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Malaga's surging population growth screeches to a halt as the province actually loses residents
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Malaga's surging population growth screeches to a halt as the province actually loses residents

For two consecutive years, in 2020 and 2021, Malaga was the province with the highest population growth in Spain

Nuria Triguero

Malaga

Tuesday, 7 November 2023, 19:19

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Malaga's surging population growth has ground to a halt, with new data showing the province has actually experienced a decline in the number of residents.

Latest data from Spain's INE national statistics institute showed that for the first time after nine consecutive quarters of growth, the province's population declined, by 313. It is only a small drop, but compared to growth across the country, Malaga is the third province with the biggest loss of inhabitants in the third quarter of 2023. The top two provinces are also in Andalucía: Huelva (-478) and Cordoba (-1,286).

For two consecutive years, in 2020 and 2021, Malaga was the province with the highest population growth in Spain. The Covid-19 pandemic opened the floodgates for people to arrive from all over Spain and the world. Between 2020 and 2022 Malaga province added 67,976 new residents. During the first half of this year the growth continued with some 12,000 new people, but the trend was broken this summer.

Between July and October, Malaga province lost 313 inhabitants to total 1,762,902. It remains to be seen whether this is a one-off blip or the first sign of the slowing-down of Malaga's demographic pull.

A sign of slowing down?

Experts have warned that the rise in property prices and the shortage of homes for long-term rental has become a major problem in Malaga province, and will not only affect the ability to attract new inhabitants, but also to retain the local population. Malaga city, for example, grew last year due to the arrival of foreigners but lost its native population. Just this Tuesday 7 November, real estate portal Pisos.com published a new report revealing a new year-on-year increase of almost 19% in the price of rent in Malaga, the second highest in the Spain.

However, between October 2022 and October 2023, Malaga province added 19,508 new residents, making it the sixth in the national ranking behind Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante and the Balearic Islands. This demographic increase is due, 89%, to the arrival of foreigners. Only 11% of the new residents who have settled in the province in the past twelve months are of Spanish nationality.

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