Immigration to Spain increased significantly in the beginning of the 21st century. In 1998, immigrants accounted for 1.6% of the population, and by 2009, that number had jumped to above 12% — one of the highest in Europe at the time. Until 2014, the numbers were decreasing due to the economical crisis, but since then, immigration to Spain has increased again since 2015 and immigrants now account for 12.8% of the Spanish population, according to the United Nations. As of 2018, there were over 5,947,106 foreign-born people in Spain, 12.8% of the total population. This makes Spain one of the world's preferred destinations to immigrate to, being the 4th country in Europe by immigration numbers. Spain attracts significant immigration from Latin America and Eastern Europe. The fastest-growing immigrant groups in 2017 were Venezuelans, Colombians, Italians, Ukrainians, and Argentinians.