The foreign population in Malaga province, including the Costa del Sol, numbered 252,362 at the end of 2018, according to the official, detailed 2018 figures published recently. This total, taken from the combined municipal census figures on 1 January 2019, is made up of 153,623 EU citizens and 98,739 residents from non-EU countries.
Finnish residents form the fastest-growing community from another EU country, going from 5,531 to 6,497 in the 12-month period up to 1 January 2019.
In fact more Finns registered as new residents in Malaga province during 2018 than Britons, who still formed the largest group of foreigners, albeit with a smaller increase from 46,563 to 47,193. This figure is far from the 57,536 British citizens registered as resident in Malaga province in 2014.
However it is estimated that the "floating" population would take this figure much higher, and the numbers of British residents who have registered during 2019, in order to prepare for Brexit, will not yet be reflected in this 2018 official statistic.
The second largest foreign community in Malaga province after the British, at the end of 2018, was formed by North Africans, with 31,351 registered residents, while Ukrainians take third place.
The 9,500 Germans resident in the province made up the fourth biggest group, although their numbers have gradually gone down from the 11,224 registered in 2014.
Meanwhile the number of Chinese residents is increasing. The latest figure for 2018 is 8,417, and Russians number 6,957, according to these new figures.