THE ALGARVE exceeded its estimated population figure of 400,000 only due to the 30,000 immigrants who choose to live and work there.
According to estimates provided by the Instituto Nacional de Estatística (INE), the national statistics institute, in 2003 the region’s population reached 405,380 individuals and, by December 31, 2004, that number increased to 411,468, registering a growth of four per cent over three years. That figure had already been expected as early as 2001, when a census was carried out; however, it revealed that the number of Algarveans still remained below 400,000 at 383,399.
Following a trend that had been continuing since the 90s, the population had been decreasing, due to the fact that more people had died than were born in the Algarve. The growth now is due to the high number of people who arrive in the Algarve every year, compensating for the natural deficit.
The difference between the number of women and men residing in the Algarve is getting smaller and smaller, according to the INE’s estimations: while in the year 2000 there were 4,000 more women than men, in 2004 there were only 700 more women than the opposite sex.