//Immigration to Spain

Immigration to Spain

Immigration in Spain

The Immigration increased significantly in the beginning of the 21st century. In 1998, immigrants accounted for 1.6% of the population, and by 2009, that number had jumped to above 12% — one of the highest in Europe at the time. Until 2014, the numbers were decreasing due to the economic crisis, but since then, immigration to Spain has increased again since 2015 and as of 2020, there were 7,221,362 foreign-born people in Spain, making up to 15.22% of the Spanish population including 5,010,512 (10.59%) born in a non-European country. Of these, 5,423,198 (11.43%) didn’t have the Spanish citizenship. This makes Spain one of the world’s preferred destinations to immigrate to, being the 4th country in Europe by immigration numbers. Spain attracts significant immigration from Latin America and Eastern Europe. The fastest-growing immigrant groups in 2017 were Venezuelans, Colombians, Italians, Ukrainians, and Argentinians.

Immigrants from the European Union – make up a growing proportion of immigrants in Spain. The main countries of origin are Romania, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Bulgaria.

The British authorities estimate that the real population of UK citizens living in Spain is much bigger than Spanish official figures suggest, establishing them at about 1,000,000, about 800,000 being permanent residents. Of these, according to the BBC and contrary to popular belief, only about 21.5% are over the age of 65.

In fact, according to the Financial Times, Spain is the most favoured destination for West Europeans considering to move from their own country and seek jobs elsewhere in the EU.

Social attitudes to immigration – Unlike other countries in the EU, Spain has not recorded any relevant anti-immigration bout to date. According to some analysts, the causes behind this are multiple. In addition to the lack of strong right-wing political parties, it also must be added that the legacy of Francoist Spain left an ingrained skepticism towards rightwing authoritarianism. Drawing from the experience of many Spaniards during the 1960s and then again in the beginning of the 21st century when the crisis struck the country, there may be also a collective understanding that hardships force people to seek work abroad.

A January 2004 survey by Spanish newspaper El País showed that the “majority” of Spaniards believe immigration was too high. Small parties, such as Movimiento Social Español, openly campaign using nationalist or anti-immigrant rhetoric as do other small far-right parties such as National Democracy (Spain) and España 2000. These parties have never won national or regional parliamentary seats. However, since its foundation, the far right new comer Vox party has experiencing a high growth.

See also

Spain

References

  1. ^“Spain”The World Factbook 2009.

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