10.1% of the Spanish population is foreign, according to data corresponding to January 1, 2018 offered by the National Institute of Statistics (INE). In absolute figures, this translates into 4,719,418 inhabitants of other nationalities.
In relative terms, the greatest concentration of foreign population occurs in the Balearic Islands, where 17.1% of its residents are of other nationalities. The autonomous city of Melilla appears in second place in this ranking with 15.6% of foreign population (although in absolute terms the figure is reduced). Catalonia is the third with 14.2% of foreigners, while Murcia occupies the fourth place with 13.7% of its population.
The autonomous regions with the lowest proportion of foreigners are Extremadura (2.9%), Galicia (3.4%) and Asturias (3.9%).
The number of foreigners increased in absolute numbers during the year 2017 in all the regions with the exception of Extremadura, where it was reduced by 217 people. The largest increases in foreign population in absolute figures were in Catalonia (38,350), Madrid (29,730) and Valencia (18,683).
In relative terms, the most important increases corresponded to Navarra Autonomous Region (7.2%), Basque Country (5.7%) and Galicia (5.6%).
Catalonia is the autonomous region with the largest absolute number of foreigners. In fact, it is the only one that exceeds one million residents of other nationalities (1,079,712), representing 14.2% of the total.
The next region is Madrid, with 825,001 foreigners (12.5% of its population). The third place is occupied by the Valencia region, where 661,063 foreigners live (13.3%), and the fourth is for Andalusia with its 618,791 residents outside of Spain (7.4% of its population).
NOTE: This article complements the information published in “In-depth analysis of foreign people in Spain (I)“