In 2011, Spain was the twelfth largest economy in the world based on nominal GDP comparison. According to the European Union, real GDP growth of the country stagnated in the third quarter of 2011 and declined by 0.3% quarter on quarter in the succeeding two quarters. The contractions mean that Spain is now technically in recession. For most of the last two decades Spain was in economic boom and enjoyed a surge in the construction industry after joining the EU and then the euro zone. The upsurge gave Spain one of the world’s highest rate of homeownership, with over 80% of Spanish households owning the place they live in. With the 2008 financial crisis and the succeeding recession, Spanish unemployment rate soared to 24.4% by the end of the first quarter of 2012, with even 53% of its working population under 25 years old out of work.