• Madrid Investment Attraction



    1 in 3

    financial employees in Spain work in Madrid


    ranking among European cities for qualified human capital


    universities in Madrid (2 distance learning)


    of workers in Spain would change cities for an opportunity in Madrid (Hays)


    universities within the top 500 in the QS 2018 global ranking

Madrid is ranked 5th among European cities for qualified human capital (fDi Intelligence) and 3rd in its capability to draw talent (Colliers International). It is the most important university centre in Spain, home to 15 universities (2 are distance learning), 4 of which rank within the world’s top 500 in the QS 2018 global ranking.

Madrid has the largest number of students: 20.6% of the country’s total (the highest in Spain), as well as the highest percentage of students within its population: almost 24%, compared to the Spanish national average of 16%. 275,000 university students (2017) are enrolled in Madrid, all of them less than 45 minutes from the centre of the city by public transport (campus and faculties map). Almost 7,000 students graduate each year in various engineering degrees: civil engineering, industrial engineering, architecture, etc.

Number of university students in Madrid

National Madrid Madrid’s %
Social Sciences 608.986 109.489 18%
Engineering / Architecture 242.088 53.095 22%
Arts and humanities 132.463 18.549 14%
Health sciences 242.012 40.956 16,9%
Sciences 81.912 12.411 15,1%
Total (2016-2017) 1.307.461 234.500 17,8%

Source: Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture

Nearly 27% of foreign students undertaking Bachelors and Masters degrees in Spain live in Madrid. Most foreign students in the region are doing Masters or Doctorate degrees (almost 20% of the total number of enrolled students).

Besides universities, Madrid has several world-class business schools, which are leaders in a large number of international rankings. Students from Latin America, the EU and ASEAN make up 90% of the total for foreign students in Doctorates and Masters. The Spanish Business Schools Association has 18 associated Madrid-based schools with IE, ESADE and IESE the most well-recognised.

Madrid has become known as a specialized business services hub with over 85% of people work in the services sector, which is 17% of the Spanish total.

Annual university graduates (specialized services):


    Business Administration


    Advertising and Marketing


    Engineering and Architecture students


    Students biotechnology and life sciences (18% of the Spanish total)

Madrid is also a magnet for professional development with renowned companies from different sectors setting up training centres in Madrid’s metropolitan area such as Amadeus (technology), Telefónica (telecommunications) or Ryanair (aeronautics). The city also attracts foreigners.

12% of citizens living in the city are expats from over 180 different nationalities (Madrid City Council).

According to HAYS, Madrid is the most preferred Spanish city in which to work. 1 in 3 financial employees in Spain are based here and over 65% of workers would change cities to take up a work opportunity.