Fewer registered Brits does not mean that Spain's obvious attractions have waned
Figures released this week by Spain’s Institute of National Statistics (INE) have triggered a flood of gleeful articles in the British press denouncing the ‘end of the dream’ for thousands of Brits that have ‘fled’ Spain.
From the Daily Telegraph to the Mirror via the Daily Mail, each article leads on the fact that there were almost 90,000 fewer Brits registered at town halls across Spain at the end of last year when compared to the end of 2012 – down to just 297,229 from 383,179 a year previously.
This ‘loss’ of 87,000 or so British people from official registers in Spain is certainly noteworthy. It is the second-year in a row that Spain’s overall population has shrunk, assisted by diminishing numbers of French expats (down 12.7 per cent in the past year) and German expats (down by 138,917 since 2012), reducing Spain’s official population from 47.2 million in 2012 to just 46.7 million today. The number of native Spaniards grew slightly, by 141,361, as did the number of Chinese nationals now living and registered in the country.
But tales of a mass British exodus are misguided…