Malaga is the Spanish province that gained the most population in the pandemic year

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Brexit probably played a part and six out of ten new foreign residents registered are from the UK. The British community now totals 50,773 people in Malaga province.

The population of Malaga province increased by 8,169 people during 2020 – despite the pandemic – according to the latest update of the official INE statistics.

It is the largest demographic increase recorded in the entire country and factors, such as Brexit and the arrival of people from other provinces and countries in search of a refuge to make confinement more bearable, are believed to be behind the increase.

The other provinces that gained the most population were Murcia (+6,687), Toledo (+5,003), Tarragona (+4,632) and Guadalajara (+3,571). At the other end of the scale, the provinces that lost the most inhabitants, are Madrid (-34,297), Barcelona (-31,997), Valencia (-8,337), Asturias (-7,224) and Vizcaya (-6,081).

Malaga province reached a record 1,694,089 inhabitants on 1 January of this year, a figure that represents an increase of 0.48 per cent compared to the previous year.

The population growth rate has slowed down compared to the previous three years (in 2019 Malaga gained 24,135 residents; in 2018 some 20,664; and in 2017 there were 10,506). But even so, it represents a very notable increase compared to the decline registered by the country as a whole and by most provinces.

Andalucía as a whole registered an increase of 825 people, with the coastal provinces (Malaga, Almeria, Granada, Cadiz and Huelva) registering a positive trend, while those inland (Seville, Jaén and Cordoba) lost population.

Brexit

The foreign population is the one that gave the main boost to Malaga in 2020. Of the 8,169 residents that the province gained throughout the year, two thirds (5,433) are people born abroad and only 2,733 are Spanish. Brexit probably played a part and six out of ten new foreign residents registered are from the UK. The British community now totals 50,773 people in Malaga province.

And some of the new people may well be second home owners who, in the face of the pandemic, have moved their habitual residence to the Costa del Sol and, with the freedom granted by teleworking, many professionals have moved with their families from the bigger cities to Malaga.

Centenarians

The age groups that lose population are not the oldest, as one might think due to the mortality rate associated with Covid-19.

On the contrary, Malaga continues to lose its younger population. In the last year, the population under 15 years of age has decreased by 5,517 people and the age group between 25 and 44, by 8,016. On the other hand, the population between the ages of 45 and 70 has increased by 14,821 people and that of those over 75 by 4,520. The number of centenarians has even increased: there are 751 people more than 100 years old in the province.

Source: Sur in English, April 2021

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