Spaniards in the United Kingdom

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Spaniards in the United Kingdom
Españoles en el Reino Unido
Total population
Total population of Spanish ancestry
79,184 Spanish-born (2011 Census; England and Wales only)
Officially registered
57,350 (2009), 73,659 (2012)
150,000 estimated.[1]
Regions with significant populations
West London (Kensington, Chelsea, Lambeth, Holborn), Bristol, Nottingham, Cambridge
Predominantly Roman Catholic
Related ethnic groups
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Regional groups

Other groups

Other languages

Spaniards in the United Kingdom are citizens of ethnic-Spanish descent. They may be British citizens or non-citizen immigrants.


Spaniards have migrated to Britain since the Middle Ages. Spanish and English nobility and royalty intermarried on numerous occasions, a notable example is found in King Edward I and Eleanor of Castile, parents of King Edward II. In 1501, Catherine of Aragon came to London aged 15. After the early death of her first husband, she became Henry VIII’s first wife. Their daughter, Mary Tudor attempted to re-introduce Catholicism as the state religion during her own reign and married Philip II of Spain. Both women at that time brought the influence of Spanish culture to the royal court.[2]


The 2001 UK Census recorded 54,482 Spanish-born people.[3] 54,105 of these were resident in Great Britain (that is, the UK excluding Northern Ireland).[4] The equivalent figure in the 1991 Census was 38,606.[4] The census tracts with the highest numbers of Spanish-born residents in 2001 were Kensington, Regent's Park and Chelsea, all in west London.[4] The regional spread within Great Britain is given in the table. The 2011 UK Census recorded 79,184 Spanish-born residents in England and Wales.[5]

Region Spanish-born population (2001)
East Midlands 1,824
East of England 4,439
London 22,479
North East 738
North West 3,465
Scotland 2,555
South East 9,786
South West 3,352
Wales 1,155
West Midlands 2,184
Yorkshire and Humberside 2,128

As of 2011, Spanish migration to the UK has gone up 85%.[6]


According to analysis by the Institute for Public Policy Research, 71.22 per cent of recent Spanish immigrants to the UK of working age are employed as opposed to unemployed or inactive (which includes students), compared to 73.49 per cent of British-born people. 15.05 per cent of recent Spanish-born immigrants are low earners, defined as having an income of less than £149.20 per week (compared to 21.08 per cent of British-born people), and 2.15 per cent are high earners, earning more than £750 per week (compared to 6.98 per cent of British-born people). Amongst settled Spanish-born immigrants, 71.48 per cent are employed, with 23.44 per cent being low earners and 7.81 per cent high earners.[7]


There is a Spanish school in London, Instituto Español Vicente Cañada Blanch.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]