SPAIN

MARCH 25, 2009 BY RANG WHAM
   Introduction    Spain Top of Page
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). A peaceful transition to democracy following the death of dictator Francisco FRANCO in 1975, and rapid economic modernization (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 organization, but its major focus for the immediate future will be on measures to reverse the severe economic recession that started in mid-2008.
   Geography    Spain Top of Page
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 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 - 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: 27.18%
permanent crops: 9.85%
other: 62.97% (2005)
Irrigated land:
37,800 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
111.1 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 37.22 cu km/yr (13%/19%/68%)
per capita: 864 cu m/yr (2002)
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; 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
   People    Spain Top of Page
Population:
40,525,002 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 14.5% (male 3,021,822/female 2,842,597)
15-64 years: 67.4% (male 13,705,107/female 13,601,399)
65 years and over: 18.1% (male 3,071,394/female 4,282,683) (2009 est.)
Median age:
total: 41.1 years
male: 39.7 years
female: 42.5 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.072% (2009 est.)
Birth rate:
9.87 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
9.9 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
0.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Urbanization:
urban population: 77% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 0.9% annual rate of change (2005-2010)
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 (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.21 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.59 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 80.05 years
male: 76.74 years
female: 83.57 years (2009 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.31 children born/woman (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.5% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
140,000 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
2,300 (2007 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%, 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.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
4.2% of GDP (2005)
   Government    Spain Top of Page
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:
name: 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 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)
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)
Independence:
the 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 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
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 (Prime Minister equivalent) Jose Luis Rodriguez ZAPATERO (since 17 April 2004); First Vice President (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 Mira (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 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 - 46.94%
Legislative branch:
bicameral; General Courts or National Assembly or Las Cortes Generales 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%, PP 40.1%, CiU 3.1%, PNV 1.2%, ERC 1.2%, other 10.8%; 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:
Aragonese Party or CHA [Bizen FUSTER]; Basque Nationalist Party or PNV or EAJ [Inigo URKULLU]; Basque Solidarity or EA [Begona ERRAZTI]; Canarian Coalition or CC [Jose Torres STINGA] (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 [Joan RIDAO]; Spanish Socialist Workers Party or PSOE [Jose Luis Rodriguez ZAPATERO]; United Left or IU [Cayo LARA] (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 organization participation:
ADB (nonregional members), AfDB (nonregional members), Arctic Council (observer), 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, MINURCAT, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jorge DEZCALLAR de Mazarredo
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 US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Arnold A. CHACON
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 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 stylized 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
   Economy    Spain Top of Page
Economy - overview:
The Spanish economy grew every year from 1994 through 2008 before entering a recession that started in the third quarter of 2008. Spain's mixed capitalist economy supports a GDP that on a per capita basis is approaching that of the largest West European economies. The Socialist president, Jose Luis Rodriguez ZAPATERO, in office since 2004, has made mixed progress in carrying out key structural reforms. The economy was greatly affected, especially after Zapatero's second term began in April 2008, by the bursting of the housing bubble and construction boom that had fueled much of the economic growth between 2001 and 2007. The global financial crisis exacerbated the economic downturn. GDP growth in 2008 was 1.3%, well below the 3% or higher growth the country enjoyed from 1997 through 2007. The Spanish banking system is considered solid, thanks in part to conservative oversight by the European Central Bank, and government intervention to rescue banks on the scale seen elsewhere in Europe in 2008 was not necessary. After considerable success since the mid-1990s in reducing unemployment to a 2007 low of 8%, Spain suffered a major spike in unemployment in the last few months of 2008, finishing the year with an unemployment rate over 13%.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.378 trillion (2008 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$1.683 trillion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1.3% (2008 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$36,500 (2008 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.6%
industry: 28.9%
services: 67.5% (2008 est.)
Labor force:
23.1 million (2008 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 4%
industry: 26.4%
services: 69.5% (2008 est.)
Unemployment rate:
13.9% (2008 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 26.6% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
32 (2005)
Investment (gross fixed):
30.1% of GDP (2008 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $443.3 billion
expenditures: $535.6 billion (2008 est.)
Public debt:
37.5% of GDP (2008)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.4% (2008 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
NA
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
9.54% (31 December 2008)
Stock of money:
NA
note: 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 quasi money:
NA
Stock of domestic credit:
$3.724 trillion (30 November 2008)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$1.132 trillion (31 December 2008)
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:
-6.5% (2008)
Electricity - production:
294.3 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - consumption:
276.1 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - exports:
14.52 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports:
8.773 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production:
29,000 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption:
1.611 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - exports:
181,800 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports:
1.777 million bbl/day (2005)
Oil - proved reserves:
150 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)
Natural gas - production:
88 million cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
34.43 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
34.47 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
2.548 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)
Current account balance:
-$152.5 billion (2008 est.)
Exports:
$292.8 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, medicines, other consumer goods
Exports - partners:
France 18.8%, Germany 10.8%, Portugal 8.6%, Italy 8.5%, UK 7.6%, US 4.2% (2007)
Imports:
$444.9 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, semifinished goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, measuring and medical control instruments
Imports - partners:
Germany 15.7%, France 12.7%, Italy 8.4%, China 5.8%, UK 4.8%, Netherlands 4.6% (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$21.38 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Debt - external:
$2.478 trillion (30 September 2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$606.8 billion (2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$738.5 billion (2008 est.)
Exchange rates:
euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.6734 (2008 est.), 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004)
   Communications    Spain Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
18.583 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
48.813 million (2007)
Telephone system:
general assessment: well developed, modern facilities; fixed-line teledensity is about 45 per 100 persons
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is nearly 170 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:
AM 18, FM 250, shortwave 2 (2008)
Television broadcast stations:
379 (2008)
Internet country code:
.es
Internet hosts:
3.264 million (2008)
Internet users:
19.69 million (2007)
   Transportation    Spain Top of Page
Airports:
154 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 96
over 3,047 m: 18
2,438 to 3,047 m: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 18
914 to 1,523 m: 25
under 914 m: 24 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 58
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 14
under 914 m: 42 (2007)
Heliports:
8 (2007)
Pipelines:
gas 7,738 km; oil 560 km; refined products 3,445 km (2008)
Railways:
total: 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)
Roadways:
total: 681,224 km
paved: 681,224 km (includes 13,872 km of expressways) (2006)
Waterways:
1,000 km (2008)
Merchant marine:
total: 158
by type: bulk carrier 9, cargo 14, chemical tanker 11, container 22, liquefied gas 11, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 47, petroleum tanker 16, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 15, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 5
foreign-owned: 26 (Canada 4, Denmark 2, Germany 5, Italy 2, Mexico 3, Norway 5, UK 5)
registered in other countries: 110 (Angola 1, Argentina 2, Bahamas 14, Belize 1, Brazil 9, Cape Verde 1, Cuba 1, Cyprus 6, Malta 3, Marshall Islands 1, Nigeria 1, Panama 50, Portugal 11, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, UK 1, Uruguay 6, Venezuela 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Algeciras, Barcelona, Bilbao, Cartagena, Huelva, Tarragona, Valencia
   Military    Spain Top of Page
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) (2007)
Military service age and obligation:
20 years of age (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 10,033,069
females age 16-49: 9,764,937 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 8,139,020
females age 16-49: 7,899,157 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 199,124
female: 187,224 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures:
1.2% of GDP (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Spain Top of Page
Disputes - international:
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 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
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 transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin; money-laundering site for Colombian narcotics trafficking organizations and organized crime

This page was last updated on 19 March 2009


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