THE current registered population of Palma is 426'526 of which 109'452 are immigrants, reported the City Council yesterday, adding that both levels of local people and foreigners rose very little in 2009 in comparison with preceding years.

Last year, the number of people in Palma increased by 4'139 inhabitants, the lowest increase in the last 10 years. If 1'321 were Spaniards coming from other regions of the country, it has to be assumed that the remaining 2'810 were foreigners. The majority of them were from African countries.

It is believed that there are as many as 35'000 Africans on Majorca but some of them are not registered with the local Town Council so exact figures are impossible to calculate.

Tomas Lladó, Population Services director at Palma City Council, said that the foreign population is represented by no less than 161 countries. He confirmed that over the past year, those territories which have seen increased immigration to Palma have been Senegal (324), Nigeria (268) and China (236).

However, the Senegalese Association in Palma said that it is unlikely that that number of immigrants came to Palma from their country last year, and what was more probably the case was that those who were already here had made their presence on Majorca official.

The recession is leaving its mark on the demographic movement of the immigrant population, said Lladó. South Americans are leaving to go back to their homelands but there are others coming in to replace them he explained.