Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Call This Stuff 'Tea'?

I'm living in Spain: but not really. The province of Almería is growing fast with enormous numbers of people coming here to live: people bringing their own language and culture with them. The (British) Foreign Office say there are around 800,000 (!!) Brits living in Spain although Spanish official figures (i.e. 'residentes británicos' from the INE, the national census institute) are 227,000. This because many Brits (and other nationalities for that matter) fail to register themselves at their local town halls on the 'padrón' - a painless formality that generates extra funding and licences for the municipality concerned.
Nevertheless, it's still a lot of us and it comes, no doubt, from Spain's many attractions. Unfortunately (perhaps), the Brits like to live in particular areas where there are already fellow-countrymen at hand as most of them find it too hard to learn Spanish (the average age of 'los ingleses' is 57, so they tend to be retired and hoping to take things easy). Here in Almería - there are said to be 25,000 Brits. In Málaga, there are probably 250,000!
Spanish figures just out claim 44 million people here, of which 8.5% (they reckon...) are extranjeros: that's a minimum of 4 million scattered about the country! Mainly Moroccans, followed by Equatorians.. and including large numbers (in order of official numbers) of Rumanians, Columbians, Brits, Argentinians and Germans...
So Spain. There is the 'costa' which is most of the Mediterranean coast, where you can live a type of English-in-the-sun life... and the rest of the country, with its many attractions, and where you can learn/join in the culture and society of España.

1 comment:

Lenox said...

Just to add here:-
New figures from the Statistics Office (INE) for December 31st 2005 are as follows.
Almeria population 612,315, including 93,058 foreigners of which 9,866 are British (i.e., reported as being on the padrón). The largest town for Brits (siempre según el padrón) is Mojácar with 1,881 out of a total population of 6,092.
From this, I reckon that around 40% of the Brits are registered..!