Record number of Spaniards living abroad

by Lorraine Williamson
Spaniards living abroad

MADRID – On January 1, 2023, a total of 2.79 million Spaniards were living abroad. That is a new historical record according to the most recent data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). 

The almost 2.8 million Spaniards living outside Spain is the highest number since 2009. That year INE started compiling the register of emigrants. In addition, the number has increased by 1.7% (47,712) compared to 2022. 

Statistics show that in 2009 1,471,691 Spaniards lived abroad. Since then, this group has always increased year after year. In 2010, the 1.5 million mark was exceeded for the first time (1,574,123); the 2 million in 2014 (2,058,048) and the 2.5 million in 2019 (2,545,729). 

However, in recent years there has been a slowdown in the departure of Spaniards to other countries, as there were annual increases of between 6.07% and 8.17% between 2010 and 2015; this trend has since slowed down. 

Where do the Spaniards living abroad stay? 

58.7% of people of Spanish nationality registered as residing abroad on January 1 were residents in the Americas; 37.7% in Europe and 3.6% in the rest of the world. The largest increases in registrations in the past year occurred in Europe (+32,589) and America (+19,698 more). Relatively speaking, the largest increases occurred in Europe (3.2%) and Oceania (1.3%). 

There are 23,845 more women than men living abroad; they live more in America, Europe and Oceania, while men mainly settle in Africa and Asia. 

Cogesa Expats

30.3% of Spaniards living abroad were born in Spain; 58.3% in their current country of residence and 11.3% in other countries. 15.1% are under 16 years old (50.5% in Europe); 62.8%, are between 16 and 64 years old (57.1% in America), and 22.1%, are at least 65 years old (74.5% in America). 

New registrations 

Of the new registrations made in the past year, the majority corresponded to residents of the United States (56.8%) and those born in the country of residence (59%). The countries other than Spain where the most people with Spanish nationality lived on 1 January were Argentina (477,465), France (297,142) and the United States (192,766). 

Among states with more than 10,000 inhabitants, the largest increases in relative terms of people of Spanish nationality occurred in Colombia (9.6%), Panama (5.9%) and the United States (5.3%). 

The Spanish population fell in seven countries: Venezuela (-2.8%), Peru (-1.6%), Morocco (-0.9%), Chile (-0.7%), Argentina (-0.6 %) and Ecuador and Uruguay (0.1% in both). In absolute terms, the largest increases in the Hispanic population over the past year were recorded in the United States (9,763), Mexico (7,122) and France (7,109). The countries where the number of Spaniards fell the most in absolute terms were Argentina (2,694 fewer) and Venezuela (-3,869). 

Also read: Ten reasons to move to Spain

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