Source: AFP News Agency

  1. Catalonia accounts for 19%  of Spain GDP, rivalling Madrid for being Spain’s richest region and has a population of 7.5 million
  2. It is fourth in terms of GDP per capita averaging € 28,600 after Madrid, the northern Basque Country and neighbouring Navarra.
  3. Like in Madrid, unemployment is also lower than in the rest of the country: 13.2% in the second quarter of 2017 compared with 17.2% nationally.
  4. Catalonia is by far Spain’s top exporting region, with 25% of all goods produced there sold abroad last year and in the first quarter of 2017.
  5. Catalonia attracted some 14% of foreign investment in Spain in 2015, far ahead of all the other regions except for Madrid.
  6. Catalonia’s capital Barcelona is home to textile group Mango, Spain’s third-largest bank Caixa Bank, Gas Natural, highway giant Abertis or perfume firm Puig, which owns Nina Ricci, Paco Rabanne and Jean-Paul Gaultier.
  7. Catalonia has a big logistics hub
  8. The biggest industrial sector in Catalonia in terms of jobs and turnover is agrifood buoyed by the powerful meat business which exports a lot of pork.
  9. Oil, food for cattle and grocery products are also important sectors.
  10. Catalonia concentrates around half of Spain’s chemical production, with a major hub in Tarragona.
  11. Catalonia is also the second car producer in Spain after Castilla y Leon. Nissan and Volkswagen, via is brand Seat, have factories in Catalonia.
  12. The sector of bioscience, genetics, neuroscience, cell biology represents 6% of Catalonia’s GDP.
  13. Catalonia has many cutting-edge hospitals and research centres, including in the nuclear sector with a particle accelerator and it is number one in Europe for pharmaceutical companies per capita.
  14. New technology is also very present in Barcelona, which every year hosts the Mobile World Congress.
  15. Catalan universities are among the best in Spain. These are Pompeu Fabra, the University of Barcelona and the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
  16. Catalonia’s business schools- Esade and IESE are well-known and Barcelona also has big publishing houses.
  17. Catalonia is the Spanish region that most attracts foreign tourists and the trend is on the rise. More than 18 million visitors in 2016, or a quarter of all foreigners who came to Spain.
  18. Barcelona’s airport is the second-biggest after Madrid. In 2016, it handled more than 44 million passengers. It is particularly valued by low-cost companies that want to make it a European hub for their long distance flights to the Americas.
  19. Barcelona’s port is the third-biggest in Spain for goods after Algeciras in the south and Valencia in the east and one of the largest in Europe for Cruise ships.
  20. Catalonia’s debt represents 35.4% of its GDP, which made it the third-most indebted region in Spain in the first quarter of 2017, after Valencia and Castilla La Mancha. At the end of June, its debt stood at € 76.7 billion. Ratings agencies have given it a low, speculative grade, which means Catalonia is not able to borrow directly on financial markets. So it depends on loans emitted by the Spanish state.

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