To date, more than 250.000 Britons live in Spain, mostly favoring the Mediterranean coast. Therefore, in some such municipalities they outnumber the local population. The British are the third largest foreign community in Spain after Moroccans and Romanians, and in many coastal areas they are in the lead. The citizens of the United Kingdom have a strong presence in the Spanish real estate market, due to their interest in permanent residence in Spain.

Britons are attracted by year-round good weather, endless well-equipped beaches, exquisite local gastronomy and a wide range of tourist services. In Spain, the British expats can enjoy the availability of regular direct flights to their original place of residence. A cultural aspect may also be added as well as all the other advantages that they have as citizens of the European Union. Moreover, the British government tries to do its best to protect their rights after Brexit.

Where are British nationals buying property and living in Spain?

According to the most recent census, currently, 250.392 of the British live in Spain. Among the Spanish autonomous communities, the Valencian community opens the top five, where 78.890 citizens of the United Kingdom are reported, followed by Andalusia – 77.451, the Canary Islands – 25.589, Catalonia – 20.413 and the Balearic Islands – 14.953.

When broken down by province, the first position in the rating took Alicante, where 69,728 British nationals reside, who constitute 27.8% of the total British population living in Spain; followed by Malaga with 47.496 Britons (19%), Almeria with 15.106 (6%), the Balearic Islands with 14.953 (6%) and Barcelona with 14.307 (5.7%).

These five regions account for 64.5% of the total number of UK residents in the country. The towns of Murcia (14,146), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (21.989), Las Palmas of Canary Islands (12.600), Madrid (10.044) and Valencia (7.953) should also be noted in this list.

Currently, the number of British expats may continue growing, as under the Brexit agreement, British citizens can settle in any EU-member state until December 31, 2020, and thus acquire life-time priority in Spain as European citizens.

If we consider the Spanish municipalities, which are chosen by Britons, it will be Benidorm, Javea, Orihuela, Rojales, San Fulgencio and Torrevieja in the province of Alicante; Mijas and Benalmádena in Malaga; Mazarrón in Murcia; Arona on Tenerife; and, of course, the metropolitan areas of Barcelona and Madrid.

Expressed in figures, 6.191 Britons officially live in Madrid, and just a little less – 5.846 live in a small town of Rojales. Next come Fuengirola – 5.220; Javea – 4.544; Torrevieja – 4.533, Mazarron – 4.076 and Calvia – 3.663.


  • Partaloa is a municipality in Almeria, where the English outnumber even the Spanish population in the coastal areas. This village has 1.110 inhabitants, of which 57.03% are Britons – that is more than half the population!
  • The second place is taken by Arboleas, located in the Almanzora valley, 105 kilometers away from the province of Almeria. In recent years this municipality has sought to turn its heritage, whether natural, archaeological, artistic, architectural or ethnological, into a tourist resource. It seems to be it’s good at doing that. At this moment, the town has 4.596 residents and 54.68% are British people.
  • Bédar with a population of 971 inhabitants, 44.25% of whom are of British nationality is also placed in Almeria, the Sierra de Los Liabrabes region, in the eastern part of the Andalusian province. In recent years, this town had new English-speaking residents, attracted by tranquility and beauty of this area, and by the way, tourism is slowly penetrating into this land too.
  • Next comes Llíber, a municipality located in the North-East of the province of Alicante, in the district (comarca) of Marina Alta. The town, which is known for its production of wines, in particular the famous brand Moscatel, is placed next to the Jalón river in a fertile valley, the outskirts of which form the northern part of the Sierra de Bernia and the Sierra del Castel De La Solana mountains. The municipality has a population of 935, of which 40.21% are Britons.
  • The next town is Alcalalí in the province of Alicante, a municipality also belonging to the comarca of Marina Alta, which is the fifth most populous town by the United Kingdom citizens. The total amount of residents is 1.278 and 37.95% are of British origin.
    And it’s worth noting, some Britons choose to keep a low profile and avoid the register for tax reasons, but they can live in the same community as the rest. Regarding the official data throughout Spain, the amount of the UK-residents has been growing gradually in the last two years.

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