Child maintenance in Spain

Child maintenance in Spain are amongst the lowest in the European Union.

According to a study carried out by the Instituto de Política Familiar (IPF) Spanish families receive the lowest financial help from the state out of all the countries in the European Union. Just 0.52% of GDP in Spain is used for giving financial help to families, a figure far below the average for the rest of the European Union. This difference is partly explained by the way benefits are calculated in Spain using means testing which results in only the families with the lowest incomes receiving state help whereas in the rest of the European Union help is given universally regardless of family income.

Spain is also the only country in the European Country that does not use at least 1% of GDP for giving financial help to families when the average is 2.2%. The IPF discovered that a family would need to have 12 children in order to receive similar benefits to a German family with just 2 children.

The study also found that Spain was the least flexible country with regards to benefits.

Furthermore any benefits were taxable. It also highlighted the fact that the average size of a Spanish family has reduced over the last 30 years from 4 members to just 2.9 members. It also said that Spain had an ageing population with almost 2 million people aged over 80.

The study also looked at the birthrate in Spain which is very low. According to the IPF any growth in the birthrate over recent years is down to immigration. Spain was at the bottom of the table with Greece and Italy. Asturias (0.94), Galicia (1.00) and Castilla y León (1.06) had birthrates per woman well below the Spanish average which is 1.32.

Marriage statistics are also changing in Spain with less marriages and couples getting married later. The average age for marrying for a man is 33 years old and for a woman 30 years old.

It also found that 4 out of 10 marriages took place in a registry office and 1 in every 7 marriages included a foreigner in the couple.