UK expats in Spain outnumber Spanish in UK

Beach in Alicante, eastern Spain Image copyright EPA
Image caption UK expats in Spain like to live near the beach

There are almost two-and-a-half times as many UK citizens living in Spain as Spanish citizens resident in the UK.

The figures come from a special report by the Office for National Statistics, designed to provide more information ahead of Brexit negotiations.

It shows that almost 300,000 British citizens were resident in Spain for 12 months or more in 2016, while 116,000 Spaniards were living in the UK.

Living near the coast was the most popular choice for UK expats in Spain.

Also, 48% of them are retired. That number has increased rapidly in recent years.

Spaniards in the UK are mainly from younger age groups (half of them are between 20 and 39).

They also tend to have jobs: 59% of them are employed. They work in three main sectors:

  • Public administration, education and health
  • Banking and finance
  • Distribution, hotels and restaurants.

In all, 5% of Spanish citizens in the UK are unemployed.

Of British citizens living in Spain, almost half are retired and 22% are employed, with hotel and catering the most popular work; 11% are unemployed.

Those too young to work and the economically inactive, including those staying at home with children and students, make up the rest.

These figures also show there were 219,000 visits of between one and 12 months to Spain by British citizens, mainly not for work or study, so perhaps those with holiday homes in Spain or visiting friends and relatives who live there.

There were also 13 million visits of less than 28 days to Spain in 2016, the vast majority holidays.

Strangely enough, only 849,00 Spaniards came to the UK on holiday. You'd think they don't like our weather.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites