Palma/Madrid.— The National Institute of Statistics' (INE) Population Projection yesterday said that the Balearics can expect 1.1 million inhabitants by 2022.

The present population of the Islands stands at 1'094'269 and will rise to 1'118'530 in 2022, the INE said.
The progressive decline of natural population growth (the difference between births and deaths) and more people emigrating from the country than coming to live and work in it, mean that all regions of Spain, with the exception of the Balearics, Andalucia, the Canary Islands and Murcia, will register a fall in population, the INE claimed.

The population of Spain as a whole, said the Institute, will decline for the first time since 1981 and by 2052, will have reached 10%. The Population Projection report said that Spain will have 45 million inhabitants by 2022, 2.5% less than now. It also forecast a gradual decline in the birth rate over the next few years.

The downturn, said the INE is determined by a fall in the number of women of a fertile age and forecast that the birth rate won't start to rise again until 2030. It claimed that in the next 40 years, 14.6 million children will be born, 24% less than over the past 40 years. Higher emigration and lower immigration rates are also having an impact on population.

There were 17.7% less immigrants arriving in Spain this year than in 2011 and 9.9% more people leaving the country to live and work elsewhere.
However, immigration to Spain is expected by the INE to rise progressively over the next decade when 3.9 million are forecast to arrive, and over the next 40 years, the country will play home to 16.7 million immigrants.