Andorra Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Andorra > Map Economy History

Facts About Andorra

Background: Long isolated and impoverished, mountainous Andorra has achieved considerable prosperity since World War II through its tourist industry. Many immigrants (legal and illegal) are attracted to the thriving economy with its lack of income taxes.
Government type: Andorra has a parliamentary democracy (since March 1993) that retains as its heads of state a coprincipality; the two princes are the president of France and bishop of Seo de Urgel, Spain, who are represented locally by coprinces' representatives
Capital: Andorra la Vella
Currency: 1 French franc (F) = 100 centimes; 1 peseta (Pta) = 100 centimos; the French and Spanish currencies are used 

Geography of Andorra

Location: Southwestern Europe, between France and Spain
Geographic coordinates: 42 30 N, 1 30 E
Area:
total: 468 sq km
land: 468 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 120.3 km
border countries: France 56.6 km, Spain 63.7 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: temperate; snowy, cold winters and warm, dry summers
Terrain: rugged mountains dissected by narrow valleys
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Riu Runer 840 m
highest point: Coma Pedrosa 2,946 m
Natural resources: hydropower, mineral water, timber, iron ore, lead
Land use:
arable land: 4%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 45%
forests and woodland: 35%
other: 16% (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: snowslides, avalanches
Environment - current issues: deforestation; overgrazing of mountain meadows contributes to soil erosion; air pollution; waste water treatment and solid waste disposal
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Hazardous Wastes
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: Andorra is landlocked.

People of Andorra

Andorrans live in seven urbanized valleys that form Andorra's political districts. Andorrans are a minority in their own country; Spanish, French, and Portuguese residents make the up 67.7% of the population.

The national language is Catalan, a romance language related to the Proven├žal groups. It is spoken by more than 6 million people in the region comprising French and Spanish Catalonia. French and Spanish also are spoken.

Education law requires school attendance for children up to age 16. A system of French, Spanish and Andorran lay schools provide education up to the secondary level. Schools are built and maintained by Andorran authorities, but teachers are paid for the most part by France or Spain. About 50% of Andorran children attend the French primary schools, and the rest attend Spanish or Andorran schools. In July 1997, the Andorran Government passed a law on universities and shortly afterward, the University of Andorra was established. Neither the geographically complex country nor the number of students makes it possible for the University of Andorra to develop a full academic program, and it serves principally as a center for virtual studies, connected to Spanish and French universities. The only two graduate schools in Andorra are the Nursing School and the School of Computer Science.

Population: 70,549 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  15.29% 
15-64 years:  72.06%
65 years and over:  12.65% 
Population growth rate: 1.17%
Birth rate: 10.29 births/1,000 population
Death rate: 5.41 deaths/1,000 population
Net migration rate: 6.82 migrant(s)/1,000 population
Infant mortality rate: 4.08 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  83.47 years
male:  80.57 years
female:  86.57 years
Total fertility rate: 1.25 children born/woman
Nationality:
noun: Andorran(s)
adjective: Andorran
Ethnic groups: Spanish 43%, Andorran 33%, Portuguese 11%, French 7%, other 6% (1998)
Religions: Roman Catholic (predominant)
Languages: Catalan (official), French, Castilian

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Andorra > Map Economy History