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  • Writer's pictureMark Tullett


The foreign population residing in Catalonia was, on January 1, 2021, 1,250,665 people, a figure that represents 16.1% of the Catalan population, according to the Institut d’Estadística de Catalunya (Idescat). The number of foreigners has decreased by 9,954 people compared to a year ago, a year-on-year decrease of 0.8%. In the same period, the population of Spanish nationality experienced a decrease of 7,163 people.

It should be remembered that variations in the number of foreigners are affected not only by the intensity of inflows and outflows of foreign migration, but also by the evolution of their growth and the process of acceptance of citizenship. In 2020, 35,058 foreigners residing in Catalonia obtained Spanish nationality, 34.6% of whom were from South America and 30.4% from Africa.

Barcelona is the municipality with the highest number of foreigners, 348,302, although there has been a decrease of 10,785 foreigners compared to the previous year.

EU members are down by 25,166 people, of whom 23,940 are from the UK who, due to the Brexit on 1 February 2020, are no longer counted within the European Union, while those from the rest of Europe are up by 20,915 people. Finally, the population of Asian origin decreased by 1,819 people (1.0%) and that of Oceania decreased by 53 people (5.0%).

By nationality, the increases in population come from Colombia (2,439), the United Kingdom (1,906), Honduras (1,617) and Italy (1,195) stand out. On the other hand, the lowest nationalities are Romania (2,879), Bolivia

(2,594), Ecuador (1,814) and Russia (1,802).

Extracts taken from online newspaper Eix Diari (original in Catalan)

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