Discovering the British living in Spain

Plenty of memories of home for Brits in Spain

Plenty of memories of home for Brits in Spain Credit: Brits in Spain Facebook

RECENT information supplied by German online platform Statista has revealed that despite (or perhaps because of) Brexit, there are almost 300,000 British expatriates settled in Spain.

Perhaps not a real surprise as much of holiday boom of the 1960s was created by comparatively wealthy British tourists wanting to find a holiday spot in the sun and Spain was the first and easiest choice.

The love of the British for Spain continued following the death of Franco and the return to democracy and tourists from the UK continue to flock to the country with a reasonable number still deciding to settle, although following Brexit it is clearly more difficult.

Using the Statista figures, has dug a little deeper into where and why the British have decided to put down roots and interestingly, the most popular areas are also served by the seven editions of Spain’s largest English language newspaper, Euro Weekly News.

Top of the population chart is Andalucia which runs across eight Provinces from Sevilla to Granada and boasts more than 92,000 British residents (a massive 31.44 per cent of those living in Spain) with the largest number settled in the Costa del Sol.

Many Brits like to have the reassurance of being able to be served by English speakers which is why there are so many British owned businesses across the area, even though the Spanish are particularly adapt at speaking English as well as many other languages.

With a relatively low cost of living compared to the UK, decent weather most of the time, British schools, cheapish regular flights and a less frantic pace of life, depending on where you choose to settle, Andalucia deservedly takes top spot.

Not far behind Andalucia is Valencia, the fourth most populous autonomous region in Spain which takes in Costa Blanca and has attracted around 87,500 British residents who make up 29.91 per cent of all British Expats in Spain.

Many of the benefits that attract the British to Andalucia can also be attributed to Valencia and in fact in recent years, the city took top spot in an international Quality of Life index although one slight drawback for the often linguistically challenged British is the fact that as well as Spanish, Valencian (perhaps better known as Catalan) is also an official language of the region.

In third and fourth place are the Canary Islands and Catalonia which between them host some 54,300 British passport holders and these areas account for 18.53 per cent of all Brits living in Spain.

In fifth place is the Balearic Islands with 19,569 and British residents who make up 6.7 per cent of the British population in Spain and as one in five residents in Ibiza and Mallorca are foreign expats, the British contingent fit in well, with the ‘trendier’ in Ibiza and the more settled in Mallorca.

Sixth place is Murcia with many of the 17,562 British Expats deciding to retire on the Costa Calida where they can enjoy the many beaches and wineries in the area which boasts just under 6 per cent of all Brits in Spain and in terms of the population of the region, Murcia actually has a higher percentage of British residents than Andalucia.

There are, as to be expected, Britons scattered everywhere in Spain but the only other large number are found in Spain’s capital, Madrid with some 11,831 residents, many of whom have been attracted by the job opportunities on offer but the Brits are only a drop in the ocean when one considers that almost a third of the population are foreigners.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page