Marbella, Mallorca or Ibiza might inspire day-dreaming – but they’re not where most expats end up moving to in Spain.

Instead a population the size of the city of Chester (over 70,000) have chosen Alicante.

That’s well ahead of the 49,884 in Malaga and 15,991 in Almeria, according to Spain’s national institute for statistics (INE).

But Alicante is a big area – with the world-famous Costa Blanca covering its entire 244km coastline.

So where exactly do expats move to in Alicante?

According to the first INE study of its kind, Javea on the northern tip of the Costa Blanca was named as the 5th most international town in Spain (and most populated town of the top 5).

Back in 2011, Javea was only pipped by neighbouring Teulada-Moraira and Calp as well as Alfas del Pi and Rojales further south.

Most recent figures from 2019 show that little has changed.

Five of Spain’s most international towns today remain in Alicante, including the villages of Poble Nou de Benitachell and Lliber next door to Javea.

In the latter village of Lliber, the foreign population is currently over 70% (729 out of 1,051).

With a total population of 27,604 Javea has remained a deeply Valencian town, with many of Valencia and Madrid’s well-to-do also owning apartments, houses and yachts.

Javea’s foreign population is currently 48% of the total (13,114) with British residents making up the lion’s share.

According to 2019 figures, there are 4,544 UK residents in Javea, 865 Germans, 845 Moroccans, 657 Colombians, 407 French, 357 Venezuelans and 269 Russians.

Other international residents in Javea come from countries like China (142), Pakistan (219), Ukraine (163), Senegal (5), Cuba (21), Portugal (31) and the Dominican Republic (3).


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