Friday, 4 February 2022, 11:08
Malaga has by far the largest number of inhabitants compared with other places in the province, although in the past year its population has dropped by about 1,000. However, this situation contrasts with the growth in population in the so-called "dormitory" towns, those in the metropolitan area whose residents work in the city and use some of its services.
Specifically, Alhaurín de la Torre (43,287), Rincón de la Victoria (49,774) and Cártama (27,826) have a combined population of over 120,000. In the year 2,000 their populations totalled just over 57,000 when added together. In other words, less than half the current figure.
According to Remedios Larrubia, who is the head of the Human Geography department at Malaga University, the turning point was the "extraordinary growth" in the past ten years which coincided with a boom in the sale of properties which are in locations within easy reach of Malaga city.
However, she points out that in some of these cases, the economic dynamism has stagnated now; or, in other words, the economic activity does not correspond to the level of population.
"From now on, we are going to see it stabilise after a period of exaggerated growth," she says.
She describes the profile of these new inhabitants as a population which is starting to form a family unit, and they did so (and continue to do the same) in a physical context in which property prices are affordable.
With regard to services, Larrubia says these towns have been "putting up with" the situation regarding health care and education and the authorities have just been patching up where necessary.
"In the schools, the authorities have created the necessary lines to see them through until now, when the period of stabilising has arrived," she says, but the situation regarding health care is different, partly due to the pandemic. "There is a big gap there, and it is plain to see," she admits.
Larrubia says that in many cases the social life of the residents of these dormitory towns is still focused on Malaga city, but that is not the case so much for their children, because of their schools and local friends. However, new relationships appear to be forming which are more usually found in rural areas.
"Malaga is a fashionable city nowadays, but it has very sustained growth because it is expanding out towards the countryside.
The main problem is the price of land, because that is something that slows down investment," she says.
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