Spain: Number of Foreign Immigrants, by nationality
NationalityForeign population,
in thousand
Morocco893,953
Romania629,755
Colombia453,911
Italy301,791
U.K.284,037
Venezuela278,159
China219,929
Ukraine193,238
Peru172,045
Honduras156,969
Germany125,792
France120,771
Ecuador120,034
Argentina119,252
Bulgaria115,222
Portugal103,683
Pakistan103,656
Paraguay97,650
Brazil97,352
Russia94,466
Senegal86,830
Bolivia74,716
Cuba73,548
Nicaragua69,022
Dominican Republic68,152
Algeria67,729
Poland56,644
Netherlands55,417
India52,786
U.S. of America46,261
Belgium40,929
Philippines38,095
Nigeria34,114
Mali33,154
Mexico33,013
Chile31,575
Uruguay28,086
Sweden24,070
Gambia23,818
  • Region: Spain
  • Time period: Jan 2023
  • Published: Feb 2023

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Apr 17, 2024 | Published by: Statistico | About Us / Data / Analysis

Top Nationalities in Spain's Foreign Population

Moroccans represent the largest group within Spain's foreign population with a total of 893,953 individuals, significantly higher than the second-largest group, Romanians, who number 629,755. The third-largest nationality, Colombians, constitutes 453,911 of the foreign residents. This shows a diverse top-three national presence from different regions: North Africa, Eastern Europe, and South America.

European vs. Non-European Foreign Population

European nationals constitute a substantial portion of Spain's foreign residents, with notable populations from Romania (629,755), Italy (301,791), the U.K. (284,037), Germany (125,792), and France (120,771). However, the combined total of these European nations (1,462,146) is exceeded by the combined population from just three non-European countries: Morocco, Colombia, and Venezuela, which total 1,626,023.

South American Presence in Spain's Foreign Population

South Americans form a significant part of Spain’s foreign demographic, led by Colombians (453,911), Venezuelans (278,159), and Peruvians (172,045). Together, these three countries alone contribute 904,115 people, reflecting Spain's strong historical and cultural ties to South America.

Asian Representation Among Spain's Foreign Nationals

The Asian community in Spain is led by individuals from China (219,929) and Pakistan (103,656), totaling 323,585. This indicates a smaller but significant Asian presence compared to other regions, highlighting Spain's global appeal as a destination for diverse populations.

Smallest Represented Nationalities in Spain's Foreign Population

Among the smaller groups within Spain's foreign population, the Netherlands (55,417), India (52,786), and Sweden (24,070) show the diverse yet minimal representation from various global regions. These figures contrast sharply with the top nationalities, reflecting varied migration patterns and diaspora sizes.

African Nationalities in Spain

Morocco leads the African nationals with a significant count of 893,953, while other African countries like Senegal (86,830) and Nigeria (34,114) show lesser but notable presences. The combined African presence underscores ongoing migration trends from Africa to Spain due to geographical proximity and historical links.

Impact of Global Crises on Migration Patterns

The presence of 193,238 Ukrainians in Spain potentially reflects migration influenced by geopolitical instability and conflicts, such as the ongoing issues since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in early 2022. This number might represent a recent increase in asylum seekers and refugees seeking safety in European countries like Spain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the largest foreign nationality group in Spain?

Moroccans represent the largest group within Spain's foreign population, with a total of 893,953 individuals.

Which countries have the least representation in Spain's foreign population?

Among the smaller groups within Spain's foreign population, the Netherlands has 55,417 nationals, India has 52,786, and Sweden has 24,070 nationals.

Terms and Definitions

Foreign population refers to all the people living in a country who are not citizens of that country. This includes immigrants, refugees, or international students. This group of people might have different customs, languages, and backgrounds, contributing to the multiculturalism of the host country.

Nationality is a legal identification that an individual inherits or acquires by being born in a particular nation, or as a result of processes such as naturalization. It often denotes the country with which a person is associated, either by birth or citizenship, granting them certain rights, duties, protections and obligations under that country's legal system.

An immigrant is a person who has migrated from one country to another with the intention of settling in the new country, either temporarily or permanently. The person may have immigrated for various reasons, including better economic opportunities, political freedom, or family reunion.

A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their home country due to severe threats or experiences of violence, persecution, war, or disaster. Refugees are usually unable to return to their home country due to fear of safety or lack of basic necessities and are often granted asylum by a host country.

Naturalization is the legal process where a non-citizen in a country may acquire the citizenship of that country. The criteria for naturalization often include having lived in the country for a certain length of time, learning the national language, understanding the civic constitution and demonstrating good character.

Asylum is a protection granted by a nation to someone who has left their home country as a political refugee. It is often granted when the person fears persecution in their home country due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Citizenship is the status of a person recognized under the law of a country, of being a member of a particular nation. A citizen has certain rights, privileges, and duties towards the country, and is entitled to its protection. Citizenship is often acquired by birth within a certain territory, descent from a citizen parent, marriage to a citizen, and naturalization.
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