Inhabitants and Population of Malaga

According to the data in 2021, Malaga is the sixth city with more inhabitants in Spain and the second city with more inhabitants in Andalusia, but, has it always been like this? Let’s analyze the demographic evolution of both Malaga as a capital and Malaga province.

How many inhabitants does Malaga capital have?

According to the last official census of 2020, the population of Malaga capital was 578,460 inhabitants, the highest figure in the history of the city.

Malaga is a city that has been gradually increasing its population but the “boom” came in the early 1980s, when in just 10 years, the population went from 375,000 inhabitants to 500,000 in just one decade.

This increase in population in Malaga was largely due to the development of the Tourism Sector through Sun and Beach Tourism. It is true that this increase has not been reflected in the capital, as in the last 40 years Malaga has gone from 500,000 to 580,000 inhabitants.

The increase has been reflected especially in the metropolitan area of Malaga, as part of the population of Malaga has moved to other municipalities due in part to the price of housing.

Inhabitants of the province of Malaga

The population figures for Malaga province are quite shocking as normally the capital usually absorbs a large percentage of the population of the province, but in this case there are 1.66 million inhabitants in the province compared to the 580,000 inhabitants of Malaga capital.

Why is the population of the province of Malaga so spread out? There is no single answer, as there are several factors that explain it.

  • The province of Malaga has 175 kilometres of coastline, known as the “Costa Del Sol”, of which only 40 kilometres belong to the capital. The remaining 135 kilometres are quite exploited both residentially and touristically, which means that especially the retired population, both national and international, resides along the province.
  • As we have seen with the data on the growth of Malaga Capital, the city has grown a lot in recent years, which has meant that the capital has become too small and has had to grow in the surrounding municipalities.
  • The price of housing is usually cheaper outside the capital, so both residents and people who spend time in Malaga decide to establish their homes in places close to Malaga such as Torremolinos, Benalmadena or Velez Malaga.
  • Good road communications help many people prefer to live away from the city centre and opt for quieter places near Malaga. Places we mentioned before like Torremolinos, Benalmadena or Velez Malaga are less than 15 minutes drive from Malaga. In this way, many people who work in the capital live in these places and commute daily to Malaga as communications are very good.
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