Population of Marbella

Before we get to the answer to the question of how big is the population of Marbella, is it worth asking back if it is off-season or in the summer, high season? In this article, we answer these questions and give a little insight into what nationalities live in the most popular city in southern Spain.

I have been living in Marbella for 12 years, in this beautiful Andalusian and also international small town, where tradition and innovation meet and create a wonderful mixture. It is being built, beautified and expanded before my eyes: more and more people are living here as a way of life. According to official statistics, the population of Marbella has increased by nearly 10% in the last 10 years, which means 147,958 registered residents in 2021. In contrast, the total Spanish population grew by only 1.6% over the same period. From the statistical data, we know that the population of Marbella did not even reach 20,000 people 50 years ago, and thanks to tourism developments, it has increased sevenfold since then. 

An additional 100,000 unregistered residents are estimated to live in Marbella, who are not officially registered. Most of the unregistered residents only stay in Marbella during the autumn and winter months. 


Brexit has also had an impact on the population of Marbella. The fourth quarter of 2020 saw an increase in settlement applications as many unregistered residents from the UK decided to officially settle in Marbella in 2021. In addition, the settlements of the Golden Mile and the New Golden Mile (the stretch of coast from Marbella to Estepona): Estepona, Benahavís are also developing and growing at an amazing rate, and the properties located there will become more and more sought-after and more valuable. The statistical data clearly show the explosive growth.

The weather in Marbella and its surroundings is excellent all year round, according to a survey by the Junta de Andalúcia, the great weather is the biggest tourist attraction in the whole of Andalucia. In addition, the city and its surroundings are popular tourist destinations thanks to the beautiful beaches, world-class golf courses and numerous leisure activities. In the summer months, the number of residents jumps significantly, exceeding half a million, and even reaching 700,000 people according to some sources.

You can read more about celebrities living in Marbella here


Marbella is also an excellent location for property investment. In recent decades, the city has become one of the symbols of the luxurious lifestyle, with top-quality hotels, restaurants, private clinics, excellent educational institutions, sports facilities and shopping centers, making it attractive to real estate investors and settlers. A wide range of properties can be found in the settlement and its catchment area, from luxury villas to affordable apartments, to suit a variety of tastes and budgets. The increase in real estate prices reflects the stability of the real estate market.

Recent feedback from the local real estate industry, published in the British newspaper Financial Times, shows a remarkable change in the age, nationality and employment status of those intending to move or buy a second home in this part of southern Spain. In the past, his caricature of buying property in Marbella was an older, retired British man who liked to play golf under sunny skies.

Now the figures show that the proportion of British buyers has steadily declined and been replaced by people of other nationalities. Most of the sector is currently made up of buyers from Scandinavian and French-speaking countries, including France, Belgium, Poland and Hungary.

Not only the nationality demographics have changed, but also the age group and working conditions of the customers are completely different. It is no longer the norm to buy property in Marbella to use as a second home for holidays, winter breaks and golfing in retirement. People moving to the Costa del Sol these days work more often, often remotely, and care more about how good the wifi connection is than how close they are to a golf course.

The average age of buyers has dropped to around 42 years old as a result, and we are now much more likely to show properties to a young Swedish programmer than an older English gentleman.

However, Marbella is more than a popular holiday destination. It is a city rich in history and culture, with a well-preserved old town dating from the 16th century. The city’s museums and galleries display the works of famous artists such as Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso, who lived and worked in the region at one time or another.


More than 140 nationalities live peacefully side by side. Muslims and Jews, blacks and whites, Russians and Ukrainians can coexist peacefully, while this is unthinkable nowadays, especially at a distance of a few thousand kilometers. The American edition of Forbes recently listed the province of Málaga as one of the 20 most livable places in the world, the best climate in continental Europe, the healthy Mediterranean lifestyle, the quality of life, the environmental situation, the infrastructure, the cosmopolitan atmosphere, the low crime rate, the easy connection to the world with the rest etc. because of The number of Hungarians in Marbella is increasing, officially only a few hundred, but many do not register in the population register (enpadronamiento).

In conclusion, Marbella is a special gem of Spain that offers much more than you might think. Its vibrant and diverse community, which attracts tourists and investors from far and wide, does not at all reflect the feeling of small-town life. Whether you are looking for a holiday home, an investment opportunity or a home, Marbella has something for everyone.