Immigrants – 8.8 million – account for 18.1% of population in Spain

morocco inmigration

In January 2024, the highest recorded number of foreign-born residents in Spain was reached, 8.8 million people, according to data from the Continuous Population Statistics, analysed by Funcas in the latest Focus on Spanish Society. This figure represents 18.1% of the population, one percentage point more than in 2023, distributed very unevenly among the autonomous communities. The highest percentages correspond to the Balearic Islands (27%), Catalonia and Madrid (24%), Melilla (23%), the Valencian Community and the Canary Islands (both 22%). The regions with the lowest percentages are Extremadura (6%), Asturias (10%), Castilla y León and Galicia (11%).

In the European context, Spain is among the group of countries with the highest proportion of immigrants. In 2023, the percentage of the foreign-born population in the European Union as a whole was 13.3%, according to Eurostat data. Spain, with 17.1% of foreign-born residents in 2023, was in that year (latest available from Eurostat) within striking distance of countries with a long tradition of welcoming immigrants, such as Sweden (20.4%) and Germany (19.5%), and ahead of France (13.1%) and the other southern European countries (Portugal: 16.1%; Greece: 11.3%; Italy: 10.9%).

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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.