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Madrid area is Spain's richest and Andalusian towns are poorest

A shopping centre in Pozuelo de Alarcón.
A shopping centre in Pozuelo de Alarcón. / SUr
  • People in Pozuelo de Alarcón earn on average 25,957 euros a year, while in Níjar, near Almería, income is 6,253 euros a head

To find the best place to live in Spain, at least in terms of the amount of money you'd earn in a year, you'd have to look to the centre of Spain and to Pozuelo de Alarcón, a dormitory town near Madrid.

Here each person has an annual average income of 25,957 euros, more than any other municipality in the country. Unemployment is also at its second lowest rate here, on 6.4%.

The data is part of a recently released survey from the INE, the national statistics office, called Urban Indicators, which looks at data on income and other factors from the 405 municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants.

According to the report, the bastions of the rich are in the Madrid region. After Pozuelo de Alarcón come the nearby towns of Bobadilla del Monte (19,702 euros a year per person) in second place and Las Rozas (19,340 euros) in third.

Of the top ten places, seven are in the Madrid area. The three that aren't are Sant Cugat del Vallès, just outside Barcelona, (19,151 euros) and also two Basque places; Getxo, a coastal town near Bilbao, (18,599 euros); and the city of San Sebastián (17,203 euros).

Andalusian unemployment

At the other end of the scale, nine of the least wealthy towns are in Andalucía. Bottom of the list is Níjar, a fruit and flower growing town near Almería, (6,253 euros), and Los Palacios in Seville province (6,552 euros).

More than two thirds of the 50 towns with the lowest incomes are in Andalucía. There is a close correlation between lower income towns in Andalucía and high rates of unemployment. The highest rate among the towns surveyed are Linares, in Jaén province (32.8%), and La Línea de la Concepción (29,9%).

The towns with the lowest amount of people out of work, apart from Pozuelo, are Sant Cugat (6.2%), Las Rozas (7.2%), San Sebastián (7.2%) and another Madrid dormitory town, Majadahonda (7.3%).

Richest Madrid 'barrios'

The survey also breaks down larger cities by district. In Madrid city itself, the richest area is El Viso, next to Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu football stadium, with 42,819 euros per person a year earned. It is also the wealthiest district in the country.

Two 'barrios' of Seville have the lowest income on about 5,000 euros per head, based on the 2018 data.

Costa towns not near top

Of the larger Costa del Sol towns, the range of annual income per head is between around 8,000 to 9,500 euros. Estepona is on 8,181 euros a year per person; Marbella, 9,016; Fuengirola, 7,885; Benalmádena, 9,276; Torremolinos, 9,574; Alhaurín el Grande, 6,628; Malaga, 9,745; Vélez-Málaga, 8,198; and Nerja, 7,936.