Aragon Economy

Aragon is among the richest autonomous regions in Spain, with GDP per capita above the nation’s average. The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the autonomous community was 37.0 billion euros in 2018, accounting for 3.1% of Spanish economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 30,200 euros or 100% of the EU27 average in the same year. The GDP per employee was 101% of the EU average.

The traditional agriculture-based economy from the mid-20th century has been greatly transformed in the past several decades and now service and industrial sectors are the backbone of the economy in the region.

The well-developed irrigation system around the Ebro has greatly supported the productive agriculture. The most important crops include wheat, barley, rye, fruit and grapes. Livestock-breeding is essential especially in the northern areas, where the lush meadows provide excellent conditions for sheep and cattle. As of November 2020 the regional livestock includes 8.8 million pigs (around six pigs per person), and, as of January 2021, 73.1 million gallifowls. Also as of November 2020, there were more than 1.6 million sheep and about 50,000 goats, as well as about 400,000 head of cattle, most of them in Huesca province. According to Greenpeace, 30% of the Aragonese territory is endangered by liquid manure from intensive farming, putting aquifers and other water reserves at risk.

The chief industrial centre is the capital Zaragoza, where the largest factories are located. The largest plant is the Opel automotive plant with 8730 employees and production of 200000 per year. It supports many related industries in the area. Other large plants in the city include factories for trains and household appliances. Mining of iron ore and coal is developed to the south, near Ojos Negros. Electricity production is concentrated to the north where numerous hydro power plants are located along the Pyrenean rivers and in the 1150 MW Teruel Power Plant. There is an aluminium refinery in the town of Sabiñánigo. The main centres of electronics industry are Zaragoza, Huesca and Benabarre. Chemical industry is developed in Zaragoza, Sabiñánigo, Monzón, Teruel, Ojos Negros, Fraga, Benabarre and others.

The transport infrastructure has been greatly improved. There are more than of motorways which run from Zaragoza to Madrid, Teruel, Basque country, Huesca and Barcelona. The condition of the other roads is also good. As of 2016 there are 899,008 cars in Aragon. Through the territory of the province runs the new high-speed railway between Madrid and Barcelona with siding from Zaragoza to Huesca, which is going to be continued to the French border. There is an International Airport at Zaragoza, as well as several smaller airports at Huesca, Caudé, Santa Cilia de Jaca and Villanueva de Gállego.

The unemployment rate stood at 11.6% in 2017 and was lower than the national average.

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