In recent years, Madeira has been witnessing a significant shift in its demographic landscape. The number of foreigners making the archipelago their home has reached record highs, reminiscent of figures last seen in 2008. As of December 2022, 11,793 out of Madeira’s 253,259 inhabitants were foreign residents, contributing to 4.7% of the total population. These statistics, released by the Regional Directorate of Statistics of Madeira (DREM), open up a window into understanding the diverse cultural mosaic that Madeira is gradually shaping into.

A Surge in Residency

Among these foreign residents, most are proud bearers of residence permits, with only a singular individual holding a long-term visa. This paints a vivid picture of how welcoming and integrating Madeira is, as a majority have chosen to establish a longer, more permanent connection with the archipelago.

Nationalities Making Waves

Interestingly, while a broad spectrum of nationalities finds representation among Madeira’s foreign inhabitants, there are distinct majorities. Citizens of Venezuelan origin form the leading group, accounting for 19.7% of the foreign populace. This is closely followed by folks from the UK, Germany, Brazil, and Italy.

It’s especially noteworthy to underline the surge in the German community within Madeira. While in 2021, the German population was pegged at 888, the following year saw an impressive jump to 1,106. This 24.5% increment makes the Germans pivotal contributors to the overall rise in Madeira’s foreign community between 2021 and 2022. As DREM points out, they were responsible for injecting 2.1 percentage points to the 13.3% total upswing.

The British, São Tomé and Príncipe nationals, and Americans were also notable contributors, pushing the demographics with increases of 1.7, 1.3, and 1.2 percentage points respectively.

Venezuelans in Madeira: A Slight Dip

While Venezuelans remain a significant community within Madeira, there was a minor dip of 1.3% in their numbers from 2021 to 2022. The reasons behind this slight decrease remain speculative but could be a blend of socio-economic and personal reasons.


Madeira’s burgeoning foreign community is a testament to its allure as a place of residence. The island offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, making it a top choice for many seeking a new home.

Moreover, this growing multicultural environment can only be a boon for Madeira. The intermixing of cultures, traditions, and ideas will undoubtedly enrich the local fabric, leading to a more diverse, inclusive, and vibrant community.

Whether you’re a German seeking sunny skies, a Brit desiring a change of pace, or a Venezuelan looking for new opportunities, Madeira’s arms are wide open. The island not only promises a beautiful place to reside but also an ever-evolving, dynamic community to be a part of. And as the numbers suggest, many are heeding that call.