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Immigrants Exceed 12% of Population in Spain

November 30, 2023
Residents of foreign origin currently account for more than 12 percent of Spain's 48 million Spaniard population, corresponding to a total population of approximately 6 million residents of foreign origin. Spain's immigrant population increased by 182,141 people in the first half of this year, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE). Population growth is supported by a positive migration balance of 258,547 people, equivalent to more than 250,000 people. Meanwhile, the indigenous population is in decline, with 71,257 fewer people registered this year, according to INE data. In summary, the data shows that legal immigration remains the main factor driving Spain's population growth.

Immigration Law to Be Reformed, Improving Migration to Spain for Foreigners

The changes to immigration law aim to simplify procedures, shorten deadlines and make requirements for obtaining residence and work permits more accessible. By adopting these measures, the government seeks to encourage workers to employ them in their home country before migrating to Spain. These changes in circumstances meant more favorable conditions for those wishing to immigrate to this European country.

Migration to Spain Highly Driven by Arrivals From South America

Moroccan nationals represent the largest nationality group in Spain, with INE Migration Statistics showing that by 2022, there were a total of 775,159 Moroccan residents. While Romanians are the second largest nationality in Spain, with a total of 631,585 residents, Colombians follow third with 315,386 residents. The greatest increases in immigrants in Spain are noticed among Ukrainians (45.8 per cent), which can be linked to the war while increases in Peruvians and Colombians have been most evident, with migration rates being 20.1 and 19.1 per cent, respectively. The interest of foreigners in Spain is not only related to immigration, but also to obtaining a visa, which usually gives them time to travel and explore Spain for tourist purposes. Schengen Statistics has revealed that Ecuadorians are the main visa applicants from South America, filing over one-third (34.7 per cent) of all visa applications filed. This means that 75,094 visa requests from Ecuador were submitted to Spanish consulates. Dominicans and Cubans are the second and third-largest nationality groups with most visa applications to Spain, counting 43,996 and 39,931 requests, respectively. This means that 20.3 per cent of all applications from South American nationals are made by Dominicants and about 18.4 per cent from Cuba.

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