Palma's foreign population includes 151 nationalities. | Pere Bota


The foreign population of Palma is currently 19.6% of the total, with 151 nationalities represented. This percentage is higher than for the Balearics as a whole (17%) and well above the national rate of 9.9%. Specifically, there are 84,542 people from other countries, of whom 40,018 are from non-EU nations.

Of European Union member states, the 44,524 consist of, for example, 18.2% Italian, 18.1% German, 15.5% Bulgarian, 12.7% Romanian, 8.5% British and 6.5% French. From other countries, the highest representation (40%) comes from South America and above all from Argentina. From Africa, the figure is 26.3%, especially Moroccans. The Asian figure, predominantly Chinese, is 17.3%. In addition, 7.8% come from European countries that are not part of the EU.

The areas of the city with the greatest concentrations of foreigners are Cala Major, Sant Agustí and El Terreno. The town hall's councillor for equality, Aligi Molina, says that although there is a popular idea that Son Gotleu is the area with the most foreigners, the percentage is 32.5%. It's high but not the highest.

Molina, announcing activities for International Migrants Day on 18 December, noted that there are complaints about racism and xenophobia in Palma. These are difficult to calculate, however. The town hall, he believes, has been underestimating the cases, so work is being done in order to know how things really are.

Most of this racism arises in the form of labour disputes or conflicts between neighbours and it centres on nationality, ethnicity and colour of skin. "Our aim is to shed light on these racist and xenophobic elements." In order to do this, adds Molina, efforts are being made to improve coordination between local administrations and other organisations. He is surprised that there has been very little of this until now.

The main event for International Migrants Day will a fair for cultures on 18 December at La Misericordia.