by Staff Reporter
THE population of the Balearics rose by more than four percent last year, with 916'968 people enjoying resident status in the Balearics, 38'341 more than in 2001. This was revealed in the “Economic and Social Report of 2002” produced by the Sa Nostra Centre for Economic Research and the Balearic Islands.
In a preview of the study that will be presented next week, Sa Nostra highlighted the fact that the population increase of 2002 was the greatest in the last five years in absolute terms and brings to an end a decade (1993-2002) in which the number of residents in the archipelago has grown by 170'000. Last year's growth in the number of people resident on the island was greater by 0.5 percent than the increase registered in 2001. It has put the Balearic islands at the head of the regions of Spain in terms of highest population growth, as the figure is above the national average (1.8 percent) and above the European Union average of 0.4 percent. In absolute terms, the population grew last year on Majorca by 28'656 people, on Ibiza by 5'599, on Minorca by 3'500 and on Formentera by 586, the report said. Nevertheless, in relation to the number of people who have acquired resident status on each island at the end of the year 2001, the greatest growth was registered in Formentera (8.5 percent), followed by Ibiza (5.9 percent), Minorca (4.6 percent) and Majorca claiming only 4.1 percent. The municipalities with the greatest vegetative growth rates (the relation between the number of births and of deaths) were, in general, the coastal areas, while municipalities in the interior tended to show lower vegetative growth. Amongst the localities with higher birth rates than death rates, the “Sa Nostra” report highlights Palma, followed by Ibiza, Calviá, Marratxí, Manacor, Llucmajor, Mahón and Ciudadela in Minorca and Alcudia. At the other end of the scale, out of all 23 municipalities, the most notable drop in the vegetative growth rate was reported in Llubí; this situation does not affect any locality of Ibiza-Formentera and in Minorca, only Es Migjorn Gran. The birth rate in the Balearic Islands last year exceeded 12.16 births per 1'000 inhabitants, a figure superior to the 11.13 births per thousand across the European Union and the 10.14 births per 1000 registered across Spain. The study shows that the birth rate in the archipelago in 2002, only beaten into second place in the whole of Spain by Murcia, has foreign mothers as one of its principal tenets. These residents with non-Spanish origins gave birth to 18.2 percent of all children born on the islands. The “Sa Nostra” Centre for Economic Research and the Balearic University have produced this report from data supplied by the Balearic Institute of Statistics, the National Institute of Statistics and the Eurostat.

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