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Continued population growth could see Playa del Carmen grow larger than Cancun

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — According to statistics, Playa del Carmen is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Ivonne Aidé Vargas Esteban, who heads the Solidaridad Population Statistics Unit, says the city could outgrow Cancun in coming years.

“It could be that Playa del Carmen will go beyond Cancun,” said Vargas Esteban.

She says for this reason, it is important for Playa del Carmen to create public infrastructure in anticipation of this ongoing trend. She says it is necessary for the municipality to plan its infrastructure and investments carefully to ensure the required services by the growing population as well as to maintain the labor demand.

“We see percentages of growth, so probably a greater investment in infrastructure will have to be made, greater demand in various jobs, more than anything in the hotel industry,” she said.

Since the municipality of Solidaridad is growing at a rate of 7.7 percent annually, the highest nationwide, it is important that they plan new infrastructure to avoid Playa del Carmen ending up like Cancun, “where population growth has already exceeded the physical conditions of the city,” she explained.

“What should be done is to start planning the infrastructure of the city so that what is happening now in Cancun does not happen to us,” she stressed explaining that Cancun grew with many irregular areas.

Vargas Esteban said that while their department does not have exact population figures, Inegi (the National Institute of Statistics and Geography) does. She says they have reported 368,698 fixed residents in Playa del Carmen for 2022.

That figure, she says, does not include the floating population of temporary or seasonal workers or snowbirds.

“In 2022, there were 368,698 people according to the Inegi. In 2020, we were 333,800 people. It is assumed that we grow at 7.7 percent per year, making us the municipality that grows the fastest so the demand will continue to grow,” she explained.

For this reason, she says it is possible for the population to double or triple what it currently is, exceeding the current population of Cancun, which she did not have current figures for. Vargas Esteban said other information the city does have however, is an ethnic majority. She says in Playa del Carmen, most of the permanent national residents have arrived from Chiapas, Tabasco and Yucatán.

As for the foreigners, the nationalities that are most seen in Playa del Carmen are American, Guatemalan, Italian, Cuban and Argentine, she said.