L'hospitalet de Llobregat
L’Hospitalet de Llobregat is a municipality of the Barcelona metropolitan area in Catalonia. L’Hospitalet lies between the Baix Llobregat industrial zone and the city of Barcelona. An agricultural town until the end of the 18th century, when the first textile factories began to appear, it experienced major industrial development and growth in the early 20th century. More recently the city’s economic base has moved towards the service sector, notably logistics. L’Hospitalet has easy access to Barcelona airport and the seaport in Barcelona’s nearby ‘Zona franca’ logistics and industrial area. The ‘Fira’ congress and conference facility has also brought business to a city that has undergone significant regeneration since the 2000s and has increasingly been chosen for company headquarters offices in recent years.
Covering some 12.5m², it has a population density of 20,800 per square kilometre, one of the highest Europe. Of its residents, 47.33% were born in Catalonia, 25.28% are from other Spanish regions and 27.39% were born in abroad. Like the rest of Spain, L’Hospitalet is facing a major problem of unemployment.
In terms of employment and the broader economy, L’Hospitalet is inevitably closely linked with Barcelona. Spain’s second city, Barcelona is a thriving city of 1.6 million. The city offers a combination of architectural heritage and successful regeneration. Tourism is the key to its economy, with Barcelona among the top five destinations in Europe. Despite the strength of the service sector, industry accounts for around 20% of the economy—courtesy of chemical, metallurgical and energy companies.