Catalonia Facts and Figures

With a population of 7.1 million and an area of 32,106 km2, Catalonia has the following features: 

Fast facts

  • Population: 7.1 milion
  • Area: 32,106 Km2
  • GDP(mp) 2007: 202,509 million Euro
  • GDP Growth (mp) 2007: 3.7%
  • GDP (mp) per capita 2007: 24,445 Euro
  • Unemployment rate 2006: 6.6%
  • Inflation 2007: 4.3%
  • Exports 2007: 49,951 million Euro
  • Imports 2007: 79,123 million Euro
  • Total R&D expenditure: 1.43% of GDP

Main cities (population)

  • Barcelona: 1,578,546 inhabitants
  • Hospitalet de Llobregat: 250,536 inhabitants
  • Badalona: 214,874 inhabitants
  • Sabadell: 193,338inhabitants
  • Terrassa: 189,212 inhabitants
  • Santa Coloma de Gramenet: 116,503inhabitants

Climate (ºC)

  • Average temperature: 17°C
  • Average daily hours of light: 12:57       


Catalonia is on a par with many EU countries in terms of economic potential and stands leader in Spain regarding the economic, industrial and business activity.

  • Its population is higher than those of Denmark and Ireland.
  • Its area similar to that of Denmark and Belgium.
  • Its GDP is similar to those of Finland and Denmark, and it is higher than that of Ireland.
  • Its per-capita GDP is similar to Germany’s and it is higher than those of Portugal and Greece.
  • Its level of exports is similar to Finland’s and it is higher than that of Portugal.
  • Its FDIinflows are higher than those of Austria and Estonia.      

Catalonia as a percentage of Spanish figures

Source: CIDEM, based on data provided by the Catalan Statistic Institut, OECD Annual National Accounts.


Catalonia’s processing industries export to the rest of the world. A solid, diversified manufacturing sector accounts for one fourth of the economy.

Distribution of GAV in Catalonia by sector, 2006 (%)

Gross Added Value 2006: € 174,475 million

Source: ACI, based on data provided by FUNCAS.

By subsector, Catalonia is a leader in the chemical, pharmaceutical, packaging, food, automotive and consumer-electronics industries, among others. It is also home to a number of emerging industries with a strong potential for growth, illustrated by the fact that many foreign companies have invested in the biotechnology, aeronautics, renewable-energy and recycling industries. As well as being renowned for its production activities providing high added value, Catalonia has also made a name for itself internationally in activities such as R&D, design and engineering, logistics and shared services centres. A keen interest in innovation has been vital for the development of these industries and activities.

Value of industrial production in Catalonia, 2006 (%)

Source: ACI, based on data provided by the Catalan Statistic Institute.

Foreign trade

One fifth of Catalonia’s manufacturing companies export while 23% of them import. 36% of Spain’s exporting firms are established in Catalonia, with France, Portugal, Andorra, Italy and Germany being the main destination countries. Total Catalan exports reached €49.9 billion in 2007 and imports reached €79.1 billion. 75% is exported to EU markets and more than 60% is imported from EU countries. Catalonia accounts for more than 27% of total Spanish exports.

Catalan exports (milions of euros)


Source: Spanish Statistical Institute.

Foreign direct investment

Historically, Catalonia has been a preferred destination for foreign direct investment. Investment projects in Catalonia include both manufacturing activities and projects in the areas of research and development, design, logistics, shared services centres operating essentially on an international scale and other business services. The fact that these projects involve a variety of sectors (food, chemicals, automotive, metalwork, pharma-biotech industries, etc.) shows that Catalonia has the potential and ability to accommodate a wide range of investment projects.

Catalan total foreign investment (milions of euros)

Catalan industrial foreign investment (milions of euros)

Source: Register of Foreign Investments in Spain. Amounts expressed in thousands of euros. Industrial investments relate to the following sectors: 2.- Production and distribution of electricity, gas and water; 3.- Extraction industries and 4/8.- Manufacturing industries


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Updated 4/12/2008

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