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Most Spaniards under 30 'too poor' to flee the nest

Alex Dunham · 22 Aug 2013, 11:25

Published: 22 Aug 2013 11:25 GMT+02:00

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Spaniards have a reputation for leaving their parents’ nest later than their European counterparts, but the country’s recession is only serving to aggravate the trend even further.

A new study by Spain’s Youth Emancipation Observatory shows that 1.8 million young Spaniards between the ages of 16 and 29 who are in work are not capable of fending for themselves financially speaking.

Low salaries are stopping the vast majority of them from being able to afford to rent, as the report shows their average wages can only cover rental costs in two of Spain’s least wealthy regions: Extremadura and Castile-La Mancha.

Young Spaniards would have to earn a staggering 80 percent more than their average salaries to be able to afford to buy a house (keeping in mind that only 30 percent of their wages should go to paying a mortgage).

In a country where home ownership has long been viewed as a quintessential element of financial and social stability, “young Spaniards are being almost systematically excluded from the property market”.

“Most young people view home ownership as a kind of utopia,” Sheyla Suárez, one of the study’s authors, points out.

However,  Suárez’s research has picked up on a buck in the trend among Spaniards aged 30 to 34.

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“Aside from Andalusia, Asturias, the Canaries and Galicia, 70 percent of Spaniards in this age group no longer live with their parents,” she adds.

But young Spaniards in both demographics are often overqualified for their job positions, with 53.9 percent of 16 to 29-year-olds and 56.2 percent of 30 to 34-year-olds carrying out jobs that are below their skillset.

Alex Dunham (alex.dunham@thelocal.com)

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