Tourism can't solely be blamed for greater human pressure.


The latest Human Pressure Index from the Balearic Statistics Institute shows that in 2017 there were on average 1,498,230 people per day on the islands. This average was 486,072 more than twenty years ago.

The official resident population in the Balearics for 2017 was 1,115,999. The difference per day is therefore just over 380,000.

The peak was on 7 August, when there were 2,060,526 people. The low was 1,104,091 on 23 December. On 18 December 1997, this low was 743,385. On average in August, the month when there is the greatest human pressure, there were 1,996,370 people. In 1997, this average was 1,371,364. On 7 August in that year, the number was 1,423,380.

The figures clearly reflect a growth in both the fixed and the temporary populations. Tourists account for most of the latter but they aren't the only temporary category; there is a significant floating population comprising different types of worker.

The population growth in the Balearics contrasts with the situation in certain other regions of Spain. In Asturias, Castile and Leon and Galicia, the population has decreased in the past twenty years.

The human pressure naturally raises issues concerning services, resources and infrastructure. It also inevitably fuels the debate with regard to limits on tourist numbers.

* What size of population can the Balearics bear? Can anyone really come up with a definitive figure? One of the leading academics in this field is Ivan Murray from the University of the Balearic Islands. Murray, whose views coincide with the left and the environmentalists, was once asked - this was back in 2010 - what the ideal population would be. He didn't really answer this but said that twelve million tourists were "an aberration without comparison in the whole world". Last year, the combination of Spanish and foreign tourists pushed that number up to sixteen million.


To be able to write a comment, you have to be registered and be logged in.

* Mandatory fields

Richard / Hace over 3 years

I visited Mallorca in the last 10yrs twelve times, and will do again next week. I have my racebike and cycle many hours per day - visiting the off-tourist tracks mostly. All people I meet are nice and genuinly friendly. My conclusion is: visit Mallorca outside July/August, don’t drink/party ridiculously and try to understand the islanders. Perfect vacantion is then guaranteed on this magnificent island.


Ged / Hace over 3 years

Although I've stopped visiting Mallorca I keep checking on here to see what's happening. Not much has changed. I have visited mainland Spain 3 times in the last 6 months and I am going to Nerja in a few weeks and Italy in August. I definitely got the idea that I was no longer welcome in Mallorca. But that is what the Isladers want and who are we to say they're wrong. They will still receive tourists in their droves. However the ones that will not see visiting the island will be the older cash rich people who have been visiting the island for 30 years. The tourists they will get will be the all inclusive type who spend very little outside the hotels. Mallorca is beautiful and I will cherish my memories of many holidays there but I will be spreading my hard earned cash around. All the best to Arran. I truly hope you get the ideal island you strive for in the future. I really mean that. They may be young now but it's their future they are fighting for!


Dick / Hace over 3 years

Tom, do my comments sound like those of a person who gets behind Katie'evil' Hopkins or the Daily Mail?


Suzy / Hace over 3 years

Seriously this is such rubbish. Fed up with the wailing from mallorca...too many people on the island. You suffer 6 months a year we have 12 months in the UK too many people, traffic jams. Write about something more stimulating.


James Worrall / Hace over 3 years

Does no one have a sense of humour that reads this daily rag?? I'd love to see you all go live on National TV with all your comments. But it's so easy for you all to hide behind. They should call it Cowards Comments.


James Worrall / Hace over 3 years

Laurie. That's your typical stereotype brit on his hols.... As tha any bisto??


Lawrie / Hace over 3 years

What the hell is that in the middle right of the picture?!?


Richard Pearson / Hace over 3 years

And half of them are women


Tom / Hace over 3 years

Your obviously sad enough to read the daily mail all about Katie Hopkins whoever she is so I think Its you that needs to get out and have a coffee ,


Dick / Hace over 3 years

I am amazed how Mark has managed to bring in yet his false Daily Mail/Katie Hopkins view of the UK in a story about Mallorca's population?

Mark, if you are in Mallorca, Its a lovely day outside, go take a nice walk have a coffee in a square and watch the world go by...its not that bad a place