Spain country factbook
This indepth profile on Spain's facts includes geography, people, government, economy and transnational issues in Spain.
Spain's 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 modernisation (Spain joined the EU in 1986) gave Spain a dynamic and rapidly growing economy and made it a global champion of freedom and human rights. The government continues to battle the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorist organisation, but its major focus for the immediate future will be on measures to reverse the severe economic recession that started in mid-2008.
Three 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 is quartered to display the emblems of the traditional kingdoms of Spain (clockwise from upper left, Castile, Leon, Navarre, and Aragon) while Granada is represented by the stylised pomegranate at the bottom of the shield; the arms are framed by two columns representing the Pillars of Hercules, which are the two promontories (Gibraltar and Ceuta) on either side of the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar; the red scroll across the two columns bears the imperial motto of "Plus Ultra" (further beyond) referring to Spanish lands beyond Europe.
Location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France.
Geographic coordinates: 40 00 N, 4 00 W
Total area: 505,370 sq km
Land area: 498,980 sq km
Water area: 6,390 sq km
Notes: 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.
Comparative area: Slightly more than twice the size of Oregon.
Total land boundaries: 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
Coastline: 4,964 km
Maritime claims: Territorial sea 12 nm; contiguous zone 24 nm; exclusive economic zone 200 nm (applies only to the Atlantic Ocean).
Climate: Temperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast.
Terrain: Large, flat to dissected plateau surrounded by rugged hills; Pyrenees in north.
Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Pico de Teide (Tenerife) on Canary Islands 3,718 m
Natural resources: Coal, lignite, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, uranium, tungsten, mercury, pyrites, magnesite, fluorspar, gypsum, sepiolite, kaolin, potash, hydropower, arable land.
Land use: Arable land: 27.18 percent; permanent crops: 9.85 percent; other: 62.97 percent (2005)
Irrigated land: 37,800 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 111.1 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): 37.22 cu km/yr (13 percent/19 percent/68 percent); per capita 864 cu m/yr (2002)
Natural hazards: Periodic droughts
Environment issues: Pollution 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 agreements: Party 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.
Note: Strategic location along approaches to Strait of Gibraltar; Spain controls a number of territories in northern Morocco including the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, and the islands of Penon de Velez de la Gomera, Penon de Alhucemas, and Islas Chafarinas.
Population: 46,754,784 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years 15.1 percent (male 3,646,614 / female 3,435,311); 15-64 years 67.7 percent (male 16,036,556 / female 15,637,090); 65 years and over 17.1 percent (male 3,389,681 / female 4,609,532) (20011 est.)
Median age: 40.5 years (male 39.3 years / female 41.9 years) (2011 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.574 percent (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 10.66 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 8.8 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 3.89 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Urban population: 77 percent of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanisation: 1 percent annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Sex ratio: At birth 1.065 male(s)/female; under 15 years 1.06 male(s)/female; 15-64 years 1.01 male(s)/female; 65 years and over 0.72 male(s)/female; total population 0.96 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 3.39 deaths/1,000 live births (male 3.74 deaths/1,000 live births / female 3.03 deaths/1,000 live births) (2011 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: 81.17 years (male 78.16 years / female 84.37 years) (2011 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.47 children born/woman (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 0.4 percent (2009 est.)
People living with HIV/AIDS: 130,000 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS deaths: 1,600 (2009 est.)
Nationality: Noun Spaniard(s); adjective Spanish
Ethnic groups: Composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types.
Religions: Roman Catholic 94 percent, other 6 percent
Languages: Castilian Spanish (official) 74 percent, Catalan 17 percent, Galician 7 percent, Basque 2 percent, are official regionally.
Literacy (age 15+ can read and write): 97.9 percent (male 98.7 percent / female 97.2 percent) (2008 est.)
School-life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): 16 years (male 16 years / female 17 years) (2008)
Education expenditures: 4.4 percent of GDP (2007)
Country name: Conventional long form: Kingdom of Spain; conventional short form: Spain; local long form: Reino de Espana; local short form: Espana.
Government type: Parliamentary monarchy
Capital: Madrid (geographic coordinates 40 24 N, 3 41 W); time difference UTC+1; daylight saving time (+1hr), begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October. (Spain is divided into two time zones including the Canary Islands.)
Administrative divisions: 17 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 (Catalonia), Comunidad Valenciana (Valencian Community), Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, Melilla*, Murcia, Navarra, Pais Vasco (Basque Country). 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).
Independence: 1492; the Iberian peninsula was characterised 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 holiday: National Day, 12 October (1492); year when Columbus first set foot in the Americas.
Constitution: Approved by legislature 31 October 1978; passed by referendum 6 December 1978; effective 29 December 1978.
Legal system: Civil law system, with regional applications; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations.
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
- Chief 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 Minister of the Interior) Alfredo Perez RUBALCABA (since 20 October 2010), Second Vice President (and Minister of Economy and Finance) Elena SALGADO Mendez (since 8 April 2009), and Third Vice President (and Minister of Regional Affairs) Manuel CHAVES Gonzalez (since 8 April 2009)
- Cabinet: Council of Ministers designated by the president. (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 9 and 11 April 2008 (next to be held in March 2012); vice presidents appointed by the monarch on the proposal of the president.
- Election results: Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero reelected President of the Government; percent of National Assembly vote - 46.9 percent.
Legislative branch: Bicameral; General Courts or Las Cortes Generales (National Assembly) consists of the Senate or Senado (264 seats as of 2008; 208 members directly elected by popular vote and the other 56—as of 2008—appointed by the regional legislatures; to serve four-year terms) and the Congress of Deputies or Congreso de los Diputados (350 seats; each of the 50 electoral provinces fills a minimum of two seats and the North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla fill one seat each with members serving a four-year term; the other 248 members are determined by proportional representation based on popular vote on block lists who serve four-year terms).
- Elections: Senate - last held on 9 March 2008 (next to be held not later than March 2012); Congress of Deputies - last held on 9 March 2008 (next to be held not later than March 2012).
- Election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PP 101, PSOE 88, Entesa Catalona de Progress 12, CiU 4, PNV 2, CC 1, members appointed by regional legislatures 56; Congress of Deputies - percent of vote by party - PSOE 43.6 percent, PP 40.1 percent, CiU 3.1 percent, PNV 1.2 percent, ERC 1.2 percent, other 10.8 percent; seats by party - PSOE 169, PP 154, CiU 10, PNV 6, ERC 3, other 8.
Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo
Political parties and leaders: Basque Nationalist Party or PNV or EAJ [Inigo URKULLU Renteria]; Canarian Coalition or CC [Claudina MORALES Rodriquez] (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 [Guillerme VAZQUEZ Vazquez]; Initiative for Catalonia Greens or ICV [Joan SAURA i Laporta]; Navarra Yes or NaBai [collective leadership] (a coalition of four Navarran parties); Popular Party or PP [Mariano RAJOY Brey]; Republican Left of Catalonia or ERC [Joan PUIGCERCOS i Boixassa]; Spanish Socialist Workers Party or PSOE [Jose Luis Rodriguez ZAPATERO]; Union of People of Navarra or UPN [Yolanda BARCINA Angulo]; Union, Progress and Democracy or UPyD [Rosa DIEZ Gonzalez]; United Left or IU [Cayo LARA Moya] (a coalition of parties including the Communist Party of Spain or PCE and other small parties)
Political pressure groups and leaders: Association for Victims of Terrorism or AVT (grassroots organization devoted primarily to opposing ETA terrorist attacks and supporting its victims); Basta Ya (Spanish for "Enough is Enough"); grassroots organization devoted primarily to opposing ETA terrorist attacks and supporting its victims); Nunca Mais (Galician for "Never Again"; formed in response to the oil Tanker Prestige oil spill); Socialist General Union of Workers or UGT and the smaller independent Workers Syndical Union or USO; Trade Union Confederation of Workers' Commissions or CC.OO.
other: business and landowning interests; Catholic Church; free labor unions (authorized in April 1977); university students
International organisation participation: ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BCIE, BIS, CBSS (observer), CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, 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, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SECI (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMIS, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US: Chief of mission: Ambassador Jorge DEZCALLAR de Mazarredo
Diplomatic representation from the US: Chief of mission: Ambassador Alan D. SOLOMONT; Embassy: Serrano 75, 28006 Madrid; Mailing address: PSC 61, APO AE 09642; Telephone:  (91) 587-2200; FAX:  (91) 587-2303; Consulate(s) general: Barcelona
Spain's mixed capitalist economy is the 12th largest in the world, and its per capita income roughly matches that of Germany and France. However, after almost 15 years of above average GDP growth, the Spanish economy began to slow in late 2007 and entered into a recession in the second quarter of 2008. Spain's unemployment rate rose from a low of about 8 percent in 2007 to more than 19 percent in December 2009 and continues to rise. Its fiscal deficit worsened from 3.8 percent of GDP in 2008 to about 11 percent of GDP in 2009, more than three times the EMU limit.
Spain's large budget deficit and poor economic growth prospects have made it vulnerable to financial contagion from other highly-indebted euro zone members despite the government's efforts to cut spending, privatize industries, and boost competitiveness through labor market reforms. Spanish banks' high exposure to the collapsed domestic construction and real estate market also poses a continued risk for the sector.
The government oversaw a restructuring of the savings bank sector in 2010, and provided some $15 billion in capital to various institutions. Investors remain concerned that Madrid may need to bail out more troubled banks. The Bank of Spain, however, is seeking to boost confidence in the financial sector by pressuring banks to come clean about their losses and consolidate into stronger groups.
GDP (purchasing power parity): USD 1.376 trillion (2010 est) country comparison to the world: 14; USD 1.379 trillion (2009 est); USD 1.432 trillion (2008 est)
GDP (official exchange rate): USD 1.375 trillion (2010 est)
GDP real growth rate: -0.2 percent (20010 est) country comparison to the world: 192; -3.7 percent (2009 est)
GDP per capita (PPP): USD 29,500 (20010 est) country comparison to the world: 47; USD 29,800 (2009 est); USD 31,200 (2008 est)
GDP composition by sector: Agriculture: 2.9 percent; industry: 25.5 percent; services: 71.6 percent (2010 est)
Labour force: 22.96 million (2010 est)
Labour force by occupation: Agriculture: 4.2 percent; industry: 24 percent; services: 71.7 percent (2009 est)
Unemployment rate: 20 percent (2010 est) country comparison to the world: 166; 18.1 percent (2009 est)
Population below poverty line: 19.8 percent (2005)Household income or consumption by percentage share: Lowest 10 percent: 2.6 percent; highest 10 percent: 26.6 percent (2000)
Distribution of family income (Gini index): 32 (2005)
Investment (gross fixed): 22.9 percent of GDP (2010 est) country comparison to the world: 59
Budget: Revenues: USD 515.8 billion; Expenditures: USD 648.6 billion (2010)
Public debt: 63.4 percent of GDP (2010 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.3 percent (2010 est) country comparison to the world: 29;
Central bank discount rate: 1.75 percent (December 2010) country comparison to the world: 119. (This is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate: 10.72 percent (31 December 2009)
Stock of narrow money: USD 849.2 billion (See entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 16 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money and quasi money circulating within their own borders)
Stock of broad money: USD 2.264 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of domestic credit: USD 3.683 trillion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 8; USD 3.451 trillion (31 December 2008)
Market value of publicly traded shares: USD 1.297 trillion (31 December 2009)
Agriculture products: Grain, vegetables, olives, wine grapes, sugar beets, citrus; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish.
Industries: Textiles 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 rate: -2 percent (2010 est)
Electricity production: 300.5 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity consumption: 276.1 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity exports: 16.92 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity imports: 5.88 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Oil production: 27,230 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil consumption: 1.482 million bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil exports: 218,600 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil imports: 1.716 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
Proved oil reserves: 150 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
Natural gas production: 13 million cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas consumption: 33.88 billion cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas exports: 975 million cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas imports: 34.67 billion cu m (2009 est.)
Proved natural gas reserves: 2.548 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.)
Current account balance: USD -66.74 billion (2010 est)
Exports: USD 268.3 billion (2010 est.);
Export commodities: Machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, medicines, other consumer goods.
Export partners: France 19.27 percent, Germany 11.11 percent, Portugal 9.21 percent, Italy 8.24 percent, UK 6.18 percent (2009)
Imports: USD 324.6 billion (2010 est.)
Import commodities:Machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, semi-finished goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, measuring and medical control instruments.
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: NA (31 December 2010 est.); UUSD 28.2 billion (31 December 2009)
External debt: USD 2.166 trillion (30 June 2010); USD 2.317 trillion (31 December 2008)
Stock of direct foreign investment (at home): USD 668.5 billion (31 December 2010 est.); USD 664 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment (abroad): USD 641 billion (31 December 20010 est.); USD 634.4 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Exchange rates:Euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.755 (2010), 0.7198 (2009), 0.6827 (2008), 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005)
Telephones lines in use: 20.057 million (2009)
Mobile telephones: 50.991 million (2009)
Telephone system: Well developed, modern facilities; fixed-line teledensity is about 50 per 100 persons. Domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is nearly 175 telephones per 100 persons. International: country code - 34; submarine cables provide connectivity to Europe, Middle East, Asia, and US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), NA Eutelsat; tropospheric scatter to adjacent countries.
Radio broadcast stations: a mixture of both publicly-operated and privately-owned TV and radio stations broadcasting; overall, hundreds of TV channels are available including national, regional, local, public, and international channels; satellite and cable TV systems are accessible; multiple national radio networks, a large number of regional radio networks, and a larger number of local radio stations broadcasting; overall, hundreds of radio stations operating
Internet country code: .es
Internet hosts: 3.822 million (2010)
Internet users: 28.119 million (2009)
Airports: 154 (2010)
Airports with paved runways: Total 97; over 3,047 m 18; 2,438 to 3,047 m 13; 1,524 to 2,437 m 18; 914 to 1,523 m 24; under 914 m 24 (2010)
Airports with unpaved runways: Total 57; 1,524 to 2,437 m 3; 914 to 1,523 m 16; under 914 m 38 (2010)
Heliports: 9 (2010)
Pipelines: Gas 7,738 km; oil 560 km; refined products 3,445 km (2008)
Railways: Total 15,288 km; broad gauge 11,919 km 1.668-m gauge (6,950 km electrified); standard gauge 1,392 km 1.435-m gauge (1,054 km electrified);
narrow gauge 1,949 km 1.000-m gauge (815 km electrified); 28 km 0.914-m gauge (28 km electrified) (2008)
Roadways (paved): 681,298 km (includes 15,152 km of expressways) (2008)
Waterways: 1,000 km (2009)
Merchant marine: Total 138; bulk carrier 7, cargo 17, chemical tanker 12, container 8, liquefied gas 13, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 40, petroleum tanker 17, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 13, vehicle carrier 5
foreign-owned: 26 (Canada 5, Denmark 2, Germany 5, Italy 1, Mexico 2, Norway 10, Switzerland 1). Registered in other countries: 107 (Angola 1, Argentina 3, Bahamas 9, Belize 1, Brazil 12, Cape Verde 1, Cyprus 7, France 1, Malta 10, Nigeria 1, Panama 40, Portugal 15, Uruguay 5, Venezuela 1) (2010)Ports and terminals: Algeciras, Barcelona, Bilbao, Cartagena, Huelva, Tarragona, Valencia, Las Palmas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands)
Military branches: Spanish Armed Forces: Army (Ejercito de Tierra), Spanish Navy (Armada Espanola, AE; includes Marine Corps), Spanish Air Force (Ejercito del Aire Espanola, EdA) (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 20 years of age (2004)
Manpower available for military service: Males age 16-49 11,759,557 ; females age 16-49 11,204,688 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: Males age 16-49 9,603,939; females age 16-49 9,116,928 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: Male 217,244; female 205,278 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures: 1.2 percent of GDP (2005 est.)
International disputes: In 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 Spain's 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 recognise 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.
Illicit drugs: Despite rigorous law enforcement efforts, North African, Latin American, Galician and other European traffickers take advantage of Spain's long coastline to land large shipments of cocaine and hashish for distribution to the European market; consumer for Latin American cocaine and North African hashish; destination and minor trans-shipment point for Southwest Asian heroin; money-laundering site for Colombian narcotics trafficking organisations and organised crime.
CIA World Factbook / Expatica
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