Moroccans make up biggest expat group in Spain, new data shows

by Ray Clancy on July 31, 2015

Despite the economic crisis, Spain is still proving popular with expats. The latest government figures show almost five million foreign nationals are living and working in the country.

There was concern that in recent years many expats, especially those from Great Britain, had returned home because of the economy, and now there are more Moroccan and Romanian expats arriving.

Spain-MapThe biggest expat group is now from Romania with just under a million living in the country, or 19% of the expat population. The next biggest group is from Morocco with 771,000 Moroccans living in Spain, or 16% of the expat population. British expats make up the third biggest group with 276,000, or 6% of the expat population.

According to the data from the Office of National Statistics, the most popular male name among expats in Spain is Mohamed at 40,658, Mohammed at 19,401, followed by Ahmed at 15,003 and then Said at 9,513.

The next three most popular male expat names are all from Romania; with Gheorghe at 9,399, Vasile at 9,045 and Ioan at 9,035. Moroccan name Rachid is next at 8,956, followed by Youssef at 8,583 and then Mustapha at 7,468.

Beyond Morocco and Romania, the list of the 50 most common male expat names also come from Pakistan, Algeria, Senegal, Italy, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Russia and Portugal.

The top female expat name is Fatima at 18,493, followed by Romanian names Maria at 12,547 and Elena at 10,629. Next is Khadija at 8,339, Mariana at 7,535, Mihalia at 6,050, Ana Maria at 5,265, Aicha at 5,208, Naima at 4,963 and Daniela at 4,823.

The list of the top 50 female expat names in Spain also includes names from the Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Poland, Italy, Portugal, Colombia and Bulgaria.

The most common British names for male expats are John at 1,757 and David at 1,662. Susan at 916 is the most popular British female name, followed by Margaret at 892.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tim August 7, 2015 at 1:29 pm

Interesting article. The title is a bit misleading, since it is actually Romanians who are the biggest expat group according to

“The biggest expat group is now from Romania with just under a million living in the country, or 19% of the expat population.”

I wonder what percentage of the Moroccans are in Spain with some sort of visa, and what percentage are not…


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