Migrants rescued by Spanish Salvamento Maritimo arriving at Melilla, Spain | Photo: EPA/F.G.GUERRERO
Migrants rescued by Spanish Salvamento Maritimo arriving at Melilla, Spain | Photo: EPA/F.G.GUERRERO

Nearly a quarter million foreigners who moved Spain between January and June 2018. This has compensated for the negative birthrate in Spain, according to data released by national statistics bureau INE.

This year, the arrival of immigrants is contributing to the growth of the population in Spain for the second year in a row. A reported 248,716 foreigners chose to settle in Spain in the first half of 2018, a 23.8 percent increase compared to the same period in 2017. Their arrival compensated for the declining birthrate among the local population.  

Before the economic crisis hit Spain, an average of 500,000 foreigners moved to the country each year. This means that in 2018, migration to Spain will reach the pre-economic turmoil numbers for the first time in years.

Population increase: 75,000

Along with almost half a million legal and irregular immigrants, an additional 39,166 Spanish citizens returned to the country between January and June. Over the same period, 166,318 people left Spain. 

This means that overall, the net migration to Spain - the difference between immigrants and emigrants - was 121,564 people. 

This more than made up for the declining birthrate in the country; the difference between the number of registered births and deaths was just 46,273 people, according to INE. 

The overall population thus increased by 74,591 people to a total of 46,733,038 inhabitants. 

Two minors rescued at sea 

Over the weekend, Spanish coast guards said they rescued two underage migrants who were attempting to cross the Strait of Gibraltar aboard a truck tire. The two are believed to have left from Morocco. 

Authorities did not provide information on their gender or nationality. The Strait of Gibraltar is 14-kilometer-wide stretch of ocean. 

Spain has registered the landing of some 57,000 migrants since the start of 2018, according to data provided by the United Nations, including at least 11,000 unaccompanied minors. At least 750 people died at sea while attempting to reach Spain. 


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