Case Study: Britons Migrate to Spain

CASE STUDY: BRITONS TO SPAIN

This case study looks at the ‘Sun-seeking’ migrants from the UK to Spain. These are generally retired citizens. The tend to settle in locations such as Valencia, Andalucia and Galica

BRITONS TO SPAIN MIGRATION: PULL AND PUSH FACTORS

Pull Factors

  • It is financially cheap to migrate to Spain because of the value of the pound against the euro.
  • Mediterranean climate
  • Easy access through cheap flights, Eurostar etc.
  • The lifestyle of Spanish people particularly in the South attract many people.
  • Health care tends to be better in Spain than the UK 
  • Availability of leisure and recreational facilities in Spain e.g. Gardening
  • The Spanish landscape is prettier than the British one
  • Work or business connections may already exist there
  • The development of tourism has increased awareness of the destination attracting people there
  • Taxes are lower

Push Factors

  • The language can be difficult to grasp leaving some isolated.
  • Antipathy towards Britain and its politics
  • Higher retirement age
  • Life expectancy rates are higher in spain – people are said to be more fit and healthy there
  • Increased crime rates towards the elderly in the UK
  • Lack of space, congestion and poor environmental quality

BRITONS TO SPAIN MIGRATION: IMPACTS ON SPAIN

Costs

  • Ethnic enclaves in places like Valencia can lead to tensions between locals and migrants and sometimes even racism.  
  • If migrants try to get involved in local politics or make significant impacts on the local area this can lead to resentment from locals as many of them may be patriotic.
  • House prices increase die to excess demand from Britons. This upsets many locals and furthers tensions between them.
  • Visual, noise and air pollutions will increase
  • Land development on coastal regions can destroy coasts and biodiversity.
  • Puts strain on water systems especially in semi-arid places putting pressure on the government.
  • Flood risk is increased due to this development. This puts pressure on the government to invest in defence etc. This is particularly hard for the government as there are increasing global pressure to be environmental friendly.

Benefits

  • Through the Grey Pound, Spain’s economy gets a boost and this helps with job creation etc.
  • It also makes Spain’s resources more valuable e.g. large unproductive scrubland become valuable land to be build on.

BRITONS TO SPAIN MIGRATION: IMPACTS ON THE UK

Costs

  • The spending of the grey pound which stimulates the economy 
  • Loose out on the possible education opportunities grandparents can provide. They can also provide care allowing mothers to get back into work quickly
  • Family breakup, as Grandparents move away (loss of potential childcare)
  • Loss of highly experienced workforce especially if they retire early

Benefits

  • Balance Britain’s top heavy population structure
  • It is a way of exporting issues such as more healthcare for the retired
  • Relieves pressure of resources such as land e.g. less pressure on greenfield sites to build new homes

BRITONS TO SPAIN MIGRATION: THE FUTURE

In the past it was possible to sell of a house in the UK and buy one in Spain easily but the slumping of the pound against the Euro and the collapse of the housing market in Spain has made this difficult. This now become a push factor leading a fall in the number of sun seeking migrants.

However, this isn’t a long-term problem relatively because once the UK became financially strong again the pound will strengthen and people will continue to migrate to Spain. One of the reasons for this is technology. Technology has allowed us to created and interconnected world. For example the internet has made it easier to communicate with people and research places. Firms which exist in more than one country can help people with moving. One of the reasons why firms like this can exist is technology!

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