British expats leaving Spain

While recent reports have shown that British people are continuing to buy properties in Spain, the number of expats living in the country is falling.

According to Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE), in the last five years, the number of British residents in Spain has dropped from 397,892 to 240,785 – a fall of 157,107.

Between the beginning of 2012 and the start of 2017, the number of Brits leaving Spain has outnumbered those who arrive. Approximately 88,800 arrived to live in the country during this period. This is a complete reverse of the previous trend, where between 2008 and 2012, 40,454 more Britons arrived in Spain than left.

Although some of the recent fall can be attributed to the fallout of the Brexit vote, part of the reduction is to do with the new regulation on municipal enrollment in Spanish regions. This means that some British expats may be present in Spain, despite not being officially registered as residents.

Official figures show that while the number of residents from 15 EU-countries (before eastern European countries joined the EU) in Spain has fallen by 25 per cent, the number of British expats has dropped by 40 per cent.

Valencia, which was one of the first major residential destinations for British people in Spain, has seen a huge decline in British residents. Over the past five years, the number of expats living there has nearly halved: from 145,652 to 75,054.

Andalusia is now the Spanish region with the largest British community – although there has also been a decline in British residents here too.

Article published 13th March 2018