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   Spain Country Guide


Spain Country Guide 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 War I and II but suffered through a devastating civil war (1936-39). A peaceful transition to democracy following the death of dictator Francisco FRANCO in 1975, and rapid economic modernization (Spain joined the EU in 1986) gave Spain a dynamic and rapidly growing economy and made it a global champion of freedom and human rights. More recently the government has had to focus on measures to reverse a severe economic recession that began in mid-2008. Austerity measures implemented to reduce a large budget deficit and reassure foreign investors have led to one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe.

Spain Full Name: Kingdom of Spain
Area: 505,370 sq km (land: 498,980 sq km, water: 6,390 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
Population: 48,563,476 (July 2016 est.)
Capital City: Madrid


People: Composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types
Language: Castilian Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, and Basque 2%
note: Catalan is official in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, and the Valencian Community (where it is known as Valencian); in the northwest corner of Catalonia (Vall d'Aran), Aranese is official along with Catalan; Galician is official in Galicia; Basque is official in the Basque Country and in the Basque-speaking area of Navarre; Aragonese, Aranese Asturian, Basque, Calo, Catalan, Galician, and Valencian are recognized as regional languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
Religion: Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%

Government Type: Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
Chief of State King FELIPE VI (since 19 June 2014); Heir Apparent Princess LEONOR, Princess of Asturias, daughter of the monarch, born 31 October 2005
Head of Government: President of the Government (Prime Minister equivalent) Mariano RAJOY (since 20 December 2011); Vice President (and Minister of the President's Office) Soraya Saenz de SANTAMARIA (since 22 December 2011)

GDP: $US 1.69 trillion (2016 est.)
GDP per Capita: $US 36,500 (2016 est.)
Inflation: -0.3% (2016 est.)
Unemployment: 19.7% (2016 est.)
Industries: Textiles and apparel (including footwear), food and beverages, metals and metal manufactures, chemicals, shipbuilding, automobiles, machine tools, tourism, clay and refractory products, footwear, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment
Currency: Euro (€ - EUR)

Member of EU: Yes



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Info provided by the CIA World Factbook
Updated 2/2017
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