|Spanish nationals abroad
1,816,835 (of which 654,395 were born in Spain) (2012)
Total people with claimed Spanish ancestry
c. 100 million
|Regions with significant populations|
|Number of Spanish citizens by country|
|Spanish languages (mainly Spanish, also Basque, Catalan, Galician, etc.), French, Portuguese, English, German, and others.|
|Predominantly Roman Catholicism|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Portuguese • French • Italians
other Western Europeans · Hispanics • Sephardi Jews • Afro-Spanish • Sino-Spanish
The Spanish diaspora consists of Spanish people and their descendants who emigrated from Spain. The diaspora is concentrated in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela and other parts of Latin America, and to a lesser extent, the United States, Canada and continental Europe.
- 1 Origins (1402–1521)
- 2 Age of Discovery
- 3 List of countries by population of Spanish heritage
- 4 Africa
- 5 Americas
- 6 Asia-Pacific
- 7 Europe
- 8 References
Castile, under the reign of Henry III began the colonization of the Canary Islands in 1402, authorizing under feudal agreement to Norman noblemen Jean de Béthencourt. The conquest of the Canary Islands, inhabited by Guanche people, was only finished when the armies of the Crown of Castille won, in long and bloody wars, the islands of Gran Canaria (1478–1483), La Palma (1492–1493) and Tenerife (1494–1496).
The marriage of the Reyes Católicos (Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile) created a confederation of reigns, each with their own administrations, but ruled by a common monarchy. According to Henry Kamen, it was only after centuries of a common rule that this separated realms formed a fully unificated state.
In 1492, Spain drove out the last Moorish king of Granada. After their victory, the Catholic monarchs negotiated with Christopher Columbus, a Genoese sailor attempting to reach Cipangu by sailing west. Castile was already engaged in a race of exploration with Portugal to reach the Far East by sea when Columbus made his bold proposal to Isabella. Columbus instead "inadvertently" discovered the Americas, inaugurating the Spanish colonization of the continent. The Indies were reserved for Castile.
Age of Discovery
After the Age of Discovery the Spanish were the earliest and one of the largest communities to emigrate out of Europe, and the Spanish Empire's expansion during the first half of the 16th century saw an "extraordinary dispersion of the Spanish people", with particular concentrations "in North and South America".
The Spanish Empire was "built on waves of migration overseas by Spanish people", who left Spain and "reached across the globe and permanently affected population structures in the American continent". As a result of the Spanish colonization of the Americas, what became the Latin America was "easily the greatest single destination of emigrant Spanish".
List of countries by population of Spanish heritage
|Country||Population||% of country||Reference||Criterion|
|Spanish Mexican||94,720,000 +||80 +||||estimated: 20% as whites and 75-80% as mestizos.|
|Spanish Colombian||39,000,000||86||||36% as white and 50% as mestizos.|
|Spanish Cuban||10,050,849||88.9||||self-description as white, mulatto and mestizo|
|Spanish Filipino||2,700,000||3.5||||self-description, 625,562 (0.2%) identified as Spaniard|
|Spanish Puerto Rican||3,064,862||80.5||
|self-description as white, 83,879 (2.1%) identified as Spaniard|
|Spanish American||2,389,841–3,500,000||0.8–1.1||||self-description, 625,562 (0.2%) identified as Spaniard|
|Spanish Bolivian||1,300,000||13||||White Spanish Descent.|
|Spanish Venezuelan||25,079,923||90.1||||42.2% as white and 50% as mestizos.|
|Total in Diaspora||~113,000,000–118,500,000|
Conquest of the Canary Islands
The first period of the conquest of the Canaries was carried out by the Norman nobles Jean de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle. Their motives were basically economic: Bethencourt possessed textile factories and dye works and the Canaries offered a source of dyes such as the orchil lichen. The treaty settled disputes between Castile and Portugal over the control of the Atlantic, in which Castilian control of the Canary islands was recognized but which also confirmed Portuguese possession of the Azores, Madeira, the Cape Verde islands and gave them rights to lands discovered and to be discovered...and any other island which might be found and conquered from the Canary islands beyond toward Guinea.
The Castilians continued to dominate the islands, but due to the topography and the resistance of the native Guanches, complete pacification was not achieved until 1495, when Tenerife and La Palma were finally subdued by Alonso Fernández de Lugo. After that, the Canaries were incorporated into the Kingdom of Castile.
The islands were conquered by mostly Andalusians and some Castilians at the beginnings of the 15th century. In 1402, they began to subdue the native Guanche population and the Guanches were initially enslaved and gradually absorbed by the Spanish colonizers.
After subsequent settlement by Spaniards and other European peoples, mainly Portuguese, the remaining Guanches were gradually diluted by the settlers and their culture largely vanished. Alonso Fernández de Lugo, conqueror of Tenerife and La Palma, oversaw extensive immigration to these islands during a short period from the late 1490s to the 1520s from mainland Europe, and immigrants included Galicians, Castilians, Portuguese, Italians, Catalans, Basques, and Flemings. At subsequent judicial enquiries, Fernández de Lugo was accused of favoring Genoese and Portuguese immigrants over Castilians.
Equatorial Guinea 
|This section requires expansion. (June 2012)|
Spanish settlement in Argentina, that is the arrival of Spanish emigrants in Argentina, took place firstly in the period before Argentina's independence from Spain, and again in large numbers during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Between the 15th and 19th centuries, the Spanish Empire was the sole colonial power in the territories that became Argentina after the 1816 Argentine declaration of independence. Thus, before 1816, a great part of the European settlers in Argentina were from Spain, and they carried the Spanish colonial administration, including religious affairs, government, and commercial business. A substantial Spanish-descended Criollo population gradually built up in the new cities, while some mixed with the indigenous populations (Mestizos), with the Black slave population (Mulattoes), or with other European immigrants. Since a great part of the immigrants to Argentina before the mid-19th century were of Spanish descent, and the fact that a significative part of the late-19th century/early-20th century immigrants to Argentina were Spaniards, the vast majority of Argentinians are of mostly Spanish ancestry. However this prevalence, and the numerous shared cultural aspects between Argentina and Spain (the Spanish language, Roman Catholicism, Criollo/Hispanic traditions), massive Immigration to Argentina at the turn of the 20th century involved a majority of non-Spanish peoples from all over Europe,
Spanish immigration was the third largest among immigrant groups in Brazil; about 750,000 immigrants entered Brazil from Spanish ports (a number smaller only than that of Argentina and Cuba after the independence of Latin American countreis). Numbers of Spaniards coming to Brazil before independence are unknown, but they had a presence, particularly more significant during the Iberian Union period and in São Paulo state. During the dynastic union between Portugal and Spain (1580–1640), many Spaniards settled in Brazil, particularly in São Paulo. As a consequence, there is a large number of Brazilian descendants of these early settlers, especially since the early inhabitants of São Paulo explored and settled in other parts of Brazil. The descendants of Bartolomeu Bueno de Ribeira, born in Seville around 1555, who settled in São Paulo around 1583, marrying Maria Pires, are an example of it. Afonso Taunay, in his book dealing with early São Paulo, São Paulo in the XVI century, mentions also Baltazar de Godoy, Francisco de Saavedra, Jusepe de Camargo, Martin Fernandes Tenório de Aguilar, Bartolomeu de Quadros, among others. In his genealogical account of the settling of São Paulo, Pedro Taques de Almeida Paes Leme, also mentions the three Rendon brothers, Juan Matheus Rendon, Francisco Rendon de Quebedo and Pedro Matheus Rendon Cabeza de Vaca, as well as Diogo Lara, form Zamora. Spaniards from Galicia also settled in Brazil during that time, like Jorge de Barros, for example. The family names Bueno, Godoy, Lara, Saavedra, Camargo, etc., tracing back to these early settlers, are quite popular throughout Southeast Brazil, Southern Brazil and the Center-West. Silva Leme, in his work Genealogia Paulistana ("Paulistana Genealogy"), addresses several of these families. Brazilian censuses do not research "ethnic origins" or ancestry, which makes it very difficult to give accurate numbers of Brazilians of Spanish descent. The only reliable research available is the 1998 July PME, the scope of which, however, is limited (it covers only six metropolitan regions), resulting in probably skewed results, as it includes the metropolitan regions of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, and Salvador, probably the most important concentrations of Brazilians of Spanish descent. In the 1998 PME, Brazilians of Spanish descent were 4.4%  of the analysed populations. If the same proportion would be found in all territory, this would mean about 8,400,000 Brazilians of Spanish descent, but such extrapolation is problematic, and quite certainly results in an overestimate, due to the issues pointed above.
The earliest European immigrants were Spanish colonisers who arrived in the 16th century. They came to form the majority of the population by the time of Chilean independence. They came mainly from Castile and Andalusia and formed the majority population. In the 18th and 19th centuries, many Basques from both Spain and France came to Chile were they integrated into the existing elites of Castilian origin. Other European nationalities then followed and also became rich and fused with each other and the Basque-Castilian elite to create modern Chilean culture. In the 20th century, there was an influx of refugees of the Spanish Civil War and Franco's regime.(see Winnipeg ship) They have kepted their Spanish national identity and set up Spanish clubs throughout the country. The Spanish culture of the original settlers slowly evolved into Chilean folk culture, especially the huaso one, and at the time of independence had abandoned national affiliation with Spain.
Today in Chile, surnames are important and people with Spanish surnames and Mediterranean appearance are discriminated against, in preference to those of Basque and other European surnames and Nordic appearance. However, most Chileans have some Spanish ancestry.
Colombia media recently reported that everyday, there are more Spanish working and living in Colombia. There are over 27,000 Spanish immigrants, a number that will keep growing as more opportunities become available.
Spanish immigration to Cuba began in 1492 to 1868 as a part of Spain to the present day. The first sighting of a Spanish boat approaching the island was on 28 October 1492, probably at Baracoa on the eastern point of the island. Christopher Columbus, on his first voyage to the Americas, sailed south from what is now The Bahamas to explore the northeast coast of Cuba and the northern coast of Hispaniola. Columbus discovered the island believing it to be a peninsula of the Asian mainland. In 1511, Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar set out with three ships and an army of 300 men from Santo Domingo to form the first Spanish settlement in Cuba, with orders from Spain to conquer the island.
Dominican Republic 
|This section requires expansion. (June 2012)|
The first Spanish settlement was established in February 1519, as a result of the landing of Hernán Cortés in the Yucatan Peninsula, accompanied by about 11 ships, 500 men, 13 horses and a small number of cannons. In March 1519, Cortés formally claimed the land for the Spanish crown.
The regions from which most Spanish immigrants originated were those of Extremadura, Castile, Galicia, Catalonia and Andalucía. Most of the colonial immigrants, in consequence, went from the southern regions of Spain to what now is considered the coastal Peruvian region.[clarification needed] These immigrants generally departed from the ports of Cadiz or Sevilla and arrived in the ports of Callao, Mollendo and Pimentel. Many of these immigrants made a stopover in a Caribbean port before arriving in Peru. Before the development of the Panama Canal ships would forced to go around Cape Horn to reach Peruvian ports. Although not many, a few travelers made their way from Europe to Peru via the Amazon River. These immigrants would seek passage on the many commercial ships going to retrieve rubber in Peru to bring back to Europe. These immigrants would arrive at the river port of Iquitos. Almost all of them stayed there. These immigrants numbered no more than a few thousand.
Puerto Rico 
Spanish immigration to Puerto Rico began in (1493 to 1898 as a part of Spain) to the present day. On 25 September 1493, Christopher Columbus set sail on his second voyage with 17 ships and 1,200–1,500 men from Cádiz, Spain. On 19 November 1493 he landed on the island, naming it San Juan Bautista in honor of Saint John the Baptist.
The first Spanish settlement, Caparra, was founded on 8 August 1508 by Juan Ponce de León, born in Valladolid, Spain, a lieutenant under Columbus, who later became the first governor of the island.
From the start of the conquest of Puerto Rico, Castilians ruled over the religious (Roman Catholicism) and political life. Some came to the island for just a few years and then returned to Spain, however many stayed.
Puerto Rico's founding family were Castilians (Ponce de León family). Their home was built in 1521 by Ponce de Leon but he died in the same year, leaving "Casa Blanca" to his young son Luis Ponce de León. The original structure didn't last long; two years after its construction, a hurricane destroyed it, and it was rebuilt by Ponce de León's son-in-law Juan Garcia Troche. The southern city of Ponce is named after Juan Ponce de León y Loayza, the great-grandson of the island's discoverer.
Immigration to the island caused the population to grow rapidly during the 19th century. In 1800 the population was 155,426 and ended the century with almost a million inhabitants (953,243), multiplying the population by about six times. The main component responsible was the Royal Decree of Graces of 1815 which led to immigrants from some 74 countries arriving. Included were hundreds of Corsican, French, Irish, German, Lebanese, Maltese and Portuguese families moving to the island. Some countries were represented by only a few (51 Chinese individuals for example). The country that still sent the most people was Spain.
From the start of colonization other groups from Catalonia, Asturias, Galicia, and Majorca had also immigrated, although the Canarian people formed the basis. Once the 19th century came, things changed drastically. According to Puerto Rican authors such as Cifre de Loubriel who researched the immigration wave patterns made to the island, during the 19th century the greatest number of Spaniards that came to the island with their families were Catalans and Mallorcans from the nearby Mediterranean regions.
The second most common Spanish region with the largest numbers were the Galicians and Asturians, and the third regions were Canary Islanders, Basques and Andalusians. The Catalans, Galicians, Majorcans and Asturians would come with whole families most of the time. There were regions of the island that attracted some immigrants more than others which was mainly for political or economic reasons.
United States 
|Immigration to the United States |
|1881–1890||4,419||Total (129 yrs)||240,642|
Spanish immigration to the United States began with the colonization of the Americas. Spanish Americans are the earliest European American group, with a continuous presence since 1565. These figures show there was never the mass emigration from Iberia as there was from Latin America. It is evident in the figures that Spanish immigration peaked in the 1910s and 1920s. The majority settled in Florida and New York, although there was also a sizable Spanish influx to West Virginia at the turn of the 20th century, mostly from Asturias.
A Spanish-Venezuelan is a Venezuelan citizen of Spanish origin or descent. There are many Venezuelans of Spanish origin, especially from the Canary Islands (known as Isleños). A high percent of Venezuelans have some Spanish ancestry. Spanish immigration to Venezuela begins with the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and continued during Colonial Venezuela and, after independence in 1830, during the nineteenth century. Further immigration took place particularly following World War II.
There are approximately 78,271 Australians of Spanish descent, most of which reside within the major cities of Sydney and Melbourne, with lesser numbers in Brisbane and Perth. Of these, according to the 2006 Australian census, 12,276 were born in Spain.
Spanish Filipinos population living in the Philippines trace part of their ancestry to Spain. Spanish Filipinos are mostly descendants of the migrants to the Philippines during the colonial period. The official percentage of Filipinos with Spanish ancestry is unknown.
Between 1565 and 1815, Mexicans and Spaniards sailed to and from the Philippines as government officials, soldiers, priests, settlers, traders, sailors and adventurers in the Manila-Acapulco Galleon, assisting Spain in its trade between Europe and Latin America (Spanish America) and Latin America and China.
Today, the official percentage of Filipinos with Spanish ancestry is unknown. The Philippine Statistics Department does not account for the racial background or ancestry of an individual. The official population of all types of mestizos (Asian, American, Hispanic, etc.) that reside inside and outside of the Philippines remains unknown. Although a study provided by Stanford University claimed that around 3.6% of the population have White or Caucasian ancestries from both Spanish and American colonization, it only genotyped 28 individuals from the Philippines, a sample size far too small to draw conclusions on a population of over 90 million people.
French of Spanish descent is any citizen or resident of France who is of Spanish ancestral origin. Famous Spaniards in France: Louis de Funès, Eric Cantona, Anne Hidalgo, Diego Buñuel, Luis Fernández, Jean Reno, Olivier Martinez, Paco Rabanne, Mathieu Valbuena, Manuel Amoros, Raymond Domenech, Albert Camus, Manuel Valls.
Germans of Spanish descent is any citizen or resident of Germany who is of Spanish ancestral origin. Between 1960-1973 up to 600,000 Spaniards emigrated to Germany. Famous Spaniards in Germany: Mario Gomez, Heinz Harald Frentzen, Gonzalo Castro, Francisco Copado, Curro Torres, Enrique Sánchez Lansch, Eduardo Garcia, company Garmo AG, Joachim Llambi, Marc Gallego, Stefan Ortega, Joselu, Daniel Brühl, Oscar Corrochano, Cristian Fiel, Oscar Ortega Sánchez.
Swiss of Spanish descent is any citizen or resident of Switzerland who is of Spanish ancestral origin. Famous Spaniards in Siwtzerland: Ricardo Cabanas, Ricardo Rodríguez, Philippe Senderos, Luis Cembranos, Gerardo Seoane, Riccardo Meili, Raphael Diaz, Vincent Perez.
United Kingdom 
British of Spanish descent is any citizen or resident of the United Kingdom who is of Spanish ancestral origin. Famous Spaniards in the United Kingdom: John Galliano, Patrick Murray, Geri Halliwell, John Garcia Thompson, Roland Orzabal, Michael Portillo, Lita Roza, Mary I, Edward II, Jay Rodriguez.
- Spanish residents abroad. Grupo Alarcos. Francisco Ruiz. Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha.
- Explotación estadística del Padrón de Españoles Residentes en el Extranjero a 1 de enero de 2012
- "Las razones del presidente Rajoy para no exigirles visa a colombianos".
- "Födelseland Och Ursprungsland".
- There are 3,110 immigrants from Spain according to INE, 2012-01-01
- State statistics committee of Ukraine - National composition of population, 2001 census (Ukrainian)
- Argentina- 25 million (according to article: Spanish Argentine) (26/03/2012)
- Article, White Mexican, claims and cites figures that indicate that most White Mexicans make up ~17% of Mexico's population (of ~118 million) and that most White Mexicans are of Spanish descent.
- "Mexico – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 10 July 2010.
- Article, Demographics of Chile, claims that most Chileans are of Spanish or Italian descent; assuming at least half of the country's 16 million mostly White people are primarily of Spanish descent, then 8 million people should be Spanish)
- Embassy's Country Note on Brazil mentioning that 20 million Brazilians are of Spanish descent (see also: Spanish Brazilian)
- Article, Colombia, claims as of 3/05/2013 that 37% of Colombians are White and that most of them are primarily of Spanish descent.
- "Census of population and homes" (in Spanish). Government of Cuba. 16 September 2002. Retrieved 7 September 2009.
- "Inmigración española en Filipinas". Wikipedia - en Español. Retrieved 2011. "There are different estimates of this mixed descent, either by the parent side, it is calculated that some 3,500,000 to 5,000,000. In other cases it is also estimated with a proximity of 17,000,000 to 36,550,197 people of Hispanic descent. But none of these estimates are supported by genetic studies." (See also: Spanish Filipino
- Article, Spanish Peruvian article claims this as of March 26, 2012.
- Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000, Data Set: Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data
- Puerto Rico's History on race
- page 6, Puerto Rican ancestry
- Puerto Rican identity
- 2010 Census Interactive Population Search: Puerto Rico. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- 2010 Census Interactive Population Search: Puerto Rico. - assuming this applies to Puerto Rican Diaspora in United States of 4.6 million, 3-4 million should be White, and most of those should be Spanish based on history of European immigration to Puerto Rico - Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- U.S. Census Bureau, Spaniard, 2008 American Community Survey
- Bolivia- 1.3 million (according to article: Spanish Bolivian) (26/03/2012)
- Article claims that Uruguayans are mostly of Spanish and Italian descent; assuming that at least 1/3 of 3.3 million population is of Spanish descent, there should be at least 1 million Spanish people in the country (26/03/2012).
- Article, Venezuelan People, claims as of 3/05/2013 that 42.2% of Venezuelans are White and that most of them are primarily of Spanish descent.
- Population of "Official Population Figures of Spain. Population on the 1 April 2010". Instituto Nacional de Estadística de España. Retrieved 5 July 2010. 46,030,109 resident figure
- History of La Palma
- Entrada de estrangeiros no Brasil
- GeneAll.net Bartolomeu Bueno de Ribeira
- Elda Evangelina Gonzáles Martínez. O Brasil como país de destino para os migrantes espanhóis. In Boris Fausto. Fazer a América: a imigração em massa para a América Latina. p. 248-251.
- Simon Schwartzman. Fora de foco: diversidade e identidade étnicas no Brasil. Quadro 2, p. 7.
- Chilean polo
- Vascos en Chile.
- Diario vasco.
- Enterview to the president of the Basque parliament.
- Chilean Basques. Ainara Madariaga (writer). "Imaginarios vascos desde Chile la construcción de imaginarios vascos en Chile durante el siglo XX".
- Basques in Chile.
- Contacto Interlingüístico e intercultural en el mundo hispano. Instituto valenciano de lenguas y culturas. Universitat de València. Cite:"Un 20% de la población chilena tiene su origen en el País Vasco".
- Basque entrepreneurs. La población chilena con ascendencia vasca bordea entre el 15% y el 20% del total, por lo que es uno de los países con mayor presencia de emigrantes venidos de Euskadi.(Spanish)
- El 27% de los chilenos son descendientes de emigrantes vascos. From Oñati and Elorza family. Waldo Ayarza Elorza. (Spanish)
- Presencia vasca en Chile. (Spanish)
- Carla Rahn Phillips (1993). The Worlds of Christopher Columbus (reprint, illustrated ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-521-44652-5.
- Thomas Suarez (1999). Early Mapping of Southeast Asia. Tuttle Publishing. p. 109. ISBN 978-962-593-470-9.
- Bernard Grunberg, "La folle aventure d'Hernan Cortés", in L'Histoire n°322, July–August 2007
- "The second voyage of Columbus". World Book, Inc. Retrieved 11 February 2006.
- Vicente Yáñez Pinzón is considered the first appointed governor of Puerto Rico, but he never arrived on the island.
- Founding and History of Ponce
- The Hispanic Role In America
- "A Spanish Expedition Established St. Augustine in Florida". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2009-03-27.[dead link]
- Australia ancestry 2006.
- "A predominantly Indigenous Paternal Heritage for the Austronesian-Speaking Peoples of Insular Southeast Asia and Oceania". Stanford University. Retrieved 2001.
- 50 Jahre spanische Einwanderung in der BRD, http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/tagungsberichte/id=3471