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Record number of the foreign population in Barcelona

Almost half of Barcelona residents have been born abroad and one out of five is of foreign nationality, according to the Municipal Register of Inhabitants, which establishes the total population in 1,650,358 people, the highest number since 1991.

Almost half of Barcelona residents have been born abroad and one out of five is of foreign nationality, according to the latest Municipal Register of Inhabitants, which establishes the total population in 1,650,358 people, the highest number since 1991.

Foreign population boosts Barcelona citizens’ growth according to the latest Municipal Register of Inhabitants of January 1st 2019, which establishes the total city residents in 1,650,358. This is the highest number since 1991 and, also, represents the highest rise in the last 11 years in absolute terms, adding 21,422 people (+1.32% in relative terms). This rise isn’t caused by a natural population growth (deceases win over births), but by migratory flows, resulting in a more diverse and international Barcelona population.

All-time record

Regarding the origin of Barcelona’s population, it’s striking how almost half of the residents have been born abroad (49.9%). Of the total of 434,000 foreign born Barcelonians, 28.7% is of Spanish nationality.

By contrast, 333,516 foreigners are registered in Barcelona, representing a total of 179 different nationalities. This figure, which represents 20.2% of the total population -which means, one out of five-, is a record high both in absolute and relative terms in the city’s recent history.

As for nationalities, the Italian continues to be the largest with a total of 36,276 people registered, having widened its superiority over the Chinese, which, with 21,658 residents, is in second place, and Pakistan, closing the Top 3 with 20,653 people. Far from that, under 20,000 citizens and over 10,000, we find France, Morocco, Colombia, Honduras, Peru and Venezuela, the second community that has grown the most, only behind Italy and followed by Honduras and Colombia. These three Latin-American communities are the three main origin nationalities of the asylum seekers in Barcelona.

Profile of the foreign population in Barcelona

Despite the great diversity of Barcelona’s foreign population, there are some sociodemographic general lines that can be drawn. As for sexes, the Municipal Register of Inhabitants shows the same balance between men (50.1%) and women (49.9%) of the last years. The majority age-group corresponds to the young adults (25-39 years), with 153,615 people, followed by adults of 40-64 years. The majority of foreign citizens (166,759 people) have been living in the city from 1 to 5 years, while a total of 75,756 have been established in Barcelona less that 1 year. Finally, 42.2% of the foreign-born residents have College studies, representing the majority group based on academic training.

Eixample, the most cosmopolitan district

With a total of 61,546 residents (+9%), Eixample is the district that hosts more foreign people, with the 18.2% of the total foreign population. It is also one of the largest, that’s why maybe Ciutat Vella, with a total of 52,214 foreign residents, is the district that best reflect the great diversity of Barcelona. Sant Martí and Sants-Montjuïc are the other two favourite districts of the foreigners when picking their home in their new city, having increased their foreign population by 9.3% and 10.1% respectively since last year. Horta-Guinardí and Nou Barris have also risen over 10%, showing that the diversity of Barcelona goes far beyond the city centre. By contrast, Les Corts stands out in the last place, because it only hosts 11,000 foreign people, 3.3% of the total.