Greater Bilbao

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Not to be confused with the metropolitan area of Bilbao, which includes this region.
Greater Bilbao

Country Spain
Autonomous communityBasque Country
 • Total361.3 km2 (139.5 sq mi)

Greater Bilbao (Basque: Bilboaldea, Spanish: Gran Bilbao) is an administrative division of the province of Biscay, in the Basque Country, Spain. It is one of the seven comarcas of Biscay and the most populated one; the capital city of Greater Bilbao is Bilbao.

Greater Bilbao is made by the municipalities situated along the Estuary of Bilbao which themselves form a conurbation, which metropolitan area is the fifth most populous in Spain.


Greater Bilbao (in blue) within Biscay.

Greater Bilbao, or Bilboaldea, is located at the northwest of the province of Biscay, limiting with the comarcas of Enkarterri in the west, Mungialdea and Busturialdea in the east, Durangaldea in the southeast and Arratia-Nerbioi in the south; the Bay of Biscay limits at north.


Gran Bilbao real color image taken by NASA's Landsat satellite.
Infrared image taken July 5th 2000 by ASTER sensor on board NASA's Terra satellite. Reddish areas are vegetation zones, dark blue zones are water bodies, white zones are clouds, their shadows can be clearly seen and greenish pixels denote the densely urbanized areas beside the Nervion river. Source: Earth Observatory (NASA).

Greater Bilbao can be divided into six subcomarcas or subregions:

  • The city of Bilbao.
  • The left bank: Traditionally an industrial, port, and manufacturing zone. It includes Barakaldo, Sestao, Portugalete and Santurtzi.
  • The right bank: A residential area, including Erandio, Leioa, and the more affluent Getxo,.
  • The mining zone, where the main iron ore resources were located: Muskiz, Gallarta, Ortuella
  • Txoriherri, wide expansion zone where the international airport and the University of the Basque Country are located.
  • Hego Uribe, including Basauri, Galdakao and Arrigorriaga.
  • Uribe-Kosta: the coastal area north of Getxo is being integrated into the metropolitan area in the recent years, with the development of low density residential areas connected by the metro.


Sheep, field and farmhouse in Leioa, and buildings of Santurtzi on the background.

Greater Bilbao is divided into 25 municipalities, being Bilbao the capital city; the 25 municipalities, among some others, make the Metropolitan Area of Bilbao.

# Municipality Population
1 January 2018[1]
Area in
Escudo de Abanto Vizcaya.svg Abanto Zierbena 9,545 18
Escudo de Alonsotegi.svg Alonsotegi 2,903 16
Escudo de Arrigorriaga.svg Arrigorriaga 12,230 22.8
Escudo de Barakaldo.svg Barakaldo 100,435 24.3
Escudo de Basauri.svg Basauri 40,762 7.2
Bilbao 345,821 41.2
Escudo de Derio.svg Derio 6,545 7.4
Escudo de Zierbena.svg Zierbena 1,492 9.1
Escudo de Etxebarri.svg Etxebarri 11,304 3.3
Escudo de Erandio.svg Erandio 24,222 18.0
Escudo de Galdakao.svg Galdakao 29,288 31.7
Escudo de Getxo.svg Getxo 78,276 11.9
Escudo de Larrabetzu.svg Larrabetzu 2,029 21.5
Escudo de Leioa.svg Leioa 31,495 8.5
Escudo de Lezama.svg Lezama 2,429 16.5
Escudo de Llodio-Laudio.svg Llodio 18,205 37.45
Escudo de Loiu.svg Loiu 2,416 15.3
Escudo de Muskiz.svg Muskiz 7,567 21.5
Escudo de Ortuella.svg Ortuella 8,360 7.7
Escudo de Portugalete.svg Portugalete 45,826 3.2
Escudo de Santurtzi.svg Santurtzi 45,795 6.7
Escudo de Sestao.svg Sestao 27,445 3.5
Escudo de Sondika.svg Sondika 4,495 6.3
Escudo de Trapagaran.svg Trapagaran 11,953 13.1
Escudo de Zamudio.svg Zamudio 3,236 18.1
Escudo de Zaratamo.svg Zaratamo 1,515 10.0

See also[edit]


  1. ^ official estimate from Instituto Nacional de Estadistica, Madrid.

External links[edit]