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Costa del Sol: Top Living Destinations for Europeans from All Over

With its luxury real estate options, spectacular gastronomy, facilities, education offers and more, Costa del Sol is increasingly becoming the ideal place to live for people all over Europe.

Malaga, Costa del Sol

The Costa del Sol is one of the most impressive and beautiful places in Europe in which to live in. Its climate, its pace of life, its gastronomy, its spectacular beaches, its efficient communication, and, above all, its people, are more than enough reasons for us to make the decision and settle in this paradise.=

Although in absolute terms Marbella is the town in this coastal area analysed that has the highest number of foreigners among its residents, in terms of the percentage that this group represents in relation to the total population, Fuengirola is in first place with 37.44 per cent.

Behind it is Mijas, where 32.38 per cent of those registered on 1 January 2021 were from outside Spain, and at some distance behind are Marbella (26.20 per cent); Benalmádena (23.76 per cent); Estepona (23.46 per cent) and Torremolinos (20.42 per cent).

However, the real figures are higher than the official ones, as the latter does not take into account all those who have their habitual residence on the Costa del Sol but are not formally registered.

Increased Interest in Registered British Residences 

Brexit has brought many of the unregistered residents out into the open, says the Marbella Town Hall, which claims that this has been a key factor in the increase in British registrations.

Although in 2020 due to the pandemic, a significant number of foreigners weren’t traveling and carry out the necessary formalities in person to confirm their residency in Spain, there has been a growing interest in registering in this group, the Fuengirola Town Hall confirmed.

In Mijas, there has also been an upward trend this year in the registration of UK citizens despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit, according to municipal sources, who point out that their presence has not only been consolidated but has increased by around 7 per cent compared to 2019.

Some of the British have been living in Spain without being registered, but, beset by the loss of rights associated with the United Kingdom leaving the European Union and with the desire to take advantage of the Exit Agreement, they have opted to “fix” their situation, says Ricardo Bocanegra, a lawyer and expert in immigration law, to Efe.

The British are, according to statistics provided by the INE, the nationality with the greatest presence in four of the six towns on the Costa del Sol strip studied (Fuengirola, Mijas, Estepona and Benalmádena), while Morocco is the country that contributes the most foreign residents to the other two, Marbella and Torremolinos.

Marbella, Costa del Sol

 

The British are, according to statistics provided by the INE, the nationality with the greatest presence in four of the six towns on the Costa del Sol strip studied (Fuengirola, Mijas, Estepona and Benalmádena), while Morocco is the country that contributes the most foreign residents to the other two, Marbella and Torremolinos.

Nationality Breakdown

A reading of the municipal census of Malaga allows us to focus on particular details that are far removed from the large population figures. How many foreigners live in the neighbourhoods of the capital? What are the main nationalities present in the city?

The information published by Malaga City Council at the beginning of 2022, which takes as a reference the data from 1 January 2021, provides an answer to all of these questions. Taking as a starting point the document, drawn up by Gestrisam, it is known that there are 39,265 foreign citizens registered in the city, to which must be added another 11,861 EU citizens.

All of them belong to 148 different countries, including European states, both EU and non-EU, and from the rest of the continents. The one with the most representatives among the Malaga community is Morocco. The Kingdom of Alaoui is the most prominent, with a total of 9,456 citizens. Of these, 5,414 were men and 4,042 were women.

Marbella, Spain

 

They are followed by Ukraine with 4,488 (1,725 men and 2,763 women) and China with 3,638 (1,874 men and 1,764 women). There are also more than 3,400 Paraguayans, more than 3,000 Italians and more than 2,300 Colombians.

The evolution of what are now the foreign nationalities in the city over the last decade is striking. What happened in 2011? At that time Morocco was still one of the countries with most citizens present in Malaga, but with a better number than now. Ten years ago, there were 8,778 registered citizens.

In the case of Ukraine, there were 3,313, 1,175 fewer than today. In fact, it was not the first European country, a position occupied by Romania. Something similar happened with the Chinese because 2,373 were registered at that time. In other words, during these ten years, almost 1,300 more Chinese citizens have arrived in the capital of the Costa del Sol.

That is the top part of this extensive list of countries. It also includes other references that are much less numerous but certainly striking. For example, according to the municipal register, in Malaga there are 13 Vietnamese, 4 citizens of the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand, 5 from Madagascar, 3 Afghans, and 38 Palestinians, for example.

And where does this foreign population live? The district with the highest number of inhabitants from other countries is Centro, with 10,839 people, mainly from the European Union (3,446) and America (3,114). It is followed by Carretera de Cádiz, with 10,738. In its case, Americans (2,880) and Africans (2,228) predominate.

But taking into consideration the overall population by districts, Palma-Palmilla is the one with the highest proportion of foreign population (excluding the EU population), with 9.78%. This area is home to 3,030 foreign citizens. It is followed by Bailén-Miraflores, with 9.36% of the total and 5,764 foreigners.

Malaga

 

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