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Ibiza Town by Numbers

The changing population figures of Spain's smallest municipality, Ibiza town

The changing population figures of Spain's smallest municipality, Ibiza town, tell the story of the ebb and flow of the economy. The town's 50900 population this year is less than 1% higher than last. This is a tremendous slow down in the growth rate, which has been running at around 3%, and reflects the downturn in the economy.

Ibiza town's housing market tends to be based on rental apartments and is a magnet for immigrants who arrive looking for menial jobs with low pay. Conversely, San Jose, with large villas in rural areas is targeted by wealthy immigrants or holiday home owners like Rafa Nadal.

In Ibiza the most numerous nationalities after the native Spanish are from poorer countries, Ecuador, Romania and Morocco who've come to work in construction or as domestic helpers. Significantly, with the construction industry in deep recession, the number of South Americans from Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay has actually gone down as many have returned home.

We've mentioned before that because of the large number of migrant workers, there's an inequality in the male:female ratio of the city with around 2000 more males than females in the population. This is well illustrated in the Moroccan statistics of 1070 males to 513 females where the menfolk live here and send money home to support their families.

Next year's figures will be really interesting as reports from the labour market suggest that Spanish people are now applying for jobs that over the last few years have been done almost exclusively by immigrant labour.