l Unemployed Spaniards emigrating to escape the recession have rocketed in number in the past four years, say census figures.
A rise of 21.9 per cent of Spanish people who move abroad to seek work has been seen since 2008, although most do not register their presence in their new countries as their main aim is to gain work experience and study the language, says the census of absent Spanish residents (CERA) and the general council for Spanish citizens abroad (CGCEE).

The latter's head, Francisco Ruiz, says the typical profile of a Spanish-born migrant is a young professional, normally in their 20s or 30s, highly qualified but unable to find work at home.

Most tend to head for Switzerland and Germany, which have seen an increase in the number of Spaniards among their populations of 6.8 and 5.9 per cent respectively in the past four years.

Switzerland currently has an official Spanish headcount of 75'354, whilst statistics show 88'248 Spaniards living and working in Germany.
The UK has seen the greatest rise in the number of Spanish nationals settling there, with a rise of 16.4 per cent – from 46'646 up to 54'321 as at December 2011.

All this is in spite of the prospect of language difficulties, says Ruiz, who reveals that he often receives requests for information about job-seeking, State healthcare and housing from would-be migrants who only speak Spanish.

Ruiz says his advice to those who contact his organisation is to think long and hard before jumping ship and to spend time learning the language first, since “even in Switzerland, there is unemployment.” “They should not expect that the minute they cross the border they will become millionaires,” Ruiz stresses.
Latin American countries such as Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia and Brazil have seen increases of up to 50 per cent in the number of Spanish nationals setting up home and seeking work, particularly engineers and architects.

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