British residents in Spain tell researchers they are here to stay

British residents in Spain tell researchers they are here to stay

EXPAT SURVEY: Joint investigation by Valencia University and University of Birmingham Photo credit: Confilegal

AN investigation by Spanish and British universities probed what would prompt Britons living in Spain to return to the UK.  

More than 827 people answered a 2020 survey by Jordi Giner-Monfort, senior lecturer at Valencia University, and Kelly Hall, Reader in Social Policy at the University of Birmingham.

Participants, 53 per cent of whom were women, were located throughout Spain, although the majority lived in Malaga province (almost 34 per cent) and Alicante province (25 per cent).

The oldest were over 90 and the youngest in their 20s, with household incomes ranging from €1,001 to €2,000 for 33 per cent, and between €2,001 and €3,000 for 23 per cent.

Sixty-eight per cent owned their Spanish home, while 80 per cent said they no longer owned a UK property.   

Ninety-four per cent were registered on their municipal Padron, usually living close to a town or on an urbanisation, with 16 per cent choosing a rural area.

Thirteen per cent were fluent Spanish speakers, 29 per cent were “quite fluent”, 47 per cent had “some knowledge” but 10 per cent had “only a few words.”

Eighty-six per cent had no plans for returning permanently to the UK and most would stay despite deteriorating health, reduced income or inability to drive.

Those taking part were unbothered by Spain’s corruption scandals and they would “definitely” remain during another Covid outbreak or if their state pensions were frozen.

Fifty-one per cent said that a return to the UK “would never happen” while others would go only if it were “absolutely necessary.”

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca province and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at