British expats waving goodbye to Spain


 The British are the third largest foreign community in Spain after Romanians and Moroccans.  However, this number is reducing year by year. A mistrust of the Spanish tax agency is one of the main factors causing British expats to drop off the national numbers and often out of Spain completely.

A new obligatory “law” to fill out a form to declare assets abroad has sparked mistrust. The government’s objective is to catch tax fraudsters, but many foreigners are suspicious of giving this information to the authorities.

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There are currently 297,299 Brits listed on local population register. That is a 22.8% drop from last year. Meanwhile, the number of Germans fell by 23.6% and the French community has taken a 12.7% hit.

Small coastal towns have been hit especially hard by steep population loss. For example, Torrevieja has lost 15,000 residents since last year and in Calpe, the “padron” shows 5,000 fewer names.

There are other factors which may play a role in the decline. It is important to bear in mind that many British expats first moved to Spain in the 1990’s in search of sun and a new adventure are now over 80 and fearful of growing any older far from home and their family’s helping hands.

The second factor is impacting the younger generation of expats, the lack of opportunity for young people. Sure, the weather is great but with the UK economy growing back, young people are being tempted back to pursue more fruitful careers, despite the grey skies and showers.

While some people are currently being attracted to Spain by the lower property prices it seems many more are meeting them on their way out of the door.



  1. The Spanish Government in power today appear to be looking for a quick fix to today’s over all problems with unemployment , banks and shortage of cash coming into its tax departments.
    The expats that did live full time in Spain paid millions of Euros into the Spanish system and keep Spanish workers in jobs, now that they appear to be leaving in large numbers every year will have a even greater effect on the Spanish well being in the long term.
    Spain needs a new five that all members of the EU living in Spain can just and stop using expats as a cash cow to shore its current cash flow.
    If they do not waken up and smell the coffee god help the Spanish community.

  2. Its A Great Shame that The Local Spanish Authorities are Driving Thousands of ” Ex – Pats ” out of the country by Their Usual, Short – Sited, Changes in Tax Regulations Etc.
    Its Bizarre and Near Criminal as it Totally & Instantly Stops Hundreds of Millions of Euros being spent in Local Shops, Services and Business General and Normal Taxation.
    Shooting Its Self in the Foot. Typically Inept Eh!

  3. Well I have had my home in Spain for near 12 years and yet again the Spanish government is ripping us off they just put into force a building law changing any work you have had done to 15 years from 4 years and they are targeting mainly the Brits for a example many people have glazed there fronts in for both security and warmth in the winter, we are being charged per property €500 tax there is no wonder people are leaving this corupt and unjust Country maybe We will be next!!


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