Migrants wait aboard a Spanish coast guard boat upon their arrival at Malaga's harbor on Dec. 10, 2018, after an inflatable boat carrying 118 migrants was rescued by the Spanish coast guard off the Spanish coast.
Migrants wait aboard a Spanish coast guard boat upon their arrival at Malaga's harbor on Dec. 10, 2018, after an inflatable boat carrying 118 migrants was rescued by the Spanish coast guard off the Spanish coast.

A record number of migrants from Africa arrived in Spain via the Mediterranean Sea in 2018. 

According to the International Organization for Migration (OIM), Spain took in 57,250 people from the start of the year until Dec. 26, or an average of 160 per day. 

The number of deaths at sea also reached a record high during the same period, 769, more than three times the figure for 2017.

Migrants gather on the deck of the Spanish NGO Pro
Migrants gather on the deck of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms rescue vessel after being rescued in the central Mediterranean sea Dec. 21, 2018, before disembarking in the port of Crinavis in Spain, Dec. 28, 2018.

The increase in arrivals of migrants in Spain comes with port closures by Malta and Italy, coupled with an agreement between the European Union and Turkey to intercept migrant boats.

Amparo González of the state-funded scientific research agency CSIC told Spain's El Pais that many of the 57,000-plus migrants will not settle in Spain.  

"Between a third and half of them either go elsewhere, or get deported to their home countries," she said.