On June 7, 2019 there were 1,750,849 tourists and residents in the four Balearic Islands.
One whole year and a pandemic later, it is very likely that today there are just over 1,240,000 people on the islands.
The exact figure won’t be known for another two months, but it is not unreasonable to assume that there are at least half a million fewer people in the Balearics than a year ago.
Ibestat, the Balearic Statistics Institute, has released the Human Pressure Index figures for March, when the state of alarm forced all non-residents to leave the Balearic Islands and all residents living elsewhere to return.
On March 13, the day that Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez decreed the state of alarm, there were 1,282,674 people in the Balearic Islands.
15 days later, when the entire community went into lockdown, airports shut down and travel was banned unless it was absolutely necessary, there were 1,241,239 people, which is a drop of 41,435.
During the months of lockdown there were hardly any arrivals at Son Sant Joan Airport in Palma or on the rest of the islands and the few that did arrive were offset by passengers leaving for the mainland or overseas.
So, without tourists in hotels or other accommodation, there are 1.2 million people living in the Balearics on a regular basis, which is almost 100,000 more than there is listed on town hall registers.
The data collected by Ibestat also highlighted other interesting facts.
The difference before and after the state of alarm amounted to 26 people in Formentera, 365 in Minorca and 927 in Ibiza.
That means that 40,144 of the 41,435 visitors who left the Balearics departed from Majorca which clearly bears the bulk of tourism during the winter months.
Today there are half a million fewer people in the Balearics than in 2019 and forecasts suggest that things will change very slightly this summer.
There won’t be mass arrivals of tourists from Germany, the UK or elsewhere, and domestic tourism is not expected to compensate for the drop in arrivals, so it is very likely that the Balearic Islands will have the same population as it did 20 years ago.
It could take years to break the record for the most tourists in a single day in the Balearic Islands.
On August 9, 2017, there were 2,071,124 people in the islands on the same day, double the registered population.
The beaches, roads and establishments on the islands were saturated which sparked a political and social debate about mass tourism.
So far this year, the beaches are empty, but it will take a few months to find out whether road congestion is caused by the 100,000 rental cars on the islands during the summer or if it’s caused by vehicles owned by residents on the islands.