Do you feel that there are more people and more traffic in Platja del Carme? Looks like there are a lot of new sites opening up all the time? It should feel more crowded. The 2020 census figures show a huge growth of 103% of the 2010 population. And in the last 6 years, the population of Playa Del Carmen grew by just over 63%. All this shows that Playa Del Carmen continues to grow, although at the time Playa Del Carmen was one of the fastest growing cities in the world recently.
The increase in population has effects on many aspects of life on the beach. A growing city can mean growing pains. Below, we will analyze some of the changes and effects affecting the growth of the area.
What is the population of Playa del Carmen in 2020?
According to the census, the population of Platja del Carme is 304,942 inhabitants. This is an increase of 103% over the 2010 census figures in Platja del Carme, which were 149,923.
Taking the census numbers with a grain of salt
Although the census in Mexico is a very serious fact, there are some factors that must be taken into account when analyzing the figures. On the one hand, the 2020 census began just before the pandemic and continued, in part, during the pandemic. This made it difficult to meet the goal of making the census more complete. In addition to the pandemic, there are other factors that make the census difficult in places like Playa del Carmen. We will continue below.
With a warm climate all year round, there are many people who escape the winters in the north. This means we get a lot of snowbirds as they are called. These are foreigners who own a place in Playa or rent for about 4-6 months a year. This means that the population of Playa Del Camren increases by a couple of thousand during the winter months.
Another group of transient people is the number of workers who come weekly to Platja del Carme. For many of the construction jobs, people are recruited to work in Playa from other areas. People come from smaller cities up to 3 hours away. People come to work during the week and stay in shared rooms (called quarters) and return to their cities on weekends. This means that thousands of people come to “live” on the beach during the week and leave on the weekend.
It is almost impossible to accurately count who only “visits” during the week and which apartments are actually lived. Some people may be counted twice during the census. Once in his hometowns and again as a person living in Playa del Carmen. This can happen if the census does not speak to a person in the household. This is very possible in Platja, as people work in Platja and only slept at night.
Part of the population are tourists
Playa Del Carmen receives approximately one million tourists a year! This means a large influx of people. That is, 2740 people arrive every day. With this amount of people coming mainly to the central area of Playa del Carmen, this makes it feel much busier in the city. Often, walking down 5th Avenue, you can see a lot of people walking around enjoying the festive atmosphere. Some estimates are 10,000 people walking daily on 5th Avenue. Therefore, with so many tourists arriving in Playa daily, this adds 1% more to the general feeling of the population.
The sizes of Mexican cities feel different
One big difference in populations between places they visit Mexico and actually the Mexican population is the size of households. For example, the average size of homes in other places is:
- Europe 2.3 people per household.
- Canada 2.5 people per household.
- United States 2.52 people per household.
This contrasts with the average household in Mexico, which is 3.7. This represents an increase of 60% over Europe for the average size of households. This highlights the fact that in Mexico more people live together under one roof. The houses are usually much smaller as well, so the overall feel of Mexican cities and towns is less, but it may have the same population as cities and towns around the world. This means that the population of Playa Del Carmen is similar to Anaheim California or Windsor Ontario.
Funny antidotes about the census
The census is not just about counting people. There are short and long forms for the census. Some of the funniest things on the form (or things that foreigners might find funny are things about how the walls are made. In the census there is fertilizer and sheet metal listed for the wall material options. There is a question about the roof of the house and includes things like palm and terracotta tiles.
The census also tries to take a look at how people receive garbage, how they cook food and even how many light bulbs are in the house.
Impact of the population on real estate, crime and other things
Whenever a city grows, there are growing pains. Many regret the fact that Playa is changing and not the same small town that was next to the beach. But at the same time, the same people enjoy the new rooftops, upscale restaurants and shopping. Playa continues to grow rapidly and until it slows down, there will be changes that will affect everyone who lives and visits the area.
Real estate on the rise
The residential population of Platja del Carme is growing, as is the daily tourist population. This means that places to live and stay also continue to grow. Although most new Mexican residents buy and rent properties in subdivisions and west of the road, it affects the real estate market in the downtown area. Rents in the city center have continued to rise as more units are converted into vacation rentals.
Expatriate communities continue to grow as well. This was partly due to the pandemic. More people decided to move to a place they wanted to be. We also saw another group of foreigners coming. There are more young people who have come to Playa and many of them stay for a few months, some of them digital nomads. This has recently boosted the rental market, helping to fuel the fall of the pandemic.
Population growth shifts to Platja to the west
As Playa borders Playacar on the south end and hotels on the north end, the central area continues to have more fillings and moves north. The limited space situation has kept prices stable and rental demand is helping buyers fill units. The city center has been growing, and we mean vertically. More small houses have been erected and rebuilt as a four or five story building.
Playa continues to expand and build more planned communities on the west side of Playa. This has created completely new neighborhoods. The sad part is the old growth forest that is being cleared for new developments. We want the city to mark a point where there can be no further development. In this way the old-growth forest can be saved and better use can be planned of the existing plots closer to the center.
Crime, traffic and infrastructure
Anyone who has driven a little outside the immediate center will have noticed more traffic recently. There are some areas that now have especially the bottleneck. The northern end of Playa along Highway 307 is getting busier. As you enter Playa from Cancun, you will notice more development and that means more traffic, which uses this land road. The southern end is also rising. Anyone who has tried to get in and out of the Mayan Center will have noticed. Yes, traffic increases and sometimes you have to plan extra time to get seats.
Nowadays, people talk a lot about crime. It is typical to see an increase in crime when tourism goes down. There are fewer jobs and more idle hands. The pandemic has not helped the situation. Of course, with so many new people moving from other parts of Mexico, Playa’s cohesion is not the same. Of course, doubling the size should mean that crime should be doubled as well to keep pace. In any case, it is talked about more and that is why we have a guide for residents on crimes.
The biggest stresses on the infrastructure are the water systems and the electricity grid. For a long time, Playa Del Carmen has been behind the curve with a sewer system and proper wastewater treatment. Electrical outages always get people’s attention as it is very noticeable. The next thing many people would say is necessary are better roads. There are many major potholes and arteries in poor condition.
As Playa grows, there have been some improvements to the water system, a new overpass has been built by road through Playa and the Mayan Train project will also reach Playa. Last year, part of 5th Avenue and Park Fundadores was also renovated. These are just some of the biggest projects that have happened recently. We are confident that as Playa grows, we will see new projects online.