Spain has 58% more advisors and top officials since 2017

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The number of advisors and top officials within the Spanish central government has increased to 1,607 in 2023. That is an increase of 58% since 2017. The expenditure budget for this group has increased by 42% to €152 million.

These figures come from the recently published annual report of the IGAE (Interventora General de la Administración del Estado).

Increase expenditure and staff numbers

The largest increase in the number of advisors and top officials took place since Pedro Sánchez became prime minister in 2018. The establishment of the first coalition government in 2020 led to a further increase in staff appointed by the government to support the two largest councils of ministers in Spain’s democratic history.

Distribution of top officials

Of the 1,607 top officials and advisors, 433 senior officials and 1,174 advisors are employed in ministries, autonomous bodies, state agencies and independent administrative authorities. The Ministry of Economy has the highest number of senior officials (49), followed by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs (42) and the Ministry of Finance (40).

Expenses and salaries

Spending on senior officials and advisors amounted to €152,158,000 at the end of 2023, an increase of 3.5% compared to the previous year. Despite this increase, this expenditure represents only 0.77% of total personnel expenditure within central government. It is striking that some top officials earn more than the Prime Minister of Spain. The highest paid senior official in 2023 was the president of SEPI, who earned €245,126. The SEPI (Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales) is a Spanish government organisation responsible for managing the Spanish state’s shares and interests in various companies.


While the overall figures are clear, there is a lack of transparency about specific salaries and the names of advisors. The details of top officials and their salaries are available on the government’s transparency portal. According to critics, there is still room for improvement in the publication of detailed information.

Also read: Spain´s top executives earnings

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