Foreign populationOne of the main purposes to migrate to Spain is due to economic reasons, around 510.000 foreign residents in Spain stated that they migrated to the country for employment or self-employment. In contrast, family and studies ranked among the least mentioned causes. Regarding the composition of migrant residents, more Romanians live in Spain than any other EU country, and Moroccan residents account for the largest community of African origin. However, the largest non-EU diaspora growth is occurring in the Ukrainian community, with an annual growth rate of 46 percent in 2022.
Many migrants look for employment opportunities, despite Spain’s rather high unemployment rate. In 2022, 2.60 million foreigners had found work in Spain. Due to favorable labor conditions, when compared to other countries, Spain has also become a place for irregular migration. In concrete, the Canary Islands has become a site of entry for this type of migration, as have the coasts of mainland Spain and other Spanish territories. The number of irregular arrivals to the country peaked in 2018, when almost 64.000 people arrived in Spain. Other types of irregular migration include asylum seekers entering the country to seek refugee status in the European Union. Just in 2022, Spain granted asylum to approximately 83.000 refugees, third largest figure in the EU.