The population of the Canary Islands is likely to increase by 350,000 over the next 15 years, according to a report by Spain’s Institute of Statistics.
The report estimates that the population of the islands will increase from 2.25 million to 2.6 million by 2037, and urges the Canarian authorities to take necessary measures to prepare for the demands this will place on the society, environment and economy of the Canaries.
The increase will be entirely due to the arrival of new foreign residents, given that the birth rate on the islands is still outstripped by the death rate, and immigration to the islands from other Spanish regions is more or less matched by emigration from the Canaries.
182 out of every 21,000 Canarian residents currently comes from abroad, a figure that is is only exceeded by the Balearic Islands in Spain. The report also points out that illegal immigration on small boats accounts for an “insignificant” part of this figure, and that the vast majority of immigrants arrive from other European countries.
The report also points out that services on the islands are already overstretched because of the large “floating population” of tourists on the islands, a factor which is often overlooked when planning or budgeting.
The Canarian Parliament has established a commission to address the potential problems.
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