Spain is located in the south west of Europe and has a population of 46.1 million, with 6.5 million living in the metropolitan area of Madrid. The population is expected to increase to 50 million by 2030, and the proportion of people aged over 65 is expected to increase from 25% to 35% over the same period. Spanish is the official language, although other languages such as Catalan are spoken in various areas. Catholic is the dominant religion. The Euro is the official currency. The standard rate of VAT is 18%.

 Spain                               Capital: Madrid



46.1 million à 50 million (2030)

Proportion of people over 65 is 25% à 35% (2030)


Spanish (plus regional languages eg Catalan)



GDP / head

€ 23,300   (EU average: € 25,100)





GDP growth (volume)



-1.0% in 2012 (f)

1.4% in 2013 (f)

Unemployment rate

(Feb 2012)

23.6%   (EU average: 10.2%)

Inflation rate

3.1%   (EU average: 3.1%)


Figures relate to 2011, except where indicated.                                      Source: Eurostat, Searce (2012)


Spain has a GDP per capita of €22,800, compared to the EU average of €24,400 in 2010. According to the OECD, the Spanish economy grew by 0.7% in 2011, and is expected to grow by 0.3% in 2012 and by 1.3% in 2013 (compared to the Eurozone average growth of 1.6%, 0.2% and 1.4% respectively). The inflation rate was 2.4% in 2011, compared to 3% in the EU. The unemployment rate was 22.8%, compared to 9.8% in the EU as a whole in 2011.

Spaniards prefer to do business with people they know and trust, so it is usually recommended to develop a relationship beforehand. Face to face contact is preferred to written or phone contact. Meetings tend to be used as discussion forums rather than for decision-making. Hierarchy and rank are important. Great importance is attached to a person’s character.