According to figures released by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) yesterday, Spain’s population has risen to over 43 million.
The Spanish population has never been so high, and yesterday INE’s Chairwoman said that population had reached historic heights thanks to the over 3 million foreign residents (7% overall population) who have chosen Spain as their home. And that doesn’t include the thousands of illegal immigrants who live and work in this country but are not registered with the local authorities. Or the European homeowners who do not register with the authorities because they use their Spanish property as a second home and haven’t got round to registering with the local authorities or with their nearest consulate. According to a demografic expert consulted by El Pais, the real percentage of foreign residents in Spain is probably 8% overall population.
This year the average number of new regisgrations of foreign residents stands at about 39,500. Most of these newly registered residents are immigrants.
Registering gives new residents the right to state education and health services, and is you need to be registered in order to apply for residence and work permits.
In 1998, the number of foreign residents registered in Spain was 637,085. It is five times that now.