Thursday May 24, 2012
Foreigners Account For 28% of Lanzarote´s Population
Non Spanish nationals now account for just under 28% of Lanzarote´s official population of 142,517 residents, according to the latest data released by the National Institute of Statistics. But if you thought the island was just a warm weather home to foreign retirees and pensioners you´d best guess again, as 57% of these expats are in fact aged 25 to 55 years of age, whilst a further 24% are aged 25 years or under. A surprisingly youthful demographic profile, reflecting the fact that many foreigners choose to relocate to Lanzarote in pursuit of a better lifestyle way before they reach retirement age.
Lanzarote´s population has expanded dramatically over the last two decades and has more than doubled since 1992, when the island was home to just 68,581 residents. The most rapid period of expansion was between the turn of the century and 2002, when the population rose by 12% in just two years. But the economic downturn has stymied any further growth, with the total population falling for the first time in 2009 (albeit marginally), since when it has stabilised at around the 142,000 mark.
Which is the largest expatriate community on the island?
That would be the British, who account for just over 20% of all foreigners living on the island, with a total of 8026 residents and 5.6% of the island population in total. A figure that reflects the size and importance of the UK tourist market and the local employment opportunities created by the servicing of British visitors. This is getting on for twice the size of the next largest expat group of 4566 Colombians, who are only slightly more numerous than Moroccans (4384) and Germans (4004).
Of course these are official figures only – with some observers suggesting that there are also significant numbers of non-registered foreign residents who never feature in any census.
It´s also interesting to reflect that in any given month there are an average of 18,000 plus UK tourists on the island, so effectively swelling the number of Brits on Lanzarote at any one time to over 26,000 – a figure that is equivalent to around 18% of the total island population.