Spain Travel Information

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

Barcelona
Bilbao
Caceres
Gran Canaria
Granada
Ibiza
Madrid
Malaga
Marbella
 
Palma De Mallorca
Salamanca
San Sebastian
Santander
Santiago De Compostela
Seville
Toledo
Valencia
Zaragoza
Garajonay National Park
DoƱana National Park
Teide National Park

Facts About Spain

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). In the second half of the 20th century, it has played a catch-up role in the western international community. Continuing concerns are large-scale unemployment and the Basque separatist movement.
Government type: parliamentary monarchy
Capital: Madrid
Currency: 1 peseta (Pta) = 100 centimos; euro (EUR)

Geography of Spain

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
Area:
total: 504,782 sq km
land: 499,542 sq km
water: 5,240 sq km
note: includes Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, and five places of sovereignty (plazas de soberania) on and off the coast of Morocco - Ceuta, Melilla, Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera
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:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
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 (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: 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-Marine Living Resources, 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:  Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification
Geography - note: strategic location along approaches to Strait of Gibraltar

More Geography

People of Spain

Spain's population density, lower than that of most European countries, is roughly equivalent to New England's. In recent years, following a longstanding pattern in the rest of Europe, rural populations are moving to cities.

Spain has no official religion. The constitution of 1978 disestablished the Roman Catholic Church as the official state religion, while recognizing the role it plays in Spanish society. More than 90% of the population are at least nominally Catholic.

About 70% of Spain's student population attends public schools or universities. The remainder attend private schools or universities, the great majority of which are operated by the Catholic Church. Compulsory education begins with primary school or general basic education for ages 6-14. It is free in public schools and in many private schools, most of which receive government subsidies. 

Population: 40,341,462 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  14.62%
15-64 years:  68.2%
65 years and over:  17.18%
Population growth rate: 0.1% 
Birth rate: 9.26 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 9.13 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 0.87 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 4.92 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  78.93 years
male:  75.47 years
female:  82.62 years 
Total fertility rate: 1.15 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Spaniard(s)
adjective: Spanish
Ethnic groups: composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types
Religions: Roman Catholic 99%, other 1%
Languages: Castilian Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97%

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

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