There’s an eerie feeling around the streets when I visited Spain…the image below was taken in the middle of Puerta del Sol in Madrid, a few steps away, there were protesters chanting against the current situation in Venezuela, there were homeless people asking for change, and others selling counterfeit goods on the lookout for the police.
Parallel to this scene, was a completely different setting, full of tourists, five star hotels, expensive restaurants and old world architecture that reminded me of the decadence of the Spanish empire.
Although it is general knowledge that Spain is on a long road to recovery from the economic crises of the of the early 2000’s, this contrast got me wondering about the income disparity that could exist in a place like Spain, where the unemployment rate was still hovering around 18% at the time I traveled.
Below is the data–as of 2010, 24% of Spain’s population live in lower income households and 13% are in the upper income brackets, their statistics are starkly similar to that of the United States, where 26% of the population live in low income households and 15% are in upper income households. The difference is that America’s unemployment rate is under 5%, and Spain’s is more than TRIPLE that number, YET, they have less households living on the edge of poverty, and more middle income households than we do in the US.
Food for thought….