THE municipality of Orihuela, like many others on the Costa Blanca South, is particularly rich in diverse culture and foreign residents.
Despite the fact that the overall general population figures have been falling for the last couple of years, the municipal padrón still shows that just over a third of all residents living in the Orihuela municipality are foreign.
In 2017, 36.2 per cent of registered Orihuela residents were foreign, while up to 1 November last year, this figure dropped to 33 per cent. Bearing in mind that approximately 79,000 people live in Orihuela, that means that just over 26,000 of them are not Spanish.
What’s more, almost 9,000 of the foreign residents originate from outside the European Union – more than 11 per cent.
The number of Brits registered on the padrón of the Orihuela municipality has decreased by 3,000, possibly due to Brexit worries, although the number of Irish and Germans has also gone down.
On the other hand, the presence of residents of other nationalities has gone up, for example, Ukrainians, Colombians, Chinese and particularly those from Morocco.
In actual fact, the population of Orihuela is made up of people with 111 different nationalities over five different continents.
The British still top the list for foreign residents living in the municipality of Orihuela, with 10,000 registered with the town hall. They are followed by the Moroccans (1,875), Russians (1,354), Bulgarians (1,075) and the Rumanians (971).
The foreign residents have chosen to live in different areas across the whole of the municipality, including the city, the surrounding towns and villages and of course, on the coast, where the number of British residents outweighs the number of Spanish.
The councillor for Immigration commented that the British collective that lives on the coast are mainly older residents that have come here to retire, while the foreigners that live in Orihuela City and nearby are generally younger in age and are here to look for work and improve their economic situation.