Hospitalet de Llobregat City Council

Barcelona, Spain,

L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, located in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona has grown in three waves of migration. It currently has 262,798 inhabitants -it is Catalonia’s second biggest city-, and 28% of its population was bornabroad. In some of the city’s neighbourhoods non-EU population exceeds 40% and, according to Eurostat, it hasthe European Union’s highest urban density (53,119 inhabitants per km2). In the 60’s the city received a first migratory wave from rural Spanish areas that doubled the population in one decade (123.282 inhabitants in 1960, to 240.665 inhabitants in 1970). In the last 20 years, the new migration wave concerned migrants coming from non-EU-Countries. In 2016, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat hosted 28,89% foreign-born inhabitants and in some neighbourhoods such as La Florida and Gornal the non-EU population exceeds 40%. Today, L’Hospitalet has atotal of 262,798 inhabitants, and it is the city with the highest level of population density at the European Level. According to Eurostat 53,119 people lived in a single square kilometre in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat in 2011.Furthermore, some districts like La Florida reached a density of 74,154 inhabitants/km2, which is very high. Given this multicultured population and high density, L’Hospitalet currently faces major challenges related to urbansegregation and social exclusion, which need to be addressed. In particular, Youth in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat isespecially targeted by a lower education and faces difficulties to join the labour market. Indeed, Catalonia has a high rate of youth unemployment (in the 20-24 years old gap) reaching 27,6% in 2016. Public schools show highrates of school dropout, and L’Hospitalet has a high rate of inhabitants with a low level of education. In one of the city’s most vulnerable and overcrowded neighborhood, La Florida, 60% of the population has a basic or a low educational level.

Local governments are a key element in migration management, since municipalities are the recipients of new populations. It is at the local level where the main impacts derived from the arrival of new residents occur. The City Council of L’Hospitalet, as the nearest citizen representative, is in a situation of locally managing a global phenomenon. Our challenge is to manage daily the reception of the new citizenship and guarantee the coexistence of all those who form part of our community of citizens.


Néstor Cabañas López