By Humphrey Carter
THE Balearics is the region with the largest foreign population in Spain.
The British account for the second largest foreign population in Spain and, according to the latest report published by the National Statistics Institute, foreign residents make up 13.35 percent of the population in the Balearics. The latest report is based on figures provided by town councils, so therefore only includes foreign residents registered with their local council and residency or work permit holders. According to the results of the latest census, the Balearic population stands at 947.361 inhabitants, 3.31 percent larger than when the last census was carried out in 2002. However, the foreign population of 126.505 has grown by 26.83 percent during the same period.
The rate of growth is lower than the national average of 34.69 percent, but nevertheless, the Balearics still has the largest regional foreign population in the country. However, the growth rate of the Balearic foreign population is starting to slow down.
The big growth areas since 2002 have been Cataluña, which has registered 160.941 new foreign residents, Madrid with 144.775 and Valencia, where an extra 112.617 have registered. Other regions proving popular with foreign residents are Castilla-La Mancha, Aragón, Castilla y León and Murcia.
In relative terms, Aragón has experienced a 41 percent increase in foreign residents.
In fact, since 2002, the foreign population in Spain has grown by 34 percent.
On January 1, 2002, the foreign population numbered 1.977.944, on January 1, 2003, it stood at 2.664.168 inhabitants, accounting for 6.2 percent of the total Spanish population. The largest foreign community in Spain is made up of Ecuadorians, followed by the Colombians and the British.
With 161.507 registered British residents in Spain, 5.097 born in Spain, the British make up the largest European foreign community.
The Germans are fifth.


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