Spain is considered one of the most popular immigration destinations among the citizens of the third countries. It is a very beautiful, warm and sunny country with a comfortable climate that has all the conditions for a long and happy life. In 2013, the Spanish parliament adopted a special law allowing foreigners from countries outside the European Union to obtain a residence permit in Spain under an accelerated procedure with the help of investments. For example, when buying a property worth 500 thousand euros.

However, life in Spain attracts not only very wealthy Russians or other foreigners. Ordinary people from all over Europe and the world come to this country to study, get a job or run a successful business. For example, there are about 375 thousand Britons, 200 thousand Germans and 175 thousand Italians. Next, let's talk about prices and costs of living, tax rates, popular professions, salaries, pros and cons of immigration and living in Spain in 2024.

Living in Spain

Pros and cons of living in Spain

Living in Spain is a dream for millions of people from all over the world. When choosing a settlement, the obvious choice is the largest cities of the country – Madrid and Barcelona. Of course, these colorful metropolitan areas are very popular among immigrants.

However, if you compare the cost and quality, the best cities to live in Spain in 2024 are Valencia, Malaga, Alicante, Seville, Bilbao, Oviedo and Granada. There are many to choose from. Let's highlight the positives and negatives of living in Spain.

Pros of living in Spain

  • A favorable climate, well-maintained seashores, clean Mediterranean air, access to the sun and a healthy, tasty food almost all year round.

  • Many attractions and unique architectural structures. General atmosphere of celebration and fun, including bars, nightclubs, dances, fairs, festivals, all kinds of cultural and sporting events.

  • Low cost of living compared to many other EU countries. And it applies to both the rental housing, and to food. In particular, fruits and vegetables are offered at very reasonable prices.

  • Developed infrastructure and public transport system.

  • Friendly and cheerful people.

Pros of living in Spain

Cons of living in Spain

  • An excessive number of sunny days and hot weather. Not everyone likes.

  • Lack of central heating system. Oddly enough, in the winter months in Spain can be quite cold.

  • Local citizens love to walk on the street, talk long and loudly, including under the windows of the neighbors and with a "bunch" of screaming children. So connoisseurs of peace and quiet should look for housing away from other people.

  • Spaniards keep a large number of dogs and do not always clean up from the street traces of their pets.

  • Limited career opportunities and bureaucratic procedure for registering your own business in Spain.

Prices and cost of living in Spain

As already mentioned, one of the main advantages of living in Spain is considered relatively low cost of living compared to other Western European countries. For example, the cost of living in the Spanish capital is 40-50% lower than in New York or London.

Rental property costs on average about 11 euros per month per square meter in Madrid and 12 euros in Barcelona. In Seville and Valencia, prices range from 6 to 9 euros, and in smaller towns around 4 euros. When buying a property in Spain, the average price per square meter is about 2000 euros.

The cheapest regions to live in Spain are Aragon, Navarra and Castile-La Mancha. And the most expensive places, in addition to Madrid and Barcelona, are concentrated on the Balearic Islands – Menorca, Ibiza and Mallorca, where the average price for luxury homes exceeds €1 million.

Prices in Spain in 2024

  • Bread (500 g) – 1.28 euros

  • Milk (1 L) – 1.04 euros

  • Eggs (12 eggs) – 2.43 euros

  • Chicken Fillets (1 kg) – 6.97 euros

  • Potatoes (1 kg) – 1.24 euros

  • Spanish cheese (1 kg) – 11.91 euros

  • Bananas (1 kg) – 1.68 euros

  • Apples (1 kg) – 1.98 euros

  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 1.61 euros

  • Cab (1 km) – 1.20 euros

  • Public transport (one-way ticket) – 1.50 euros

  • Monthly bus pass – 40 euros

  • Utilities (85 sq. m.) – 127.93 euros per month

  • Mobile Tariff Local (month) – 18.43 euros

  • Internet – 31.78 euros per month

Note. The above prices are average figures for different cities in Spain.

Taxes in Spain

Taxes in Spain

Spain has a very efficient and flexible tax system with high rates. Taxes are levied at national and regional level, with each of Spain's 17 autonomous regions being able to set their own tax rates and fees.

Tax rates in Spain in 2024

income tax (company) – 25%. Young (new) companies pay 15% for the first two years.

VAT – 21%. Reduced rates of 10% (medicines), 4% (food and newspapers) and 0% (gold coins/glitches, domestic and international transport by air and sea).

Capital gains, investment interest and dividends – 19%

Royalty – 24%

Pension tax – 8 to 40%

Real estate tax – 0.5 to 1.1% (depends on the region)

Income tax:

  • Annual income up to 12,450 euros – 19%

  • Annual income from 12,450 to 20,200 euros – 24%

  • Annual income from 20,200 to 35,200 euros – 30%

  • Annual income from 35,200 to 60,000 euros – 37%

  • Annual income from 60,000 to 300,000 euros – 45%

  • Annual income over 300,000 euros – 47%

From local residents depending on the size of the annual salary withheld income tax on a progressive scale from 19 to 45%. For foreign workers residing in Spain for no more than 183 days during the year, a flat rate of 24% is set, while for citizens of the European Union and the Single Economic Area – 19%.

Jobs and wages in Spain

The unemployment rate in Spain in 2024 is 11-13%, and among young people it reaches 35%. In addition, the local labor market is very competitive with both local nationals and Europeans who do not require a special work permit and work visa to Spain. As provided for foreigners from third countries.

To be legally employed in Spain, in most cases, a foreigner must find a job in advance, sign a contract, obtain a work permit, open a visa and, after moving, obtain a residence permit. Sometimes the procedure drags on up to 6-8 months. The most popular professions in Spain in 2024 – are programmers, doctors, engineers, construction workers, teachers and some unskilled jobs, such as nurses, nannies, cleaners, maids and harvesters.

Despite the fairly high quality of life, salaries in Spain lag well behind other developed countries of the world. According to the local Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, the minimum wage in 2024 is 1,134 euros per month. According to the Spanish Statistical Institute, the average salary in Spain is 2,075.43 euros per month before taxes.

Higher education in Spain

Higher education in Spain

The higher education system in Spain has 78 universities, including 51 public and 27 private. In addition, the country has business schools and specialized institutes, such as those in the arts, tourism, sports and architecture. In the prestigious QS World University Rankings 2024 in the top 500 are 14 Spanish universities.

The best universities in Spain are considered the Complutense University of Madrid, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the Polytechnic University of Valencia. The main difficulty in applying to a Spanish university is the Selectividad exam and knowledge of the Spanish language. Courses in English are limited. Tuition in a public university in Spain costs about 1.5 to 4 thousand euros a year.

Medicine in Spain

The health care system in Spain is considered one of the best in Europe. State expenditures in this area amount to 10% of GDP. There are four doctors for every thousand people. In many respects, Spanish women's life expectancy (85.5 years) is second only to Japanese.

About 90% of Spanish residents use public health care, with a fifth of them additionally resorting to private medical services in order to get the most out of the two spheres. Public health care is free for everyone who lives and works in Spain, including foreigners.

To conclude, the average life expectancy in Spain in 2024 is 82 years. This is one of the best rates not only in Europe, but also in the world. According to the OECD, there are more than 100,000 people over the age of 100. A strong argument for moving to Spain permanently.

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