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By Search Words > Visit Detail > Country Facts for Spain
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Map of Spain
IntroductionTop
Background: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). In the second half of the 20th century, Spain has played a catch-up role in the western international community; it joined the EU in 1986. Continuing challenges include Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorism and further reductions in unemployment.
GeographyTop
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
Map references:Europe
Area:total: 504,782 sq km
land: 499,542 sq km
water: 5,240 sq km
note: there are 19 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 - comparative:slightly more than twice the size of Oregon
Land boundaries:total: 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
Elevation extremes: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: 26.07%
permanent crops: 9.87%
other: 64.06% (2001)

Irrigated land:36,400 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:periodic droughts
Environment - current 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 - international 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

Geography - note:strategic location along approaches to Strait of Gibraltar
PeopleTop
Population:40,341,462 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 14.4% (male 2,994,124/female 2,815,456)
15-64 years: 68% (male 13,762,281/female 13,664,762)
65 years and over: 17.6% (male 2,965,859/female 4,138,980) (2005 est.)

Median age:total: 39.51 years
male: 38.18 years
female: 40.93 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate:0.15% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:10.1 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:9.63 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:0.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.07 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 (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate:total: 4.42 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.82 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:total population: 79.52 years
male: 76.18 years
female: 83.08 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate:1.28 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:0.7% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:140,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:less than 1,000 (2003 est.)
Nationality:noun: Spaniard(s)
adjective: Spanish

Ethnic groups:composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types
Religions:Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%
Languages:Castilian Spanish 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%; note - Castilian is the official language nationwide; the other languages are official regionally
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.9%
male: 98.7%
female: 97.2% (2003 est.)

GovernmentTop
Country name:conventional long form: Kingdom of Spain
conventional short form: Spain
local short form: Espana

Government type:parliamentary monarchy
Capital:Madrid
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, 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 located off the coast of Morocco and are collectively referred to as Places of Sovereignty (Plazas de Soberania)

Independence:the Iberian peninsula was characterized by a variety of independent kingdoms prior to the Moslem 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
Constitution:6 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978
Legal system:civil law system, with regional applications; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: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 and Prime Minister 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 14 March 2004 (next to be held March 2008); vice presidents appointed by the monarch on the proposal of the president
election results: Jose Luis RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO (PSOE) elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 52.29%

Legislative branch:bicameral; 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 14 March 2004 (next to be held March 2008); Congress of Deputies - last held 14 March 2004 (next to be held March 2008)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - PP 49%, PSOE 38.9%, Entesa Catalona de Progress 5.7%, CiU 1.99%, PNV 2.8%, CC 1.4%; seats by party - PP 102, PSOE 81, Entesa Catalona de Progress 12, CiU 4, PNV 6, CC 3; Congress of Deputies - percent of vote by party - PSOE 43.3%, PP 37.8%, CiU 3.2%, ERC 2.5%, PNV 1.6%, IU 3.2%, CC 0.9%; seats by party - PSOE 164, PP 148, CiU 10, ERC 8, PNV 7, IU 2, CC 3, other 8

Judicial branch:Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo
Political parties and leaders:Basque Nationalist Party or PNV [Josu Jon IMAZ]; Canarian Coalition or CC (a coalition of five parties) [Paulino RIVERO Baute]; 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 y LLEIDA]); Entesa Catalonia de Progress (a Senate coalition grouping four Catalan parties - PSC, ERC, ICV, EUA) [leader NA]; Galician Nationalist Bloc or BNG [Anxo Manuel QUINTANA]; Party of Independents from Lanzarote or PIL [Dimas MARTIN Martin]; Popular Party or PP [Mariano RAJOY]; Republican Left of Catalonia or ERC [Josep-Lluis CAROD-ROVIRA]; Spanish Socialist Workers Party or PSOE [Jose Luis RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO]; United Left or IU (a coalition of parties including the PCE and other small parties) [Gaspar LLAMAZARES]
Political pressure groups and leaders:business 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.; Nunca Mas (Galician for "Never Again"; formed in response to the oil tanker Prestige oil spill)
International organization participation:AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BCIE, BIS, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, ONUB, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIK, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
Flag description: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 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
EconomyTop
Economy - overview:The Spanish economy boomed from 1986 to 1990, averaging five percent annual growth. After a European-wide recession in the early 1990s, the Spanish economy resumed moderate growth starting in 1994. Spain's 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 10.4%. Growth of 2.5% in 2003 and 2.6% in 2004 was satisfactory given the background of a faltering European economy. The socialist president, RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO, has initiated economic and social reforms that are generally popular among the masses of people but that are anathema to religious and other conservative elements. Adjusting to the monetary and other economic policies of an integrated Europe, reducing unemployment, and absorbing widespread social changes will pose challenges to Spain over the next few years.
GDP:purchasing power parity - $937.6 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:2.6% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:purchasing power parity - $23,300 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:agriculture: 3.5%
industry: 28.5%
services: 68% (2004 est.)

Labor force:19.33 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:agriculture 5.3%, manufacturing, mining, and construction 30.1%, services 64.6% (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate:10.4% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 25.2% (1990)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:32.5 (1990)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):3.2% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):25.4% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:revenues: $383.7 billion
expenditures: $386.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $12.8 billion (2004 est.)

Public debt:53.2% of GDP (2004 est.)
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:3% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:229 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:fossil fuel: 50.4%
hydro: 18.2%
nuclear: 27.2%
other: 4.1% (2001)

Electricity - consumption:218.4 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:4.4 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:9.8 billion kWh (2002)
Oil - production:7,099 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:1.497 million bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:135,100 bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:1.582 million bbl/day (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:10.5 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:516 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:17.96 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:17.26 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:254.9 million cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:$-30.89 billion (2004 est.)
Exports:$172.5 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, medicines, other consumer goods
Exports - partners:France 19.3%, Germany 11.7%, Portugal 9.6%, UK 9.1%, Italy 9.1% (2004)
Imports:$222 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, semifinished goods; foodstuffs, consumer goods; measuring and medical control instruments
Imports - partners:Germany 16.5%, France 15.7%, Italy 8.8%, UK 6.3%, Netherlands 4.8% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$19.7 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:$771.1 billion (2004 est.)
Economic aid - donor:ODA, $1.33 billion (1999)
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

Currency code:EUR
Exchange rates:euros per US dollar - 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000)
Fiscal year:calendar year
CommunicationsTop
Telephones - main lines in use:17,567,500 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:37,506,700 (2003)
Telephone system:general assessment: generally adequate, modern facilities; teledensity is 44 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 stations:AM 208, FM 715, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios:13.1 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:224 (plus 2,105 repeaters)
note: these figures include 11 television broadcast stations and 88 repeaters in the Canary Islands (1995)

Televisions:16.2 million (1997)
Internet country code:.es
Internet hosts:1,056,950 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):56 (2000)
Internet users:9.789 million (2003)
TransportationTop
Railways:total: 14,781 km (7,718 km electrified)
broad gauge: 11,829 km 1.668-m gauge (6,950 km electrified)
standard gauge: 998 km 1.435-m gauge (998 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,926 km 1.000-m gauge (815 km electrified); 28 km 0.914-m gauge (28 km electrified) (2004)

Highways:total: 664,852 km
paved: 658,203 km (including 11,152 km of expressways)
unpaved: 6,649 km (2001)

Waterways:1,045 km (2003)
Pipelines:gas 7,306 km; oil 730 km; refined products 3,512 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:Aviles, Barcelona, Bilbao, Cadiz, Cartagena, Castellon de la Plana, Ceuta, Huelva, A Coruna, Las Palmas (Canary Islands), Malaga, Melilla, Pasajes, Gijon, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands), Santander, Tarragona, Valencia, Vigo
Merchant marine:total: 182 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 1,740,974 GRT/2,157,551 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 10, cargo 22, chemical tanker 16, container 19, liquefied gas 8, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 47, petroleum tanker 20, refrigerated cargo 6, roll on/roll off 25, vehicle carrier 7
foreign-owned: 29 (Cuba 2, Denmark 1, Germany 9, Italy 2, Norway 6, United States 7, Uruguay 2)
registered in other countries: 192 (2005)

Airports:156 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:total: 95
over 3,047 m: 15
2,438 to 3,047 m: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 19
914 to 1,523 m: 23
under 914 m: 28 (2004 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 61
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 15
under 914 m: 44 (2004 est.)

Heliports:8 (2004 est.)
MilitaryTop
Military branches:Army, Navy, Air Force (Ejercito del Aire, EdA), Naval Infantry
Military manpower - military age and obligation:20 years of age (2004)
Military manpower - availability:males age 20-49: 9,366,588 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:males age 20-49: 7,623,356 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:males: 233,384 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:$9,906.5 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:1.2% (2003)
Transnational IssuesTop
Disputes - international:in 2003, 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
Illicit drugs:key European gateway country and consumer for Latin American cocaine and North African hashish entering the European market; destination and minor transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin; money-laundering site for European earnings of Colombian narcotics trafficking organizations



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