Palma.—For the first time in decades, the foreign population in the Balearics has shrunk, although the region still has the highest population of foreign residents in Spain.

The 242'570 foreign residents still account for a record 21.6 percent of the total Balearic population.
As the Bulletin reported yesterday, the number of British residents in Majorca has fallen by 187 over the past year with the biggest exodus being from Calvia.

But Balearic wide, the British population has actually grown over the past year by 106 taking the total number of registered British residents living in the Balearics to 23'698.

The main reason for the contraction of the foreign population is the recession, according to the National Statistics Institute.
According to the Institute, last year, 4'492 South Americans left the Balearics to either return home or seek work elsewhere in the EU such as Germany or even the United Kingdom.

And not even the influx of residents from the European Union and Asia has been able to compensate for the mass departure of South Americans - hence why on January 1, 2012, there were 242 less foreigners living in the Balearics.

According to the data, a third of some thirty municipalities have seen the size of their foreign communities shrink with the biggest losers being the municipalities of Calvia and Capdepera. In total, 1'232 foreign residents deserted Calvia while 435 turned their backs on Capdepera.

The drop in foreign residents has been most marked amongst the Ecuadorian community. 1'531 have left the Balearics but there have also been significant falls in the number of Colombians, Argentines and Bolivians.

In fact, no South American country has avoided being affected by the recession and record unemployment in the Balearics.
And, with regards to European Union citizens, the flow of residents coming to live in the Balearics has slowed.
The number of EU residents living in the Balearics grew by only 3'264.
Across the region, the Germans continue to be the largest community with 36'758 registered residents followed by the 23'804 Britons although there are slightly more Moroccans.

Nationally, the National Institute of Statistics reported that almost 300'000 people fled the country in the first half of 2012, of which 229'000 were foreigners.

The most numerous resident minorities were Romanians (829'936), Moroccans (651'207), British (374'842), Ecuadorians (293'602), Colombians (246'451), Bolivians (178'463) and Germans (179'690).


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