Marbella, and by extension the Costa del Sol, is a landmark in the tourism world since decades ago. Much has been made of its privileged situation, its magnificent climate and its wide tourist offer but it has not been until now when that quality of life has been quantified. A recent report by the Institute of Statistics of Andalusia (IEA), dependent of the ministry of Economy and Finance of the Board, reveals that Marbella is the municipality andalusian with greater social well-being taking as a reference for 14 variables grouped in four large blocks: income, services and collective equipment, access to and quality of housing, and training and education.
Of the 154 municipalities examined in the study ‘Dynamism of the cities of Andalusia’ stands out especially Marbella, which leads the ranking of the richest of the autonomous community from the analysis of the services sector and the income and economic capacity of its inhabitants, a privileged position which it shares with other towns on the Costa del Sol such as Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Benalmadena and Estepona. Marbella is the municipality andalusian with greater dynamism in the tertiary sector, although it is Estepona is the one that has more services per capita.
The thriving business network and the investment attractiveness of the last decade have generated a great amount of private facilities that raise the number of public health services, sports and leisure. So, Marbella is in the first positions in terms of the number of private clinics, sports facilities -do not forget that it is the city with the most golf courses – and private schools with a teaching of the highest quality. His character of the district also makes that hostel many public services, both health and leisure. To this must be added the wide tourist offer both public and private. In fact, it is the municipality andalusian with more hotels per capita of Andalusia and has one of the ports most luxurious of Spain, Puerto Banus, located six kilometers away from the urban core.
Malaga and Almeria are part of the richest cities of Andalusia, a level which is reached by 2.9% of the total number of andalusian municipalities. The report by the IEA suggests that are the tourism businesses (hotels and restaurants) of higher specific weight, while also important are other establishments that provide financial services (savings, banking,…) without forgetting the computer industry that have erupted with force in Marbella.
All of these variables are interrelated. The standard of living is high because wages are also high, and therefore, the quality of life is. Marbella is not always occupies the first positions in the securities analyzed, but has the highest average of them all.
In the chapter of income, for example, is among the ten andalusian municipalities with higher average income declared, 18.322,59 euros. At the provincial level, is the second, only surpassed by Benahavis, with 21.054,14 euros. Their work situation, in terms of parameters of quality of employment, remuneration, stability, and ability to generate new jobs, also the rise to the first position of the provincial, not regional, where raze two towns of almería, El Ejido and Huércal Overa, with a powerful agro-food industry is highly developed where the rate of occupation, another factor to take into account, exceeds 90%. If it is taken as a value for the isolated the average income of work, only Macael, in Almería, and The Barrios, in Cádiz, exceed to Marbella, closely followed in the province of Malaga Coín and Alhaurín el Grande.
The study, fruit of the collaboration of the IEA and the Institute of Economy and Geography of the Superior Council of Scientific Research, has quantified the structure, dynamics, trends and quality of life of the andalusian municipalities that exceed the threshold of 10,000 inhabitants, with data that oscillate between 2003 and 2006, according to the variable studied, hence many of the factors discussed may have changed.
Each one of these variables is subdivided into many others, such as the ability of consumption per capita and its evolution in the last decade, tourism services, leisure and social, or the energy consumption along with parameters more difficult to quantify as the citizens ‘ security or the perception of well-being of its inhabitants. The goal is to serve as a tool for the different administrations in order to improve the urban management and implement measures that serve to elevate the competitiveness of the municipalities in terms of comparison.