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One out of five Barcelona residents are foreign

With 333,000 people in the city born abroad, Catalan capital has highest population from other countries in modern history

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15 July 2019 12:48 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

One out of every five people living in Barcelona is foreign, while 49.9% of the city's residents were born outside the city, according to the latest census data from the city council.

Some 27,200 new residents settled in Barcelona in 2018, taking the city's population to 1,650,358 people, the highest since 1991, but far from the record of 1.9 million in 1979.

Yet of this number, over 333,000 residents are people born in some 179 different countries, the highest number of foreign people living in the city in its recent history.

The largest foreign population in Barcelona is Italian (36,276 people), followed by the Chinese (21,658), with Pakistanis in third place (20,643).

Meanwhile, the area of the city with the most foreign residents is the Eixample neighbourhood, with 61,500, followed by Ciutat Vella, with 52,000.

Also, Barcelona's foreign residents are on average more highly educated, with over 40% having a higher education qualification, compared to the 30% average for the whole city.

People moving to the city is the reason why the Catalan capital is enjoying its highest rate of population growth in the past 11 years, as the birth rate is the lowest for 15 years. 

In 2018, more people living in the city died than were born, with over 15,200 deaths registered compared to 12,889 births.

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  • Aerial view of the city of Barcelona, with the Sagrada Familia centered in the photo. (Photo: Nazaret Romero)

  • Aerial view of the city of Barcelona, with the Sagrada Familia centered in the photo. (Photo: Nazaret Romero)

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