THERE are 24.4 percent more “legal” foreigners living and working in the Balearic Islands in the first nine months of 2005, compared to the same time last year, confirmed official statistics yesterday. As a result, the population of the Balearic Islands is now made up of 12.7 percent of foreigners who have a resident's card, which is far superior to the rest of Spain (average of 6 percent). There were 53'478 European Union foreigners registered in the Balearic Islands at the end of September, which is 7.7 percent more than at the close of 2004. As for foreigners from outside EU countries, the islands now home 68'279 people, which is a 31.6 percent growth, helped along by the legalisation process. This process mostly benefitted immigrants from Latin American countries (Ecuador, Colombia or Argentina) and Morroco. So for the first time ever, there are more foreigners from non-EU countries with a resident's card in the Balearic Islands, than there are EU citizens.
There are approximately 2.6 million foreigners living throughout Spain with a resident's card (valid from 30 September 2005), that is to say 6 percent of the total Spanish population. This means that in the first nine months of his year a total of 619'723 foreigners have achieved legal status in Spain, almost twice the amount experienced during 2004. It is necessary to distinguish between EU residents, of which there are 536'492 living in Spain, and immigrants, of which there are 1'841'533.
This year the number of immigrants living in Spain has grown considerably thanks to the legalisation process which the government initiated between February and May, and which many applied for. By nationalities, it is the Moroccans who lead the table for living in Spain, followed by Ecuadorians, Colombians, Romanians and British.
However, in terms of the biggest population increases this year, people from Ecuador are at the top, followed by Romania, Morocco, Colombia, Bolivia and Argentina.

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