First quarter of 2021 sees increase in migrants to Spain

by Deborah Cater
Increase in migrants reaching Spain in 2021. Image: UNHCR / A. Rodriguez, Flickr.com under Creative commons license 2.0

A total of 6,496 migrants arrived in Spain in the first three months of 2021. That is a 15.6% increase in migrants compared to the same period last year (5,618), the Spanish Interior Ministry reported on Monday.

The largest increase was noticeable on the Canary Islands. 117% more migrants arrived in the first quarter of this year than in the same period last year.

The Spanish news site EuropaPress reports that, according to data from the Ministry of the Interior, a total of 3,436 migrants managed to reach the Canary Islands in the first quarter of this year. This compares to 1,582 in the first three months of 2020.

Casa Las Dunas Spain

Eightfold increase for Canary Islands

This growth marks a break with the downward trend that the government has observed for the archipelago since last September. In the first half of February, 155 migrants arrived; in the last two weeks of February, 109. In the second half of March, 856 migrants reached the archipelago, which is almost an eightfold increase. 

Decline in other areas

On the other hand, the number of migrants trying to reach Spain via the coasts of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands decreased by 8.4%. In the first three months of last year there were 2,852. This year the Interior Ministry recorded the arrival of 2,613 migrants.

Fewer people also entered Spain through the land borders of Ceuta and Melilla. Here, there was a 67.2% decrease. In Ceuta, 109 people managed to cross the posted fence between January and March this year, compared to 139 last year. In Melilla, 265 people arrived, compared to 1,000 registered in the same period last year.

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