1. Discover Basque Country
  3. About Basque Country
  5. Euskadi in figures

Euskadi in figures

Image of the Guggenheim

The Basque Country may be small but it has a big identity. With over 5,000 years of history, it conserves a unique culture and the oldest language in Europe

Today it's a modern country with a human development rating that places it in eighth place in the world, according to the United Nations (PNUD).

On the map

Located at the eastern end of the Cantabrian coast, it covers an area of 7,234 km² and its position makes it the nexus of the European Atlantic axis. It has a population of over 2 million people, with a density of over 300 inhabitants per square kilometre.

Institutional structure

The capital of the Basque Country is Vitoria-Gasteiz, where the Basque parliament and the seat of the Basque government are located. Its degree of autonomy in policy areas including education, industry, culture, health and social security and services has enabled it to achieve a high rating in the human development index: eighth place in the world. The official languages are Basque and Spanish.

There are also three historic regions in the Basque Country: Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa. The institutional architecture of each of them is based on executive bodies known as Diputaciones Forales and the legislative chambers known as Juntas Generales. The origins of these institutions date back to the 15th century.

Its own tax system

The Basque Country has a tax system of its own which is unique in the world. The so-called Concierto Económico (Economic Agreement) is a structure of bilateral tax and financial relations between the Basque Country and Spain. The development and progress achieved by Basque society in recent decades in terms of economic growth and social cohesion would scarcely have been possible without the tool of the Economic Agreement.

www.conciertoeconomico.org 👉

An economic and social snapshot

Industry is the driving force of the Basque economy, accounting for 21.7% of GDP, and it aims to lead the fourth industrial revolution: 130% productivity per employee. Unemployment stands at 12.89%, well below its neighbours.

The Basque Country has the eighth highest per capita income in Europe. 33% of the population aged 16 and over had higher qualifications. The life expectancy is 83.4 years, a figure which is only beaten in the world by Japan and Hong Kong.


The Basque Country has an excellent transport and communications network by road, rail and air, with fast links to the rest of Spain and Europe. It has 4,264 km of roads, of which nearly 500 km are motorways and trunk roads. The Basque Countries has airports in its three provincial capitals, though Bilbao is the only international one.