Number of Spaniards living abroad grew 6.6 percent in 2013

Figure includes many nationalized Latin Americans who are being forced home by the crisis

The number of Spaniards living abroad grew 6.6 percent last year, according to figures released Thursday by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

Records of nationals who registered at Spanish consulates show 126,800 more people living outside the country’s borders. This number represents Spanish emigrés but also foreign-born individuals who acquired Spanish citizenship and foreign-born children of Spanish parents.

This brings the total registered number of Spaniards abroad to 2,058,048. Experts note that the figure could be higher, as some people choose not to register abroad to avoid losing privileges back home, such as a designated physician at their local public health center.

Europe is one of the destinations of choice for emigrating Spaniards, who predominantly move to Britain, France, Germany and Switzerland. The Spanish community in Europe grew 5.29 percent. But the increase in the Americas is notably higher, reaching 7.21 percent. This figure is heavily influenced by the return of Latin Americans who spent a few years in Spain and became nationalized citizens before the crisis forced them to return to their home countries.

The overall rise in Spaniards abroad in 2013 is very similar to the previous year’s figure of 6.3 percent, suggesting that the outward flow remains stable.

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