The melting pot in Spain covers a more beautiful and wide range of colors year after year. More and more people of different nationalities live together as neighbors, especially in large population cities. Since the end of the 20th century, British immigration has been increasing in this country, becoming home to one of its largest populations outside the United Kingdom. But what does Spain offer to be so attractive to the British?
One of the most attractive aspects of living in Spain is fine weather, especially in the Levante area and its islands. Its delicious Mediterranean cuisine, varied and balanced, is also an important point in favor. They say that the secret lies in the extra virgin olive oil of this country, but surely the traditional recipes of Spanish grandmothers also play an important role. Nevertheless, these are not the only reasons why the British population is increasingly numerous in the country of the potato omelet. Many British people decide to move to Spain because they consider it to be a cheaper place and where they can live comfortably with their pensions. In addition, a large number of them contribute and benefit from a Social Security system that could destabilize after the possible and coming Brexit.
But there are more reasons why many British decide to leave their homeland and go to live in Spain. Their health system works on an effective basis. Although it has its faults, it is a well-oiled machine. In this way, people who habitually live in Spain can go to their health center at any time to be seen by a doctor. This health system is free thanks to the contributions of all workers who perform their jobs in Spain. Thus, all residents in this country contribute to maintaining a free health system. This is one of the most important reasons for British citizens who want to establish their residence in Spain, since they do not need private insurance to be able to enjoy medical coverage, and so they can enjoy a pleasant and quiet retirement.
Education also plays an important role in choosing Spain as a place of residence. In addition to being eligible for free public Spanish schools, there are also a large number of bilingual and British schools. A large number of foreign students attend these centers, and not only English speaking children. Many of this schools can be found in large population centers, such as Barcelona or Madrid, but also in others such as Alicante and Valencia, where the majority of the British population living in Spain is concentrated.
But there is still more. The proximity of Spain to the United Kingdom -just a short flight away- allows them to travel frequently to their country of origin. In addition, many of them go to Spain for the different experiences it offers, such as sun and beach, as well as mountains and fields. Also, its purchasing power is usually higher thanks to its currency, the pound, although this trend is declining after all the problems of Brexit. On the other hand, the majority of the British population tends to group in the same areas. This circumstance allows them to maintain a gregarious attitude, interacting with other compatriots to maintain their social customs and traditions
According to the Spanish General Directorate of Migration, at the end of 2016 there were almost 300,000 British persons who had a certificate of registration or a residence card in Spain. Together they accounted for almost 6% of the total population of officially registered foreigners, although the numbers are changing according to the statistics that are consulted. Most of them are working in education, although others are engaged in hotel trade, restaurant business, repair shops and commerce, both wholesale and retail.
But in what part of Spain do they live? Almost a third of the British residents in Spain have set their place of residence in the Valencian Community, especially on the Costa Blanca of Alicante. Many of them choose its pleasant Mediterranean climate to enjoy a peaceful retirement. There is also a large number of them who go for the favourable and peaceful life of Andalusia, on the outstanding Costa del Sol. They are followed by other autonomous communities, such as the Canary Islands, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, the Region of Murcia and the Community of Madrid, among others. In some of these population centers the number of British people is so great that they can even communicate in their native language without any difficulty.
Therefore, nowadays it is not uncommon to find authentic fish & chips in the gastronomic range in restaurant’s towns such as Orihuela or Benalmádena. Or even a village bar that serves an English breakfast among churros, fritters and hot chocolate. And also English pubs with panoramic views of the Mediterranean sea.