Posted on February 11, 2005

Immigrants 8 Percent of Population

Expatica, Feb. 10

MADRID — Spain’s 3.5 million immigrants now represent 8 percent of the population, government figures reveal.

The rate of immigration to Spain continues to rise, with 450,000 moving to the country in 2004.

This compares with 2003, with 400,000 foreigners came to live in Spain, representing 7.2 percent of the population.

However, in 2000, immigrants made up only 2.3 percent of the Spanish population.

This increased in 2001 to 4.7 percent and then 6.2 percent in 2002.

Carmen Alcalde, president of the National Office of Statistics which released the figures, said there has not been such a steep rise in the immigration population in any other European country.

The figures were based on those who had arrived and registered an address with the local council.

Only 1.9m people have been granted legal residence, but there are thought to be almost a million others who do not have legal status.

Ecuadorians are the biggest section of immigrants, followed by Moroccans, then Colombians and Romanians.

There are thought to be at least 500,000 EU citizens living in Spain.