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Forget Moving to Spain, the Spanish Are Moving to UK!

Has it long been your dream to escape the grey skies of Blighty and set up camp under the shimmering Spanish sunshine?  You’re not alone!  Spain has been the number one emigration destination for would-be British expats for decades.  However, hot on the heels of news last week that the numbers of Brits leaving UK for a new life abroad have fallen dramatically in the last year, we now hear that the UK has become a desirable destination for the Spanish.

It seems that Britons can’t afford to leave and commit to their dream of Spanish living, and the Spanish can’t afford to stay in a Spain that’s teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and a double dip recession.  Although, why they feel they’ll fare any better in the UK is beyond me!  I mean, the UK isn’t exactly booming economically speaking, is it?

But, that aside, it’s true – the Spanish are colonising the United Kingdom apparently!  According to a report onTumbit.com, a blog with legal and financial information for expats, the number of Spanish nationals in the UK rose by a whopping 85% in the year to April 2011!  That’s not a number to be ignored…

So what do the figures tell us?

Well, they tell us that no matter how bad you think things are in the UK, they’re clearly worse in Spain!  And things in Spain have been getting progressively worse for expats since about 2006…because since then there has been a year on year decrease in expat numbers to the tune of about 30,000.

That’s a significant loss in a nation like Spain where the majority of expats buy or rent property and contribute positively to the economy – if only through their day to day living and spending activity.

It seems that Spain’s attempts to lure Britons back to the nation have so far failed.

Back in May the Spanish Housing Minister attempted to lure British buyers back to the property market in Spain, with promises that new legislation meant all buyers would be well protected.  Seemingly many have so far viewed his comments with scepticism…

In the meantime, 25,000 Spanish nationals moved to the UK between April 2010 and April 2011, an increase of 85% on the previous year.  This surge in numbers put the Spanish at the top of the list in terms of percentage increases in migrants – ahead of Ireland, Pakistan, Lithuania…

With the news out today that Spain’s unemployment figures rose in August, it’s easy to see why the Spanish are looking abroad for opportunities.  But at the same time, many in the UK are doing exactly the same…so where will this all end?  After all, you can’t run away from economic problems, and as the entire world is seemingly affected, where can the unemployed in the UK and Spain find a better place to live?

Answers on a postcard (or via the comments below!) please…if you’re living a good life abroad, share your stories with other readers…and if you know where all the opportunities are, don’t keep them all to yourself!

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