Gran Canaria has the biggest population of the islands in the Canarian archipelago (aprox.. 850 000 inhabitants in the year 2005), while also boasting the most important city in terms of population size and economic activity, namely Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
This is also the most cosmopolitan of the islands (especially the capital, being home to almost half of the population), which is what lends so many special traits to the island, finding expression in its open nature and cultural diversity.
The population of Gran Canaria is young in comparison with that of the rest of the country and Europe, given the fact that the largest part of the population is between the ages of 15 and 45 years, the growth rate of the population being 3.71%, compared with the national average of 0.27%. The educational profile of the population is characterized by being on a par with the educational level in any other European country.
A facet of the inhabitants that always intrigues the visitor is their manner of speech, which, despite the fact that it falls within the confines of perfectly understandable Spanish, has also been influenced by the linguistic diversity that was brought to the islands by the continuous passage of foreign visitors through the course of time.
For many people, the speech of the people of Gran Canaria is reminiscent of the Latin American dialects, in the sense that both have a sweetness of intonation, while it is also replete with curious practices, such as the use of the affectionate diminutive (Antoñito instead of Antonio) and the substitution of the “c” and “z” by the “s”. In any event, the people of Gran Canaria are very accustomed to foreign languages and one can easily find local inhabitants who have taught themselves to speak and understand many foreign languages.