Central government published its annual census of the population for 2018 this week, and it shows a small increase in the population of Malaga province, which includes the Costa del Sol.
The data is based on those who were registered as resident on the 'padrón', (municipal census log), in the different town halls across the country on 1st January last year.
Malaga province's population at the start of 2018 was 1,641,121, an increase of 10,506 on the previous year. The biggest increases were in Mijas, Vélez-Málaga, as well as the city of Malaga itself.
Mijas grew by 3,481 between 2017 and 2018 and had 80,630 inhabitants on its 'padrón' on 1st January 2018. Veléz-Málaga increased by 939 to 80,817 and the much-larger Malaga city had 571,026, up 2,024 residents in a year
In terms of big resorts along the western Costa, all except Benalmádena grew by around 500 people. Benalmádena fell back about 1,500 to 67,746. In non-coastal areas, the rise in Alhaurín de la Torre of 858 residents stands out, bringing its 2018 population up to 39,911.
On a national level, just over half the provinces of Spain lost population between 2017 and 2018, and the national population total on 1st January 2018 was 46.7 million. Malaga province saw the sixth biggest increase in population , only exceeded by Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, the Balearics and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. In Andalucía, the provincial capitals of Cadiz, Huelva and Seville all lost population.
Registration on the 'padrón' is a requirement for all residents, including foreigners, and it helps councils secure more funding and provides access to social services.