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Working in Spain For Members

Which foreign nationals in Spain have the highest salaries?

Esme Fox
Esme Fox - [email protected]
Which foreign nationals in Spain have the highest salaries?
EU workers in Spain tend to earn more than third country nationals. (Photo by FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP)

There are 1.83 million salaried foreigners in Spain who earn an average of €1,720 gross per month. However, new data reveals how some nationalities tend to earn much more.

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Interestingly, the latest data from Spain's Social Security reveals that some foreigners in Spain tend to earn more than other extranjeros.

The results show that the 611,801 employees from the European Union earn much more than those from third countries.

In December 2023, the latest data available, they earned an average of €2,019 gross per month, while those from third countries earned €1,570 per month.

For reference, Spaniards on average had a gross salary of €2,216 per month, according to membership data. This is 10 percent higher than the average salary of EU workers in Spain 40 percent higher than non-EU foreigners.

Out of the 36 countries that were included in the statistics, workers from 15 (all of them from the EU) were found to have salaries higher than the average for Spaniards.

The leaderboard was topped by the French, who earn the most in Spain, with a gross payroll of €2,810 per month. This was based on data from the 41,878 French people who work here.

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Surprisingly, the next three highest earners were the Maltese, the Cypriots and Greeks, with €2,756, €2,688 and €2,675 per month respectively.

Given the small number of nationals from these countries who live and work in Spain, it is thought that those who do come here are managers of companies or are highly qualified.

For example, there are only 164 workers from Malta living in Spain, 295 from Cyprus and 3,098 from Greece.

In 5th place were the Austrians who earned €2,647 per month gross on average; followed by the Germans with €2,578; then those from Luxembourg with €2,548.

In 8th place were the 2,196 Danes who work in Spain, earning €2,196; the 12,322 born in the Netherlands earned €2,475 and the Swedes with 5,883 employees in Spain who earned €2,460 monthly, completing the list of the top 10. 

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Next on the list were the Belgians, Irish, Slovaks, Finns and Croatians. Italians come in midway down the list, despite the fact that they are the second largest group of working foreigners in Spain with 137,757 people, earning an average €2,167.

They are also the first group who earned below the amount earned by Spaniards, who earn €2,216 per month, according to the data.

Hungarians in Spain earned €2,162, followed by the 52,539 Portuguese (the third largest nationality employed in Spain); Slovaks, Poles and Czechs, earned between €2,000 and €2,100 per month.

Among those EU foreigners who earned the least are the Romanians, with a monthly salary of €1,649, the largest foreign group, with 223,480 people working here. Above them, are the Bulgarians earning €1,651 and the Lithuanians with €1,756.

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When it comes to foreigners from outside the EU, it was revealed that 37,422 Britons contribute to social security and earn an average of €2,120 per month, which is also below the average Spanish salary.

After this are the 45,244 Argentinians, the second non-EU with the highest salaries, with €1,786, and the 46,143 Ukrainians who earned €1,601 monthly.

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This is followed by the Ecuadorians, the Peruvians, the Bolivians, the 119,128 Venezuelans and the 143,853 Colombians, who earn €1,456.

Moroccans make up the second largest group of non-EU workers in Spain with, 192,337 employees earning an average of €1,473.

The ranking is closed by the Chinese, whose employees, earn €1,399 per month, almost a €1,000 less than the Spanish.

There are also big differences in the pay increases that have occurred this year. The largest increase has been for the Maltese, 11.5 percent compared to December 2022, and the lowest has been for the Estonians, whose contribution base has only risen by 1.7 percent in the year.

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