Scene in Escorca, Mallorca

Escorca's population fell by four.

07-06-2021Archive

Depopulation in parts of Spain's rural interior is such that the Spanish government is attempting to encourage tourism in order to keep villages alive. Mallorca doesn't have this problem. In percentage terms, overall population growth has been greater than anywhere else in Spain for nigh on fifty years. Over the twenty years up to 2018, there was a 33% increase in population in the Balearics as a whole.

Certain villages in Mallorca have experienced some depopulation in recent years. But it has rarely been that significant, and figures from the National Statistics Institute indicate that there was depopulation in only two municipalities between 2019 and 2020. One was Escorca, where the population has always been tiny; it declined by four to 208.

The other was Soller, where there was a fall of 71 from 13,705 and 13,634. There has been a particular explanation of this, which has to do with the removal of the Soller Tunnel toll. People had been registering as resident in Soller in order to qualify for the toll discount for residents. Once the toll was scrapped, there was less need to be registered.

Palma's population climbed by 6,522 from 416,065 to 422,587. In neighbouring Calvia, the increase was 1,151 from 50,559 to 51,710. Calvia's population had dipped below 50,000, a fact that influenced the last municipal election in 2019. There was a reduction in the number of elected councillors, as this number is determined by population thresholds - 50,000 is one of them.

The Calvia increase may well have owed something to Britons registering with town halls for post-Brexit purposes. This may also partly explain increases in other coastal municipalities - Pollensa up 375 from 16,283 to 16,658 and Alcudia up 578 from 20,241 to 20,819. Alcudia is another example of how population affects town halls. The population that was taken into account prior to the 2019 election was still below 20,000. As it is now above 20,000, there will be more elected councillors.

Of villages in the interior, examples of growth include Porreres - up 74 to 5,576 - Sineu (168 to 4,030) and Ariany (34 to 902).

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