The population of foreign residents registered with their town hall is forecast to reach 80'000 next year according to the Balearic Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Commerce, Pere Sampol who yesterday presented the findings of a demographic study of the foreign population in the Balearics between 1962 and 1998. The foreign population will eventually account for seven percent of the Balearics population, making the islands the region with the largest relative community of foreigners from other countries. According to the study, in 1998 there were 38'260 registered foreign residents, six percent of the Balearic population with 4.8 percent being residents from foreign countries. Of the total foreign residents in 1998, 76 percent were European, 29'068 in total, 11 percent were African, 3.650, nine percent were American and four percent were Asian. The four largest foreign communities were the German, 10.417, the British, 7.873, the French, 3.161 and the Moroccan, 2.264. 80 percent of the foreign population were aged between 15 and 64, but the number of over-65*s was notably higher in the European and American communities than in the African. The majority of the foreign population live in six municipalities. 52 percent of the population live in Palma, 21 percent, Calvia, 12 percent, Santa Eulalia, six percent, Andratx four percent and Lluchmajor and Sant Josep with three percent each. The main reason for the difference in age groups being that Europeans were after a better quality of life while African immigrants were interested in the chance of making a better living. What the report and the projected figures indicate is that by next year, the foreign population will have doubled in the space of four years and that during the period 1991 to 1997, the immigrant population expanded by 126 percent, while the Balearic population grew at a rate of 12 percent.


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