P EOPLE from outside the European Union made up 10.52 percent of the population of Palma in 2003, an increase of 9.35 percent in respect of 1997 when only 1.17 percent of inhabitants were native to countries from outside the Union.

The report was issued yesterday by Tomás Lladó, head of the Local Population department at Palma City Council. It showed the current level of Spanish population in Palma totalling 86.16 percent, as against 97.42 percent 6 years ago.

Similarly, 3.33 percent of the city's population were native to countries from other European Union countries in 2003, while in 1997 only 1.42 percent of the census came from this sector.

Lladó also pointed to the number of additions to the local population between 2001 and 2003. It revealed that around 50 percent of people who registered during this period were foreign.

Lladó also drew attention to the average age of the population, which from being 34 in 1986, rose to stand between 34 and 38 in 2003. The change is produced for two reasons: the lowering of the mortality rate and because the majority of immigrants came to Palma at that point were of working age.