ACCORDING to the results of a study released last week by the Instituto Nacional de Estatística (INE), the national institute for statistics, the population of Lisbon tops the list for consumer spending power, reportedly being 2.7 times higher than the national average.
People living in cities and coastal areas have greater buying power than the interior and rural Portugal, confirms the study, although it claims that the discrepancy between the two has decreased somewhat over the last 10 years.
Only 27 of the country’s 308 boroughs have a level of buying power that is above the national average, but a group of 17 boroughs have as much buying power as the remaining 291 claims the research.
Bottom of the list is Celorico de Basto (northern interior) which has only 41.77 per cent of the national average with Sernancelhe and Cinfâes (centre interior close to Viseu) coming just above. After Lisbon, the leading areas include Porto, Oeiras, Cascais and Albufeira.
However, the stastitics do not necessarily mean that those boroughs boasting the highest percentage enjoy the best quality of life. For example, it would be incorrect to say that Lisbon’s residents live 277 per cent better, as it must be taken into account that the cost of living per capita is higher than the rest of the country. In addition, the statistics for some regions, such as the Algarve, are disproportionate due to tourism.