Case Study: Britons Migrate 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


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



  • 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.


  • 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.



  • 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


  • 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


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!

Costs and Benefits of Sustainable Measures

Climate Change

Costs and benefits of sustainable measures




Energy efficiency 

At the beginning it is expensive and may not as functional as we would like them to be e.g. energy efficient lighting can be dimer than normal lighting. 

Small changes like this is universal and does not take much to implement yet it can have huge advantages in terms of reducing emissions.

Transport reformation e.g. congestion charge

Can be time-consuming and unpopular. Some methods can be expensive for example the congestion charge might have worked but this meant the government had to improve public transport.

The congestion charge cut 25% of traffic so they can be highly effective.

Carbon trading

It is a long and complex method and many countries simply don’t have accurate information or are just not part of this scheme. It has forced some businesses to relocate

Making carbon a commodity and expensive meant that countries did decrease even if a little but of emission while working as a team.


Costly and plants take space and in our overpopulated world is there really space?

Plants have been around for a long time so we know their long term effects and using nature is a popular method.

Renewable energy 

Costly, inefficient and can be visually and noisy polluting. People also have a NIMBY attitude making it harder to implement. 

It is a sustainable methods and it is a god alternative to fossil fuels and we can be sure never to have problems with it (except for ones like nuclear)

Solar Panels

Visually polluting and not all place receive enough sun. Expensive.

Easy way to cut emissions.

Conserve i.e. regulate burning/chopping trees and plants

People can still illegally do it and then we will have problems with trying to measure it.

Doesn’t require any money or anything we just need to put forward a few acts saying this can not be destroyed.

Domestic efficiency e.g. home insulation 

People are reluctant and some people with old homes may feel that the costs to insulate are just too much

It is again a relatively simple method unlike carbon trading yet can save both financially for people and emission. The money saved on bills is a great incentive for people.

Coastal defence

Can be expensive e.g. sea walls are very expensive

By acting in advance we can minimize the impacts felt from climate change

Diversify agriculture

It is not easy to know what to grow in different climate and we are still unsure about the time scales we are talking about.

It allows farmers to still have a career and nations to have a substantial food supply.

GM crops

They are unnatural we still don’t know the long term affects of this on humans.

A great way to food supply in the climatic problems we are faced with e.g. we need food supply even in droughts

House Design

Expensive and is it really practical to re design every single house?

This way it does not lie in the citizens hand whether their house is energy efficient or not.

Better forecasting system

Expensive and we already have many!

Good way to protect ourselves!

The Theory of Supply

What is the theory of supply?
At higher prices, a larger quantity will generally be supplied than at lower prices, ceteris paribus (all other thing being constant). So at a lower price a smaller quantity is produced.

This simply describes the upward sloping supply curve. The curve denotes that there is a ‘positive’ or ‘direct’ relationship between price and quantity. As one factor increases so does the other.

But why does this happen?

Suppliers have the incentive of profits, if a crop is doing well they will try and shift supply up so that they can make more profits.
The law of increasing opportunity costs means that as you increases supply of one good you must sacrifice greater and greater amounts of other resources. Therefore, as output increases , costs of producing goods increases thus the supplier must charge higher prices.

The supply curve

A supply schedule is simply a table of data showing the quantity that suppliers plan to supply at each level e.g.

A supply curve is a line which shows the quantity that suppliers plan to supply at each level e.g.:

Notice that as price increases the level of supply increases. (Positive correlation)


The supply can shift left of right if there is a change in the quantity that supplier would supply at every price.

For example in this diagram we can see that the supply shifts to the right which is an increase in supply.
At price of P1, we can see supply increase (Sorry not that clear on this particular diagram) Notice a shift in the opposite direction from S1 to S0 would be a decrease in supply.

What causes these shifts to occur?

A shift in supply is caused by non-price determinants. There are 5 main ones you need to know:

1. Changes in costs of production: The lower the costs the greater the profit for producers. Examples of this are; input prices (raw material, rent etc.) , changes in technology (e.g. internet) , organisational changes , subsidies and taxes.

2. Profitability of alternatives; if another good becomes more profitable then a firm will switch t produce more of that e.g. the transition between cd players to MP3 players.

3. Profitability of goods in joint supply; If the supply of one good e.g. cattle increases then so will the joint good e.g.leather

4. Random shocks e.g. strikes, weather, wars, earthquakes etc.

5. Expectations of future price changes; for example if a firm expects price to rise they will either produce more or hold onto stock.


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