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Brits in Spain outnumber Spaniards in UK by three to one, half are retired and 5% on the dole
NEARLY three times as many Brits live in Spain as Spaniards in the UK, and almost half of them are retired, according to figures from the London-based Office of National Statistics (ONS).
Britain is home to around 116,000 Spaniards, who range from recent arrivals to those who have lived there since the Civil War, whilst on paper, a total of 300,000 Brits live in Spain – although the number may be higher due to many not exercising their duty of registering on the padrón, or municipal census, in their town.
According to the ONS, the majority of Brits in Spain live in coastal provinces, particularly those who are retired.
Pensioners and early retirees make up 48% of the total.
Island locations – in the Balearics and Canaries – tend to attract younger Brits, who are typically aged between 20 and 39.
Of those UK nationals in Spain who are of working age, a total of 59% are employed or self-employed, whilst just 5% are registered on the dole.
Those who have jobs or are self-employed typically work in public administration, education, health, banking and finance, and the hotel and catering trade – the latter making up 22% of jobs held by British citizens living in Spain.
A total of 11% of the working-age British population does not have a job or any other economic activity, although more than half of these are not registered as unemployed and it is likely some of them survive through sporadic cash-in-hand work.
The remaining 30% of non-retired Brits are students, housewives or househusbands, disabled and unable to work, or are children.
Part-time British expats are significant in number, specifically those who spend less than six months of the year in Spain, making them officially non-resident.
Last year alone, a total of 219,000 Brits visited Spain for periods of between one month and one year.
Very few of these did so in order to work or study – most did so for extended holidays or to visit family and friends.
Tourists continue to outnumber expats considerably – visits to Spain of less than one month by British nationals last year reached 13 million – compared with just 849,000 Spaniards who travelled to the UK for a holiday.
Spain is believed to be the EU country with the most British nationals in residence – meaning the most who will be affected by Brexit.
A recent report in The Guardian shows that 60% of Brits interviewed, both in the UK and abroad, want to keep their European Union citizenship.
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