Catalonia Facts & Figures

Catalonia connects your business the competitive economy it needs

Barcelona 22@. Photo: Ajuntament de Barcelona

With 7,5 milion inhabitants and a surface area of 32,107 square kilometres, Catalonia is a diverse territory, with extensive mountains, inland depressions, and a coastline that stretches for 214 km. Winters are mild and summers are dry. Its location in the Mediterranean and its transport infrastructures, as well as its trading, entrepreneurial and open economy have made it a top rank strategic position in the south of Europe.

Historically a trading nation, Catalonia’s economic activity has always depended on its ability to connect to the rest of the world. Catalonia has developed a skill for reaching out and connecting over the years that has become one of the area's major talents, and today makes Catalonia an unbeatable meeting point for international business.

Industry, trade, tourism

The industrial activity, which represents 20 % of the Catalan GDP, has grown particularly in the Barcelona area, but it has also developed in many industrial cities all over the country. Half of the Catalan economy has either a direct or indirect relationship with the industrial sector, innovative, dynamic and diversified.

Together with industry, trade and tourism are important activities. Tourism has increased in such a way that it has become one of the most notable economic activities of Catalonia.

Catalonia is very rich in natural scenery, with 14 sites declared to be natural parks and protected areas. Barcelona is among the most visited cities in Europe. Catalan culture, architecture and history have developed its own unique and universal identity over the centuries.

Foreign trade & investment

According to data published by the State’s Ministry of Economy and Competiveness, foreign investment in Catalonia grew 57.8% in 2015, reaching a total of 4,783 million euros, the second highest figure on record, only surpassed by the 2010 figures. Catalonia concentrates 22% of all investments in Spain. Catalan exports grew by 6.1%, generating a record breaking 63.8 billion euros for the economy. This increase is largely attributed to 3% rise in the number of regular exporting businesses in Catalonia (16.422 companies) and represents 34.4% of the Spanish state’s total. Catalan exports represented 25.5% of all of Spanish exports for 2015.

Health & Education, pillars of Catalan lifestyle

Catalonia has one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world and Barcelona is a byword for innovation in both medical care and technology. Over 10,000 overseas patients come for treatment in facilities famous worldwide for their excellence, such as: the Institut Dexeus, Barraquer, Teknon, Quirón, Planas, Tres Torres, Corachán, Puigverd, Platón and CIMA among others. Over 10,000 foreign patients are treated yearly at Barcelona's hospitals and health centres.

An efficient school system with an international educational offer is another remarkable trait.There is a wide range of educational programmes provided by more than 725 top-quality public and private schools. Catalonia is home to 17 international schools that offer the educational programmes of their respective countries of origin.

Catalonia Barcelona

Region of the Future

The Financial Times sees Catalonia as the best Southern European Region of the Future 2016/17 in its latest report on the most attractive European locations for future investments. Barcelona comes first in the continent by FDI strategy and policies for attracting investors.

More about Catalonia

Key Economic Data 2015

Population: 7.5 million

Area: 32,106 Km2

GDP (2015): 214.9 billion Euros

GDP per capita (2014): 27,833 Euros

Exports (2015): 63.8 billion Euros

R&D: 1.5% of GDP

FDI (2015): 4.783 million Euros

Industrial Gross Value Added 2015

13.32 % - Food

10.28 % - Chemicals

  9.73 % - Motor vehicles

  9.37 % - Energy

  8.79 % - Pharma 

  7.49 % - Metal (except machinery)

  5.73 % - Water Supply & Waste

  5.09 % - Paper

  4.71 % - Machinery

  4.51 % - Plastic 

  4.23 % - Textile & Fashion

  3.54 % - Electric & Electronics

13.21 % - Other


Industry’s total GDP 2015: € 38,754 M

Costa Brava