FIRST TIME THAT THE NUMBER OF GERMANS LIVING IN BALEARICS HAS DECREASEDStaff Reporter
THE number of British people living in the Balearics has doubled in the past ten years, while the number of Germans living here has for the first time in recent history decreased, according to the National Statistical Office (INE), which has revealed that 13.7 percent of the total Balearic population are foreigners.
The Balearic Islands have more foreign residents in the population than any other Spanish region.
This year the number of German residents has decreased notably and many are blaming the bad economic climate in Germany as the reason.
The German population increased significantly from 1996, which was the first year that the statistical survey was undertaken. In that year there were 7'941 German residents. Even though the number of Germans has increased throughout the years and reached a total of 21'898 in 2003, there was the first decline in 2004, when the numbers dropped by more than 2'000 residents.
According to Josep Moll, President of the German-Majorcan Association, the decrease in Germans is due to the fact that they no longer see Majorca as an economic paradise, as it once was.
However, there are now more British people living here than in recent years, mostly residing in Calvia, Palma and Pollensa.
The statistical results show that the number of British residents in Majorca has increased from 4'721 in 1996 to 9'575 in 2003. With regards to Minorca, the British population has just about doubled in strength, increasing the 1996 total of 1'071 to 2'094 in 2003.
As shown in the graph above, there have been growths of British residents in most towns and regions in Majorca and in Minorca. However, for the case of Estellencs, a little town in the rugged North near to Banyalbufar, the number of British residents has completely disappeared, taking the once 114 British residents in 1996 to zero in 2003.
The number of non-European foreigners living on the islands has now over-taken the English and Germans, and is causing a burden on the health, social and education services, said the town councils. This is the case in Felanitx where out of the total 1'869 foreign residents, nearly half (749) are from Morocco. The Mayor of Felanitx, Catalina Soler, said that this increase in foreign residents means that the town council must invest more money into health, education and other services.
In Alcudia, the foreign population has hit an outstanding 20'4 percent and this is mostly made up of people originally from Colombia. In the last few years we have noticed that there are more and more Colombians than Germans, said Mayor Miquel Ferrer.
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