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Introduction Spain
Spain's powerful world empire of 16th and 17th centuries ultimately yielded command of seas to England. Subsequent failure to embrace mercantile and industrial revolutions caused 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 second half of 20th century, Spain has played a catch-up role in western international community; it joined EU in 1986. Continuing concerns are Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorism and further reductions in unemployment.
Geography Spain
Southwestern Europe, bordering Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France
Geographic coordinates:
40 00 N, 4 00 W
Map references:
total: 504,782 sq km
water: 5,240 sq km
note: there are 19 autonomous communities includes Balearic Islands and Canary Islands, and three limited Spanish possessions off 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 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
4,964 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM (applies only to Atlantic Ocean)
territorial sea: 12 NM
temperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast
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: 28.6%
permanent crops: 9.56%
other: 61.84% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
36,400 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
pollution of Mediterranean Sea from raw sewage and effluents from 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-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 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, Desertification
Geography - note:
strategic location along approaches to Strait of Gibraltar
People Spain
Total Population:
40,217,413 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 14.4% (male 2,985,705; female 2,808,791)
15-64 years: 68% (male 13,721,053; female 13,626,121)
65 years and over: 17.6% (male 2,962,646; female 4,113,097) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 38.7 years
male: 37.4 years
female: 40.1 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
0.16% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
10.08 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
9.48 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
0.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 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
Population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.12 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 4.94 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 79.23 years
male: 75.87 years
female: 82.8 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.26 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.5% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
130,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
2,300 (2001 est.)
noun: Spaniard(s)
adjective: Spanish
Ethnic groups:
composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types
Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%
Castilian Spanish 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%
note: Castilian is official language nationwide; other languages are official regionally
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Population: 97.9%
male: 98.7%
female: 97.2% (2003 est.)
Government Spain
Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Spain
conventional short form: Spain
local short form: Espana
Government type:
parliamentary monarchy
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: three limited Spanish possessions are located off coast of Morocco: Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera; Ceuta and Melilla gained limited autonomous status in 1994
Iberian peninsula previously characterized by a variety of independent kingdoms prior to Moslem occupation that began in early 8th Century A. D. and lasted nearly seven centuries; limited Christian redoubts of north began reconquest almost immediately, culminating in seizure of Granada in 1492; this event completed unification of several kingdoms and is traditionally considered forging of present-day Spain
National holiday:
Hispanic Day, 12 October
6 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978
Legal system:
civil law system, with regional applications; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: King JUAN CARLOS I (since 22 November 1975); Heir Apparent Prince FELIPE, son of monarch, born 30 January 1968
head of government: President of Government Jose Maria AZNAR Lopez (since 5 May 1996); First Vice President (and Minister of Economy) Rodrigo RATO Figaredo (since 4 September 2003) and Second Vice President (and Minister of Presidency) Javier ARENAS (since 4 September 2003)
cabinet: Council of Ministers designated by president
note: there is also a Council of State that is supreme consultative organ of government
election results: Jose Maria AZNAR Lopez (PP) elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 44.54%; note - Popular Party (PP) obtained an absolute majority of seats in both Congress of Deputies and Senate as a result of March 2000 elections
elections: monarch is hereditary; following legislative elections, leader of majority party or leader of majority coalition is usually proposed president by monarch and elected by National Assembly; election last held 12 March 2000 (next to be held NA March 2004); vice presidents appointed by monarch on proposal of president
Legislative branch:
bicameral; General Courts or National Assembly or Las Cortes Generales consists of Senate or Senado (259 seats - 208 members directly elected by popular vote and other 51 appointed by regional legislatures to serve four-year terms) and 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: Senate - percent of vote by party - PP 44.6%, PSOE 34.1%, CiU 4.2%, PNV 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: Senate - last held 12 March 2000 (next to be held NA March 2004); Congress 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]; 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 Democratic Convergence of Catalonia or CDC [Jordi PUJOL i Soley] and 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 [Mariano RAJOY]; Spanish Socialist Workers Party or PSOE [Jose Luis RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO]; United Left or IU (a coalition of parties includes PCE and other limited 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 smaller independent Workers Syndical Union or USO; university students; Workers Confederation or CC.OO; Nunca Mais (Galician for "Never Again"; formed in response to oil tanker Prestige oil spill)
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Francisco Javier RUPEREZ Rubio
chancery: 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)
FAX: [1] (202) 833-5670
telephone: [1] (202) 452-0100, 728-2340
Diplomatic representation from US:
chief of mission: Ambassador George L. ARGYROS
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 description:
three horizontal bands of red (top), yellow (double width), and red with national coat of arms on hoist side of yellow band; coat of arms includes royal seal framed by Pillars of Hercules, which are two promontories (Gibraltar and Ceuta) on either side of eastern end of 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 four leading West European economies. Its center-right government successfully worked to gain admission to first group of countries launching European single currency (the euro) on 1 January 1999. AZNAR administration has continued to advocate liberalization, privatization, and deregulation of economy and has introduced some tax reforms to that end. Unemployment has been steadily falling under AZNAR administration but remains high at 11.7%. government intends to make further progress in changing labor laws and reforming pension schemes, which are key to sustainability of both Spain's internal economic advances and its competitiveness in a single currency area. A general strike in mid-2002 reduced cooperation between labor and government. Growth of 2.4% in 2003 previously satisfactory given background of a faltering European economy. Adjusting to monetary and other economic policies of an integrated Europe - and reducing unemployment - will pose challenges to Spain over next few years.
buying power parity - $850.7 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
2% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $21,200 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 4%
industry: 31%
services: 65% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
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% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
17.1 million (2001)
Labor force - by occupation:
services 64%, manufacturing, mining, and construction 29%, agriculture 7% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:
11.3% (2002 est.)
revenues: $105 billion
expenditures: $109 billion, includes capital expenditures of $12.8 billion (2000 est.)
textiles and apparel (including footwear), food and beverages, metals and metal manufactures, chemicals, shipbuilding, automobiles, machine tools, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
1.2% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
222.5 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 50.4%
hydro: 18.2%
other: 4.1% (2001)
nuclear: 27.2%
Electricity - consumption:
210.4 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
4.138 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
7.588 billion kWh (2001)
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 (37257)
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 (37257)
Agriculture - products:
grain, vegetables, olives, wine grapes, sugar beets, citrus; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish
$122.2 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, other consumer goods
Exports - partners:
France 19%, Germany 11.4%, UK 9.6%, Portugal 9.5%, Italy 9.3%, US 4.6% (2002)
$156.6 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, semifinished goods; foodstuffs, consumer goods (1997)
Imports - partners:
France 17%, Germany 16.5%, Italy 8.6%, UK 6.4%, Netherlands 4.8% (2002)
Debt - external:
$90 billion (1993 est.)
Economic aid - donor:
ODA, $1.33 billion (1999)
euro (EUR)
note: on 1 January 1999, European Monetary Union introduced euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, euro became sole currency for everyday transactions with member countries
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
euros per US dollar - 1.06 (2002), 1.12 (2001), 1.09 (2000), 0.94 (1999)
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 is 44 main lines for each 100 persons
domestic: NA
international: 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)
13.1 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
224 (plus 2,105 repeaters)
note: these figures include 11 television broadcast stations and 88 repeaters in Canary Islands (1995)
16.2 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
56 (2000)
Internet users:
7.89 million (2002)
Transportation Spain
total: 14,189 km
broad gauge: 11,804 km 1.668-m gauge (6,409 km electrified)
standard gauge: 455 km 1.435-m gauge (455 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,902 km 1.000-m gauge (781 km electrified); 28 km 0.914-m gauge (28 km electrified) (2002)
total: 663,795 km
paved: 657,157 km (including 10,317 km of expressways)
unpaved: 6,638 km (1999)
1,045 km (of minor economic importance)
gas 7,290 km; oil 730 km; refined products 3,110 km; unknown (oil/water) 397 km (2003)
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: 140 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 1,585,563 GRT/2,022,104 DWT
ships by type: bulk 9, cargo 31, chemical tanker 10, container 13, liquefied gas 5, livestock carrier 1, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 22, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 33, short-sea passenger 6, vehicle carrier 4
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.)
152 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 93
over 3,047 m: 15
2,438 to 3,047 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 23
under 914 m: 27 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 18
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 59
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 14
under 914 m: 43 (2002)
7 (2002)
Military Spain
Military branches:
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Civil Guard, National Police, Coastal Civil Guard
Military manpower - military age:
20 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 10,524,715 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 8,391,612 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 255,826 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$8.6 billion (2002)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.15% (2002)
Transnational Issues Spain
Disputes - international:
Gibraltar residents vote overwhelmingly in referendum against "total shared sovereignty" arrangement worked out between Spain and UK to change 300-year rule over colony; Morocco protests Spain's control over coastal enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera, islands of Penon de Alhucemas and Islas Chafarinas, and surrounding waters; Morocco also rejected Spain's unilateral designation of a median line from Canary Islands in 2002 to set limits to undersea resource exploration and refugee interdiction; Morocco allowed Spanish fishermen to fish temporarily off coast of Western Sahara after an oil spill soiled Spanish fishing grounds; Portugal has periodically reasserted claims to territories around town of Olivenza, Spain
Illicit drugs:
key European gateway country for Latin American cocaine and North African hashish entering European market; destination and minor transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin