[Country map of Spain]



Location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, and North Atlantic Ocean, southwest of France

Map references: Europe

total area: 504,750 sq km
land area: 499,400 sq km
comparative area: slightly more than twice the size of Oregon
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

Land boundaries: total 1,903.2 km, Andorra 65 km, France 623 km, Gibraltar 1.2 km, Portugal 1,214 km

Coastline: 4,964 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: Gibraltar question with UK; Spain controls five places of sovereignty (plazas de soberania) on and off the coast of Morocco - the coastal enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, which Morocco contests, as well as the islands of Penon de Alhucemas, Penon de Velez de la Gomera, and Islas Chafarinas

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

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

Land use:
arable land: 31%
permanent crops: 10%
meadows and pastures: 21%
forest and woodland: 31%
other: 7%

Irrigated land: 33,600 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: pollution of the Mediterranean Sea from raw sewage and effluents from the offshore production of oil and gas; air pollution; deforestation; desertification
natural hazards: periodic droughts
international agreements: party to - Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Desertification, Law of the Sea

Note: strategic location along approaches to Strait of Gibraltar


Population: 39,404,348 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 17% (female 3,214,606; male 3,446,643)
15-64 years: 68% (female 13,377,839; male 13,457,683)
65 years and over: 15% (female 3,461,367; male 2,446,210) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.27% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 11.21 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 8.86 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 6.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.91 years
male: 74.67 years
female: 81.39 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.41 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Spaniard(s)
adjective: Spanish

Ethnic divisions: composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types

Religions: Roman Catholic 99%, other sects 1%

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

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

Labor force: 14.621 million
by occupation: services 53%, industry 24%, agriculture 14%, construction 9% (1988)


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

Digraph: SP

Type: parliamentary monarchy

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 Valencia, Extremadura, Galicia, Islas Baleares, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, Navarra, Pais Vasco
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)
head of government: Prime Minister Felipe GONZALEZ Marquez (since 2 December 1982); Deputy Prime Minister Narcis SERRA y Serra (since 13 March 1991)
cabinet: Council of Ministers; designated by the prime minister
Council of State: is the supreme consultative organ of the government

Legislative branch: bicameral The General Courts or National Assembly (Las Cortes Generales)
Senate (Senado): elections last held 6 June 1993 (next to be held by June 1997); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (255 total) PSOE 117, PP 107, CiU 15, PNV 5, IU 2, other 9
Congress of Deputies (Congreso de los Diputados): elections last held 6 June 1993 (next to be held by June 1997); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (350 total) PSOE 159, PP 141, IU 18, CiU 17, PNV 5, CC 4, HB 2, other 4

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo)

Political parties and leaders:
principal national parties, from right to left: Popular Party (PP), Jose Maria AZNAR Lopez; Democratic Social Center (CDS), Rafael CALVO Ortega; Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), Felipe GONZALEZ Marquez, secretary general; Socialist Democracy Party (DS), Ricardo GARCIA Damborenea; Spanish Communist Party (PCE), Julio ANGUITA Gonzalez; United Left (IU - a coalition of parties including the PCE, a branch of the PSOE, and other small parties), Julio ANGUITA Gonzalez
chief regional parties: Convergence and Union (CiU), Miquel ROCA i Junyent, secretary general; Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), Xabier ARZALLUS Antia and Jose Antonio ARDANZA; Basque United People (HB), Jon IDIGORAS Guerricabeitia and Inaki ESNAOLA; Canarian Coalition (CC), a coalition of five parties

Other political or pressure groups: on the extreme left, the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) and the First of October Antifascist Resistance Group (GRAPO) use terrorism to oppose the government; free labor unions (authorized in April 1977) include the Communist-dominated Workers Commissions (CCOO); the Socialist General Union of Workers (UGT), and the smaller independent Workers Syndical Union (USO); business and landowning interests; the Catholic Church; Opus Dei; university students


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jaime De OJEDA Eiseley
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)

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Richard N. GARDNER
embassy: Serrano 75, 28006 Madrid
mailing address: APO AE 09642
telephone: [34] (1) 577-4000
FAX: [34] (1) 577-5735
consulate(s) general: Barcelona
consulate(s): Bilbao

Flag: 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


Overview: Spain, with a per capita output approximately two-thirds that of the four leading economies of Western Europe, has shared with these countries the recession of the early 1990s and the upturn of their economic fortunes in 1994. But whereas unemployment in these countries has hovered just above 10%, Spain has been forced to cope with a 25% unemployment rate. Continued political turmoil has complicated the establishment of stable government policies toward budgetary restraint, interest rates, labor law reform, and Spain's role in the evolving economic integration of Western Europe. Because the recession has been so deep, the growth in industrial output, tourism, and other sectors in 1994, while welcome, falls far short of the growth required to bring unemployment down to, say, 10%. The recovery in the economies of major trade partners, the comparatively low inflation rate, lower interest rates, and prospects in the tourist sector suggest that Spain can make substantial progress in 1995.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $515.8 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 1.8% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $13,120 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.9% (1994)

Unemployment rate: 24.5% (yearend 1994)

revenues: $97.7 billion
expenditures: $128 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1993 est.)

Exports: $72.8 billion (f.o.b., 1993)
commodities: cars and trucks, semifinished manufactured goods, foodstuffs, machinery
partners: EC 71.2%, US 4.8%, other developed countries 7.9% (1992)

Imports: $92.5 billion (c.i.f., 1993)
commodities: machinery, transport equipment, fuels, semifinished goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, chemicals
partners: EC 60.7%, US 7.4%, other developed countries 11.5%, Middle East 5.9% (1992)

External debt: $90 billion (1993 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 4% (1994 est.)

capacity: 43,800,000 kW
production: 148 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 3,545 kWh (1993)

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

Agriculture: accounts for about 5% of GDP and 14% of labor force; major products - grain, vegetables, olives, wine grapes, sugar beets, citrus fruit, beef, pork, poultry, dairy; largely self-sufficient in food; fish catch of 1.4 million metric tons is among top 20 nations

Illicit drugs: key European gateway country for Latin American cocaine and North African hashish entering the European market; transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-87), $1.9 billion; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-79), $545 million
note: not currently a recipient

Currency: 1 peseta (Pta) = 100 centimos

Exchange rates: pesetas (Ptas) per US$1 - 132.61 (January 1995), 133.96 (1994), 127.26 (1993), 102.38 (1992), 103.91 (1991), 101.93 (1990)

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 14,400 km
broad gauge: 12,111 km 1.668-m gauge (6,404 km electrified; 2,295 km double track)
standard gauge: 515 km 1.435-m gauge (515 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,774 km (privately owned: 1,727 km 1.000-m gauge, 560 km electrified; 28 km 0.914-m gauge, 28 km electrified; government owned: 19 km 1.000-m gauge, all electrified)

total: 331,961 km
paved: 328,641 km (2,700 km of expressways)
unpaved: 3,320 km (1991)

Inland 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: Aviles, Barcelona, Bilbao, Cadiz, Cartagena, Castellon de la Plana, Ceuta, Huelva, La Coruna, Las Palmas (Canary Islands), Malaga, Melilla, Pasajes, Puerto de Gijon, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands), Santander, Tarragona, Valencia, Vigo

Merchant marine:
total: 157 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 868,326 GRT/1,382,335 DWT
ships by type: bulk 12, cargo 41, chemical tanker 11, container 9, liquefied gas tanker 4, oil tanker 25, passenger 2, refrigerated cargo 12, roll-on/roll-off cargo 34, short-sea passenger 5, specialized tanker 2

total: 106
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 15
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 11
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 12
with paved runways under 914 m: 34
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 1
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 16


Telephone system: 15,350,464 telephones; generally adequate, modern facilities
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: 22 coaxial submarine cables; 2 earth stations for INTELSAT (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean); earth stations for working the EUTELSAT, INMARSAT, and MARECS satellite communications systems; microwave tropospheric scatter links to adjacent countries

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

broadcast stations: 100 (repeaters 1,297)
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Civil Guard, National Police, Coastal Civil Guard

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 10,435,970; males fit for military service 8,434,460; males reach military age (20) annually 335,967 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $8 billion, 1.6% of GDP (1994)