Palma.—According to the annual data supplied by the National Statistics Institute yesterday, overall, the registered British community in Majorca shrunk by 187 last year in comparison 2011, but the sharpest drop was in Calvia which lost 487 British residents from its padron and that means 487 potential voters.

However, while the British population in Majorca contracted, across the Balearics it actually grew by 106, but that data and graphics will be explained and published over the coming days.

But, it has not just been the British who have been turning their backs on Calvia.
Last year, the registered foreign population in the municipality decreased by 1'232 with a number of other European Union residents also deciding to move elsewhere.

Looking at the Balearics as a whole, the 36'758 strong Germany community is largest followed by the 24'270 Moroccans and then the 23'804 British residents registered with the padron.

The authorities know that in reality these communities are largest but not every foreign resident, especially those from European Union states, registers with their town hall.

But, there are fewer registered foreign residents in the Balearics than ever with the total population falling by 242 last year in comparison to 2011.
On the one hand, a large number of South Americans have been forced to return home because of the recession and governments sponsored repatriation schemes to help them go back to their country of origin.

But, with regards to European Union citizens, it is somewhat a mystery as to why many are turning their backs on an idyllic life in the sun.
High cost of living
Some claim that they have returned home for the educational benefits of their children, some of the retired have gone home for better health care and treatment and to be closer to their families while others can no longer afford to live here because of the high cost of living.

But, while Calvia was the big loser, there have been a number of municipalities which have been proving popular with the British.
For example, the population in Alcudia has grown from 1'041 to 1'072 - an increase of 31.
24 more Britons moved in to Andratx last year and 38 more decided to set up a new home and register in Pollensa.
Santanyi also proved popular with the British population growing from 559 to 596.
But, the biggest winner has been Palma.
Last year 101 Britons moved into the capital and registered with the city hall taking the population from 2'589 to 2'690.
In some areas, there has been no change at all.
The British population in Banyabulfar remained the same at five, Bunyola lost just the one resident with 94 Britons now living in the municipality.
Consell also lost a British resident while Escorca continues to have just two British residents and Estellencs - one.
Petra's British population is just five strong while Pollensa, traditionally a bastion for British residents and holiday makers - such as the Prime Minister David Cameron and his family last year - has grown considerably with 88 Britons moving into the region last year taking the population from 773 to 811.

The biggest surprise, however, has been the massive exodus of foreign residents from Calvia over the past 12 months despite real estate agents talking of a gradual upturn in the foreign property market with so much property coming onto the market at attractive rates to investors.

Calvia has been hit by the recession and the shortening of the summer season over the past few years with many tourist related businesses suffering or being forced to close but the forecast for 2013 is encouraging and those businesses who can stick it out might find that they will turn the corner this season and will be able to afford to remain in Majorca.

Further demographic data and information will be published over the coming days.

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