Posted by Julie Day on September 27, 2016
Torrevieja foreign residents

The city in which I live often hits the headlines – but it’s not usually good news. Now, the coastal city of Torrevieja in the province of Alicante has made the news again, but in a much more pleasant way.

In concrete, Torrevieja, also known as the ‘city of salt’, has been named as the European city with the greatest number of residents that were born outside of Spain, according to statistics from Eurostat.

The percentage of foreign residents in Torrevieja has reached a total of 46.7%, with the next city in the ranking being Brussels, where 44.4% of the residents are foreign.

The average for Spain is a long way behind at just 12.7% of all residents.

However, Torrevieja is not the only Spanish city to feature in this list, which looks at all major cities within the EU. In fifth place, after Narva (Estonia) and Offenbach am Main (Germany) is Fuengirola in Andalucía. Here, 38.5% of the population is foreign. Fuengirola is also the only city in which the majority of the non-Spanish population was not born in a European country (54%).

And, finally, in 8th place is Benidorm, the third Spanish city to feature in the ranking.

This survey has also noted that the Spanish coast is hugely popular with elderly people that want to retire in the sun.

As well as having the biggest ratio of residents born outside of Spain to nationals, Torrevieja also has the highest number of residents over the age of 65 in comparison to those of a working age, with 43.9%.

The average for Spain is only 27.9%, with the lowest being in Fuenlabrada (Madrid) at 9.8%.

Other cities with a higher-than-average number of residents over the age of 65 include Salamanca, León, Orense, Gijón, La Coruña and San Sebastián.



  • Spain
  • Torrevieja
  • foreign residents
  • population
  • Benidorm
  • Fuengirola


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