According to a recent study carried out on international migration, which was published last week by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Spain is the second European Union country (only after Greece), registering the highest increase in the emigration of its nationals to other Member States, especially Germany and the UK, due to the economic crisis and rising unemployment.
The number of Spanish leaving the country to emigrate to other Member States has doubled since 2007. The figure has increased from 37,000 people emigrating in 2010, to 57,000 in 2011 and 55,000 between January and September 2012 (the latest figures available in the study). However the OECD said: “The numbers are still low in absolute terms and include many Spanish citizens who have just been nationalised”.
Nationals emigrating from the EU Member States most affected by the crisis have increased by 45% between 2009 and 2011. In addition to Spain and Greece, the phenomenon especially affected Iceland and Ireland, although from 2010 this trend reversed in both countries thanks to the beginning of economic recovery. In contrast, the emigration rate in Portugal has only increased by 25% and in Italy by 42%.
The main countries of destination, according to the OECD, are Germany and the UK, where the flow of immigrants from other Member States has almost doubled over the same period. The Netherlands and Belgium also received a great number of immigrants.
Diario Sur reported that Germany recorded an increase in Greek immigrants of 73% between 2011 and 2012, of about 50% for Spanish and Portuguese and 35% for Italians. This trend continued to accelerate last year.
The OECD study notes that around 88% of the total 420,000 emigrations registered leaving Spain in 2012 corresponded to foreigners, highlighting the fact that they have also been the most affected by the rising unemployment.