Barcelona is the capital and the most populous city of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain. Barcelona's economy consists of finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts and international trade. Barcelona has a long-standing mercantile tradition. Spain is in South Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France. Temperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast. Large, flat to dissected plateau surrounded by rugged hills; Pyrenees in north. The official languages are Spanish, Catalan, Euskera (Basque language), Galician and Valencian. Regional differences are strong, English is the most commonly spoken foreign language; French can also be useful, especially in Catalonia. More people speak foreign languages in the capital Madrid and in Barcelona. The main religion is Christianity. The economy of Spain has been regarded as one of the most dynamic within the EU, attracting significant amounts of foreign investment. The security risk for expatriates in Spain is low. Risks include petty crime, and the underlying threat of terrorism. The population in Barcelona is 5.1 Mil (2014 est.), while the inflation rate is 0.09% (2014 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in Barcelona as at 1 January 2015 is high in comparison to other places in the world. In Barcelona, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average in USD, is categorized follows: 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Low 2) Clothing: Very High 3) Communication: High 4) Education: Average 5) Furniture & Appliances: Average 6) Groceries: Average 7) Healthcare: Low 8) Household Accommodation: Average 9) Miscellaneous: High 10) Personal Care: High 11) Recreation & Culture: Very High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very High 13) Transport: High Barcelona is for example -2% cheaper than Montevideo for groceries, -7.3% cheaper for household costs than Durban, and 15.1% more expensive for transport costs than Athens. Barcelona is ranked as a minimal hardship location. Hardship (also know as quality of living) refers to the degree of hardship an expatriate and their family are likely to experience in the host location. Hardship pay is compensation to encourage people to move, in particular to less desirable locations. In determining the amount of hardship premium payable, factors such as economic, political, religious, infrastructure, environment/climate, personal safety, health, education, and transportation factors are considered. The hardship premium for Barcelona for an expat from Zurich is for example 0%, i.e. host location (Barcelona) premium of 10% minus home (Zurich) location premium of 10%. Xpatulator.com has been created to assist subscribers calculate expatriate pay using the online calculators and extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship or expat pay in Barcelona? Register subscribe to your home location and Barcelona and run your personalised reports.