The number of foreigners living in Portugal increased by 13.8% in 2018 to a total of 480,300, just under 5% of the total population, the highest number since the foreigner and border service was set up in 1976, it said in a report issued on Friday.

The agency’s 2018 report said this was the third year in a row that the number of foreigners in the country had increased, particularly Italians, who increased by 45.9% compared to 2017, and now number 18,862.

Brazilians, however, continue to be the largest foreign community with 105,423 nationals, representing more than a fifth of all foreigners in Portugal.

The report also said that French nationals are also increasing in number and there are now 19,771, which is a 29.1% rise compared to the previous year.

Ukrainians are the only ones whose numbers are falling, with a 10% reduction last year to a total of 29.000.

According to the foreigners and border service more than two-thirds of the foreign population (68.9%) lived in and around Lisbon, Faro (77,489) and Setubal (40,209).