The leafy Madrid dormitory town of Pozuelo is Spain’s richest town, while Torrevieja, a run-down resort on the coast of Alicante province, remains the poorest, according to the latest municipal wealth and inequality survey published by the National Statistics Institute (INE).
The study covers 109 Spanish municipalities throughout Spain, and shows that at €70,298, annual household income in Pozuelo, around 15 kilometers to the northwest of the capital, is five times that of Torrevieja’s €13,977.
Pozuelo is dotted with exclusive gated communities that are home to soccer players and other celebrities. Torrevieja has a significant number of retirees living all year round, many of them from the UK and Germany, and its economy is largely dependent on the summer season.
In general, the north of Madrid is home to the capital’s wealthiest inhabitants: in Majadahonda, the country’s second-wealthiest town, annual household income is around €56,000. Four more of Spain’s 10 richest municipalities are also to be found around the capital: Alcobendas, Las Rozas, San Sebastián de los Reyes, and the city center itself.
Unsurprisingly, the survey reveals a close link between household income and joblessness, a relationship particularly evident in Andalusia where many of the poorest municipalities in Spain are located: Sanlúcar de Barrameda (42.3% unemployment), La Línea de la Concepción (40.1%), and Jerez (39.4%). Unemployment in Pozuelo is nine percent, while its similarly wealthy neighbors have comparable levels of joblessness.
The survey also provides insight into the gap between rich and poor within Spain’s major cities: data from 2012 puts average annual household income in the capital’s two wealthiest neighborhoods, El Viso and La Piovera, in the northern area of Madrid, above €100,000. Barcelona’s Pedralbes comes in third at €92,755. The poorest neighborhoods in Spain are to be found in the south of Seville: Polígono Sur, Los Pájaros and Amate, where average income is little over €12,000 a year.
The INE survey is part of the European Union’s Urban Adult project, which measures living conditions in cities throughout the EU.