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Introduction - Spain:
BackgroundSpains powerful world empire of the 16th and 17th centuries ultimately yielded command of the seas to England. Subsequent failure to embrace the mercantile and industrial revolutions caused the country to fall behind Britain, France, and Germany in economic and political power. Spain remained neutral in World Wars I and II but suffered through a devastating civil war (1936-39). A peaceful transition to democracy following the death of dictator Francisco FRANCO in 1975, and rapid economic modernization (Spain joined the EU in 1986) have given Spain one of the most dynamic economies in Europe and made it a global champion of freedom. Continuing challenges include Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorism and relatively high unemployment.
Location - Spain:
LocationSouthwestern Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France
Geographic coordinates40 00 N, 4 00 W
Map referencesEurope
Areatotal: 504,782 sq km
land: 499,542 sq km
water: 5,240 sq km
note: there are two autonomous cities - Ceuta and Melilla - and 17 autonomous communities including Balearic Islands and Canary Islands, and three small Spanish possessions off the coast of Morocco - Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera
Area comparativeslightly more than twice the size of Oregon
Land boundariestotal: 1,917.8 km
border countries: Andorra 63.7 km, France 623 km, Gibraltar 1.2 km, Portugal 1,214 km, Morocco (Ceuta) 6.3 km, Morocco (Melilla) 9.6 km
Coastline4,964 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm (applies only to the Atlantic Ocean)
Climatetemperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast
Terrainlarge, flat to dissected plateau surrounded by rugged hills; Pyrenees in north
Elevation extremeslowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico de Teide (Tenerife) on Canary Islands 3,718 m
Natural resourcescoal, lignite, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, uranium, tungsten, mercury, pyrites, magnesite, fluorspar, gypsum, sepiolite, kaolin, potash, hydropower, arable land
Land usearable land: 27.18%
permanent crops: 9.85%
other: 62.97% (2005)
Irrigated land37,800 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardsperiodic droughts
Environment current issuespollution of the Mediterranean Sea from raw sewage and effluents from the offshore production of oil and gas; water quality and quantity nationwide; air pollution; deforestation; desertification
Environment international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Geography notestrategic location along approaches to Strait of Gibraltar
People - Spain:
Population40,448,191 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 14.4% (male 3,005,818/female 2,826,805)
15-64 years: 67.8% (male 13,758,869/female 13,661,295)
65 years and over: 17.8% (male 3,002,585/female 4,192,819) (2007 est.)
Median agetotal: 40.3 years
male: 39 years
female: 41.7 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate0.116% (2007 est.)
Birth rate9.98 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate9.81 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate0.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.063 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.007 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.716 male(s)/female
total population: 0.956 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 4.31 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 79.78 years
male: 76.46 years
female: 83.32 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate1.29 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rate0.7% (2001 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aids140,000 (2001 est.)
Hiv aids deathsless than 1,000 (2003 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Spaniard(s)
adjective: Spanish
Ethnic groupscomposite of Mediterranean and Nordic types
ReligionsRoman Catholic 94%, other 6%
LanguagesCastilian Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%, are official regionally
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.9%
male: 98.7%
female: 97.2% (2003 est.)
Government - Spain:
Country nameconventional long form: Kingdom of Spain
conventional short form: Spain
local long form: Reino de Espana
local short form: Espana
Government typeparliamentary monarchy
Capitalname: Madrid
geographic coordinates: 40 24 N, 3 41 W
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
note: Spain is divided into two time zones including the Canary Islands
Administrative divisions17 autonomous communities (comunidades autonomas, singular - comunidad autonoma)and 2 autonomous cities* (ciudades autonomas, singular - ciudad autonoma); Andalucia, Aragon, Asturias, Baleares (Balearic Islands), Ceuta*, Canarias (Canary Islands), Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y Leon, Cataluna, Comunidad Valenciana, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, Melilla*, Murcia, Navarra, Pais Vasco (Basque Country)
note: the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla plus three small islands of Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera, administered directly by the Spanish central government, are all along the coast of Morocco and are collectively referred to as Places of Sovereignty (Plazas de Soberania)
Independencethe Iberian peninsula was characterized by a variety of independent kingdoms prior to the Muslim occupation that began in the early 8th century A.D. and lasted nearly seven centuries; the small Christian redoubts of the north began the reconquest almost immediately, culminating in the seizure of Granada in 1492; this event completed the unification of several kingdoms and is traditionally considered the forging of present-day Spain
National holidayNational Day, 12 October (1492); year when Columbus first set foot in the Americas
Constitutionapproved by legislature 31 October 1978; passed by referendum 6 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978
Legal systemcivil law system, with regional applications; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: King JUAN CARLOS I (since 22 November 1975); Heir Apparent Prince FELIPE, son of the monarch, born 30 January 1968
head of government: President of the Government (Prime Minister equivalent) Jose Luis RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO (since 17 April 2004); First Vice President and Deputy Prime Minister (and Minister of the Presidency) Maria Teresa FERNANDEZ DE LA VEGA (since 18 April 2004) and Second Vice President (and Minister of Economy and Finance) Pedro SOLBES (since 18 April 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers designated by the president
note: there is also a Council of State that is the supreme consultative organ of the government, but its recommendations are non-binding
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually proposed president by the monarch and elected by the National Assembly; election last held on 14 March 2004 (next to be held in March 2008); vice presidents appointed by the monarch on the proposal of the president
election results: Jose Luis RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 52.29%
Legislative branchbicameral; General Courts or National Assembly or Las Cortes Generales consists of the Senate or Senado (259 seats; 208 members directly elected by popular vote and the other 51 appointed by the regional legislatures; to serve four-year terms) and the Congress of Deputies or Congreso de los Diputados (350 seats; members are elected by popular vote on block lists by proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 14 March 2004 (next to be held in March 2008); Congress of Deputies - last held on 14 March 2004 (next to be held in March 2008)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - PP 49%, PSOE 38%, Entesa Catalona de Progress 5.7%, PNV 2.8%, CC 2.4%, CiU 2%; seats by party - PP 102, PSOE 81, Entesa Catalona de Progress 12, PNV 6, CiU 4, CC 3; Congress of Deputies - percent of vote by party - PSOE 43.3%, PP 37.8%, CiU 3.2%, IU 3.2%, ERC 2.5%, PNV 1.6%, CC 0.9%, other 7.5%; seats by party - PSOE 164, PP 148, CiU 10, ERC 8, PNV 7, IU 5, CC 3, other 5
Judicial branchSupreme Court or Tribunal Supremo
Political parties and leadersAragonese Party or CHA [Bizen FUSTER]; Basque Nationalist Party or PNV [Josu Jon IMAZ]; Basque Solidarity or EA [Begona ERRAZTI]; Canarian Coalition or CC [Paulino RIVERO Baute] (a coalition of five parties); Convergence and Union or CiU [Artur MAS i Gavarro] (a coalition of the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia or CDC [Artur MAS i Gavarro] and the Democratic Union of Catalonia or UDC [Josep Antoni DURAN i LLEIDA]); Entesa Catalonia de Progress (a Senate coalition grouping four Catalan parties - PSC, ERC, ICV, EUA); Galician Nationalist Bloc or BNG [Anxo Manuel QUINTANA Gonzalez]; Initiative for Catalonia Greens or ICV [Joan SAURA i Laporta]; Navarra yes or Na Bai [Uxue BARKOS Berruezo] (a coalition of four Navarran parties); Popular Party or PP [Mariano RAJOY Brey]; Republican Left of Catalonia or ERC [Josep-Lluis CAROD-ROVIRA]; Spanish Socialist Workers Party or PSOE [Jose Luis RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO]; United Left or IU [Gaspar LLAMAZARES Trigo] (a coalition of parties including the PCE and other small parties)
Political pressure groups and leadersbusiness and landowning interests; Catholic Church; free labor unions (authorized in April 1977); Socialist General Union of Workers or UGT and the smaller independent Workers Syndical Union or USO; university students; Trade Union Confederation of Workers Commissions or CC.OO.
International organization participationAfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BCIE, BIS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMEE, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: Ambassador Carlos WESTENDORP
chancery: 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 452-0100, 728-2340
FAX: [1] (202) 833-5670
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
Diplomatic representation from the uschief of mission: Ambassador Eduardo AGUIRRE, Jr.
embassy: Serrano 75, 28006 Madrid
mailing address: PSC 61, APO AE 09642
telephone: [34] (91) 587-2200
FAX: [34] (91) 587-2303
consulate(s) general: Barcelona
Flag descriptionthree horizontal bands of red (top), yellow (double width), and red with the national coat of arms on the hoist side of the yellow band; the coat of arms includes the royal seal framed by the Pillars of Hercules, which are the two promontories (Gibraltar and Ceuta) on either side of the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar
Economy - Spain:
Economy overviewThe Spanish economy boomed from 1986 to 1990 averaging 5% annual growth. After a European-wide recession in the early 1990s, the Spanish economy resumed moderate growth starting in 1994. Spains mixed capitalist economy supports a GDP that on a per capita basis is 80% that of the four leading West European economies. The center-right government of former President AZNAR successfully worked to gain admission to the first group of countries launching the European single currency (the euro) on 1 January 1999. The AZNAR administration continued to advocate liberalization, privatization, and deregulation of the economy and introduced some tax reforms to that end. Unemployment fell steadily under the AZNAR administration but remains high at 8.1%. Growth averaging 3% annually during 2003-06 was satisfactory given the background of a faltering European economy. The Socialist president, RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO, has made mixed progress in carrying out key structural reforms, which need to be accelerated and deepened to sustain Spains strong economic growth. Despite the economys relative solid footing significant downside risks remain including Spains continued loss of competitiveness, the potential for a housing market collapse, the countrys changing demographic profile, and a decline in EU structural funds.
Gdp purchasing power parity $1.109 trillion (2006 est.)
Gdp official exchange rate $1.084 trillion (2006 est.)
Gdp real growth rate3.9% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $27,400 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 3.9%
industry: 29.4%
services: 66.7% (2006 est.)
Labor force21.77 million (2006 est.)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: 5.3%
industry: 30.1%
services: 64.6% (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate8.1% (October 2006 est.)
Population below poverty line19.8% (2005)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 25.2% (1990)
Distribution of family income gini index32.5 (1990)
Inflation rate consumer prices 3.5% (2006 est.)
Investment gross fixed 29.4% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $488.2 billion
expenditures: $475.3 billion; including capital expenditures of $12.8 billion (2006 est.)
Public debt39.9% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture productsgrain, vegetables, olives, wine grapes, sugar beets, citrus; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish
Industriestextiles and apparel (including footwear), food and beverages, metals and metal manufactures, chemicals, shipbuilding, automobiles, machine tools, tourism, clay and refractory products, footwear, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment
Industrial production growth rate0.6% (2006 est.)
Electricity production263.3 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity consumption241.8 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity exports11.4 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity imports8.3 billion kWh (2004)
Oil production31,250 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil consumption1.573 million bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil exports175,200 bbl/day (2004)
Oil imports1.714 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil proved reserves157.6 million bbl (1 January 2005)
Natural gas production339 million cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption27.01 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas exports0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas imports26.95 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves2.549 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Current account balance-$98.6 billion (2006 est.)
Exports$222.1 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports commoditiesmachinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, medicines, other consumer goods
Exports partnersFrance 18.9%, Germany 11%, Portugal 8.9%, Italy 8.6%, UK 7.8%, US 4.5% (2006)
Imports$324.4 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports commoditiesmachinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, semifinished goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, measuring and medical control instruments
Imports partnersGermany 14.7%, France 13.2%, Italy 8.1%, UK 5%, Netherlands 4.8%, China 4.8% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$17 billion (2006 est.)
Economic aid donorODA, $1.33 billion (1999)
Debt external$1.591 trillion (30 June 2006 est.)
Currency code euro (EUR)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by the financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions with the member countries
Exchange rateseuros per US dollar - 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002)
Communications - Spain:
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Telephones main lines in use18.385 million (2006)
Telephones mobile cellular46.152 million (2006)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: generally adequate, modern facilities; teledensity is 45 main lines for each 100 persons
domestic: NA
international: country code - 34; 22 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), NA Eutelsat; tropospheric scatter to adjacent countries
Radio broadcast stationsAM 208, FM 715, shortwave 1 (1998)
Television broadcast stations224 (plus 2,105 repeaters; includes 11 television broadcast stations and 88 repeaters in the Canary Islands) (1995)
Internet country
Internet hosts2.521 million (2006)
Internet users18.578 million (2006)
Transportation - Spain:
Airports157 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 96
over 3,047 m: 16
2,438 to 3,047 m: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 20
914 to 1,523 m: 24
under 914 m: 26 (2006)
Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 61
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 15
under 914 m: 44 (2006)
Heliports8 (2006)
Pipelinesgas 7,962 km; oil 622 km; refined products 3,447 km (2006)
Railwaystotal: 14,974 km
broad gauge: 11,919 km 1.668-m gauge (6,950 km electrified)
standard gauge: 1,099 km 1.435-m gauge (1,054 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,928 km 1.000-m gauge (815 km electrified); 28 km 0.914-m gauge (28 km electrified) (2006)
Roadwaystotal: 666,292 km
paved: 659,629 km (includes 12,009 km of expressways)
unpaved: 6,663 km (2003)
Waterways1,000 km (2003)
Merchant marinetotal: 169 ships (1000 GRT or over) 1,902,839 GRT/1,874,161 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 9, cargo 13, chemical tanker 14, container 27, liquefied gas 9, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 49, petroleum tanker 15, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 20, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 5
foreign-owned: 36 (Cuba 1, Denmark 1, Germany 12, Italy 2, Mexico 3, Norway 7, UK 1, Uruguay 2, US 7)
registered in other countries: 112 (Bahamas 12, Belize 3, Brazil 4, Cambodia 1, Cape Verde 1, Cuba 1, Cyprus 7, Italy 1, Malta 6, Marshall Islands 3, Nigeria 1, Panama 53, Portugal 15, Saint Kitts and Nevis 2, UK 1, Venezuela 1) (2006)
Ports and terminalsAlgeciras, Barcelona, Cartagena, Gijon, Huelva, La Coruna, Tarragona, Valencia
Military - Spain:
Military branchesSpanish Armed Forces: Army (Ejercito de Tierra), Spanish Navy (Armada Espanola, AE; includes Marine Corps), Spanish Air Force (Ejercito del Aire Espanola, EdA) (2006)
Military service age and obligation20 years of age (2004)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 20-49: 9,366,588
females age 20-49: 9,155,057 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 20-49: 7,623,356
females age 20-49: 7,434,465 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 233,384
females age 20-49: 221,805 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp1.2% (2005 est.)
Disputes internationalin 2002, Gibraltar residents voted overwhelmingly by referendum to remain a British colony and against a total shared sovereignty arrangement while demanding participation in talks between the UK and Spain; Spain disapproves of UK plans to grant Gibraltar greater autonomy; Morocco protests Spains control over the coastal enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and the islands of Penon de Velez de la Gomera, Penon de Alhucemas and Islas Chafarinas, and surrounding waters; Morocco serves as the primary launching site of illegal migration into Spain from North Africa; Portugal does not recognize Spanish sovereignty over the territory of Olivenza based on a difference of interpretation of the 1815 Congress of Vienna and the 1801 Treaty of Badajoz
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
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