Photoatlas Free interactive atlas with photos, facts, links and maps from around the world

  Flag of Spain  Information on Spain
 
MAIN MENU
Country Listing
Sitemap
Worldmap
Submit your own photo
Chat around the globe
SPAIN
Pictures
Country Facts
Map of Spain
 

 
Geography

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: 504,750 sq km
land: 499,400 sq km
water: 5,350 sq km
note: includes Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, and five places of sovereignty (plazas de soberania) on and off the coast of Morocco—Ceuta, Mellila, 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: 1,919.1 km
border countries: Andorra 65 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:
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 on Canary Islands 3,718 m

Natural resources: coal, lignite, iron ore, uranium, mercury, pyrites, fluorspar, gypsum, zinc, lead, tungsten, copper, kaolin, potash, hydropower

Land use:
arable land: 30%
permanent crops: 9%
permanent pastures: 21%
forests and woodland: 32%
other: 8% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 34,530 sq km (1993 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-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, 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: Desertification

Geography—note: strategic location along approaches to Strait of Gibraltar

 
People

[Top of Page]

Population: 39,133,996 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 15% (male 3,057,919; female 2,879,109)
15-64 years: 69% (male 13,407,270; female 13,408,685)
65 years and over: 16% (male 2,651,149; female 3,729,864) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.08% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 9.73 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 9.62 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.66 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 6.51 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.56 years
male: 73.78 years
female: 81.59 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.21 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Spaniard(s)
adjective: Spanish

Ethnic groups: composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types

Religions: Roman Catholic 99%, other 1%

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

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96%
male: 98%
female: 94% (1986 est.)

 
Government

[Top of Page]

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

Data code: SP

Government type: parliamentary monarchy

National capital: Madrid

Administrative divisions: 17 autonomous communities (comunidades autonomas, singular—comunidad autonoma); Andalucia, Aragon, Asturias, Canarias, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y Leon, Cataluna, Communidad Valencian, Extremadura, Galicia, Islas Baleares, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, Navarra, Pais Vasco (Basque Country)
note: there are five places of sovereignty on and off the coast of Morocco (Ceuta, Mellila, Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera) with administrative status unknown

Independence: 1492 (expulsion of the Moors and unification)

National holiday: National Day, 12 October

Constitution: 6 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978

Legal system: civil law system, with regional applications; does not accept 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 king
head of government: President of the Government Jose Maria AZNAR Lopez (since 5 May 1996); First Vice President Francisco ALVAREZ CASCOS Fernandez (since 5 May 1996) and Second Vice President (and Minister of Economy and Finance) 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
elections: the king is a hereditary monarch; president proposed by the king and elected by the National Assembly following legislative elections; election last held 3 March 1996 (next to be held by NA March 2000)
election results: Jose Maria AZNAR elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - NA

Legislative branch: bicameral The General Courts or National Assembly or Las Cortes Generales consists of the Senate or Senado (256 seats; 208 members are directly elected by popular vote and the other 48 were 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 3 March 1996 (next to be held by March 2000); Congress of Deputies—last held 3 March 1996 (next to be held by March 2000)
election results: Senate—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—PP 132, PSOE 96, CiU 11, PNV 6, IU 2, others 9; Congress of Deputies—percent of vote by party—PP 38.9%, PSOE 37.5%, IU 10.7%, CiU 4.6%; seats by party—PP 156, PSOE 141, IU 21, CiU 16, other 16

Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo

Political parties and leaders:
principal national parties, from right to left: Popular Party or PP [Jose Maria AZNAR Lopez]; Spanish Socialist Workers Party or PSOE [Joaquin ALMUNIA Amann, secretary general]; Spanish Communist Party or PCE [Julio ANGUITA Gonzalez]; United Left or IU (a coalition of parties including the PCE and other small parties) [Julio ANGUITA Gonzalez]
chief regional parties: 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]); Basque Nationalist Party or PNV [Xabier ARZALLUS Antia]; Canarian Coalition or CC (a coalition of five parties) [Lorenzo OLLARTE Cullen]

Political pressure groups and leaders: on the extreme left, the Basque Fatherland and Liberty or ETA [Herri BATASUNA] and the First of October Antifascist Resistance Group or GRAPO use terrorism to oppose the government; free labor unions (authorized in April 1977); Workers Confederation or CC.OO; the Socialist General Union of Workers or UGT and the smaller independent Workers Syndical Union or USO; business and landowning interests; the Catholic Church; Opus Dei; university students

International organization participation: AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 8, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MINUGUA, MTCR, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIBH, UNU, UPU, WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Antonio OYARZABAL MARCHESI
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, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Lawrence G. ROSSIN
embassy: Serrano 75, 28006 Madrid
mailing address: APO AE 09642
telephone: [34] (1) 587-2200
FAX: [34] (1) 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 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

[Top of Page]

Economy—overview: Spain's mixed capitalist economy supports a GDP that on a per capita basis is three-fourths that of the four leading West European economies. Its center-right government has staked much on gaining admission to the first group of countries to implement the European single currency and, based on economic indicators, Madrid appears poised to be in EMU from the outset. The deficit-to-GDP ratio is 2.3%, the debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to be around 68%, and inflation is approximately 2%. Moreover, the AZNAR administration has continued to advocate liberalization, privatization, and deregulation of the economy, and has introduced some tax reforms to that end. Unemployment, nonetheless, remains the highest in the EU at 21%. The government, for political reasons, has made only limited progress in changing labor laws or reforming pension schemes, which are key to the sustainability of both Spain's internal economic advances and its competitiveness in a single currency area.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$642.4 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 3.3% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$16,400 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.6%
industry: 33.6%
services: 62.8% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 2.1% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 16.2 million
by occupation: services 64%, manufacturing, mining, and construction 28%, agriculture 8% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate: 21% (1997 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $113 billion
expenditures: $139 billion, including capital expenditures of $15 billion (1995)

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

Industrial production growth rate: -0.8% (1996)

Electricity—capacity: 39.583 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 154.144 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 4,026 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: grain, vegetables, olives, wine grapes, sugar beets, citrus; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish catch of 867,000 metric tons in 1993

Exports:
total value: $94.5 billion (f.o.b., 1995)
commodities: cars and trucks, semifinished manufactured goods, foodstuffs, machinery (1994)
partners: EU 72.1%, US 4.2%, other developed countries 7.9% (1996)

Imports:
total value: $118.3 billion (c.i.f., 1995)
commodities: machinery, transport equipment, fuels, semifinished goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, chemicals (1994)
partners: EU 65.6%, US 6.6%, other developed countries 11.5%, Middle East 6.2% (1996)

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

Economic aid:
donor: ODA, $1.213 billion (1993)

Currency: 1 peseta (Pta) = 100 centimos

Exchange rates: pesetas (Ptas) per US$1—153.94 (January 1998), 146.41 (1997), 126.66 (1996), 124.69 (1995), 133.96 (1994), 127.26 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year

 
Communications

[Top of Page]

Telephones: 12.6 million (1990 est.)

Telephone system: generally adequate, modern facilities
domestic: NA
international: 22 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations—2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), NA Eutelsat, NA Inmarsat, and NA Marecs; tropospheric scatter to adjacent countries

Radio broadcast stations: AM 190, FM 406 (repeaters 134), shortwave 0

Radios: 12 million (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 100 (repeaters 1,297)

Televisions: 15.7 million (1992 est.)

 
Transportation

[Top of Page]

Railways:
total: 15,172 km
broad gauge: 12,781 km 1.668-m gauge (6,355 km electrified; 2,295 km double track)
standard gauge: 664 km 1.435-m gauge (480 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,727 km (privately owned: 1,708 km 1.000-m gauge, 517 km electrified; government owned: 19 km 1.000-m gauge, all electrified) (1996)

Highways:
total: 344,847 km
paved: 341,399 km (including 7,747 km of expressways)
unpaved: 3,448 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 1,045 km, but 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: 135 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,043,747 GRT/1,651,634 DWT
ships by type: bulk 10, cargo 30, chemical tanker 7, combination ore/oil 1, container 8, liquefied gas tanker 3, oil tanker 29, passenger 2, refrigerated cargo 8, roll-on/roll-off cargo 30, short-sea passenger 6, specialized tanker 1 (1997 est.)

Airports: 98 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 64
over 3,047 m: 15
2,438 to 3,047 m: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 9 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 34
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 12
under 914 m: 21 (1997 est.)

Heliports: 2 (1997 est.)

 

  Disclaimer

 

 

Click Here To Order National Geographic: The Photographs