Press Release 23/10/2019


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The average income of the population of the Basque Country increased by almost €800 euros in 2017, a rise of 3.9%

Average family income in the Basque Country stood at €42,940 in 2017, 1.9% more than the previous year

Basque Country residents aged 18 and over obtained an average personal income of €21,083 in 2017, which was an increase of 3.9% compared to the previous year, according to the Personal and Family Income Statistics prepared by Eustat, in collaboration with the Provincial Councils of Álava, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa.

Regarding distribution between provinces, a difference of almost €2,000 was observed between the average personal income obtained in Gipuzkoa (€22,086) and that obtained in Bizkaia (€20,654) and Álava (€20,410). Bizkaia stood out for the greatest increase on the previous year (+4.2%), compared to Gipuzkoa (+3.9%) and Álava (+2.6%).

In the capitals, the aforementioned provincial differences were more pronounced, so that the average income of people residing in San Sebastián reached €25,141, higher than the figures of €21,245 in Bilbao and €20,643 in Vitoria-Gasteiz. San Sebastián and Bilbao exceeded the average for the Basque Country, whereas Vitoria-Gasteiz was below it.


In relation to the distribution of income amongst the resident population aged 18 and over, 60.1% had an income below the Basque Country average, although it must be taken into account that this group includes people who received no type of income in 2017 (12.9%); at the opposite extreme, 11% of the population had an income that was double the average, that is, slightly more than €42,166.

The median is the indicator that establishes the income that divides the population in two parts. In 2017 this figure stood at €16,371 euros, that is, half of the adult population of the Basque Country had an average personal income over €16,371 per year, whereas for the other half it was below this figure.

Taking into account disposable income, equivalent to total income less income tax and social contributions by the worker, various differences can be seen between the three provinces. Disposable income for the Basque Country as a whole stood at €17,615 in 2017 (3.6% more than the previous year). In Gipuzkoa this figure rose to €18,470, in Bizkaia it was €17,238 and in Álava it stood at €17,084.

As regards the gender gap, it can be observed that the income of men in the Basque Country exceeded that of women by €10,000. Men obtained an average income of €26,519 compared to the €16,074 obtained by women. The greatest difference was recorded in the 65 to 69 age group, in which the average income of men exceeded that of women by €17,309.

By age, the highest total personal income was obtained between 55 and 59 years of age, in the case of both men and women, reaching an average income of €27,387 as a whole; €20,747 for women, and €34,436 for men.


60.1% of personal income originated from work

Regarding the composition of total personal income received by residents of the Basque Country during the 2017 financial year, 60.1% of it came from work, with an average of €12,681 (€500 more than the previous year); 26.9% from transfers and social provisions (€5,662); 4.7% from economic activities (€995); and 8.3% from capital gains, both moveable and immoveable, (€1,744).

The average income for families overall in the Basque Country corresponded to 2 times the average personal income

Average family income in the Basque Country stood at €42,940 in 2017. The total family income is produced as an aggregation of the personal incomes of all members of the family. As in the case with personal income, Gipuzkoa was the province with the highest family income, with €44,943; followed by Bizkaia (€42,492) and Álava (€40,203).

Compared to 2016, average family incomes in the Basque Country increased by 1.9%. Gipuzkoa was the province that registered the highest increase, 2.4%, followed by Bizkaia, with 1.7%, and Álava, up 1.2%.

San Sebastián, with €51,275, was the capital with the highest family income; followed by Bilbao (€42,805) and Vitoria-Gasteiz (€40,302).

Regarding the regional distribution, there were also differences between the twenty regions of the Basque Country. Nine regions received family income higher than the average, in particular Plentzia-Mungia (€50,653) in Bizkaia, Estribaciones del Gorbea (€49,599) in Álava, and Urola Costa (€46,370) in Gipuzkoa. The eleven remaining regions, however, received family income lower than the average, and the lowest figures of the classification are found in Bajo Bidasoa (€40,121) in Gipuzkoa, Encartaciones (€36,191) in Bizkaia, and Rioja Alavesa (€33,946) was the region with the lowest family income in the Basque Country.

Furthermore, family incomes differ depending on whether the main recipient was a man or a woman. Where the main recipient was a man, the families had an average income of €47,235, with the majority of families being concentrated in the intermediate and high strata, whereas if the main recipient was a woman the average income stood at €37,405 euros and was concentrated in the lowest income strata; 8% of these families were in the €9,001 to €12,000 stratum. However, it should be remembered that the size of families in the first group tended to be somewhat larger than those in the second group (2.2 persons aged 18 and over compared to 1.8), which explains why the income of those in the former was €21,470 compared to €20,440 in the latter.


62.8% of families receive an income below the Basque Country average or receive no income at all; in 2017, 2.2% of families were in the latter situation. On the other hand, 8.7% of families had an income of €85,880, which was double the average.

As for age, families with the main recipient aged under 40 and over 70 had family incomes below the Basque Country average, while the remainder had incomes above it.

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Basque Statistics Institute C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press Service: Tel: 945 01 75 62

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The average income of the population of the Basque Country increased by almost €800 euros in 2017, a rise of 3.9%

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