Spain has experienced a fast transition from an emigration to an immigration country since the second half of the 1980s. Today, the size of its foreign-born population is comparable to older immigration countries. Since Spain has repeatedly regularized irregular migrants, irregularity has been a phase in the life of most current regular immigrants in Spain. Border policies have become increasingly restrictive, toward both Latin Americans entering the country legally and boat people from Africa trying to land on the southern shores or the Canary Islands.

Short Information

CLANDESTINO Policy Brief  (July 2009)



Background information

Capital: Madrid
Total population (2007): 44 474 631
Foreign nationals (2007): 4 606 474
Foreign nationals as % of total: 10.0%
EU member since: 1986