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Spain or Australia: Where Should You Migrate?

24 June, 2016

Spain’s national elections is closing in and is likely to enter a new political era that will make or break its already established economic policies. For decades, the country has hovered between the new and old, carefully balancing tradition and progress in backdrop of political upheavals and victory.  But all in all, Spain is a solid migration destination for those who are trying to settle to a different land due to its culture and strong economy.

We compared its numbers with Australia to help you decide which nation to choose.







Spain is a member of the European Union and is the fourteenth largest economy in the world in terms of GDP. Economic sectors include agribusiness, energy, tourism, automotive industry, and external trade. Despite this, the average salary here is lower compared to the rest of the European Union. However, the very low cost of living, well below the European average, makes up for that.

Though the law mandates that the employees never work more than 40 hours a week, the average working time here is quire lower at 1,689 hours a year or 33 hours a week. Employment contract set ups are divided into two: permanent and short term. Permanent contracts (or contratos indefinidos) are agreements without any prearranged completion date. Short contracts (or contratos fijos) has specified end dates, and cannot last longer than three years.



One of the largest mixed market economies in the world, Australia’s economy is primarily driven by its service sector, comprising 68% of its GDP. Other sectors (and biggest employers) include mining, manufacturing, agriculture, finance, tourism, media, education, and logistics. It is the 12th largest in the world in terms of GDP. Unemployment here is higher by a small margin at 5.8%, but still very low in overall scale.

At 1,664 working hours annually, it is slightly lower than Spain, and way lower than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average of 1,770.




Health Care



Health care in Spain is considered one of the bests in the world, having ranked by the World Health Organization as the 7th most efficient among other countries. It is comprised of public and private system. Having a private health insurance is not a requirement to get medical treatment, but it provides access to faster treatment for non-emergency procedures.

Public universal healthcare is being administered to all of its citizens through a tax-financed scheme operated by INGESA (Instituto Nacional de Gestión Sanitaria), part of the Ministry of Health and Social Policy. Provisions more or less differ depending on the patient’s region.

Meanwhile, approximately 18% of the population only has private health insurance, including most civil servants. This insurance is utilized either as an alternative or a supplement to public health care.



Like Spain, Australia’s health care is divided into two systems. There is the private health system, and there is the Medicare for the public system. The latter is funded partly by a 2% Medicare levy (with exceptions for low-income earners), with the rest being supplied by government. An additional levy of 1% is imposed on high-income earners without private health insurance.

Medicare is the government’s universal health insurance scheme. It provides Australian residents free treatment as a public patient in a public hospital and free or subsidized treatment for optometrist, dental care, and psychology services as well as treatment by doctors.

The extent to which the health care system is used is flexible among Australian citizens, overseas visitors, and temporary and permanent visa holders.  Their needs, entitlements, and expectations are influenced by many components such as the nature and degree of their health status, age, gender, location, and cultural background.

Check here how the Australian Public Health Care System Works.







Spanish cuisine has been transformed and re-modified many times throughout history, as it has transformed from the Roman Era to the Middle Ages to the discovery of Americas. It resulted in a complex cuisine that takes advantages of local ingredients in the most ingenious way possible, and is equally diverse in each region.

Restaurants are scattered across the country, each one offering its own specialty and way of cooking. When dining out, it’s not unusual to get freebies like olives, chips, or even tapas. Get also you cash always ready, as most machines here accepts only credit cards with a chip on it. You may also want to adjust your eating time. Lunchtime is Spain is from 2pm to 5pm. If you try to eat beyond that, it’ll be challenging to find a place to eat, as they close in between meals. They won’t open until 8pm, which is dinner time for them, and even that is extremely early.



Like Spain, Australian cuisine has changed over time and is a fusion of native aboriginal inventiveness and British colonial contribution, with mix of Asian and Mediterranean traditions provided by wave after wave of post-colonial migrations and helped transform their cuisine. They usually take advantage of meat available in the continent, such as lamb, kangaroo, and emu, as well as pork, beef, and chickens. Like the Japanese, Aussies prefer the freshest produces as much as possible (check here for Australia’s most amazing/weirdest foods).

Food here is served all time so there will be not much challenges when it comes to your preferred eating time. Though for exclusive restaurants, making reservations and confirming them are a protocol. For informal places, not much. And you may share a table with a stranger. You may strike a conversation if welcomed.







The housing atmosphere in Spain is geared more towards selling rather than renting, as characterized by its 80% house ownership. There is no current limitation among foreigners, either resident or non-resident, on buying and renting properties.

The country offers a diverse of options when it comes to properties such as apartments, townhouses, villas. Apartments (apartamento) exists in various sizes and forms from studio-types to expansive spaces complete with furnishings. Townhouses (casa adosada) are terraced houses generally built in rows and often in usual regional style set around communal gardens with a pool. They are popular in big cities and towns especially in suburban areas. On the other hand, villas are detached houses own by wealth Spaniards and being used as vacation houses, though they can be up for sale also.



The government is working hard to increase house-ownership in Australia. Only 33% of residents here lives in a fully owned properties, 31.4% rents their home, while 35%of homes are mortgaged.

Suburban fringes of cities and towns sports the inner-city medium to high-rise apartments and the low-density townhouses/fully detached houses, while Melbourne and Sydney cradles the inner-city public housing is generally found in They are usually 3-5 story walk-up flats and 11-22 story high-rise towers. Low-density suburban estates is located in almost every city and town in the country.

For a step-by-step information on how to find an apartment and rent in Australia, check here.




Public and Private Transport



Spain’s public and private transport both focuses on long-distanced networks of roads and railways as well as short-distanced, inner-city systems. Metros or subway systems operate on cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Zaragoza, Bilbao, and Seville. Tickets can be purchased from station counters, vending machines, estancos (tobacconists), and newspaper kiosks. Buses also operate in the city from 6am to midnight, though night buses in bigger cities often travel in limited numbers. Taxis also scattered, especially in bigger cities.

A one way train ticket here costs AU$2.26, while a monthly pass is at around AU$72.25. Starting taxi tariff is AU$4.52 with AU$1.59 for the first one kilometer. A Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) will set you back AU$27,093.64. Gasoline is at AU$1.81 for every litter.



Despite the very good public transport system, driving is the most used mode of transport in the country, and this number continues to rise. It is followed by train, walking (the country has a very good culture of walking), and then bus. All of Australian cities have reliable, affordable public bus networks and train lines, plus taxis operate nationwide. These train lines include commuter rail networks, trams, light rails, and rapid transits.

A one-way ticket sets you back by AU$4.00, while going for a monthly pass will increase it by AU$130.00. Taxi tariff is AU$4.00, while a kilometer ride is AU$2.17. If you want your own car, A Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (or any equivalent new car) will cost you AU$25,000.00 plus AU$1.31 for every litter of gasoline.




Weather and Climate



Three climactic zones exists across Spain: the Mediterranean, oceanic, and semiarid climate.

The Mediterranean climate is identified by dry and temperate summers and cool to tepid and wet winters. It is predominant on the Iberian Peninsula, as per the Köppen climate classification, especially in the Csa variety with it summer droughts.

The oceanic climate (Cfb), on the other hand, is positioned in the northern part of the country, especially in the regions of Basque Country, Galicia, Asturias, and Cantabria.

Meanwhile, the south eastern part of the country, especially in the region of Murcia and in the Ebro valley, sports the semiarid climate (Bsh, Bsk). As opposed to the Mediterranean climate, the dry season here continues beyond the end of summer.



Due to its massive size, climate varies vastly in Australia to a wide degree. This is reflected on the snow-capped mountains in the south and arid deserts in the interior. Majority of the country leans more towards the temperate, tropical rainforest climate. Australians get plenty of sun and warmth most of the year but with huge drops in temperature during winter.

The weather widely differs with every city. To find out more about the climate in each of them, check it here.




Benefits of Citizenship



Advantages of Spanish Citizenship include:

  • You can live and work in any part of the EU and the EEA (which covers most of Western Europe including the UK, Norway, Switzerland and other microstates such as Andorra and Liechtenstein) without any restrictions.
  • You can travel and stay outside the country for an indefinite period of time without worrying about not being able to return later.
  • You can vote and participate in Spanish and other European elections.
  • Eligibility to enjoy social services
  • Receive Spanish passport.



Advantages of Australian Citizenship include:

  • Being able to work for the federal government
  • Children will be Australian citizens
  • The right to vote
  • Being able to run for public office
  • Avoid deportation
  • Entitlement for Australian passport
  • Access to consular help
  • Eligibility for the deferral of education fees
  • Full residence rights in New Zealand
  • Being able to adopt
  • Being able to represent Australia in international sporting events

For a more detailed information about these benefits, check our blog here.




The Takeaway


A strong economy, well-designed health care system, and efficient transport services are Spain and Australia’s main advantages. The two nations genuinely worked hard to ensure that both citizens will have an efficient and comfortable life. However, other factors in selecting where to migrate boils down to preferences.

If you enjoy European traditions, culture, and food, Spain is the better choice. It is also a haven for those looking for crisper and cooler climate to settle, and not used to constant weather changes. The fiesta culture here is strong, in which the city throw street parties, dinners, and performances for whatever festivity they are celebrating for the day. It is a great opportunity to experience their tradition. Plus, being a member of the European Union has its distinct advantages.

However, the language barrier here is also quite solid, and may therefore prevent you from getting a job, have friends, get a doctor’s help, or even rent a house. You may have learned Spanish in school but, as expats have sworn to be true, the real world application is quite different. Plus, you have to put up with their slangs.

If you enjoy a mix of European and American lifestyle, Australia can cater to both. The culture is not very alien, and English is the native language here, so you won’t have a hard time adopting. Also, Aussies are very warm and friendly, you will always get help and establish connections. And the financial compensation to your job is quite rewarding. Though you may have to put up with the unpredictable weather patterns here, as well as the property prices whimsically soaring.



Leaning towards Australia to build your dreams? Throw us a message in the enquiry section below or call us at 1300 619 977 and we'll show you how!

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2 comments on “Spain or Australia: Where Should You Migrate?”

  1. I am.thinking of relocating to Australia from South Africa. How do I go about moving in that direction?

    1. Hi Garth,
      We have received your enquiry. One of our visa experts will be in touch with you via email.





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