Area: 505,970 km²
Residents: 46,549,045 (June 1, 2017)
Population density: 92 E / km²
Form of Government: parliamentary hereditary monarchy
System of Government: parliamentary democracy
Neighboring countries: Portugal, France, Andorra
Capital: Madrid National
language: Spanish
Official regional languages: Aranese, Basque, Galician, Catalan
92% Roman Catholic,
0.5% Muslim,
0.3% Protestant,
0.25% Jehovah’s Witnesses
Currency: Euro
Telephone area code: +34
Time zone: UTC + 1 CET
UTC + 2 CEST (March to Oct)

In 2020, 4,631 Germans officially emigrated to Spain and 5,206 came back to their homeland. Within the 10 years from 2010 to 2019, 62,956 Germans officially emigrated to Spain and 64,840 moved back to Germany. In 2020 there were officially 138,952 Germans living in Spain. For example, there are many German-speaking doctors – a list of them HERE. Some Germans have also taken citizenship from Spain.

There are over 5.8 million foreigners living in Spain, which is around twelve percent of the total population. Most of the immigrants are from Romania, North Africa, Latin America, the United Kingdom and Germany. Spanish is the official language throughout the national territory, Catalan also in Catalonia, Valencia (called Valencian there) and in the Balearic Islands, as well as Basque in the Basque Country and parts of Navarre and Galician in Galicia. English and French are mostly spoken as foreign languages. German is sometimes also spoken in tourist areas.

The tourist areas have been a major attraction for emigrants in the past few years, although there has now also been a decline. The economic and financial crisis has left its mark on Spain, especially in the construction sector. In addition to the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands were primarily popular, with Mallorca having been the number 1 emigration island for many years.

General travel regulations (up to the corona pandemic)

Travelers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria can stay in Spain for up to three months and work without any problems. If this deadline is exceeded, you must register with the residents’ registration office.

Immigration, permanent residence, residence permit

Students, pensioners and non-employed persons must be able to prove that they belong to the social security system of their home country and have a regular income if they want to stay in Spain permanently. A minimum amount of € 73.59 per person per day (at least € 661.50 per month) is defined as sufficient means of subsistence.

If you want to start a business, buy a property or accept an inheritance in Spain, you will need a Spanish NIE number. You can do this administrative process with a simple letter to a Spanish consulate in Germany. Please send in the following: a copy of your passport or PA as well as the application form filled in and signed in block letters (application PDF).

Labor market

To work in Spain you must have an NIE number (Numero Identificación de Extranjeros, only given to foreign workers). According to countryvv, the wages are on average a little lower than in Germany. The unemployment rate of 17.9 percent (January 2021) is one of the highest in the EU.

As a result of the strong tourism sector, seasonal work is widespread in all coastal towns, as of course in Mallorca. If you want to work in Spain for a longer period of time, you should sign an employment contract with the employer. Employers can offer fixed-term contracts of up to 9 months. In general, the employee is entitled to permanent employment after the temporary seasonal contract has expired.

The Spanish welfare system is currently also attractive to foreign workers. For example, anyone who loses their full-time position after six months or more is entitled to the full range of government support.

To start work in Spain you should have at least a basic knowledge of the Spanish language. Test here for free how well you speak and understand Spanish (takes about 3 minutes). If Catalan is spoken in your new adopted country or area, you can take a Catalan test here (takes about 3 minutes).

Real estate – purchase, lease or rent

Foreigners from the EU can easily buy or rent property in Spain. However, it is an advantage to seek help from an experienced real estate agency.

Cost of living

The cost of living is now comparable to that in Germany.

You would need around € 3,273.51 in Madrid to maintain the same standard of living that you could have in Berlin with € 3,700.00 (assuming you rent in the cities).

  • Consumer prices in Madrid are 11.37% lower than in Berlin (excluding rent)
  • Consumer prices in Madrid are 11.53% lower than in Berlin (including rent)
  • Rental prices in Madrid are 11.86% lower than in Berlin
  • Restaurant prices in Madrid are 2.57% higher than in Berlin
  • Food prices in Madrid are 11.89% lower than in Berlin
  • The local purchasing power in Madrid is 27.84% lower than in Berlin

Average cost of living in Madrid (from 08/2020 – 07/2021)

Restaurant Ø € Price € Price from / to
Food, price w. restaurant 12.00 9.00-16.75
Middle class, 3 courses for 2 people. 50.00 35.00 – 80.00
Local beer, 0.5 l 3.00 2.00-4.00
Imported beer, 0.33 l 3.50 3.00 – 4.50
cappuccino 2.00 1.20-3.00
Coca / Pepsi (0.33 l) 2.00 1.20-3.00
Water (0.33 l) 1.50 1.00-2.00
Food Ø € Price € Price from / to
Milk (1 L) 0.83 0.60-1.20
White bread (500g) 0.97 0.50-2.00
Rice (white), (1kg) 1.14 0.70-1.99
Eggs (12) 2.03 1.24-3.00
Local cheese (1kg) 9.51 5.00-15.00
Chicken breast fillet (1kg) 6.59 3.20-9.00
Beef (1kg) 11.19 7.00-16.00
Apples (1kg) 2.09 1.00-3.00
Bananas (1kg) 1.71 1.00-3.00
Oranges (1kg) 1.62 0.80 – 2.50
Tomatoes (1kg) 1.87 1.20 – 2.50
Potatoes (1kg) 1.26 0.80-2.00
Onions (1kg) 0.97 0.80-2.00
Lettuce (1 head) 0.97 0.80-1.00
Water (1.5 l) 0.71 0.35-1.00
Bottle of wine (middle class) 5.00 3.00 – 9.00
Local beer (0.5 l) 1.07 0.61-1.68
Imported beer (0.33 l) 1.64 1.00-3.00

Average cost of local transport, utilities, clothing, leisure, education of Madrid (from 08/2020 – 07/2021)

Mode of Transport Ø € Price € Price from / to
One-time ticket 1.50 1.40-2.00
Monthly pass 55.00 50.00 – 65.00
Taxi base amount 3.00 2.40-4.30
Taxi 1 km 1.10 1.00-2.00
Ancillary housing costs Ø € Price € Price from / to
for 85 sqm apartment (electricity, water, garbage, etc. 127.99 80.00 – 245.56
1 minute prepaid mobile tariff 0.22 0.07-0.30
Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable / ADSL) 39.83 30.00 – 60.00
Clothes, shoes Ø € Price € Price from / to
Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 66.04 40.00-100.00
Summer dress (Zara, H&M,… 29.48 19.99-49.00
Nike sports shoes, middle class 72.92 50.00-100.00
Leather business shoes 89.96 60.00-130.00
leisure time Ø € Price € Price from / to
Fitness center, month / adult 40.02 25.00 – 60.00
Tennis, 1 hour on weekends 11.81 7.00-15.00
a movie ticket 9.00 7.50-11.00
training Ø € Price € Price from / to
Preschool / Kindergarten, private, whole day, monthly per child 445.43 330.00 – 600.00
International primary school per year and child 7,700.00 5,000.00 – 12,000.00

Average rental prices / purchase and salaries of Madrid (from 08/2020 – 07/2021)

Monthly rental price Ø € Price € Price from / to
Apartment (1 bedroom) in the city center 876.81 750.00 – 1,200.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) outside the center 664.44 550.00 – 800.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in the city center 1,560.56 1,250.00 – 2,200.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside the center 1,078.43 900.00 – 1,500.00
Purchase price of apartments Ø € Price € Price from / to
Price per square meter for an apartment in the city – purchase 5,026.27 3,800.00 – 6,000.00
Price per square meter – apartment outside the center – purchase 3,063.53 2,500.00 – 4,500.00
wages Ø € Price € Price from / to
Average monthly salary (after taxes) 1,641.63

Average rental prices Barcelona (from 08/2020 – 07/2021)
Apartment (1 bedroom) in the city center: 899 €
Apartment (1 bedroom) outside the city center: 723 €
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in the city center: 1,501 €
Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside the center: € 1,097

Emigration and living in Spain

The high duration of sunshine makes Spain attractive for many people from colder regions of the world. It’s a good choice for well-heeled retirees. Mallorca in particular is at the top of the list. But for those who still have to earn their bread by working, Spain is no longer one of the recommended emigration countries, as the unemployment rate is very high. A firm job offer is strongly recommended in any case. You should at least be able to speak colloquial Spanish. Some advantages of the country: easy immigration, the cost of living a little cheaper (LHK-I 87.6), high quality of life.

Emigration to Spain

Emigration to Spain
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