Migration patterns

As 1 July 2017, the number of foreign residents in the City of Madrid was 405,233. This represents just under 13 % of the overall population. The population of Madrid that was born in another country is 20.5% (657,432).

Immigration to the City of Madrid has been decreasing significantly in the past six years. Between 2011 and 2016, the number of foreigners has decreased by almost 30%. This decrease in net migration is the result of migrants returning to countries or origin or moving to other countries (mainly within the European Union) in great part due to the economic crisis. As well, a number of foreigners have become naturalised and are thus no longer counted as foreigners in municipal statistics.

Between 2000 and 2010 the most important influxes of immigration were from Latin America (Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia and Paraguay) and, increasingly, from Romania, Morocco and China. After 2012 the wave of immigration from Latin America came to a halt and started decreasing substantially. Inflows of Romanian and Moroccan immigrants also decreased. The exception has been immigration from China, with a constant increase during last 5 years.

Asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection are a small share of the foreign population. In 2017, just under 4 000 persons applied for asylum in the region of Madrid. Additionally, the number of the reception places of refugees in the Madrid region is 2.000, many of which (around 900) are found in the city of Madrid.

Migrant population

As of 2017, the main countries of origin of the foreign population in Madrid were from Romania (11.4%), China (9%), Ecuador (6%), Morocco (5.3%), Dominican Republic (4.3%), Colombia (4.8%), Paraguay (4.4%), Bolivia (3.8%), Italy (4.2%), Peru (3.9%), Venezuela (3.8%) and Philippines (3%). Among these, those from the region of Latin America and the Caribbean represent the largest share of migrants with 41%, followed by those from the European Union (16%) and Asia and Australasia (15%).

There is on average a 15 % greater prevalence of women among migrant population (ratio 115). The feminisation of migration has occurred in part due to the integration of Spanish women into the labour market and need for domestic workers to fill this gap. However, the average represents a varied picture across migrant groups according to place of origin. Female representation among migrant population is greater among persons from Latin America and the Caribbean, the ‘new’ European Union and OECD (30%, 24% and 27% respectively more female than male migrants from those regions). On the other hand, there is a higher prevalence of male than female migrants from Africa (72.9%), the EU - 15 (89%), Asia and Australasia (99.6%).


This text is retrieved from: ICMPD, MC2CM, (2016). City Migration Profile: Madrid; Mediterranean City-to-City Migration; Dialogue, Knowledge and Action.

Other Sources

Ayuntamiento de Madrid (2012). II Plan Madrid de Convivencia Social e Intercultural.



MC2CM Publications
City Migration Profile Executive Summary
City Practice Poster
Attachment Size
City Practice Poster - Madrid 5.18 MB
General Overview
Political and Administrative Context

Madrid is the capital of the Kingdom of Spain and of the Region of Madrid. It is composed of 21 districts, divided in 129 neighborhoods. It is run by the Mayor of Madrid who leads the government of the City of Madrid with support from City Councilors.

City and Migrant Population Data
Total population 3,207,846
Migrant population 405,233  (12.6%)
Year 2017
Source ICMPD
Metadata Foreign residents including economic migrants, asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection (City Migration Profile by MC2CM)
City Migration Profile Executive Summary - Madrid
Madrid Migration Poster