats at people’s misfortune investing in shares etc now asks a question of himself, so you do you have multiple identities squiddy to not only take topics off track but to divert attention from himself.

    London was a balmy 22c yesterday as we ate tapas outside, thank you Spain for sending such lovely weather. Philo many of those people who moved to the UK have made serious money on their homes so not so crackpot which is different from many who trade in the Euro. The low road to low wages, poverty and external vulnerability, which EU country does this apply to?

  21. It’s only a few weeks since one of the Spain haters here was advising investing in Tesco shares rather than Spanish property. Since then we know what’s happened and there are now criminal investigations into their accounts. As to “gloating”that is exactly what the likes of Mike/angie have done for years, along with lying and smear campaigns on the SPI forum. Easy to check.

  22. I’ve not seen anyone here giving advice to open a bookshop, although this place, Tikbooks has done so and now has 6 outlets! But it seems we’re meant to feel sorry for Angie as, she did support buying shares in Tesco?? Still, if she is not guilty of the lies, multiple identities, and smearing ( as stated by the SPI forum when banning her) she can always tell us so here? Won’t hold my breath though..

  23. Philo, you’ve scored an own goal there because “the low road to low wages, poverty and external vulnerability” is probably one of the best descriptions of Spain that I have heard in a long while.

    Your post is clearly motivated by something but God knows what. Your point is what exactly?

    You are quite obviously missing the point of the article. Most Spaniards move to the UK because they want to get some work experience and earn some money at the same time – something that is virtually impossible to achieve in Spain at the moment. That fact that they are able to do this in the UK and not in Spain does rather suggest that the UK economy is performing better than the Spanish economy.

    The UK economy is not perfect but only the terminally stupid would deny that it is significantly out-performing the Spanish economy, for the moment at least.

  24. Yes good post. I am out of here now, turning into a childish spat that is nothing to do with the subject. What does it matter if someone has a dozen identities, it’s not a Sun competition to decide who is right, or wrong. They are opinions aren’t they and if Squid wants to be Philo what does it matter.

  25. Bryan ‘No one has to “talk down” Spain. One only has to read this paper to see what problems expats have.’

    Most people on here aren’t ex pats, they’re RE PATS who didn’t fit in here.

    Problems needs solutions, which on the whole you won’t really get on here. Mainly blindly slagging off Spain whilst laughing at its problems.

    Pretty twisted really.

  26. Jane, the point is simple just for you. A few Spanish waiters working a few streets in London is the most hilarious upturn indicator yet. Then again, If London needs Spanish waiters, then who am I to knock it. If you’d told me Ford Cars had re opened in Dagenham, I may have believed signs of good forthcoming good fortune, but an increase in Spanish waiters in London. Are you taking the piss lol. There’s a joke in there for the pub landlord lol

  27. Jane you are correct as 45,500 Spaniards registered for an NI number in 2013 to work in the UK, there are 1000’s moving to the UK every year and not just moving to London. Bristol is a magnet as are other Cities and towns. Other countries are receiving many too, figures show 280,000 Spaniards left Spain last year for work.

  28. Given that 1.3 million Brits have gone to Australia alone, I’m not sure that quoting figures in isolation proves anything. According to the Telegraph last year, 2 million Brits have left the UK in recent years, leading to fears of a talent drain, whilst 860,000 Germans have left their country! “http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10258081/Two-million-quit-Britain-in-talent-drain.html” The truth is that many more people now seek the chance of living/working abroad, especially if it gives the chance of learning a language or new skills. Given that figures for internal tourism, new car sales or even luxury goods sales are up in Spain, I think those hoping for an acopalypse are sadly deluded. I see today another report stating that manufacturing in Spain has expanded for the 11th month running. Good news for Spain!

  29. @Squiddy, no one is hoping for an apocalypse but the truth is that there is no quick fix for Spain’s problems.

    I see that the National Statistics Office today shows the number of foreign residents living in Alicante province fell over 2013 from 469,417 to 379,689, which means nearly 100,000 people left that area in 2013 alone. The 2014 figures are expected to be worse, so much so that some town halls are doing lots of incentives to claw back foreigners (look at Benalmadena’s 50% IBI discount scheme for example).

    Raquel Huerte, a sociology professor at Alicante University has said that the exodus is due to the higher cost of living in Spain, compared to when the country was cheaper for foreigners and the cut backs in health, social and leisure services. She is quite correct on all these points, Spain is not cheap to live in and money issues are one of the main factors in the exodus. Basic facts.

  30. As the OP’s topic title is ‘Spain suffers mass exodus due to bad economy’ it seemed to make sense to quote those figures going to the UK and elsewhere.

    I’m sure if the OP has a similar topic for the UK’s figures we will all be able to comment on that as well.

  31. Philo, who said anything about waiters? Spaniards are working in all sorts of different sectors/businesses all over the UK and not just in London. The point is they can find work in the UK but not in Spain or many other Eurozone countries who are probably about to enter into a triple dip recession. Would you prefer the UK to be in the same situation as these countries?

    You may think our economy is bad but there is far more economic activity in the UK and it is positively booming compared to the Spain and many other countries throughout the Eurozone. If the boot was on the other foot, how easy do you think it would be for you to find a job in Spain? How would you feel if the UK unemployment rate was close to 25%?

  32. Ah, I see Jane, so how long do you think I need to wait for this Spanish Armada to hit Wigan. There are no jobs, (proper jobs) with seriously decent employment contracts to be found. As for the emergence of the Spanish onslaught, there is no sign of that just yet, so Wigan and it’s neighbours, Mancs and Scousers can now seemingly look forward to that :) To be honest, there was one Spanish guy I do know about. He was Manager of Wigan Athletic, (my footie team, for my sins) :), but he left us for Everton FC which means there’s at least one real Spanish guy now works in Liverpool, (The Land of the eternal Giro) It’s pretty rough up here people. Lots of Poles and Russians working in fields,as usual being Exploited by the Rich Farmers. I know farmers are Rich, because they all drive Mega sized Tractors on cheap Red diesel fuel they are only supposed to use on the farm, but we know they drive around in good old Red. They also produce nice sized potholes in the roads as well as potatoes and cabbages,and though they are just a small part of the blame, nothing hides the fact we are surrounded by third world condition roads,yet in Spain my Property has perfect roads leading to and from everywhere I need to go. I’m not saying poor roads are an indicator of economic performance either… (we all know a huge proportion of taxes revenue is fed off to support black ops and and need to know operation over here) To people who quote stats, they are so easily bent and manipulated, they have been during my lifetime and this will continue beyond for a long time to come. As an example, ask any British Politician that claims expenses for their second London homes and everything else. You won’t get the truth. They are bent like their economic stats. The economy you see Jane is clearly not the same one I see here in Wigan. I shall certainly keep you updated in regard to any local influx from our Spanish Brothers Jane :) ¿Puedo tener la cuenta, por favor has not yet been required as far as I know just yet !! rather than În cazul în care este centrul de locuri de munc? is more popular But hey, I’m sure the figures from our present group of plastic men and women in their undeniable elitist life styles will prove me wrong.

  33. Jane knows her stuff Philo, you need to travel outside of Wigan then, try London, Bristol, Bath, T. Wells, Brighton, Canterbury, Exeter, Taunton, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Norwich, ad infinitum to find loads of young Spaniards working throughout the UK and not just in restaurants, the UK is getting many bright young brains from Spain for all sorts of jobs.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Where to eat in the Serrania de Ronda

Next Story

Spanish teachers suffer massive pay cuts

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press