Immigration in Spain

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2015-9-80-92

G. Ponedelko, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (

Abstract. The article considers the problems of Spanish immigration within the period of 1981–2015, namely, its dynamics, latest tendencies and socio-economic characteristics (including changes in nationality, gender, age and educational structures of immigrants). Primarily, the stress is made on an in-depth analysis of the following main features of immigrants’ population in Spain: the levels of their incomes, the unemployment rate, the living standards. The author makes a conclusion that Spanish immigrants constitute not only a majority of poor population in the country but they are also ones of the poorest in Europe. It is particularly evident against the background of their impact upon the economic activity and employment’s rate of the country’s population and economic growth. At the considered period all the mentioned indicators were noticeably higher for immigrants than for local labor force, not saying of the positive immigrants’ influence on the growth and rejuvenation of Spanish people. Secondly, a considerable part in the article is devoted to the analysis of the immigration policy of Spanish government during the considered period of time. The author singles out the specific stages of this policy and shows that its contents and approaches modified in strict dependence of political factors. The Spanish Socialist Working Party was the beginner of the immigration policy in 1985 which always had the most liberal character particularly when it was concerned to the immigrant social and labor integration based on human rights equality. On the contrary, immigration policy of the now ruling conservative Partido Popular has more pragmatic, selective and rigid approach to foreign labor force legislation.

Keywords: legal immigration, illegal immigration, labor immigration, new emigration, circular immigration, migration policy, labor and social integration, immigration regulation

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For citation:
Ponedelko G. Immigration in Spain . World Eonomy and International Relations, 2015, no. 9, pp. 80-92.

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