21 Apr, 2021 @ 10:30
1 min read

Population in Spain’s Malaga rises thanks to expats despite nationwide population decline

Malaga is the worst hit region in Andalucia

NEWS emerged yesterday of the dramatic decline in Spain’s population thanks to deaths COVID-19 pandemic during 2020.

Figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) showed that the overall population across Spain dropped by 0.2%, or 106,146 people.

One province that has seemingly bucked the trend though is Malaga, that according to numbers, has seen a rise in population over the past 12 months.

Compared to 2019, 8,169 more people have been registered as living in the province, predominantly foreign nationals and in particular, British nationals.

Of the 8,169 more people, 5,433 were British, a factor presumably bolstered by the effects of Brexit on the expat population who rushed to sign on to their towns registries during the transition period last year.

The rest were results made up of mainly Moroccan and Italian nationals.

When the results are separated by age, an interesting pattern occurs, as there appears to be a slight shift in the demographic across the province.

The population under the age of 15 has declined by 5,517 people, a fact helped by the dramatic birth rate decline during the pandemic and of the age group between 25 and 44, more than 8,000 people have left the province.

However the age group between 45 and 70 years has risen substantially by 14,821 people, and the 70+ age group has risen by 4,520.

The 16 to 44 age group continues to be the dominant age group though, with a total of 617,080 residents.

Across Andalucia, the picture is similar in terms of total population, with a very slight rise in numbers by 825 people.

With major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona loosing more than 30,000 people and inland Andalucian provinces such as Seville and Cordoba seeing numbers drop, the pull of coastal resorts has proved very real during the pandemic.

One of the main curiosities that came of the population shift during the pandemic was the apparent ‘repopulation’ of rural and smaller municipalities, with many younger people returning to their family homes or relocating to work remotely.

Astronomical rent prices in the big cities and exaggerated feelings of confinement in smaller apartments led many young to ditch the city life and seek a more relaxed life in rural Spain.


James Warren

"James spent three years spent working as a junior writer at various English language newspapers in Spain before finding a home at the Olive Press. He previously worked for many years as a bid writer for an international motorsports company. Based in Cordoba since 2014, James covers the southern Subbetica region, northern and inland Malaga and the Axarquia area. Get in touch at [email protected] with news or trustworthy tips that you would like him to cover in these areas"

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