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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January, 2004
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2004.

This page was last updated on 30 November, 2004

Map of Spain

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Spain
Definition Field Listing
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, Spain has played a catch-up role in the western international community; it joined the EU in 1986. Continuing challenges include Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorism and further reductions in unemployment.
   Geography    Spain
Definition Field Listing
Southwestern Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
40 00 N, 4 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 504,782 sq km
land: 499,542 sq km
water: 5,240 sq km
note: there are 19 autonomous communities including Balearic Islands and Canary Islands, and three small Spanish possessions off the coast of Morocco - Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly more than twice the size of Oregon
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing
4,964 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm (applies only to the Atlantic Ocean)
Definition Field Listing
temperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast
Definition Field Listing
large, flat to dissected plateau surrounded by rugged hills; Pyrenees in north
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico de Teide (Tenerife) on Canary Islands 3,718 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
coal, lignite, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, uranium, tungsten, mercury, pyrites, magnesite, fluorspar, gypsum, sepiolite, kaolin, potash, hydropower, arable land
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 26.07%
permanent crops: 9.87%
other: 64.06% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
36,400 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location along approaches to Strait of Gibraltar
   People    Spain
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
40,280,780 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 14.4% (male 2,989,053; female 2,811,350)
15-64 years: 68% (male 13,748,998; female 13,652,852)
65 years and over: 17.6% (male 2,958,387; female 4,120,140) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 39.1 years
male: 37.8 years
female: 40.5 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.16% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.11 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9.55 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 4.48 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.88 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 79.37 years
male: 76.03 years
female: 82.94 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.27 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.5% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
130,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,300 (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Spaniard(s)
adjective: Spanish
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%
Definition Field Listing
Castilian Spanish 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%
note: Castilian is the official language nationwide; the other languages are official regionally
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.9%
male: 98.7%
female: 97.2% (2003 est.)
   Government    Spain
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Kingdom of Spain
conventional short form: Spain
local short form: Espana
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
parliamentary monarchy
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
19 autonomous communities (comunidades autonomas, singular - comunidad autonoma); Andalucia, Aragon, Asturias, Baleares (Balearic Islands), Ceuta, Canarias (Canary Islands), Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y Leon, Cataluna, Communidad Valenciana, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, Melilla, Murcia, Navarra, Pais Vasco (Basque Country)
note: three small Spanish possessions are located off the coast of Morocco: Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera; Ceuta and Melilla on the coast of North Africa gained limited autonomous status in 1994
Definition Field Listing
the Iberian peninsula was characterized by a variety of independent kingdoms prior to the Moslem occupation that began in the early 8th Century A. D. and lasted nearly seven centuries; the small Christian redoubts of the north began the reconquest almost immediately, culminating in the seizure of Granada in 1492; this event completed the unification of several kingdoms and is traditionally considered the forging of present-day Spain
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
National Day, 12 October
Definition Field Listing
6 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
civil law system, with regional applications; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: King JUAN CARLOS I (since 22 November 1975); Heir Apparent Prince FELIPE, son of the monarch, born 30 January 1968
head of government: President of the Government Jose Luis RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO (since 17 April 2004); First Vice President (and Minister of the Presidency) Maria Teresa FERNANDEZ DE LA VEGA(since 18 April 2004) and Second Vice President (and Minister of Economy and Finance) Pedro SOLBES (since 18 April 2004)
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 monarch is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually proposed president by the monarch and elected by the National Assembly; election last held 14 March 2004 (next to be held NA March 2008); vice presidents appointed by the monarch on the proposal of the president
election results: Jose Luis RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO (PSOE) elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 52.29%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral; General Courts or National Assembly or Las Cortes Generales consists of the Senate or Senado (259 seats - 208 members directly elected by popular vote and the other 51 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 14 March 2004 (next to be held NA March 2008); Congress of Deputies - last held 14 March 2004 (next to be held NA March 2008)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PP 102, PSOE 81, Entesa Catalona de Progress 12, CiU 4, PNV 4, CC 3, other 2; Congress of Deputies - percent of vote by party - PSOE 42.6%, PP 37.6%, CiU 3.2%, ERC 2.5%, PNV 1.6%, IU 5.0%, CC 0.9%; seats by party - PSOE 164, PP 148, CiU 10, ERC 8 PNV 7, IU 5, CC 3, other 5
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Basque Nationalist Party or PNV [Josu Jon IMAZ]; Canarian Coalition or CC (a coalition of five parties) [Paulino RIVERO Baute]; Convergence and Union or CiU [Artur MAS i Gavarro] (a coalition of the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia or CDC [Artur MAS i Gavarro] and the Democratic Union of Catalonia or UDC [Josep Antoni DURAN y LLEIDA]); Entesa Catalonia de Progress [leader NA]; Galician Nationalist Bloc or BNG [Anxo Manuel QUINTANA]; Party of Independents from Lanzarote or PIL [Dimas MARTIN Martin]; Popular Party or PP [Mariano RAJOY]; Republican Left of Catalonia [leader NA]; Spanish Socialist Workers Party or PSOE [Jose Luis RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO]; United Left or IU (a coalition of parties including the PCE and other small parties) [Gaspar LLAMAZARES]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
business and landowning interests; Catholic Church; free labor unions (authorized in April 1977); Socialist General Union of Workers or UGT and the smaller independent Workers Syndical Union or USO; university students; Workers Confederation or CC.OO; Nunca Mais (Galician for "Never Again"; formed in response to the oil tanker Prestige oil spill)
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MONUC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIK, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Carlos WESTENDORP
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:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador George L. ARGYROS
embassy: Serrano 75, 28006 Madrid
mailing address: PSC 61, APO AE 09642
telephone: [34] (91) 587-2200
FAX: [34] (91) 587-2303
consulate(s) general: Barcelona
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
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    Spain
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Spain's mixed capitalist economy supports a GDP that on a per capita basis is 80% that of the four leading West European economies. The center-right government of former President AZNAR successfully worked to gain admission to the first group of countries launching the European single currency (the euro) on 1 January 1999. The AZNAR administration continued to advocate liberalization, privatization, and deregulation of the economy and introduced some tax reforms to that end. Unemployment fell steadily under the AZNAR administration but remains high at 11.7%. Growth of 2.4% in 2003 was satisfactory given the background of a faltering European economy. Incoming President RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO, whose party won the election three days after the Madrid train bombings in March, plans to reduce government intervention in business, combat tax fraud, and support innovation, research and development, but also intends to reintroduce labor market regulations that had been scraped by the AZNAR government. Adjusting to the monetary and other economic policies of an integrated Europe - and reducing unemployment - will pose challenges to Spain over the next few years.
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $885.5 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.4% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $22,000 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 3.6%
industry: 28.6%
services: 67.8% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
25.6% of GDP (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 25.2% (1990)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
32.5 (1990)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18.82 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 7%, manufacturing, mining, and construction 29%, services 64% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
11.3% (2004 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $330.7 billion
expenditures: $335.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $12.8 billion (2004 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
62.7% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
grain, vegetables, olives, wine grapes, sugar beets, citrus; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish
Definition Field Listing
textiles and apparel (including footwear), food and beverages, metals and metal manufactures, chemicals, shipbuilding, automobiles, machine tools, tourism ( have excellent late deals to Spain)
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.6% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
222.5 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
210.4 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
4.138 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
7.588 billion kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7,099 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.497 million bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
135,100 bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.582 million bbl/day (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.5 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
516 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
17.96 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
17.26 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
254.9 million cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$-23.77 billion (2004 est.)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$159.4 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, other consumer goods
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 19.2%, Germany 11.9%, Italy 9.7%, UK 9.4%, Portugal 9.3%, US 4.2% (2003)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$197.1 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, semifinished goods; foodstuffs, consumer goods
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 16.8%, Germany 16.6%, Italy 8.8%, UK 6.5%, Netherlands 4.9% (2003)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$26.81 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$718.4 billion (2004 est.)
Economic aid - donor:
Definition Field Listing
ODA, $1.33 billion (1999)
Definition Field Listing
euro (EUR)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by the financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions with the member countries
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
euros per US dollar - 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Spain
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
17,567,500 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
37,506,700 (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: generally adequate, modern facilities; teledensity is 44 main lines for each 100 persons
domestic: NA
international: country code - 34; 22 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), NA Eutelsat; tropospheric scatter to adjacent countries
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 208, FM 715, shortwave 1 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
224 (plus 2,105 repeaters)
note: these figures include 11 television broadcast stations and 88 repeaters in the Canary Islands (1995)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,056,950 (2004)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9.789 million (2003)
   Transportation    Spain
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 14,268 km (7,718 km electrified)
broad gauge: 11,804 km 1.668-m gauge (6,409 km electrified)
standard gauge: 526 km 1.435-m gauge (526 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,910 km 1.000-m gauge (755 km electrified); 28 km 0.914-m gauge (28 km electrified) (2003)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 663,795 km
paved: 657,157 km (including 10,317 km of expressways)
unpaved: 6,638 km (1999)
Definition Field Listing
1,045 km (2003)
Definition Field Listing
gas 7,290 km; oil 730 km; refined products 3,110 km; unknown (oil/water) 397 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Aviles, Barcelona, Bilbao, Cadiz, Cartagena, Castellon de la Plana, Ceuta, Huelva, A Coruna, Las Palmas (Canary Islands), Malaga, Melilla, Pasajes, Gijon, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands), Santander, Tarragona, Valencia, Vigo
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 149 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 1,740,974 GRT/2,157,551 DWT
by type: bulk 9, cargo 29, chemical tanker 13, container 17, liquefied gas 6, livestock carrier 1, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 21, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 32, short-sea/passenger 7, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 7
foreign-owned: Chile 1, Cuba 1, Denmark 1, Germany 9, Italy 2, Netherlands 1, Norway 6, Sweden 1, Uruguay 1
registered in other countries: 115 (2003 est.)
Definition Field Listing
156 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 94
over 3,047 m: 15
2,438 to 3,047 m: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 19
914 to 1,523 m: 23
under 914 m: 27 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 62
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 15
under 914 m: 45 (2003 est.)
Definition Field Listing
8 (2003 est.)
   Military    Spain
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy, Air Force (Ejercito del Aire, EdA), Marines
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
20 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 10,482,753 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 8,336,273 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 245,007 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$9,906.5 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.2% (2003)
   Transnational Issues    Spain
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
since Gibraltar residents voted overwhelmingly by referendum in 2003 against a "total shared sovereignty" arrangement, talks between the UK and Spain over the fate of the 300-year old UK colony have stalled; Spain disapproves of UK plans to grant Gibraltar greater autonomy; Morocco protests Spain's control over the coastal enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and the islands of Penon de Velez de la Gomera, Penon de Alhucemas and Islas Chafarinas, and surrounding waters; Morocco serves as the primary launching area of illegal migration into Spain from North Africa; Morocco rejected Spain's unilateral designation of a median line from the Canary Islands in 2002 to set limits to undersea resource exploration and refugee interdiction, but agreed in 2003 to discuss a comprehensive maritime delimitation; some Portuguese groups assert dormant claims to territories ceded to Spain around the town of Olivenza
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
key European gateway country and consumer for Latin American cocaine and North African hashish entering the European market; destination and minor transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin; money laundering site for European earnings of Colombian narcotics trafficking organizations

This page was last updated on 30 November, 2004

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