Limiting the population goes through addressing tourism growth

The vice president, Román Rodríguez, has once again put the debate on population growth on the table. / COVER

The sociologist and director of Istac, Gonzalo Rodríguez, sees it necessary to "evaluate, rank and organize" all the data and, from there, seek solutions

B. Hernandez

B. HERNANDEZ The Gran Canarian palms

Limit tourism growth is one of the essential elements for
control population growthhe in the Canary Islandssince it is the sector that attracts the most foreign labor.

This is one of the considerations
sociologist and director of the Canary Institute of Statistics (Istac), Gonzalo Rodríguez before the debate, again put on the table, of the
archipelago carrying capacity. Reiterates in any case, that it is a
"complex" matter which requires a multifactorial analysis.

The projection of
ESC on the increase in the number of inhabitants on the islands has earned him
to the Vice President of the Government and Minister of Finance, Román Rodríguezto once again draw attention to the sustainability of this growth.

How to deal with this situation and its effects in a fragmented autonomous community with 40% of its territory protected is a
cyclical debate in the Canary Islands, but
it has scarcely passed from the philosophical to the practical field.


  • Increase
    So far this century, the population on the islands has grown by more than 30%. Of this increase, 460,000 come mainly from the EU and other communities. Within 11 years, according to CES, it will reach 2.5 million.

  • Density
    The Canary Islands, with 292 inhabitants per square kilometer, is the region with the third highest population density, behind Madrid, with 845, and the Basque Country with 307.

  • above average
    Since 2022, the islands grew by 26.7% compared to 17% for the State, almost 10 points difference.

It is, maintains Gonzalo Rodríguez, a "complex" issue because
talking about population forces foreigners to talkas well as from
economic model and of
sustainable developmentall variables that go through addressing the debate on the
limitation to tourism growththe "fundamental element" of this scenario.

Román Rodríguez himself, when he was President of the Government, already promoted the
first tourist moratorium that stopped hotel licenses and launched in 2002 a
expert committee on population and immigration to adopt measures in this regard, which was precisely coordinated by Gonzalo Rodríguez.

Later, Adán Martín, Paulino Rivero and later Fernando Clavijo also drew attention to this issue and the possibility of limiting tourism development, but they did not go beyond the theoretical level.

multifactorial debate

Gonzalo Rodríguez insists that it is a "difficult debate from any point of view because
many factors are involved». Nor can accurate forecasts be made
it is impossible to get a single answer.

Still, understand that it is necessary
«assess, rank and organize» all the data and, from there, look for solutions as their effectiveness is seen. "In a projection of the future, it is necessary to assess how the system is going to be and the repercussions it is going to have," he says, especially when it comes to
plan services.

Although there are no answers, the
main difficulties To address this analysis:
free movement of people is a right that cannot be limited in the European Union and reducing accommodation places would have
negative effects for an economy whose 38% of the workforce depends on tourism.

Despite these circumstances, the expert insists that "limiting the expansion of the number of beds would limit the number of tourists and therefore the workforce linked to this sector, especially on islands such as
Lanzarote Y
where the population has grown the most and where the largest increases are expected in the coming years.

The director of Istac recalls that Román Rodríguez already tried 20 years ago to limit the growth of this sector "and came to nothing."

study commission

Canarian Parliamentunanimously, has created a
study commission on demographic challenge and population balance to try to answer key questions about the model of society in the medium and long term.

Rodríguez is confident that his
conclusions not just a diagnosis of the situation but go further and
translate into executive policies.

The CC-PNC deputy, Juan Manuel García Ramos. / canarian parliament flicker

García Ramos urges the Government to make a "forceful" proposal

The deputy of the Canarian Nationalist Parliamentary Group (CC-PNC), Juan Manuel García Ramos, urges the Government of the Canary Islands to move from warning to decision-making on population growth, after Román Rodríguez's reflections on demographic evolution , which he described as “unsustainable”.

He considers that, beyond denouncing this matter, it is up to the Executive "to prepare a forceful proposal and execute it." In his opinion, and as he pointed out in a recent parliamentary question, the "uncontrolled" population growth in the Canary Islands is evidence and he refers to the figures that "do not lie."

The attempts to curb this growth go back, he recalled, to twenty years ago, dates in which the PNC already proposed a Residency Law in the 1999 elections. He maintains that all the alarms "have been on for a long time, but nobody puts forceful measures on the table”. This task, he reiterates, corresponds to the Government of the Canary Islands.

In this sense, the nationalist deputy points out that "there are fresh and very reliable warnings about the need to contain the demographic flow in some of our islands: from the CES Report of 2019, to the intervention of the President of Parliament in the plenary of the Conference of Presidencies of Assemblies of Spain in 2021 or the numerous appearances of Román Rodríguez in recent times.

He regrets that now, with the Sustainable Development Agenda in full force, "the problem continues to be sidelined and left for later."

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