THE foreign population in Spain continues to rise, with the biggest differences seen amongst residents from Colombia and Venezuela.
However, the current pandemic meant that the number of new residents arriving in Spain in the first six months of 2020 was 240,000, which was 100,000 less than the same period in 2019.
In 2019, there were 750,000 new foreign residents in Spain, the highest number since 2008, according to a report in national Spanish daily ABC.
Throughout Spain, 15.2 per cent of the population was born abroad according to figures for January 2020. This is the highest percentage since records have been kept.
Morocco continues to have the highest number of citizens living in Spain, followed by Romania, and within the past five years, Colombia has become the third and is expected to soon overtake Romania to take the second place. Venezuela is the fourth country, but is soon expected to overtake Ecuador.
The Ecuadorian population, which was on the rise in the first decade of the 21st century, is no longer rising, while the Romanian population is falling.
Back in 2012, the Romanian population in Spain reached 750,000 residents and in July 2020, according to the National Institute of Statistics, it was 575,000.
Morocco has the largest community in Spain, with 815,000 officially registered, mainly in Cataluña, Andalucia, Valencia, Murcia, the Balearic Islands, the Basque Country, Castilla y Leon, Navarra, Extremadura, Ceuta and Melilla.
The Romanians make up the majority of foreign citizens in Madrid, Aragon, Castilla-La Mancha, La Rioja and Asturias.
Meanwhile, Venezuelans are the majority in the Canaries and Galicia and the Colombians in Cantabria.
Morocco and Romania have the largest number of foreigners in most provinces, followed by the Venezuelans and the Colombians in others. The differences are seen in Segovia and Valladolid, where the majority of foreigners are Bulgarians; in Zamora where most are Portuguese and Alicante, where most foreign residents are British.
The region with the highest percentage of foreigners is the Balearic Islands, with 24.2 per cent and Madrid with 20.5 per cent, while the lowest foreign population is seen in Extremadura (4.5 per cent) and Asturias (8.1 per cent).
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