The population of the Balearics increased by 22,000 over the course of 2019. | Pilar Pellicer


The population of the Balearics increased by 22,083 in 2019. On January 1, 2020, the registered population of the islands was 1,171,543, the increase in population having largely been due to immigration.

The definitive population data for the start of 2020 were published by the National Statistics Institute on Thursday. The figures show that Palma had 36% of the Balearic population - 422,587 - and confirm Calvia as the second largest municipality in Mallorca in population terms (51,710).

At municipality level, there was a recovery in population in that all 53 municipalities in Mallorca registered increases, with the notable exception of Soller. Over previous years, there were falls in municipal populations in some cases, but the decrease in Soller over the course of 2019 - 71 fewer - was mostly attributable to an unusual factor. People had been registering as residents of Soller in order to take advantage of the Soller Tunnel discount. As the toll had been scrapped, there was no longer any benefit from being on the Soller "padrón".

The influence of foreign residents on municipal populations was greatest in Calvia in Deya. The percentage of foreign residents in both municipalities was 31.9%. This compared with 18.7% for the whole of the Balearics. In four other Mallorcan municipalities, the percentage was over 25% - Alcudia, Algaida, Andratx and Santanyi. The lowest foreign resident percentage was 5.6% in Marratxi.

With one foreign community, the British, Brexit will have played a part in different ways: some will have left, while others will have ensured that they were on the padrón for residency purposes.

The data show the picture as it was at the start of last year. The impact of coronavirus may well show a different one for January 1, 2021. The mortality related to the virus will have only a marginal effect. In Palma, 280 deaths have been attributed to the virus. Otherwise, just eight municipalities in Mallorca currently have deaths that are in double figures - Calvia 25, Soller 19, Marratxi and Pollensa 14, Inca and Manacor 13, Montuiri and Sant Joan 11. Of more significance in population terms may be emigration by foreign residents. In times of crisis, this typically does occur.