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Facts About Spain - Spain at a Glance


Most of Spain’s national territory is located on the Iberian Peninsula – which it shares with Portugal and Andorra – situated in the southwest corner of Europe. However Spain also comprises the Canary Islands and the Balearics, a few smaller islands, and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa. With a surface area of 506,030 square kilometers, Spain is among the fifty largest countries in the world. The mainland territories occupies an area of 493,514 square kilometers; the Balearic Islands, 4,992 square kilometers; the Canary Islands, 7,492 square kilometers; and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla, 32 square kilometers.

Population and Imigration

According to data from Spanish Statistical Office (INE) relating to the municipal register revisions of 1 January, the Spanish population rose from 40.2 million in 1999 to 44.1 million in 2005, an increase of 9.7%. During the same period, the resident foreign population quintupled and now represents 8.5% of the total population. An analysis of the population pyramids in Spain between 2000 and 2005 reveals a broadening of the central segment due to the arrival of young foreigners, which has slowed down the ageing of the population.

The Foreign Population in Spain by Autonomous Region

The autonomous regions with the highest proportion of foreign citizens are the Balearic Islands (where 15.9% of the population is non Spanish), Madrid (13.1%), Valencia (12.4%), Murcia (12.4%) and Catalonia (11.3%). By contrast, the regions with the smallest proportion of non-Spanish nationals are Extremadura (2.3%), Asturias (2.5%) and Galicia (2.5%).

Facts About Spain

Official name: Kingdom of Spain

Capital of Spain: Madrid

Largest cities in Spain: Madrid 5.9 million, Barcelona 5.3 million, Valencia 1.6 million inhabitants.

Spanish Population: Aprox. 45 000 000, 88,39 inhabitants per square kilometre.

Country Size: 506,030 square meters. Spain is the second largest country in Europe and among the fifty largest countries in the world.

The Highest Point in Spain: Pico de Teide in Tenerife 3,719 m.

Tourism: Over 53 million tourists visits Spain each year, Spain is the second most visited country in the world.

Political Structure: Parliamentary monarchy (since 1978).

Regions: Spain is made up of 17 autonomous regions.

Time zone: +1 GMT except Canary Islands +2 GMT.

Currency: The introduction of the Euro in 2002 replaced the former Spanish Peseta.

Economy size: eighth largest economy worldwide with a Gross Domestic Product just over 1 trillion Euros.

Labor force: approximately 20 million.

Gross Domestic Product per Capita: €27,767 per year.

Religion: approximately 90% of the population are Catholic and there is freedom of religion in Spain.

Measures in Spain: Weight is measured in kilograms, distances measured by the metric system, temperature measured in degrees Celsius.

Electricity: 220volts.

Emergency numbers in Spain: All emergency numbers in Spain are toll-free. General emergency number is 112. Ambulance 061. Fire service 080. National police 091. Municipal police 092. Civil guard 062.

Spanish telephone country code: (00)34.

Opening hours: In smaller cities the siesta is still honored, but in capitals and tourist regions it becomes more usual to keep open all day. Most stores in small cities in Spain open around 10am and close around 2pm for a little siesta, then they open again around 5pm until 9pm. Where tourism is the main industry the Spanish shops keep open much later, especially during peek season when some of them are open until midnight and even later.

Banking hours in Spain: In general banks are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 2pm and on Saturdays in winter until 1pm.

Spanish languages: Spanish and also Catalan, Valencian, Gallego, Euskera that are official independent languages widely spoken in Catalonia, Valencia, Galicia and The Basque Country.


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