Strategic central location on the European Atlantic Axis

Bilbao is the capital of Biscay province, its largest city, and the Basque Country’s economic and financial hub

Some 1,152,651 people live in the province of Biscay, most of them in Greater Bilbao, as the metropolitan area is known locally. At 2,217 km2, it is the most densely populated area, and also boasts the greatest portion of its economic activity. Local per-capita GDP stood at 33,896 euros in 2018, well above the figure for the State as a whole, similar to that of Europe’s fully industrialised regions, and also above the EU-28 average.

Its strategic central location on the European Atlantic Axis to the north of the Iberian peninsula puts Bilbao at the crossroads between the EU’s main north-south transport route and the emerging eastwest corridor. Institutional commitment has helped the Basque Country fund an ambitious plan to reinforce its communication structures and boost its competitiveness along this axis.

2,217 km2

most densely populated area of Basque Country

1,152,651

people live in the province of Biscay

34,079

Per-capital GDP in 2019

Crossroads between the EU’s main north-south transport route


Air connectivity is an essential factor. Thanks to its connections, Bilbao Airport helps Basque companies and companies elsewhere with interests in the Basque Country to maintain constant interaction between customers and suppliers. For many passengers it is also the gateway to the Basque Country and what the region can offer them: mountain scenery, coast and beaches, gastronomy, cultural identity, its own language, an excellent standard of living etc.

The Atlantic Corridor runs for 2,000 kilometres, and accounts for almost 40% of the European Union’s Gross Domestic Product. This area has a population of 80 million. It is a key factor in the transportation of goods between the peninsula and Europe. 50% of all traffic moves along the corridor. More than 60 ports are dotted along the coastline, handling a total volume of goods of more than 650 million T/year, and here Bilbao Port is playing an increasingly active role.