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Press Release 06/03/2019


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The municipalities in the Basque Country with the highest GDP per capita in 2016 had a strong industrial character

However, service activities predominated in the three capitals, above all in Bilbao and San Sebastián

The Basque municipalities with the highest GDP per capita were characterised by the strong presence of industrial activities. The municipality of Zamudio, in the province of Bizkaia, once again had the highest Gross Domestic Product per capita in the Basque Country in 2016, according to EUSTAT data. The municipalities of Olaberria and Ajangiz occupied second and third place, respectively; the former in Gipuzkoa and the latter in Bizkaia. In Araba/Álava, Berantevilla is the municipality with the highest GDP per capita, occupying seventh place in the Basque Country.

In 2016 the average GDP per capita stood at 32,771 euros, with 96 municipalities exceeding this average (38%), and 155 municipalities below the average (62%).


Analysing the distribution of the 10 municipalities with the highest GDP per capita by sectors, in most cases the prevalence of the Industrial sector stood out, being particularly important in municipalities such as Olaberria, Ajangiz, Etxeberria and Izurtza, where it exceeded 80% of global activity.

However, the municipalities of Zamudio and Laguardia showed a more equal distribution between the Industrial and Services sectors. In the case of Zamudio, this was mainly due to the strong presence of Engineering Services companies and the Industry linked to aircraft, in its Technology Park. In Laguardia, the most important Services were Hotel Management & Catering, associated with wine tourism activity, and Public Services (Education, Health activities and security and defence services), while the Industry was underpinned by the wine sector. On the other hand, in Loiu the Services sector had the greatest weight due to the services related to airport activity.

If we focus on the three capitals, where 35% of the population of the Basque Country resides, in 2016 San Sebastián showed the highest relative index position in respect of the GDP per capita of the Basque Country (120), that is, its GDP per capita is 20% higher than the Basque Country average. Vitoria-Gasteiz had an index of 105 and Bilbao stood slightly above the Basque Country average, with an index of 101.

Considering the development of the three capitals from 2010 to 2016, they have all improved their GDP indexes per capita: San Sebastián rose from 113 to 120, Vitoria-Gasteiz increased from 103 to 105, and Bilbao went from standing below the average, with 97, to exceeding the average with 101.

Although to varying degrees, service activities predominated in the three Basque capitals, as in the three Provinces as a whole

Around 90% of the GDP of both Bilbao and San Sebastián was generated by the Services sector, compared with Vitoria-Gasteiz where the percentage stood at 66.9%, due to the considerable contribution from the Industrial sector (27.6%), mostly underpinned by the Automotive Industry and Rubber Products. However, the Industrial sector registered a minimal weight in both San Sebastián (5.3%) and Bilbao (4.6%).


As for the overall performance of Gross Value Added (GVA) in the three capitals in 2016 compared to 2015, there was a positive variation in all three. San Sebastián had the highest year-on-year growth rate (5.4%), followed by Bilbao (4.5%) and Vitoria-Gasteiz (3.6%). By sector, the Services sector made the greatest contribution to growth in the three capitals. The increases in San Sebastián (5.1%) and Vitoria-Gasteiz (3.6%) were mainly based on the growth of Trade and Hotel Management & Catering activities, whereas in Bilbao, the 4.4% increase was mainly due to the growth of Professional Activities included in Other Services.

By region, the three regions that contributed the highest values of GDP per capita were in Álava. Rioja Alavesa registered the highest index (190) in respect of the Basque Country average (100). The municipalities which posted the highest indexes within this region were Laguardia (383), Villabuena de Álava/Eskuernaga (310) and Elciego (216). In all cases, the high index value came from Industrial activity associated with the wine sector.

The first three positions were completed by the regions of Valles Alaveses (172) and Estribaciones del Gorbea (131). The fourth, fifth and sixth positions were occupied by, respectively, the region of Duranguesado (117) in Bizkaia; Montaña Alavesa in Álava (113) and Alto Deba in Gipuzkoa, with an index of 113.

It is worth mentioning once again that, with the exception of Duranguesado and Alto Deba, the Industrial sector contributed a high percentage of the total value added of the majority of these regions: standing at around 55% on average, compared to 24.4% in the Basque Country as a whole. In contrast, the Services sector had less weight (35%) compared to the Basque Country average (69%). Duranguesado and Alto Deba had a strong Services sector, which contributed 53.2% and 47.6% of the total of their economic activity, respectively.

The same situation was observed in the other regions, where the Services sector also predominated, above all in Gran Bilbao where it reached a weight of 78.8%, and in Donostia-San Sebastián where it stood at 77.5%, both above the Basque Country average for this sector (69%).

Finally, the regions with the smallest Gross Domestic Product indexes per capita were: Enkartazioak/Encartaciones (56), Plentzia-Mungia (74) and Gernika-Bermeo (79), all located in Bizkaia.

Distribution of GDP per capita by regions. 2016


Source: Eustat. MUNICIPAL GDP

Methodological note:

To better interpret the data, Municipal GDP and Municipal income should be distinguished. Municipal GDP measures the wealth generated by the productive activities located in a municipality. Municipal income, on the other hand, is related to the incomes generated by people depending on their residence.

For further information:

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

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The municipalities in the Basque Country with the highest GDP per capita in 2016 had a strong industrial character

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