By Staff Reporter

PALMA
THE credit crunch and the record high jobless rate shows no sign of slowing the massive increase in population in the Balearics.
A new survey released yesterday said that the Balearic population will reach the 1.2 million mark in 2018, an increase of 16 percent, The report says that the immigrant population will grow by 118'000 during this time.
Twenty percent of the Balearic population is now non-Spanish and according to this latest poll, this percentage will continue to grow.
The Balearic population has steadily increased over the last decade thanks to the arrival of immigrants, mostly from North Africa and South America. The Spanish authorities relaxed their tough employment rules so that more immigrant workers could come to the islands. There are now more than 100'000 non-Spanish workers in the Balearics, a record high.

However, as a result of the credit crunch and Spain having one of the highest rates of unemployment in the European Union, the Spanish government has been trying to persuade immigrants to return to their countries of origin. They are offering a whole series of incentives but so far few immigrants have accepted their offer. Judging by the latest population figures the trend of foreigners coming to the island is going to continue to increase.

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