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Cosmopolitan Ibiza

It's that fascinating time of the year when the statisticians start compiling the figures

It's that fascinating time of the year when the statisticians start compiling the figures about all there is to know in 2009. The Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE) have just released the 'Book of Numbers' of the registered population of Spain.

In the Balearic Islands, there are 1.1 million inhabitants, and of them, 238,000 are foreigners, about 21%. In Ibiza the percentage of foreigners is even higher, about 27%, despite the fact that many South American immigrants are returning home because of the recession and poor employment opportunities.

Closer examination of the statistics for individual municipalities illustrates the wealth divide of the immigrants. European residents make up around 60% of the total on the island as a whole, (there are 4,534 Germans and 3,076 British) but they tend to live in Santa Eulalia, San Jose and San Juan, where they make up more than 80% of the foreign population.

Of the other nationalities, mostly from poorer countries who come to seek menial work, the most numerous are the Rumanians (4,077) Moroccans (3,775) and Ecuadorians (2,501).