The number of Spaniards abroad has increased by one million since 2009


Photo: Foreign Ministry


Eduardo González. 17/07/2017


The number of people with Spanish nationality living abroad has increased by almost one million since 2009, according to a recent study conducted by the Migrations Federal Department of the trade union UGT.


The report, based on the Census of Spaniards Resident Abroad of the Spanish Statistical Office and published on 11 July, World Population Day, also shows that Argentina, France, Venezuela and Germany are the world’s countries where the highest number of Spanish citizens living abroad is.


Between 2009 and 2017, the increase in the number of Spanish citizens abroad registered in their corresponding registries of consular identifications was of 934,920. On 1 January 2017, the total number of Spanish citizens living abroad was of 2,406,611.


This increase is especially important among people born out of Spain, who were born in their current country of residence (666,861, which is 71% of the total) or in third countries (118,336). In the case of those born in Spain, the increase has been of 160,459 people, which is barely 17.1% of the increase in the Spanish people living abroad.


These data can be due, especially, to the crisis’s demographic impact. Between 2009 and 2016, 523,413 people of Spanish nationality emigrated abroad. Of those, 173,619 were born abroad (33.1%) and, in fact, 101,483 returned to the same country in which they were born.


The historical memory and the crisis contribute to spread the Spanish citizenship abroad


Another relevant fact of this report is the increase by almost 325,500 people (35% of the total) in the number of Spanish citizens living abroad aged more than 50 years old. This fact is related, to a large extent, to the Law of 2007 that allows having the right to the nationality of Spanish children and grandchildren victims of persecution of violence during the Civil War and Franco’s dictatorship, a regulation that was applicable between December 2008 and December 2011.


In May 2014, according to data of the Government, half a million applications were filed in accordance with that law. By then, around 300,000 had already been granted and the rest were in progress.


The world’s countries with the highest number of Spanish citizens are Argentina (almost 450,000, of which less than 90.000 were born in Spain and more than 353,000 in the South American country), France (243,600), Venezuela (180,500, with 122,800 born in that country and 53,450 in Spain) and Germany (103,000).


Cuba, with a significant increase of 216% between 2009 and 2017 (from 42,500 to 134,700, 132,500 born on the island), is one of the countries registering the most nationality applications under the historical memory, also a very important factor in Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico and Brazil, where people of Spanish nationality born in the country of residence exceed those born in Spain.

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