Malaga province's population rockets and will exceed two million in seven years, mainly fuelled by foreigners
Data special: Population

Malaga province's population rockets and will exceed two million in seven years, mainly fuelled by foreigners

The area will continue to attract people from other parts of Spain and be accompanied by a massive jump in international resident numbers

Cristina Vallejo


Tuesday, 25 June 2024

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The population of Malaga province will exceed two million people in 2031, the latest data shows.

That same year, the province will surpass Seville's population (the capital of Andalucía region) where Malaga will have 2.018 million inhabitants compared to 2.014 million in Seville, according to demographic projections published by Spain's INE national statistics institute.

In less than a decade the population of Malaga province will grow by almost 14% from the current 1.77 million, the data shows, while the number of inhabitants of Seville will barely increase by 2.3% from the current 1.97 million.

The rate of population growth in Malaga will have beaten not only that of Seville, but also Andalucía as a whole and even Spain. The INE projects a demographic increase of 5.8% in Andalucía, reaching 9.127 million in 2031 from 8.628 million in 2024. Meanwhile, in Spain, the population is projected to rise by 7.4% from 48.6 to 52.2 million between 2024 and 2031.

Who will contribute to the rise in Malaga's population? The Spanish-born resident population in the province will grow by 1.2%, from the current 1.362 million to 1.378 million. This growth is not reflected in the data for the rest of Spain or Andalucía: nationally, the number of inhabitants born in Spain will fall by almost 2% (from 39.814 million to 39.021 million), while in Seville it will fall by 1.3% (from 1.828 million to 1.804 million) and in the region, it will drop by 1.05% (from 7.561 million to 7.481 million).

Although the bulk of the population growth in Malaga province will be foreigners, with the INE forecasting the province's foreign-born resident population to grow by 56% in Malaga from around 410,000 at present to almost 640,500 in 2031. Meanwhile, in Seville it will increase by 49% from 140,637 in 2024 to close to 210,000 in seven years. In Andalucía, the foreign-born population will have grown by 54% between 2024 and 2031, to 1.645 million. And in Spain the increase will be 50%, to 13.180 million.

Andalucía's most populated province

The demographic projections published by INE go up to the year 2039. By then, Malaga will have strengthened its position as the most populated province in Andalucía. In 15 years' time, Malaga will have a total of 2.144 million inhabitants, compared to Seville's 2.021 million.

This means Malaga still has a population increase of more than 20% from current levels, a figure that doubles the population increase predicted by the INE for Spain (10.5%, to 53.747 million inhabitants), more than doubles that calculated for Andalucía (8%, to 9.322 million) and almost ten times that predicted for the province of Seville (2.7%, to 2.021 million inhabitants).

383,659 inhabitants

will be added to the province of Malaga over the next fifteen years, according to the population projections drawn up by the National Statistics Institute (INE). This makes it the fifth fastest growing province in terms of population growth. In percentage terms, it will be the seventh with the highest number of new residents.

Malaga, with this growth, will be the fifth province with the highest population growth, adding more than 383,000 residents in the next 15 years. Ahead of Malaga will be Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Alicante. Malaga will be the seventh province with the greatest population increase, at 22%. Almería will be the province with the greatest increase in Spain, adding almost 208,000 new inhabitants, growing by 28%.

In Malaga, in the next three decades, between now and 2039, the population born in Spain will have increased by 2.5% - compared to the 3.64% drop in the country, the 2.64% fall in Seville and the 2% drop in Andalucía. Meanwhile, the foreign-born inhabitants of Malaga will have risen by 83%, to almost 750,000 in 2039, compared with increases of 80% in Andalucía (to 1.914 million), 74% in the country (to 15.386 million) and 72% in Seville (to 241,000).

Lower birth rate and more foreigners

The INE statistics also reveal that Malaga's higher population growth will not be based on a higher birth rate. In 2024, there will be 6.66 births per 1,000 inhabitants in the province, a figure similar to the Spanish average and lower than that of Seville (7.38 births per 1,000 inhabitants). In 2031, when Malaga will have overtaken Seville's population, the 6.75 Malaga births per 1,000 inhabitants will be less than the almost 7 in Spain and 7.72 in Seville; and by 2038, the 7.03 births per 1,000 inhabitants in Malaga will still be below the 7.52 in Spain and 8.57 in Seville.

37 migrants per thousand inhabitants

will arrive in Malaga in 2024. In 2038 there will be 16.7. These figures are above the Spanish average (26.5 per thousand this year and 13 per thousand in 2038).

Malaga's population growth will then depend on more people arriving from abroad and from other Spanish provinces. In 2024, the INE calculates that 37 migrants per 1,000 inhabitants will come to the province; in 2031, the rate will have fallen to 22 new migrants per 1,000 inhabitants; and by the end of the period, in 2038, it will have fallen to 16.7.

By 2038, the arrival of migrants in Spain will be 13 per 1,000 inhabitants and in Seville, almost 6.5 per 1,000, while at present it is 26.5 per 1,000 in Spain and 12 per 1,000 in Seville.

15 new residents from other provinces

arrive in Malaga every year per 1,000 inhabitants. In Seville, it is limited to a rate of 10 per 1,000.

This year Malaga is attracting more than 15 new residents from other Spanish provinces per 1,000 inhabitants, compared to the 10 in Seville; and these figures will be maintained until 2038, according to INE projections.

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