Costa del Sol in bloom: Malaga towns dominate ranking of Spain’s fastest growing population centres – but which one comes out on top?

ESTEPONA was the second fastest growing town in Spain in 2023, according to the latest figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) – and the fastest in Andalucia.

The town’s population surged 4.6% in the year up until January 2023, from 73,698 in January 2022 to 77,068.

And the number of foreigners registered as living in the town jumped up by 15% from 18,250 to 20,987 – although the true figure could be much higher.

In line with its population growth, Estepona has also seen a surge in infrastructure development, marking itself out as a booming city on the Costa del Sol. 

Estepona’s recent infrastructural expansions include the Recinto Ferial, the Theatre, the Athletics Stadium, the Municipal Parking Network, the Paseo Marítimo, the new Town Hall, urban pedestrianisation, and the Mirador El Carmen. 

Estepona is the second fastest growing town in Spain, after Torrevieja in the Costa Blanca

Additionally, Estepona is a leading example in the province of Malaga for the Senda Litoral initiative, with over 90% of its 21 km coastline already developed.

This population increase has had a positive impact on Estepona’s employment figures. 

In the December gone, Estepona recorded the lowest unemployment rate in the last 15 years, reaching levels not seen since 2006, according to the Andalucian Employment Service. 

This positions Estepona as one of the municipalities with the lowest unemployment rates in Andalucía.

Marbella came in fourth in population growth over the same time period, surging 3.9% from 150,321 residents to 156,153.

The most recent data from the Marbella town hall, as of January 1, 2024, indicates the population is even higher, at 165,871.

According to the stats, 153 nationalities registered in the municipality – 112,013 Spanish citizens, followed by Brits (5,486), Morocco (5,177), Ukraine (4,516), Colombia (3,712), and Russia (3,319).

Benalmádena occupies the fifth spot among Spain’s fastest-growing towns, with a 3.8% rise, growing from 73,549 to 76,318. 

The fastest growing town in Spain? Torrevieja, on the Costa Blanca. It grew by 6.8% to 91,731 residents by the beginning of 2023.


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