Málaga: fastest population growth during pandemic

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Málaga province sees biggest population growth in 2020

MÁLAGA – The population of Spain shrank during 2020 by 106,000 inhabitants. This is partly a result of the increased mortality caused by Covid-19. Yet there are also provinces where there was population growth.

The greatest demographic growth in Spain took place in the province of Málaga with an increase of 8,169 people. This is evident from the update of the population register published on Tuesday by the INE statistical office.

The growth in the southern Spanish province, which includes the well-known Costa del Sol, is mainly due to Brexit as residents offically registered. Another factor was people from other areas in Spain preferred to spend their lock-down in a warmer climate.


After Málaga, the region of Murcia grew the fastest (+6,687), followed by Toledo (+5,003), Tarragona (+4,632) and Guadalajara (+3,571). Murcia has the same appeal in terms of climate as Málaga. The growth in the provinces of Toledo and Guadalajara is due to many Madrid residents seeking refuge in more rural areas and smaller villages not too far away. Tarragona mainly saw residents of the metropolitan area of ​​Barcelona come.


At the other end of the spectrum we find provinces whose population shrank remarkably. First of all Madrid, with a reduction of 34,297 inhabitants, followed by Barcelona with 31,997 fewer people, Valencia (-8,337), Asturias (-7,224) and Vizcaya (-6,081).

Cogesa Expats

On January 1, 2021, a total of 1,694,098 persons were registered in Málaga. That is a new record and an increase of 0.48% compared to a year earlier.

The entire region of Andalucia grew in population by 825 persons. In Málaga, Almería, Granada, Cádiz and Huelva, the number of inhabitants increased, while it decreased in the inland provinces of Seville, Jaén and Córdoba.


The arrival of foreigners gave the greatest impetus to Málaga’s population growth. Of the 8,169 people, two-thirds (5,433) were born abroad and only 2,733 have Spanish nationality.


It is striking that six out of every ten new residents come from the United Kingdom. Officially, 50,773 Britons are now registered in the province of Málaga. Due to Brexit, many Britons who previously lived there had to make their situation official, with a residence permit and registering with their municipality.

Registered with the municipality

Because people had to demonstrate where they lived during lockdown and other periods of limited freedom of movement, many people have now registered with their municipality, while previously they never saw the point of it. In addition, according to the newspaper SUR, it is also plausible that people who own a second home in Málaga chose to make it their main residence. The fact the pandemic also introduced teleworking into the country contributed to this.

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