The decision was announced on 27 May by the Prince of Asturias Foundation.
Zygmunt Bauman is an acclaimed British sociologist that has analysed the deep transformations of contemporary social structures and has developed key concepts for the understanding many issues of our time.
The British Ambassador in Spain, Giles Paxman, said:
"I heartily congratulate Zygmunt Bauman on being given this prestigious award. Mr Bauman is a renowned sociologist and his works are fundamental to understanding some of the social and political developments of the 20th century and recent years. I am delighted to see that his outstanding work is being recognised here in Spain. Competition for these awards is intense and it is a source of great pride and pleasure to me that a distinguished British citizen has been honoured in this way"