We have newer version of this article with updated statistics here.
When moving to Valencia, one of the things you will probably want to know is if Valencia is multicultural, and what the chances of meeting other expats around are. Especially when you are new in town, it´s really helpful to meet people who have been in the same situation as you and who will support you and make you feel welcome.
Valencia is quite an authentic Spanish city – although it´s the third biggest city in Spain (after Madrid and Barcelona), its inhabitants are mostly Spaniards – they keep their traditions very alive and are very proud to be Valencians! It´s probably not the most multicultural city in Spain but it has around 94 000 foreigners registered with the Town Hall, which is 16.3% of the population of the whole city.
Let´s have a closer look at the mixture of cultures you can expect in Valencia.
South America is the most represented continent, mostly by Bolivians, Ecuadoreans, Colombians and Argentines. So Valencia is definitely the right place to be in Spain if you’d like to experience some authentic Latin parties or finally start learning salsa or tango!
The largest communities from Asia are Pakistani, Chinese and Indian. Pakistanis run most of the kebab shops in Valencia, and they tend to choose their homes throughout the city close to other members of the same community. Chinese people are known for their stores, where they sell everything at a good price (there is a Chinese bazar on almost every block in Valencia), they have also taken over quite a lot of local bars (bocaterías) where they combine Chinese and Spanish cuisine at a very competitive price.
The most represented African countries are the ones that are closer to Spanish border – Morocco, Nigeria and Algeria. Proportionally, there are few expats from North America living in Valencia – only around 500 US citizens, and 500 Mexicans are registered with the Town Hall here.
The three most represented nationalities from the European Union in Valencia city are Romanians (12.5 thousand), followed by Italians (6 thousand), Bulgarians (3.5 thousand) and French (2.2 thousand). Around 1.5 thousand British expats have chosen Valencia as their home. Europeans are spread all around Valencia, but the neighbourhoods that are most currently in demand among expats are the city centre, Russafa and the area around Gran Vía.
The neighbourhoods with the highest expat density are the city centre Cuitat Vella where around 3.57 thousand inhabitants of different nationalities are registered, Camins al Grau (2.85 thousand), Rascanya (1.66 thousand) and L’Olivereta (1.75 thousand). Each neighbourhood offers you a different mixture of cultures, traditions, food, and stores. Have no doubt about it – it’s worth discovering them for yourself to get a more en-richening multicultural experience, and to choose the most appropriate neighbourhood for yourself!