OECD Rural Policy Reviews: Spain 2009

image of OECD Rural Policy Reviews: Spain 2009
The radical transformation that Spanish rural areas have experienced in the past few decades suggest, as it has occurred in many OECD countries, a new approach to rural policy. Spain has recently undertaken a major reform of its rural policies, including the merger of the Ministry of Agriculture with the Ministry of the Environment and the recently approved Law on Sustainable Development of Rural Areas.  This new framework creates a multi-sectoral and place-based “rural policy of state”, making Spain better equipped to address the challenges and opportunities of rural areas.

This report – undertaken at the same time as the reforms were being implemented – will interest both policy makers engaged in similar reform processes and others working on issues such the “political economy” of reforms, rural tourism, renewable energies, rural clusters, development of peri-urban areas and public service delivery in remote rural areas.



Assessment and Recommendations

Please note that this publication contains a French and Spanish version of the assessment and recommendations of the review at the end of the book.

Veuillez noter que cette publication contient une version française de l’évaluation et des recommandations de la revue à la fin du livre.

Sírvase notar que esta publicación contiene una versión en castellano de la evaluación y recomendaciones del estudio al final del libro.


According to the OECD definition of rural areas at the municipal level, 92% of the Spanish territory is rural and it hosts 27% of the population. These figures are close to the “official” classification of rural areas, as defined by the recently published Law on Sustainable Development of Rural Areas (LDSMR), according to which, rural areas extend to 92.7% of the territory, although the figure for population reaches 42% (17 million people). At the regional level (TL3/NUTS3), Spain has 7 predominantly urban (PU) regions (provinces), 27 intermediate (IN) regions and 18 predominantly rural (PR). The prevalence of intermediate regions is noteworthy. The particular pattern of population settlement in Spain is characterised by a few large cities and a large number of medium and small cities, concentrated mostly in the coastal provinces. This gives Spain a low rank in comparison with other OECD countries in terms of the territory, population, and GDP of PR regions (45% of the territory, 13% of the population and 10% of the GDP).

English Spanish, French

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