A drink or snack in a bar with or without friends is perhaps the most deep-rooted traditions in Spain. On the basis of official statistics, it can even be proven that Spain per inhabitant has more bars than available hospital beds.
According to the most recent report from the Spanish Institute for Statistics (INE), there are 277,539 gastronomic establishments in Spain, of which the large majority of these are bars and restaurants. Spread over 47,326,687 inhabitants of Spain, this means that there is one bar per 170 inhabitants in Spain.
Spain per inhabitant more bars than hospital beds
This number may not be extremely shocking in the first instance. However, if you compare these figures with the number of available hospital beds… According to the Ministry of Health and the umbrella association for private care, 163,437 hospital beds are added together in Spain. That comes down to an average of one bed for 289 inhabitants. In short; Spain has more bars and restaurants per inhabitant than hospital beds.
The INE emphasises that this is the regular number of hospital beds, not the number during emergencies such as a pandemic where Spain had temporarily increased the capacity of the number of beds.
Even more bars in some Spanish regions than complete countries
The Andalucia region (58,486), Catalonia (54,509), Madrid (36,248), and Valencia (36,118) stick out with head and shoulders above the rest in the field of top numbers of bars and restaurants. These regions even exceed the number of bars of complete countries. The Spanish news site businessinsider.es has compiled a top 5 of the regions with the most bars per inhabitant:
- Balearic Islands (one bar per 89 inhabitants)
- Canary Islands (one bar per 108)
- Asturias (one bar per 117)
- Castile and León (one bar per 128)
- Galicia (one bar per 128)
Spain wins it in Europe and from America
That Spain is very stated on a drink and snack outside the door is also apparent from the fact that Spain is the country with the highest number of bars per inhabitants of the entire European Union, but also America. In the United States there is only one bar per 500 inhabitants. Spain transcends all these numbers with crushing figures.