British expats in Spain easily outnumber Spaniards in UK

The number of British expats living in Spain more than double the number of Spaniards living in the UK, new figures show.

In fact, according to the latest data released by the Office of National Statistics, there are British pensioners living in Spain than there are Spaniards of all ages living in the UK.

The figures show that almost 300,000 British citizens were resident in Spain for 12 months or more in 2016, while 116,000 Spaniards were living in the UK. There are currently 121,000 British pensioners living in Spain – around 40 per cent of the entire British expat population.

However, this figure only accounts for British expats who have registered with local authorities in Spain. It is widely believed that hundreds of thousands have not registered and that the actual British expat population in Spain is likely to be closer to 800,000.

The high majority of British expats who live in Spain choose to settle in coastal areas. Alicante, Malaga, Murcia and Almeria are the most popular locations. The only inland location with a high proportion of British expats is Madrid.

Almost half of the British expats who live in in Spain are retired, while 22 per cent are employed. Most of the employed Brits are likely to work in the hotels and catering industries. Approximately 11 percent of British expats in Spain are unemployed. Those too young to work and the economically inactive, including those staying at home with children and students, make up the rest.

Conversely, only 5 per ent of Spanish citizens in the UK are unemployed. A huge 78 percent of employed Spaniards working in the UK are employed in the public sector, financial services or hospitality industries. Around half of these workers are aged between 29-39.

Article published 5th July 2017