this compared to Germany at 36,081, UK 35,059, France 33,910, Italy 29,480, Greece 28,496, and Portugal 23,262.
Research about quality of life by the Economist Intelligence Unit's quality of life survey placed Spain as the country among the top 10 best quality of life in the world for 2005, ahead of other economically and technologically advanced countries like France, Germany, the United Kingdom and South Korea.
Before the collapse of the real estate boom there had been a corresponding rise in the levels of personal debt as prospective home owners struggled to meet asking prices. The average level of household debt tripled in less than a decade. This placed great pressure upon lower to middle income groups; by 2005 the median ratio of indebtedness to income had grown to 125%, due primarily to expensive boom time mortgages.
The 2008/2009 credit crunch and world recession manifested itself in Spain through a massive downturn in the property sector. Fortunately, Spain's banks and financial services avoided the more severe problems of their counterparts in the USA and UK, due mainly to a stringently enforced conservative financial regulatory regime. The Spanish financial authorities had not forgotten the country's own banking crisis of 1979 and an earlier real-estate-precipitated banking crisis of 1993. Indeed, Spain's largest bank, Banco Santander, participated in the UK government's bail-out of part of the UK banking sector.
A European Commission forecast predicted Spain would enter a recession by the end of 2008. According to Spain’s Finance Minister, “Spain faces its deepest recession in half a century”. Spain's government forecast the unemployment rate would rise to 16% in 2009. The ESADE business school predicted 20%. In 2012, it had already risen to an astonishing 23.3%.
During the last four decades the Spanish tourism industry has grown to become the second biggest in the world, worth approximately