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Flag of Spain

Border countries: Andorra, France, Gibraltar, Portugal, Morocco

Country Profile

Capital City: Madrid (pop. 5.5 million)

Other Cities: Barcelona (4.9 million), Bilbao (353 950), Malagá (1.3 million), Sevilla (1.8 million), Valencià (2.3 million), Zaragoza (871 000).

Local Time: UTC +1h

Location: Peninsula in southwestern Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, the Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France.
Area: 504 750 sq. km. (194 884 sq. mi.), including the Balearic and Canary Islands
Terrain: High plateaus, lowland areas such as narrow coastal plains, and mountainous regions.

Climate: Temperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast.

Type: Constitutional Monarchy (Juan Carlos I. proclaimed King 22 November 1975).
Constitution: 6 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978.

Nationality: Noun--Spaniard(s). Adjective--Spanish.
Population: 42.7 million.
Ethnic groups: Distinct ethnic groups within Spain include the Basques, Catalans, and Galicians.
Religion: Predominantly Roman Catholic.
Languages: Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan-Valenciana 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%.
Literacy: 98% (est.)


Currency: Euro (EUR)

Natural resources: Coal, lignite, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, uranium, tungsten, mercury, pyrites, magnesite, fluorspar, gypsum, sepiolite, kaolin, potash, hydropower, arable land.

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.

Exports partners:
France 19.2%, Germany 11.9%, Italy 9.7%, UK 9.4%, Portugal 9.3%, USA 4.2% (2003)

Imports partners: France 16.8%, Germany 16.6%, Italy 8.8%, UK 6.5%, Netherlands 4.9% (2003)

Official Sites of Spain

Casa de S.M. el Rey de España

El Gobierno

El Senado de España

Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores

Diplomatic Missions
Misión Permanente de España en Naciones Unidas

Embajada de España

Spanish Embassies and Consulates

Instituto Nacional de Estadística

Instituto Nacional de Meteorología (INM)

Map of Spain



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. Continuing concerns are Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)
terrorism and further reductions in unemployment.

Geography Spain

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 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 land:
499,542 sq km

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:  contiguous zone: 24 NM exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
(applies only to the Atlantic Ocean) territorial sea: 12 NM

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, uranium, mercury, pyrites,
fluorspar, gypsum, zinc, lead, tungsten, copper, kaolin, potash,
hydropower, arable land

Land use:  arable land: 29% permanent crops: 9% other: 62% (1998 est.)

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;

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Air Pollution,
Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air
Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol,
Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity,
Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous
Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear
Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83,
Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Air
Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol,

Geography - note:  strategic location along approaches to Strait of

People Spain

Population:  40,077,100 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 14.5% (male 2,993,747; female 2,812,498) 15-64
years: 68.1% (male 13,699,383; female 13,592,717) 65 years and over: 17.4%
(male 2,922,452; female 4,056,303) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  0.09% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  9.29 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  9.22 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  0.87 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 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 (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  4.85 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   82.76 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  1.16 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.58% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  120,000 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  2,000 (1999 est.)

Nationality:  noun: Spaniard(s) adjective: Spanish

Ethnic groups:  composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types

Religions:  Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%

Languages:  Castilian Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%,
Basque 2%

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 97% male: NA% female: NA%

Government Spain

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

Government type:  parliamentary monarchy

Capital:  Madrid

Administrative divisions:  19 autonomous communities (comunidades
autonomas, singular - comunidad autonoma); Andalucia, Aragon, Asturias,
Baleares (Balearic Islands), Ceuta, Canarias (Canary Islands), Cantabria,
Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y Leon, Cataluna, Communidad Valencian,
Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, Melilla, Murcia, Navarra, Pais
Vasco (Basque Country) note:  Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas,
and Penon de Velez de la Gomera

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:  Hispanic 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 Jose Maria AZNAR
Lopez (since 5 May 1996); First Vice President (and Minister of Interior)
Mariano RAJOY (since 27 April 2000) and Second Vice President (and
Minister of Economy) Rodrigo RATO Figaredo (since 5 May 1996) 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
election results:  Assembly vote - 44.54%; note - the Popular Party (PP)
obtained an absolute majority of seats in both the Congress of Deputies
and the Senate as a result of the March 2000 elections elections: the
monarch is hereditary; president proposed by the monarch and elected by
the National Assembly following legislative elections; election last
held 12 March 2000 (next to be held NA March 2004); vice presidents
appointed by the monarch on the proposal of the president

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) election results:  1.5%, CC 1.1%, PIL 0%; seats by party
- PP 127, PSOE 61, CiU 8, PNV 6, CC 5, PIL 1; Congress of Deputies -
percent of vote by party - PP 44.5%, PSOE 34%, CiU 4.2%, IU 5.4%, PNV
1.5%, CC 1%, BNG 1.3%; seats by party - PP 183, PSOE 125, CiU 15, IU 8,
PNV 7, CC 4, BNG 3, other 5 elections:  of Deputies - last held 12 March
2000 (next to be held NA March 2004)

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo

Political parties and leaders:  Basque Nationalist Party or PNV [Xabier
ARZALLUS Antia]; Batasuna [Arnaldo OTEGI]; Canarian Coalition or CC (a
coalition of five parties) [Paulino RIVERO]; Convergence and Union or CiU
[Jordi PUJOL i Soley, secretary general] (a coalition of the Democratic
Convergence of Catalonia or CDC [Jordi PUJOL i Soley] and the Democratic
Union of Catalonia or UDC [Josep Antoni DURAN y LLEIDA]); Galician
Nationalist Bloc or BNG [Xose Manuel BEIRAS]; Party of Independents
from Lanzarote or PIL [Dimas MARTIN Martin]; Popular Party or PP [Jose
Maria AZNAR Lopez]; 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; Workers Confederation or CC.OO

International organization participation:  AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group,
ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer),

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Francisco Javier RUPEREZ chancery: 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20037 consulate(s) general:   [1] (202) 833-5670 telephone:
Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
George L. ARGYROS embassy: Serrano 75, 28006
 [34] (91) 587-2200 FAX:
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

Economy Spain

Economy - overview:  Spain's mixed capitalist economy supports a GDP
that on a per capita basis is 80% that of the four leading West European
economies. Its center-right government successfully worked to gain
admission to the first group of countries launching the European single
currency on 1 January 1999. The AZNAR administration has continued to
advocate liberalization, privatization, and deregulation of the economy
and has introduced some tax reforms to that end. Unemployment has been
steadily falling under the AZNAR administration but remains the highest
in the EU at 13%. The government intends to make further progress in
changing labor laws and reforming pension schemes, which are key to
the sustainability of both Spain's internal economic advances and its
competitiveness in a single currency area. Adjusting to the monetary and
other economic policies of an integrated Europe - and further reducing
unemployment - will pose challenges to Spain over the next few years.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $757 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  2.8% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $18,900 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 4% industry: 28% services: 68%
(2000 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):  3.8% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  17.1 million (2001)

Labor force - by occupation:  services 64%, manufacturing, mining,
and construction 29%, agriculture 7% (2001 est.)

Unemployment rate:  13% (2001 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $105 billion expenditures: $109 billion, including
capital expenditures of $12.8 billion (2000 est.)

Industries:  textiles and apparel (including footwear), food and
beverages, metals and metal manufactures, chemicals, shipbuilding,
automobiles, machine tools, tourism

Industrial production growth rate:  1% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production:  211.64 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 56.78% hydro: 12.49%
other: 2.9% (2000) nuclear: 27.83%

Electricity - consumption:  201.159 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  7.832 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  12.166 billion kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  grain, vegetables, olives, wine grapes, sugar
beets, citrus; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish

Exports:  $118.6 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Exports - commodities:  machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, other
consumer goods

Exports - partners:  EU 71.2% (France 19.6%, Germany 11.8%, Portugal 9.9%,
Italy 9%, UK 9%), US 4.4%, Latin America 4% (January-October 2001)

Imports:  $150.5 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals,
semifinished goods; foodstuffs, consumer goods (1997)

Imports - partners:  EU 63.1% (France 16.4%, Germany 15.5%, Italy 9%,
UK 6.9%, Benelux 3.5%), OPEC 5%, US 4.5%, Japan 2.5%, Latin America 2%
(January-October 2001)

Debt - external:  $90 billion (1993 est.)

Economic aid - donor:  ODA, $1.33 billion (1999)

Currency:  euro (EUR); Spanish peseta (ESP) 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; ESP

Exchange rates:  euros per US dollar - 1.1324 (January 2002), 1.1175
(2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999); pesetas per US dollar - 149.40
(1998), 146.41 (1997)

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Spain

Telephones - main lines in use:  17.336 million (1999)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  8.394 million (1999)

Telephone system:  general assessment: generally adequate, modern
facilities; teledensity
 NA international:  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 Service Providers (ISPs):  56 (2000)

Internet users:  7.38 million (2001)

Transportation Spain

Railways:  total: 15,171 km broad gauge: 12,781 km 1.668-m gauge (6,434
km electrified) standard gauge: 525 km 1.435-m gauge (525 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,837 km 1.000-m gauge (617 km electrified); 28 km 0.914-m
gauge (28 km electrified) (2001)

Highways:  total: 346,858 km paved: 343,389 km (including 9,063 km of
expressways) unpaved: 3,469 km (1997)

Waterways:  1,045 km (of minor economic importance)

Pipelines:  crude oil 265 km; petroleum products 1,794 km; natural gas
1,666 km

Ports and harbors:  Aviles, Barcelona, Bilbao, Cadiz, Cartagena,
Castellon de la Plana, Ceuta, Huelva, La Coruna, Las Palmas (Canary
Islands), Malaga, Melilla, Pasajes, Gijon, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
(Canary Islands), Santander, Tarragona, Valencia, Vigo

Merchant marine:  total: 144 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,364,751
GRT/1,962,764 DWT ships by type: bulk 10, cargo 31, chemical tanker 10,
container 10, liquefied gas 2, livestock carrier 1, passenger 2, petroleum
tanker 24, refrigerated cargo 8, roll on/roll off 35, short-sea passenger
8, vehicle carrier 3 note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered
here as a flag of convenience: Croatia 1, Cuba 2, Denmark 1, Germany 7,
Italy 1, Netherlands 1, Norway 6, Uruguay 3 (2002 est.)

Airports:  133 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 85 over 3,047 m: 15 2,438 to
3,047 m: 10 914 to 1,523 m: 19 under 914 m: 23 (2001) 1,524 to 2,437 m: 18

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 48 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to
1,523 m: 14 under 914 m: 33 (2001)

Heliports:  5 (2001)

Military Spain

Military branches:  Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Civil Guard, National
Police, Coastal Civil Guard

Military manpower - military age:  20 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 10,520,561 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 8,403,430
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 281,043
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $8.6 billion (2002)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  1.15% (2002)

Transnational Issues Spain

Disputes - international:  Spain and UK are discussing "total shared
sovereignty" over Gibraltar, subject to a constitutional referendum
by Gibraltarians, who have largely expressed opposition to any form
of cession to Spain; Spain controls the coastal enclaves of Ceuta and
Melilla, which Morocco contests, as well as the islands of Penon de
Alhucemas, Penon de Velez de la Gomera, and Islas Chafarinas; Morocco
rejected Spain's unilateral designation of a median line from the Canary
Islands in 2002 to explore undersea resources and to interdict illegal
refugees from Africa

Illicit drugs:  key European gateway country for Latin American cocaine
and North African hashish entering the European market; destination and
minor transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

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