Inequality in Spain “is greater the larger the municipality is”

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Eight out of ten people in Spain, specifically 81.4%, consider that in the country “inequality exists” and 47% believe that this is “very notable.” By region, levels “significantly higher than the average” are observed in Madrid, the Mediterranean coast and the islands.

This is revealed by the ‘VI Report on Inequality in Spain 2024’ presented this Tuesday by the Alternativas Foundation and in which, in collaboration with the 1º de Mayo Foundation (CCOO) and Oxfam Intermón, as well as the Economic and Social Council of Spain , addresses, from an “emphasis” on the territorial perspective, the analysis of the “effects” on inequality and poverty “caused” by the demographic, climate and digital transitions, as was revealed in the presentation event of the document.

According to the Alternativas Foundation, the “most shared” opinion is that the changes produced simultaneously by the aging of the population, the climate transition and the digital transformation “are going to significantly affect the country’s interterritorial and interpersonal inequalities.”

“Consequently, the work proposes a reflection focused on public policies to address these challenges and offers a series of recommendations that allow us to advance in the knowledge of the effects of the transformations underway and those that will occur in the future,” apostille.

In this regard, the document warns that the demographic, climatic and digital transitions will “generate pronounced changes” that will “significantly affect” citizens, sectors of activity and territories, with “possibly negative effects on inequalities”, both from a territorial and personal perspective.

In this sense, it advocates “knowing in depth” these consequences in order to articulate the “necessary policies” that “guarantee” the “limitation of inequalities” and that allow “progress in their reduction and converting transitions into windows of opportunity.” to ensure the well-being of people and sustainable and balanced economic growth”, also taking into account that the territories and the location of the people in them “are directly affected by the changes.”

Likewise, the document recalls that the growth of urbanization and the depopulation of many rural areas are “trends maintained over time”, to a large extent “strengthened” by transitions and “difficultly reversible” and warns that the problems associated with change Climate change can “stimulate these trends, as well as processes of innovation and technological change.”

For this reason, the work of the Alternativas Foundation proposes to “reorient as far as possible” the public resources linked to the Reconstruction, Transformation and Resilience Plan to “ensure” that these “arrive in sufficient quantities to the different territories”, avoiding “concentration “of the same in the big cities, as, in his opinion, “seems to be happening now.”

More immigrants in urban environments

Furthermore, it confirms that Inequality “is greater the larger the size of the municipality” and that one of the “variables” that “most explains” this relationship is the “presence of an immigrant population, greater in large urban centers.”

“The recomposition of the population to which these flows give rise has been associated with changes in the differences in remuneration by skill levels,” added the foundation, whose analysis also allows “more clearly identifying” the “spatial concentration” of inequality, with levels “significantly above the average” in Madrid, the Mediterranean coast and the islands.

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Along with this, he noted that almost 60% of the population believes that inequality in the world has “increased in recent decades”, this perception being “more common” among older people.

For its part, it considers that birth policies that “shift” the “responsibility” to young women are “inefficient and frustrating” and the late motherhood calendars throughout the territory “would make it advisable to expand public assisted fertility policies and its territorial accessibility.

At this point, he asserts that demographic growth “will not depend on reproduction, but on migration.” Therefore, in the opinion of the foundation, immigration policies must have “increasing relevance, aimed at facilitating the integration and permanence of the immigrant population in the territory and especially those aimed at guaranteeing equal opportunities for the second generation.” .

“These integration policies are especially relevant in the small and medium-sized municipalities of the Mediterranean coast and the archipelagos,” stated the foundation.

On the other hand, he estimated that policies and plans for prevention, response, adaptation and socioeconomic resilience “should incorporate fair resilience measures in the face of global warming and judged it “recommended to focus as a priority” on “disaster risk management instead of “disaster management”acting “preventively” to “reduce” said risks, as well as “avoiding the emergence of new risks and reinforcing resilience” to them.

Promote territorial equity in digitalization, “strategically” allocate Next Generation funds, promote less digitalized sectors, invest more in digital capital, promote R&D in all regions and monitor and evaluate the distribution of NGEU funds are other measures that the Alternativas Foundation report suggests in the fight against inequalities.

Likewise, it also sees it necessary to “reinforce” redistributive policies, such as infrastructure and digital communication policies, so that they “guarantee connection and access to services in the different territories”, while sectoral policies would also have, In his opinion, a “relevant role” that “supports investments and the development of a diversified industrial fabric.”

The work also proposes a “proactive transition” for the country’s economy that allows communities to develop sustainable and self-sufficient livelihoods “without excessive dependence on tourism.”

In this sense, they consider the reduction of production and consumption as a “necessity in the future” of scarcity that climate change entails and they are committed to applying degrowth to a “sector as predatory of resources as tourism.”

“It is necessary to reevaluate the importance of tourism in the face of a future of scarcity and climate change and, in line with this approach, urgently adapt the agricultural and food sectors to guarantee the food security of communities,” the report resolves.

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