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Covid-19 caused Ibiza’s human pressure index to drop to levels last recorded in 1999

Home / News / Covid-19 caused Ibiza’s human pressure index to drop to levels last recorded in 1999
Home / News / Covid-19 caused Ibiza’s human pressure index to drop to levels last recorded in 1999
Covid-19 caused Ibiza’s human pressure index to drop to levels last recorded in 1999

In August 2020, a total amount of 252,689 people were recorded on the island, 23.6% less than the previous year

Ibiza 11.03.21 – As part of its 2020 report, the Sustainability Observatory of Ibiza has been compiling the latest data relating to the island’s de jure population – i.e., the number of people who reside permanently on the island – as well as the corresponding human pressure statistics, which reveal the actual demographic burden borne by the territory in a given period. Both indicators are included in the 16th Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and more specifically in target 16.9, which relates to legal identity and birth registration.

The data reveals significant changes compared to the previous year, owing to the crisis unleashed by the Covid-19 pandemic. For instance, while there were 151,827 inhabitants registered in Ibiza at the beginning of 2020 (2.65% more than in January 2019 and 7.7% more than in 2015), by December this figure had decreased to 140,656 people.

When it came to human pressure, data compiled by the Observatory (based on information made available by the Balearic Institute of Statistics, IBESTAT) indicates that 12 August was the busiest day of 2020, with a total of 252,689 people registered on the island – 23.6% less than the total recorded in 2019. This means that, for every resident, there were 1.6 visitors on the island on that date, a figure significantly lower than the 2.12 registered the previous year.

Similar human pressure figures have not been recorded in Ibiza for more than two decades, since 1999, when a total of 251,895 people were recorded between both Ibiza and Formentera (at that time the data did not distinguish between the populations of the two islands).

On average, the data shows that the human pressure that Ibiza experienced in August 2020 was on average 27.6% lower than in 2019, figures very clearly affected by the Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent decrease in tourism. It is worth noting that the data includes both the resident population and the temporary population (i.e., non-permanent visitors) registered at a given time, therefore, the percentage decrease in human pressure is overall less than that of tourist arrivals.

In addition, the minimum human pressure recorded on the island during 2020 increased slightly compared to that registered in 2019, going from 137,670 people in 2019 to 140,656 registered on 1 December 2020 – an increase of 2.1%.

Furthermore, 2020 is the first year (since disaggregated data has been recorded between Ibiza and Formentera) in which the maximum accommodation capacity of 301,374 people has not been exceeded between residents and tourists in Ibiza.

Regarding the nationality of Ibiza’s inhabitants, the number of people of Spanish origin in 2020 was very similar to that of the previous year, at 112,649 inhabitants – only 1,226 more than in 2019. Meanwhile, the foreign population stood at 39,178 inhabitants – an increase of 7.3% on the previous year. Additionally, in 2020, the percentage of the population born in the Balearic Islands and residing in Ibiza accounted for 39.44% of the total, while the percentage born in other autonomous communities stood at 30.9%, and the number of residents born abroad accounted for 29.66%.

Looking at the countries of origin of the foreign population, the majority of the island’s residents, 54.26% (21,261 inhabitants), were of European origin, followed by 24.6% of South American origin, and 13.8% of African origin.

Examining the population density of the different municipalities, the Observatory found that Ibiza Town had the highest density on the island with 4568.71 people per square kilometre, followed by Santa Eulalia with 256.39; San Antonio with 213.62; and San José with 174.51. Lastly, the municipality with the lowest population density was San Juan with only 54.08 people per square kilometre. Overall, in 2020 the average population density on the island was 265.54 inhabitants per square kilometre.

The median age of the island’s residents in 2020 was 40.2 years. The population under 16 years of age was 14.98%, while the population between 16 and 64 years old accounted for 72.44%. Those 65 and over accounted for 12.57% of the total population in 2020.

All of this data will be presented in the Ibiza Sustainability Report 2020, work on which is already underway by IbizaPreservation’s Sustainability Observatory. The foundation expects that the recorded decline in population, especially in high season, could potentially be reflected in other environmental indicators it is studying.