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