The foreign population residing in Catalonia totalled 1,082,099 as of 1 January 2018, accounting for 14.2% of the Catalan population. The number of foreigners increased by 40,737, a figure representing a year-over-year increase of 3.9%.
The Moroccan community was the most numerous (211,192) in Catalonia as a whole, where it accounted for a fifth of all foreigners (19.5%), and it was also the largest in 25 counties. The Romanian community occupied second place in Catalonia with 89,177 people, accounting for 8.2%, and it constituted the primary nationality in 11 counties and Aran. The most numerous nationality in El Barcelonès was made up of Italians, in La Garrotxa Indians, in El Moianès Malians, in L'Alt Urgell Portuguese and in La Cerdanya Bolivians.
With regard to the evolution of the foreign population in 2018, there were 16 counties with rises higher than the average for Catalonia (3.9%), including El Berguedà (9.8%), Osona (8.0%), El Moianès (7.5%) and La Cerdanya (7.3%). In contrast, the largest falls in the foreign population were recorded in L'Alta Ribagorça (−4.2%) and El Pallars Jussà (−2.6%).
With regard to nationalities by their continent of origin, all the populations increased; the largest rise corresponded to the population from the American continent, which went up by 19,085. This increase was chiefly due to the contribution of the population from South America (11,152 people). By country of nationality, we should highlight the increases in the populations from Honduras (5,821), Morocco (4,110), Italy (4,062), Venezuela (3,951) and Colombia (3,448).
The counties with the highest percentages of foreign populations were La Segarra (26.0%), L'Alt Empordà (23.9%), El Gironès (19.5%) and El Baix Empordà (19.2%). In addition, the largest foreign population group was recorded in El Barcelonès, with 402,279 people, a figure accounting for 37.2% of the foreign population residing in Catalonia. The city of Barcelona recorded a total of 293,787 foreigners.