Spain Education and Media

Spain Education and Media


The responsibilities of the education administration are divided between the Ministry of Education and the 17 autonomous communities. Attending publicly funded schools is free as part of compulsory education. Around a third of the students attend private institutions that require school fees.

The ten-year compulsory school period extends from 6 to 16 years of age and includes six years of primary and four-year lower secondary level. Lower secondary level is divided into two cycles and leads to the final certificate, which is part of the transition to the voluntary two-year general and university preparatory upper secondary level II Abitur (Bachillerato) or a two-year middle-level vocational training course.

According to toppharmacyschools, the vocational school system, which was reformed in 2002 with a new curriculum, is divided into basic training within the compulsory secondary level, special vocational training as post-compulsory middle and higher-level training, and extracurricular vocational training.

Just under 60% of the Spanish population have completed higher secondary education; a rather low value in European comparison (Germany: 81%; EU: 74%). Another major deficit is the high number of school leavers without qualifications, who are disproportionately affected by unemployment, social exclusion and poverty in later life.

There are over 80 public and private institutions in the autonomous higher education sector, including universities, technical colleges, universities of applied sciences as well as colleges of art and music. The universities in Salamanca (founded in 1218), Valladolid (founded in 1346) and Barcelona (founded in 1450) are among the oldest in Europe. The largest Spanish university is the Universidad Complutense de Madrid with almost 80,000 students.


Freedom of opinion and freedom of the press have only been constitutionally guaranteed since 1976. The media landscape is diverse, but the last economic crisis accelerated a process of concentration. The groups PRISA, Grupo Vocento, Unidad Editorial, COPE Group, Planet Group, Mediaset España and the Godó Group have a strong position.

The awareness of political information among the Spanish population has increased considerably in recent years. At the same time, the limited diversity of opinion in the public and private media has come under fire. Information tends to be sent close to the party and management positions in the media are filled according to party-political aspects. The increasing use of the Internet in Spain in the recent past is now increasing the diversity of opinion and reducing the dominant position of the traditional media.

The most important mass medium is television. In 2018, around 85% of all Spaniards over the age of 14 watched TV an average of 210 minutes a day.

Broadcasting: Of all the media, the radio enjoys the greatest trust. With Prisa Radio, Atresmedia Radio and COPE Group, however, only three media groups dominate the radio market. The average number of listeners in 2018 was just over 10 million. Their radio consumption was around 100 minutes / day. Wide-reaching programs are SER, COPE, Lot 40 and Onda Cero.

Press: In an EU-wide comparison, daily newspapers are of very little importance in Spain. In 2018, Spain had just 102 readers per 1,000 residents (EU: 201 readers; Germany: 282 readers). The three largest of around 135 daily newspapers appear in Madrid: the left-liberal »El País« (founded in 1976; PSOE-affiliated; edition 2018: 167,500) and the conservative papers »El Mundo« (founded in 1989; edition 2018: 123,000) and »ABC« (founded in 1905; edition 2018: 105,000). Free newspapers such as »20 Minutos« and »Qué!« Compete with the established daily newspapers.

Regional newspapers are also influential; the largest circulation are »La Vanguardia« (bilingual, founded 1881; edition 2018: 108,000) and »El Periódico de Cataluña« (bilingual, founded 1978; edition 2018: 80,000) in Barcelona and »El Correo« (founded 1910; edition 2018: 70,000) in Bilbao.

With Marca (circulation 2018: 154,000) and As (circulation 2018: 134,000) there are two daily newspapers that specialize solely in sports reporting.

Information society: In 2018, around 82% of the Spanish population used the Internet (EU: 85%; Germany: 92%). The most common device when using the Internet is the smartphone (96%), followed by laptops (51%) and tablets (31%). In terms of online activities, games, videos and music dominate (83% of all internet users between 16 and 74 years of age), reading the news (78%), participating in social networks (54%) and making video calls (31%). Around 60% of Spanish Internet users also buy goods or services on the Internet and do online banking. Home office was before the COVID-19 -Pandemic with a share of 4.3% (2018) among Spanish employees is comparatively low (Germany: 5%; EU frontrunner Netherlands: 14%). However, Spain is considered to be one of the EU countries with the highest online interactions between authorities and citizens. Around 40% of the Spanish population already exclusively use IT services from public administration.

Spain Education

Country facts

  • Official name: Kingdom of Spain
  • License plate: E.
  • ISO-3166: ES, ESP (724)
  • Internet
  • Currency: 1 euro (€) = 100 cents
  • Area: 505,940 km²
  • Population (2019): 47.1 million
  • Capital: Madrid
  • Official language (s): Spanish, regional Catalan, Valencian, Basque and Galician
  • Form of government: Parliamentary monarchy
  • Administrative division: 17 autonomous communities with 52 provinces
  • Head of State: King Felipe VI.
  • Head of Government: Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón
  • Religion (s) (2019): 69% Catholics; 27% atheists, agnostics and non-believers; 4% others
  • Time zone: Central European Time
  • National holiday: October 12th

Location and infrastructure

  • Location (geographical): Southwestern Europe
  • Position (coordinates): between 36 ° and 43 ° 47 ‘north latitude and 4 ° 19’ and 9 ° 19 ‘west longitude
  • Climate: Oceanic in the north, otherwise Mediterranean
  • Highest mountain: Pico de Teide (3 718 m)
  • Road network (2011): 683 200 km (paved)
  • Railway network (2017): 15,333 km


  • Annual population growth (2021): -0.03%
  • Birth rate (2021): 8.1 per 1000 inh.
  • Death rate (2021): 9.8 per 1000 pop.
  • Average age (2020): 43.9 years
  • Average life expectancy (2021): 82.2 years (men 79.2; women 85.4)
  • Age structure (2020): 15.0% younger than 15 years, 18.5% older than 65 years
  • Literacy rate (15-year-olds and older) (2018): 98.4%
  • Mobile phone contracts (pre-paid and post-paid) (2019): 118 per 100 residents
  • Internet users (2019): 91 per 100 residents


  • GDP per capita (2019): US $ 29,993
  • Total GDP (2019): US $ 1,394 billion
  • GNI per capita (2019): US $ 30,360
  • Education expenditure (2017): 4.2% of GDP
  • Military expenditure (2020): 1.2% of GDP
  • Unemployment rate (15 years and older) (2019): 14.0%

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