The socioeconomic balance is a clear reflection that Spain is a success story. Since 1977, per capita income for the Spanish has doubled in real terms and gone from 76.1% of the EU average to the current 92%. The incorporation of women in the job market is a reality – their participation has grown from 28% to 53%. At the same time, the productive model has been through a process of tertiarisation , as in the rest of the advanced economies, with the service sector accounting for 75% of employment (42% in 1977). Exports have increased from 13.3% to 33.1% of GDP, highlighting the role of Spanish multinationals, some of which are world leaders. Integration in the European project boosted foreign investment attractiveness and provided our economy with greater price and interest rate stability. In conclusion, Spain’s current economy is more competitive and open to the world.
After a long economic downturn, Spain has recovered its levels of wealth from 2008, and leads economic growth among the main European nations. However, the recovery hasn’t been enough to resolve the structural problems that persist today. Added to high levels of unemployment (especially long-term and youth unemployment), debt and the shadow economy, there is the inefficiency of our education system and increases in inequality, population ageing and deterioration in institutional quality. This is set against a backdrop of a changing world that is more multipolar, multicultural and fragmented than the one that existed when democratic Spain started its journey.
Therefore, it isn’t only time to reflect on the past but also to prepare for the future. It may seem uncertain, but it’s also open and offers enormous opportunities as a result of the main macro-tendencies that we see in the 2030 scenario: