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Spain Was Named The Country Where Brits Most Want To Retire

For years, it has been commonly believed that Spain is the preferred retirement spot for British citizens. However, there was no concrete evidence to support this assertion.

Recently, a study was conducted to determine the top ten countries where Brits desire to retire, and Spain emerged as the winner. This study analysed the average monthly Google search volume for various search terms related to retiring abroad. We combined different search terms with each country and calculated the total search volume, ranking the countries based on the results.

The following searches were analysed:

  • ‘best place to retire in X’
  • ‘retire in X’
  • ‘best places in X to retire’
  • ‘how to retire in X’
  • ‘can I retire in X’
  • retire in X from UK’

It has been reported that Spain has the highest average monthly search volume of all countries, with 1,050 searches. Despite the bureaucratic challenges of Brexit, Spain has been a favourite retirement spot for Britons for many years.

Interestingly, even after Brexit, the number of British people residing and buying a second home in Spain has continued to rise, as per the latest data from Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE). The report reveals that there has been an increase of 11,047 Brits residing in Spain over the past year.

The reasons why Britons want to retire in Spain are diverse, but the main attractions are:

  • The climate.
  • Cost of living
  • Proximity to Britain.
  • The slower pace of life.

Many European retirees have chosen Spain as their ideal destination to live off their savings and pension due to Europe’s increasing cost of living, especially the rising utility bills in the UK. This way, they can avoid the impact of rising prices.

How Many British Expats Live in Spain?

According to the latest data from Spain’s Ministry of Migrations, 409,763 Brits live in Spain. This is around 115,000 more than the figure declared by Spain’s stats body INE, which measures the number of those holding TIE cards, which only some of the Brits currently living in Spain have.

Many people may not be surprised by the sociological profile of British residents in Spain. On average, they are 54 years old, much older than other non-European migrant groups such as Pakistanis and Moroccans, whose median ages are 33.

Most Popular Spanish Regions For Brits

It may not be surprising to learn that in early 2023, the largest population of British expats in Spain resided in the southern region of Andalusia, specifically along the famed Costa del Sol. This area had a total of 92,180 British residents.

The region of Valencia, which encompasses Alicante province, had the second-highest number of British residents, with 87,699, while the Canary Islands came in third with 29,631. Other regions with sizable British populations were Catalonia with 24,689, the Balearic Islands with 19,569, Murcia with 17,562, and Madrid with 11,831

Most Popular Provinces

Recent data from the padrón register reveals the provincial areas where most Brits reside within Spain. Unsurprisingly, the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol provinces are the most popular destinations.

Among Spain’s 50 provinces, Alicante in the Valencia region ranks first with 76,739 British residents. This coastal province is renowned for its famous spots among Brits, including Benidorm, Torrevieja, and Jávea. Here, the British population can represent anywhere between 10 to 50 percent of the total population and even have the opportunity to participate in municipal elections.

According to recent statistics, Málaga province in Spain has the second-largest British population in 2023, with 56,019 residents. Popular destinations like Benahavís, Marbella, and Estepona are known for their considerable British communities.

Although not classified as a province but rather a region consisting of four main islands, the Balearic Islands take third place, with Mallorca being home to most of the 20,000 British residents in the archipelago. Murcia, another region rather than a province, has a significant British population concentrated along the coast, with the municipality of Mazarrón housing 8,000 British residents, making up one-third of the local population.

Other Popular Destinations

Spain was ranked as the most desirable location for retirement. The remaining spots in the top 10 were filled by popular retirement destinations, such as Australia (2nd), Portugal (3rd – Spain’s Iberian neighbour), Thailand (4th), Canada (5th), France (6th), India (7th), New Zealand (8th), Italy (9th), and Greece (10th).

About Zachary Crosby

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