It has long been considered the dream of many to live in Spain, whether as a retirement plan or to raise their family in the sunshine. But how many Britons actually follow that dream, take the plunge, and move to Spain?
It was thought that when the UK left the EU that many UK nationals living in Spain would jump ship and leave Europe, but in reality this hasn’t been the case. Although Brexit has made it much harder for Britons to living in Spain as non-nationals, despite this the British population in the country is only growing.
Here’s what you need to know about the number of Britons living in Spain right now:
How Many British People Live In Spain In 2023?
According to immigration observatory data, as of December 31st 2022 (the latest data available) there were 412,040 Britons who are residents in Spain. This is an increase compared to 2022 figures with an additional 4,412 Britons officially living in Spain this year.
Not all figures are quite what they seem, and another figure released by the Spanish national statistics body (INE) states that as of December 31st 2022 there were 293,171 UK nationals residents in Spain. Although this discrepancy is huge, it is normal and a similar gap is recorded each year. This is because that INE primarily uses local census information from the town halls (padrón address registrations, birth, death certificates etc) rather than migration documents.
How Old Are The Britons Living In Spain?
Though many Britons will spend their adult lives dreaming about living overseas the date suggests that they don’t take the plunge until later in life.
The average age of the resident foreign population in Spain is almost 40 years old and there is, generally speaking, slightly more men than women. But the average age of Britons living in Spain is much older at 55 years old.
Where Do British People In Spain Live?
Britons living in Spain tend to cluster in areas where they are other Britons, and right now the biggest number of Brits in Spain live inthe southern region of Andalusia, with a total of 92,180.This was followed closely by the Valencia region with a total of 87,699, and then the Canary Islands with 29,631.
Other autonomous communities with a sizeable British population are Catalonia with 24,689, the Balearic Islands with 19,569, Murcia with 17,562 and the Spanish capital of Madrid with 11,831.
The number of UK nationals living in other Spanish regions in 2023 is as follows:
The Basque Country: 1,648
Castilla y León: 1,033
Castilla-La Mancha: 968
La Rioja: 214
The Most Popular Provinces In Spain For Brits
The two provinces most popular with Britons in Spain are the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol. Alicante is the biggest attraction here with 76,739 Britons living in the province of the Valencia region.
Some of the biggest spots for Britons here include Benidorm, Torrevieja and Jávea, where those originally from the UK make up anywhere between 10 and 30 percent of the total population.
The Spanish province with the second biggest British population in 2023 is Málaga province with 56,019. Although not officially a province, the third largest area with Britons are the Balearic Islands.
How Are Britons Living In Spain?
Around half of the Brits living in Spain have swapped their residency cards for TIEs post-Brexit but that means that half are still living in the country using the old style residency documents.
The figures from July 2020 to June 2023 show that 159,604 UK nationals successfully exchanged their old residency documents for a TIE, the card that enshrines their residency rights as part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.
There is no obligation for Britons to make this change but the new TIE residency card is easier to use and more practical which is why Brits are still being advised to make the change if possible.
Are you thinking of moving to Spain? Looking to escape the cold and rainy weather in the UK and make an escape to the sun? Then why not get in touch with our local property experts, who are perfectly placed to help you buy the Spanish home of your dreams. We’re excited to help you make your next move your best move!