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Fastest growing populations of Spanish cities: Estepona at second place

Home » Fastest growing populations of Spanish cities: Estepona at second place

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca experienced strong population growth in 2023, according to the INE (National Institute of Statistics). This was mainly due to a strong growth in the number of foreigners buying homes in the region. In this blog, we discuss the five Hispanic cities with the fastest growing populations by 2023.

Fastest growing cities on the Costa del Sol

Fastest growing populations Spain: Estepona
Estepona experienced a large increase in population, mainly due to foreigners

1) Torrevieja

Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca had the largest population growth in all of Spain in 2023. Its population increased by 6.8% to 91,731.

2) Estepona

Estepona, the flower city on the Costa del Sol, experienced the largest population increase in all of Andalusia. In 2023, there was a 4.6% increase to 77,068. The number of registered foreigners in the city rose 15%, from 18,250 to 20,987 – although the actual figure could be much higher.

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

Estepona’s recent infrastructural expansions include the Recinto Ferial, the theater, the athletics stadium, the municipal parking network, the Paseo Marítimo, the new City Hall, urban pedestrian zone and the Mirador El Carmen, which is also necessary to sustain one of Spain’s fastest growing populations.

This population growth has had a positive impact on Estepona’s employment figures. In the December month, Estepona recorded the lowest unemployment rate in the past 15 years, according to the Andalusian Labor Department, reaching levels not seen since 2006.

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

3) Benidorm

Benidorm, on the Costa Blanca, also experienced strong population growth of 4.3% by 2023. The strong increases on the Costa Blanca came as a result of relatively good weather combined with lower property prices.

4) Marbella

Marbella came fourth in terms of population growth during the same period, rising 3.9% from 150,321 inhabitants to 156,153. The most recent data from Marbella City Hall, as of Jan. 1, 2024, indicates an even higher population of 165,871.

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

5) Benalmádena

Benalmádena occupies fifth place among Spain’s fastest-growing cities, up 3.8%, from 73,549 to 76,318.


The Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol in particular thus experienced the fastest growing populations in 2023. This is mainly because the regions remain so well known to foreigners for second stays. The Costa Blanca because of its relatively low price combined with a good climate and the Costa del Sol because of its good quality of life and top climate all year round.

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