The curious case of Avinyonet de Penedès, now the richest town in Catalonia

A single person is believed to be behind average income doubling in a year for this wine-growing town in 2017

The town has doubled its income in the space of a year (by Ajuntament d'Avinyonet del Penedès)
The town has doubled its income in the space of a year (by Ajuntament d'Avinyonet del Penedès) / Oliver Little

Oliver Little | Barcelona

October 3, 2019 02:51 PM

Catalan town Avinyonet del Penedès has risen to become the richest town in Catalonia, appearing out of thin air near the top of the rankings released by the Spanish Tax Office of the average incomes of Spanish towns for 2017.

Between 2016 and 2017, the town staggeringly doubled its total gross income average from €28,000 to €57,800, and is now the top-ranked Catalan town. It placed second behind Pozuelo de Alarcón in Madrid, who remain some way ahead across Spain, despite a small gross average drop from €72,993 in 2016 to €72,899. Matapedera and Sant Cugat del Vallès were the second and third-highest ranked Catalan towns, placing fourth and sixth in the Spain standings.

Impact of rich minority in Avinyonet del Penedès

Avinyonet del Penedès is an agricultural town, where many of its inhabitants ply their trade in farming, wine-growing or in factories. So how can a town driven by the stagnant agriculture industry have seen such a dramatic rise in just one year?

Sources say that the case of Avinyonet del Penedès, whilst baffling, could be explained by the arrival of one taxpayer with a very large income in that year, which may have had a steep effect on a town with under 1,700 residents. Media outlets believe this man to be Mauricio Botton, the 45th richest man in Spain, who is believed to a descendant of Isaac Carasso, who founded multinational food-product corporation “Danone”. 

Catalonia remains consistent at the top of the Spanish rankings

Other Catalan towns in the top 10 for Spain have kept their place from previous years - Matapedera (€55,500 gross income) has dropped two positions from second to fourth, while Sant Cugat del Vallès (€52,000 gross income), Sant Just Desvern (€51,900 gross income) and Cabrils (€50,200) are in 6th, 7th and 9th place respectively.

Other Catalan towns that placed highly across Spain were Tiana (13th - €48,965 gross income), Alella (14th - €48,862 gross income), Sant Vicenç de Montalt (15th - €48,436 gross income), Vallromanes (17th - €45,568 gross income) and Cabrera de Mar (18th - €44,887).

Overall, Catalonia placed second behind Madrid as well, with an average of €30,430. Madrid recorded an average of €35,067, a 2.3% increase on 2016. On average, Spain’s gross income per person was €25,434.