ANDORRA LA VELLA — In mountainous Andorra, the economy has undergone a recent transformation. Tourism, trade and even sheep raising have boosted this small country’s economy and alleviated poverty in Andorra in the process. With a low inflation rate, low living costs and increased foreign trade, Andorra has become a leader in service-based businesses, living standards and life expectancy.
However, even with such high living standards, Andorra is still facing a housing deficit, which, in 2000, the construction sector was not capable of handling. In addition, of the 43 percent agricultural land in Andorra, only 5.5 percent was reported arable in 2011, leading Andorra to seek help from neighboring countries France and Spain.
Andorra receives approximately 10 million visits a year for its winter sports, summer temperatures and commercial center. In addition, these same attractions, foreign investor, advancing tax initiatives, producing tobacco and domestic sheep raising, have helped create jobs and, thus, lower poverty in the country.
Although Andorra’s banks hit obstacles in 2010, the country found its silver lining with the introduction of an income tax on anyone who has lived in the country for 183 days or more and by relaxing residency and investment laws in 2015, which give foreign investors the same property rights as citizens. These changes have helped to stimulate Andorra’s economy after a slight trading decline and bank troubles.
There is no specific data about the population currently living in poverty in Andorra, which suggests that very few of the 70,000 people living in Andorra are living in poverty. Andorra is buoyed by its consistent rate of four percent unemployment over the past few years, consistently booming tourist attractions year-round, and low living costs and inflation rates.
– Amira Wynn