Malaga province, including the Costa del Sol, grew to its highest population ever in the first half of 2019, according to the latest government data released in keeping with custom over the New Year period.
Spain's population overall on 1 July 2019 broke the 47 million barrier for the first time at 47,100,396.
2018 data reveals local factors
While the recent data for the first six months of 2019 is still only topline, we have to turn instead to the newly published detailed data for all 2018 to see which Malaga province towns, including the Costa del Sol, are currently growing the most.
Looking at the population registers in Malaga province for 2018, Fuengirola saw the greatest increase with an additional 4,913 inhabitants on its municipal census. Although Malaga city has the highest population overall, it was actually in second place in terms of new inhabitants. In 2018, its population increased by 3,629.
Expansion on the coast
After Fuengirola and Malaga, the third municipality in terms of population growth in 2018 was Mijas, with 2,112 new additions. It was followed by Marbella (+1,923) and Estepona (+1,274).
Longer lifespans and migrants
Although the death rate in Malaga province exceeded the birth rate for the first time ever in 2019, meaning that technically the local population should be dropping, the increases seen in the 2018 and 2019 numbers can be explained by people living longer. In July last year there were 314 people in the province aged 100 or over, and positive net migration both from overseas and elsewhere in Spain has also contrubuted.