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Spanish Economy

This section contains the historical series of the Spanish economy from 1850 to the present day, the result of the research carried out by Professor Leandro Prados de la Escosura throughout his academic career. The format of presentation of the data and the instruments offered for its analysis in this space allow the user to deepen his or her knowledge of our economic history and to travel through the different periods of expansion and crisis that the Spanish economy has undergone since the mid-19th century. It also provides a long and comparative view of GDP and population since the late 13th century.

The database prepared by Prados de la Escosura offers updated historical national accounts -including GDP, both from the demand and supply standpoint, plus capital, labour, and total factor productivity estimates- and provides a statistical base of unquestionable value for investigating the evolution of Spanish economic activity since 1850. The new database revises and expands the estimates offered in El Progreso Económico de España, 1850-2000 (Prados de la Escosura, 2003) and Spanish Economic Growth, 1850 – 2015 (Prados de la Escosura, 2017) (series updated to 2020).

The following is a tool for visualizing the main historical series of supply and demand, as well as for international comparison of per capita GDP:







Construction of the series

Historical output and expenditure series have been reconstructed for the century prior to the introduction of modern national accounts. Then, the available national accounts have been spliced through interpolation (as an alternative to conventional retropolation) providing new continuous series for 1958-2015. Lastly, the series for the ‘pre-statistical’ era (1850-1958) are linked to the spliced national accounts-, including 2020 Statistical Revision, in order to obtain yearly series for GDP and its expenditure and output components over 1850-2018.

The database includes nominal (current price) and real, or volume (constant price) series for GDP and its expenditure and output components.

Nominal and real Gross National Income (GNI), Net National income (NNI), and Net National Disposable Income (NNDI) estimates are also offered.

Deflators (implicit price indices resulting from dividing nominal and volume series) are provided for GDP and its demand and supply (expenditure and output) components. Deflators for GNI, NNI, and NNDI are also available.

On the basis of new population estimates, per capita GDP is derived.

Labour productivity is presented on the basis of the new estimates of Gross Value Added (GVA) and new series of full-time equivalent (FTE) employment and hours worked.

Lastly, PPP-adjusted GDP per head –that is, adjusted for differences in price levels across country (purchasing-power parity, PPP)- is placed in comparative perspective (expressed in 2011 EKS dollars and 1990 Geary-Khamis dollars, respectively).

spanish economy growth


Leandro Prados de la Escosura (2017), Spanish Economic Growth, 1850 – 2015

Spanish Economic Growth, 1850 – 2015






Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the value at market prices of all final goods and services produced within a country during a given time period.

Expenditure-based GDP is total final expenditures at market prices (including the value of exports of goods and services), less the value of imports of goods and services.

GDP on the expenditure side equals private final consumption + government final consumption + gross capital formation + exports – imports.

Output-based GDP is the sum of the gross value added of various sectors at basic prices, plus all taxes less subsidies on products.

Gross Value Added (GVA) is defined as the value of all newly generated goods and services less the value of all goods and services consumed in their creation; the depreciation of fixed assets is not included.

The basic price is the amount receivable by the producer exclusive of taxes payable on products and inclusive of subsidies receivable on products.

Nominal GDP is the value of GDP at current prices, here measured in millions of Euros.

Real GDP is the value of GDP at a given base year prices, here presented at constant (2010) market prices measured in millions of Euros

The use of a time series of GDP in constant prices rather than current prices removes the impact of price changes and shows the volume change in GDP.

The GDP Deflator is the price index used to measure changes in the overall level of prices for the goods and services that make up GDP. It is calculated as the ratio of nominal to real GDP and expressed in index form with 2010=100.

 Gross National Income at market prices (GNI) is the sum of incomes of residents of an economy in a given period. Equals GDP less net primary income from the rest of the world.
Note that Gross National Income (GNI) is identical to Gross National Product (GNP).

Net National Income at market prices (NNI) is GNI less consumption of fixed capital.
Consumption of fixed capital reflects the decline in the value of the fixed assets of enterprises, governments and owners of dwellings in the household sector.

Net National Disposable Income at market prices (NNDI) is NNI plus net current transfers from the rest of the world.

GDP per capita is the average GDP per person and is calculated by dividing either nominal or real GDP for a given year by the population in that year.

Labour productivity measures the amount of goods and services produced per input of labour.

Here, labour productivity is defined as Gross Value Added (GVA) per full-time equivalent (FTE) worker or per hour worked. It is expressed in index form with 2010=100.

Employment is the number of people engaged in productive activities in an economy, including both employees and the self-employed.

The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) workers is obtained as the ratio of the total number of hours worked in a year and the number of hours worked by a full-time worker in the same year.

PPP-adjusted Per Capita GDP represents GDP per person adjusted for differences in price levels across countries (purchasing-power parity (PPP) adjustment). Here it is expressed in 2011 EKS dollars and 1990 Geary-Khamis dollars, alternatively, in order to facilitate international comparisons.

PPPs tell us how many currency units a given quantity of goods and services costs in different countries.

Sources: Eurostat and OCDE glossaries.

External links

VOX EU: A long-run perspective on the productivity slowdown: Spain since 1850

VOX EU: Growth recurring in a preindustrial economy: Spain in a half-millennium perspective

Nada es Gratis: La desaceleración de la productividad en España: una visión de largo plazo

Warwick: The Black Death in Spain: A European Perspective

Springer Link: Capital in Spain, 1850–2019

Wiley online library: Accounting for Growth: Spain, 1850–2019

Springer Link: Growth recurring in preindustrial Spain?

Wiley Online Library: Accounting for Growth in History

Science Direct: War, pandemics, and modern economic growth in Europe

📺 La inquietud: La España medieval

🎧 La inquietud: Leandro Prados de la Escosura

📺 De frontera a imperio: una historia económica de España

📺 De imperio a nación: una historica económica de España de los últimos 200 años

Spanish Historical Macroeconomic Series by Leandro Prados de la Escosura is licensed under CC BY 4.0