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How Many Square Metres are Spaniards Spending the Lockdown in?

Every household in Spain has an average of 42.75 square metres for each inhabitant, with 2.51 people in each home. Ceuta, Melilla, Guipúzcoa and Madrid are the areas with the least space.

For some, the confinement began two weeks ago; for others, the closure of schools, universities and nurseries signalled the start of the lock-in with their respective families ten days ago; others have been shut indoors for just over a week. The truth is that Spain’s more than 46 million inhabitants have all been subjected to a mandatory quarantine in their respective homes for several days now and no-one knows for how much longer it is going to last. However, the situation is far from equitable for everyone, and while some enjoy spacious single-family homes with private gardens and outdoor space, others don’t even have a window overlooking the street.

How much space do the Spaniards who are shut up in their homes due to coronavirus have? According to data collected by the Brainsre real estate big data platform, each Spaniard has an average of 42.73 square metres of surface area in their respective homes, where 2.51 people live on average. “The data collected from the cadastral records in the third quarter of 2019 reveals that each person has between 28 and 45 square metres in municipalities with more than 150,000 inhabitants,” says Antonio Ramudo, Data Analyst at Brains.

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By region, the inhabitants of 33 provinces have more surface area than the national average. Leading the ranking is Lugo, with almost 60 square metres, followed by Zamora, with 56.8 square metres; and thirdly, Soria, with about 56.5 square metres. “These three provinces have extensive rural areas, which are populated with large single-family homes – many of them linked to agriculture – from where there has been a mass exodus of inhabitants to large capitals in recent years, with the resultant decrease in the number of inhabitants per dwelling”, explains Ramudo. In the middle of the table, we see provinces such as Salamanca, with 48.5 square metres; A Coruña, with 47.4 square metres and Granada, with 46.08 square metres.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are Ceuta and Melilla, whose inhabitants have an average of 32 and 33 square metres, respectively. They are followed closely by Guipúzcoa and Madrid, whose citizens have only 34.02 and 35.68 square metres per inhabitant, on average.

Benahavís has more than 100 m² per inhabitant

At the municipal level, the data reveals even more inequalities: the inhabitants of Benahavís, in Málaga, are living this quarantine with more than 106 square metres of space at their disposal, on average. By contrast, the residents of Astigarraga, in Guipúzcoa are living in just 25 m², on average. “Benahavís is listed as the Top 1 municipality with 106 square metres because the small town, which has just 8,000 inhabitants and which is situated close to Marbella, is home to the famous La Zagaleta urbanization, the most exclusive in Spain. La Zagaleta comprises more than 200 villas, which span an average of 1,250 square metres each,” explains Brainsre’s analyst. In fact, in this urbanisation, which is home to wealthy families from all over the world, the houses built in the last decade span an average of more than 1,500 square metres.

The Mallorcan municipalities of Artá and Santanyí are ranked within the top 20 of areas with most space per inhabitant: with more than 76 and 74.7 square metres and an average of 1.97 and 1.87 people per household, respectively.

For quite different reasons, several municipalities in Lugo also appear at the top of the list of confinement spaces, such as Vilalba – with an average 86 square meters per inhabitant-, and Outerio de Rei and Castro de Rei, with 85.8 and 78.6 square metres, respectively. “These municipalities are all located in the region of Terra Chá, a rural area with large houses built in the twentieth century to accommodate families who worked in the fields. With the transition, the children of these families moved to larger cities, leaving the rural areas behind, but their parents remain, which means one or two people living in very large houses, “explains Ramudo.

In the Community of Madrid, the data varies significantly by municipality. Thus, for example, the towns of Fuenlabrada and Parla appear at the bottom of the ranking nationwide in terms of available square metres per household, with 28.9 and 29.35 square metres, respectively. Slightly higher, but also below the national average of 45.47 square metres at the municipal level, are locations such as Humanes, Leganés, Móstoles and Getafe, all with less than 34 square metres per head.

MunicipalityAverage m2 per inhabitantAverage # of inhabitants per household 
Alcobendas37.12.99
Madrid34.722.47
Getafe33.992.65
Alcalá de Henares32.412.72
Móstoles32.182.75
Alcorcón32.172.58
Leganés31.582.62
Torrejón de Ardoz30.752.92
Parla29.352.97
Fuenlabrada28.92.88

Madrid capital also ranks below the national average, with just 34.72 square meters per inhabitant, and 2.55 people per family unit (the average for Madrid’s municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants is 42.02 square metres per person). The citizens of Madrid have fewer square metres, on average, than those living in Barcelona, ​​where the figure stands at about 38.8 m2, according to cadastral data.

At the opposite end of the spectrum to Madrid capital, residents in towns such as Valdemorillo, Paracuellos del Jarama and Villaviciosa de Odón enjoy 68.9, 67.6 and 64.4 square metres, respectively. If we expand the filter to include locations with between 5,000 and 10,000 inhabitants, then it is the residents of El Boalo who are enjoying the most spacious lock-ins with no less than 71.7 square metres per inhabitant.

In locations such as Las Rozas, Boadilla del Monte and Pozuelo, areas with the highest incomes per capita in the country, which is also reflected in the size of the homes, the number of square metres per inhabitant is not as high as we might expect. The reason? The number of inhabitants in each home is much higher than, for example, Madrid. Thus, in Las Rozas, every resident has 62.43 square metres, followed by Pozuelo de Alarcón, with 60.56 square metres. Meanwhile, citizens of Boadilla del Monte have almost 57 square metres per person, taking into account that each home has 3.43 inhabitants, on average.

Madrid is also home to the most towns with more than 5,000 inhabitants with the highest number of people per household. In this vein, Villanueva de la Cañada has 3.8 people per household, Cubas de la Sagra has 3.7 and Arroyomolinos, 3.6. Only Seseña, in Toledo, with 3.9 inhabitants per house, surpasses it, and Astigarraga in Guipúzcoa, with 3.5 and Vícar in Almeria, with 3.4 come close behind.

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