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Exit: Spain sees new surge in emigration

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Exit: Spain sees new surge in emigration
Photo of airport: Shutterstock
10:06 CET+01:00
The number of Spaniards leaving the country climbed 15.5 percent in the first half of 2014 compared to the second half of 2013 to hit the highest level since the beginning of 2011.

A total of 42,685 Spaniards left the country in the first six months of , of whom 27,026 were Spanish born, the preliminary figures from Spain's national statistics agency show.

The UK was the number one destination (3,577) followed by Germany (3,021) and France (2,987).

The new figures also show a total of 206,492 people left Spain, compared to 262,612 during the second half of 2013, a drop of 21 percent.

Among the people who emigrated from Spain during the first half of 2014, 42,685 were Spanish citizens while 163,808 were foreigners.

Those foreigners included 25,890 Romanians and 19,151 Moroccans while the number of British people leaving Spain was 6,453 down from 8,884 in the second half of 2013.

While the number of people leaving in the first half of 2014 was down, immigration rose by 2 percent between January and June, with 156,066 people moving to Spain from other countries. Of this group, 17,951 had Spanish nationality.

The figure suggest the exodus of foreigners Spain has witnessed throughout its economic crisis appears to be slowing, perhaps due to Spain’s economic recovery.

The country's jobless queues shrank by 296,792 people from November 2013 to November 2014, the biggest November-to-November fall since 1998.

The registered unemployed list is a different measure from the benchmark quarterly unemployment rate published by the national statistics institute.

The institute recorded 5.43 million unemployed in Spain at the end of September, yielding an unemployment rate of 23.67 percent.

That was lower than the previous quarter but still one of the highest rates in the developed world, second only to Greece in the eurozone.

The high figure reflected the lingering impact of the busting of a construction bubble in 2008, which sparked five years of stop-start recession in the eurozone's fourth-largest economy.

Spain emerged timidly from recession in mid-2013 and in the second quarter of this year posted its strongest quarterly growth since 2007, expanding by 0.6 percent.

Spain's economy grew by 0.5 percent in the third quarter compared with the previous three months, its fifth consecutive quarterly growth, according to final figures from the statistics office released on Thursday.

The economy grew by 1.6 percent over the past 12 months, up from the 1.3 percent year-on-year increase registered in the second quarter.

The government predicts the economy will expand by 1.3 percent in 2014 and by 2.0 percent in 2015.

It sees Spain's unemployment rate easing to 24.2 percent by the end of this year and drop to 22.2 percent at the end of 2015.

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