THERE are more foreign residents living in Spain than ever before, new data suggests.

Some six million foreigners were officially recorded as having residence in Spain in 2021, the highest number on record.

The Spanish Ministry of Inclusion, Social Services and Migration said the rise started prior to the pandemic with immigrants mainly coming from the UK and EU.

In addition the number of third-country nationals obtaining Spanish residency permits rose by 3.6 per cent in 2021.

Almost 60% of foreign residents came from the other EU Member States, with over two-million from third countries.

Many of them were British ‘Brexit refugees’ who emigrated to Spain under the terms of the withdrawal agreement.

Indeed, more UK nationals moved in 2021 to Spain than in many previous years with over 16,000 upping-sticks in that year alone, a 5% increase on 2020 figures.

It is thought that the surge may be due to people wanting to ensure permanent residency before the end of the transition period.

Now that Britain has left the EU, British citizens can only stay in the county without a visa for 90 days at a time.

The figures, which are based on the number of residence applications granted, show that by the end of 2021, there were 313,975 British passport holders with official residence in Spain.

The largest populations of foreigners who call Spain home are Romanians followed by Moroccans, then Brits..

The average age of foreign residents is 40, with slightly more men than women (52%). 

Spain’s foreign resident population has increased by almost a fifth in the last five years.


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