Over the past three years the foreign resident population in the Balearics has grown by 100 percent. In 1998 there were a total 38'260 foreigners either resident or registered with their town hall living in the Balearics, but since then, the foreign population has soared to 78'504. This latest set of figures is the result of a census carried out by the Balearic Statistics Institute during the final three months of last year and the Balearic government director general for the economy, Antoni Monserrat, maintains that the primary reason for such rapid growth has been the runaway local economy. Monserrat explained that the past few years of economic growth opened a huge gap in the labour market, which the Balearic and Spanish populations have been unable to fill, and “imported” labour has been needed to meet the demands of employers. The biggest increase in the number of registered foreign residents has been in Majorca. In 1998, there were 27'932 foreign residents, but since then the population has grown to 61'472 with a third living in Palma. The capital's foreign population has grown dramatically over the past three years. Calvia's foreign population of 7'828, has increased by 59 per cent during the same period. “There are a total of 834'255 people living in the Balearics who are registered with their town hall. Of the total population, 78'504, or 9.4 per cent are foreigners. Manacor's foreign population has grown dramatically and so has Lluchmajor's. The foreign population has grown in Minorca by just under 90 per cent to a total 4'501 residents at the close of last year and in Ibiza there are 12'531 registered foreign residents 58 per cent more than in 1998. The Balearic Statistics Institute collated the figures with the co-operation of the local councils, and council lists include registered foreign residents both with and without resident permits. In accordance with the latest census, there are a total of 834'255 people living in the Balearics who are registered with their town halls. Of the total population, 78'504, 9.4 per cent are foreigners. Broken down into municipalities, Deya has the largest registered foreign population, accounting for 33.3 per cent and 26.6 per cent of the Andratx population is foreign. According to Antoni Monserrat, over the past three years, 60'000 new jobs have been created, only a third have been occupied by residents, the remaining 40'000 vacancies have been filled by workers from overseas. But there are concerns within the Balearic government, that the deceleration of the local economy, and in particular a drop in productivity in the construction industry, this year is going to have a negative affect on the labour market and fuel redundancies.


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