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Europe :: Spain Print
Page last updated on November 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: Spain
  • Background 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 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, Spain has emerged from a severe economic recession that began in mid-2008, posting four straight years of GDP growth above the EU average. Unemployment has fallen, but remains high, especially among youth. Spain is the Eurozone's fourth largest economy. The country has faced increased domestic turmoil in recent years due to the independence movement in its restive Catalonia region.

  • Geography :: Spain
  • Location field listing
    Southwestern Europe, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, Bay of Biscay, and Pyrenees Mountains; southwest of France
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    40 00 N, 4 00 W
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 505,370 sq km
    land: 498,980 sq km
    water: 6,390 sq km

    note: there are two autonomous cities - Ceuta and Melilla - and 17 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

    country comparison to the world: 53
    Area - comparative field listing
    almost five times the size of Kentucky; slightly more than twice the size of Oregon
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 1,952.7 km
    border countries (6): Andorra 63 km, France 646 km, Gibraltar 1.2 km, Portugal 1224 km, Morocco (Ceuta) 8 km, Morocco (Melilla) 10.5 km

    note: an additional 75-meter border segment exists between Morocco and the Spanish exclave of Penon de Velez de la Gomera

    Coastline field listing
    4,964 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm (applies only to the Atlantic Ocean)
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    Climate 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
    Terrain field listing
    large, flat to dissected plateau surrounded by rugged hills; Pyrenees Mountains in north
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 660 m
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Pico de Teide (Tenerife) on Canary Islands 3,718 m
    Natural resources field listing
    coal, lignite, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, uranium, tungsten, mercury, pyrites, magnesite, fluorspar, gypsum, sepiolite, kaolin, potash, hydropower, arable land
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 54.1% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 24.9% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 9.1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 20.1% (2011 est.)
    forest: 36.8% (2011 est.)
    other: 9.1% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    38,000 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    with the notable exception of Madrid, Sevilla, and Zaragoza, the largest urban agglomerations are found along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts; numerous smaller cities are spread throughout the interior reflecting Spain's agrarian heritage; very dense settlement around the capital of Madrid, as well as the port city of Barcelona
    Natural hazards field listing

    periodic droughts, occasional flooding

    volcanism: volcanic activity in the Canary Islands, located off Africa's northwest coast; Teide (3,715 m) has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; La Palma (2,426 m), which last erupted in 1971, is the most active of the Canary Islands volcanoes; Lanzarote is the only other historically active volcano

    Environment - current issues 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 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 field listing
    strategic location along approaches to Strait of Gibraltar; Spain controls a number of territories in northern Morocco including the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, and the islands of Penon de Velez de la Gomera, Penon de Alhucemas, and Islas Chafarinas
  • People and Society :: Spain
  • Population field listing
    50,015,792 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Spaniard(s)
    adjective: Spanish
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Spanish 86.4%, Moroccan 1.8%, Romanian 1.3%, other 10.5% (2018 est.)
    note: data represent population by country of birth
    Languages field listing
    Castilian Spanish (official nationwide) 74%, Catalan (official in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, and the Valencian Community (where it is known as Valencian)) 17%, Galician (official in Galicia) 7%, Basque (official in the Basque Country and in the Basque-speaking area of Navarre) 2%, Aranese (official in the northwest corner of Catalonia (Vall d'Aran) along with Catalan, <5,000 speakers)

    note: Aragonese, Aranese Asturian, Basque, Calo, Catalan, Galician, and Valencian are recognized as regional languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

    Religions field listing
    Roman Catholic 68.9%, atheist 11.3%, agnostic 7.6%, other 2.8%, non-believer 8.2%, unspecified 1.1% (2019 est.)
    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 15.02% (male 3,861,522/female 3,650,085)
    15-24 years: 9.9% (male 2,557,504/female 2,392,498)
    25-54 years: 43.61% (male 11,134,006/female 10,675,873)
    55-64 years: 12.99% (male 3,177,080/female 3,319,823)
    65 years and over: 18.49% (male 3,970,417/female 5,276,984) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 52.4
    youth dependency ratio: 21.9
    elderly dependency ratio: 30.4
    potential support ratio: 3.3 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 43.9 years
    male: 42.7 years
    female: 45.1 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Population growth rate field listing
    0.67% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    Birth rate field listing
    8.7 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    Death rate field listing
    9.3 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Net migration rate field listing
    7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Population distribution field listing
    with the notable exception of Madrid, Sevilla, and Zaragoza, the largest urban agglomerations are found along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts; numerous smaller cities are spread throughout the interior reflecting Spain's agrarian heritage; very dense settlement around the capital of Madrid, as well as the port city of Barcelona
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 80.8% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 0.33% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

    note: data include Canary Islands, Ceuta, and Melilla

    total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030: PDF
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    6.618 million MADRID (capital), 5.586 million Barcelona, 834,000 Valencia (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth field listing
    30.9 years (2017 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    4 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 3.2 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 2.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 82 years
    male: 79 years
    female: 85.2 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.51 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    62.1% (2018)
    note: percent of women aged 18-49
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    8.9% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    3.87 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    3 beds/1,000 population (2017)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 100% of population (5 est.)
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    0.4% (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    150,000 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    <1000 (2019)
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    Covid-19 (see note) (2020)
    note: widespread ongoing transmission of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring throughout Spain; as of 10 November 2020, Spain has reported a total of 1,328,832 cases of COVID-19 or 28,421 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 1 million population with 831 cumulative deaths per 1 million population; the Spanish Government is gradually relaxing confinement measures in phases over the next several weeks; these measures will vary from region to region within Spain; the Department of Homeland Security has issued instructions requiring US passengers who have been in Spain to travel through select airports where the US Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    23.8% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Education expenditures field listing
    4.2% of GDP (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 98.4%
    male: 98.9%
    female: 98% (2018)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 18 years
    male: 17 years
    female: 18 years (2018)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 34.3%
    male: 35.2%
    female: 33.3% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
  • Government :: Spain
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Kingdom of Spain
    conventional short form: Spain
    local long form: Reino de Espana
    local short form: Espana
    etymology: derivation of the name "Espana" is uncertain, but may come from the Phoenician term "span," related to the word "spy," meaning "to forge metals," so, "i-spn-ya" would mean "place where metals are forged"; the ancient Phoenicians long exploited the Iberian Peninsula for its mineral wealth
    Government type field listing
    parliamentary constitutional monarchy
    Capital field listing
    name: Madrid
    geographic coordinates: 40 24 N, 3 41 W
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

    note: Spain has two time zones, including the Canary Islands (UTC 0)

    etymology: the Romans named the original settlement "Matrice" after the river that ran through it; under Arab rule it became "Majerit," meaning "source of water"; in medieval Romance dialects (Mozarabic) it became "Matrit," which over time changed to "Madrid"

    Administrative divisions field listing
    17 autonomous communities (comunidades autonomas, singular - comunidad autonoma) and 2 autonomous cities* (ciudades autonomas, singular - ciudad autonoma); Andalucia; Aragon; Asturias; Canarias (Canary Islands); Cantabria; Castilla-La Mancha; Castilla-Leon; Cataluna (Castilian), Catalunya (Catalan), Catalonha (Aranese) [Catalonia]; Ceuta*; Comunidad Valenciana (Castilian), Comunitat Valenciana (Valencian) [Valencian Community]; Extremadura; Galicia; Illes Baleares (Balearic Islands); La Rioja; Madrid; Melilla*; Murcia; Navarra (Castilian), Nafarroa (Basque) [Navarre]; Pais Vasco (Castilian), Euskadi (Basque) [Basque Country]

    note: the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla plus three small islands of Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera, administered directly by the Spanish central government, are all along the coast of Morocco and are collectively referred to as Places of Sovereignty (Plazas de Soberania)

    Independence field listing
    1492; the Iberian peninsula was characterized by a variety of independent kingdoms prior to the Muslim 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 field listing
    National Day (Hispanic Day), 12 October (1492); note - commemorates the arrival of COLUMBUS in the Americas
    Constitution field listing
    history: previous 1812; latest approved by the General Courts 31 October 1978, passed by referendum 6 December 1978, signed by the king 27 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978
    amendments: proposed by the government, by the General Courts (the Congress or the Senate), or by the self-governing communities submitted through the government; passage requires three-fifths majority vote by both houses and passage by referendum if requested by one tenth of the members of either house; proposals disapproved by both houses are submitted to a joint committee, which submits an agreed upon text for another vote; passage requires two-thirds majority vote in Congress and simple majority vote in the Senate; amended 1992, 2007, 2011
    International law organization participation field listing
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Spain
    dual citizenship recognized: only with select Latin American countries
    residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years for persons with no ties to Spain
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    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) Pedro SANCHEZ Perez-Castejon (since 2 June 2018); Vice President (and Minister of the President's Office) Maria del Carmen CALVO Poyato (since 7 June 2018)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers designated by the president
    elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the monarch usually proposes as president the leader of the party or coalition with the largest majority of seats, who is then indirectly elected by the Congress of Deputies; election last held on 10 November 2019 (next to be held November 2023); vice president and Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    election results: percent of National Assembly vote - NA

    note: there is also a Council of State that is the supreme consultative organ of the government, but its recommendations are non-binding

    Legislative branch field listing
    description: bicameral General Courts or Las Cortes Generales consists of:
    Senate or Senado (266 seats; 208 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 58 members indirectly elected by the legislatures of the autonomous communities; members serve 4-year terms)
    Congress of Deputies or Congreso de los Diputados (350 seats; 348 members directly elected in 50 multi-seat constituencies by closed-list proportional representation vote, with a 3% threshold needed to gain a seat, and 2 directly elected from the North African Ceuta and Melilla enclaves by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms or until the government is dissolved)
    Senate - last held on 10 November 2019 (next to be held no later than November 2023)
    Congress of Deputies - last held on 10 November 2019 (next to be held no later than November 2023)
    election results:
    Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PSOE 113, PP 97, ERC 15, EAJ/PNV 10, C's 9, other 22; composition - men 163, women 103; percent of women 39%
    Congress of Deputies - percent of vote by party - PSOE 28.7%, PP 20.8%,Vox 15.1%, Unidos Podemos 12.8%, C's 6.8%, ERC 3.6%, other 12.8%; seats by party - PSOE 120, PP 88, Vox 52,  Unidos Podemos 35, C's 10, ERC 13, other 23; composition - men 184, women 166; percent of women 47.4%; note - total  General Courts percent of women 43.7%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo (consists of the court president and organized into the Civil Room, with a president and 9 judges; the Penal Room, with a president and 14 judges; the Administrative Room, with a president and 32 judges; the Social Room, with a president and 12 judges; and the Military Room, with a president and 7 judges); Constitutional Court or Tribunal Constitucional de Espana (consists of 12 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the monarch from candidates proposed by the General Council of the Judiciary Power, a 20-member governing board chaired by the monarch that includes presidential appointees, lawyers, and jurists confirmed by the National Assembly; judges can serve until age 70; Constitutional Court judges nominated by the National Assembly, executive branch, and the General Council of the Judiciary, and appointed by the monarch for 9-year terms
    subordinate courts: National High Court; High Courts of Justice (in each of the autonomous communities); provincial courts; courts of first instance
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Asturias Forum or FAC [Carmen MORIYON]
    Basque Country Unite (Euskal Herria Bildu) or EH Bildu (coalition of 4 Basque pro-independence parties)
    Basque Nationalist Party or PNV or EAJ [Andoni ORTUZAR]
    Canarian Coalition or CC [Ana ORAMAS] (coalition of 5 parties)
    Junts per Catalunia or JxCat  [Carles PUIDGEMONT]
    Ciudadanos Party or C's [Albert RIVERA]
    Compromis - Communist Coalition [Joan BALDOVI]
    New Canary or NCa [Pedro QUEVEDOS]
    Unidas Podemos [Pablo IGLESIAS Turrion] (formerly Podemos IU; electoral coalition formed for May 2016 election)
    People's Party or PP [Pablo CASADO]
    Republican Left of Catalonia or ERC [Oriol JUNQUERAS i Vies]
    Spanish Socialist Workers Party or PSOE [Pedro SANCHEZ]
    JxCat-Junts Together for Catalonia [Jordi SANCHEZ]
    Union of People of Navarra or UPN [Javier ESPARZA]
    Navarra Suma (electoral Coaltion formed by Navarrese People's Union (UPN), Ciudadanos (C's), and the Popular Partty (PP) ahead of the 2019 election)
    Vox or Vox [Santiago ABASCAL]
    International organization participation field listing
    ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BCIE, BIS, CAN (observer), CBSS (observer), CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Santiago CABANAS Ansorena (since 17 September 2018)
    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 York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
    consulate(s): Kansas City (MO)
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Richard Duke BUCHAN III (since 18 January 2018) note - also accredited to Andorra
    telephone: [34] (91) 587-2200
    embassy: Calle de Serrano 75, 28006 Madrid
    mailing address: PSC 61, APO AE 09642
    FAX: [34] (91) 587-2303
    consulate(s) general: Barcelona
    Flag description 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 is quartered to display the emblems of the traditional kingdoms of Spain (clockwise from upper left, Castile, Leon, Navarre, and Aragon) while Granada is represented by the stylized pomegranate at the bottom of the shield; the arms are framed by two columns representing the Pillars of Hercules, which are the two promontories (Gibraltar and Ceuta) on either side of the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar; the red scroll across the two columns bears the imperial motto of "Plus Ultra" (further beyond) referring to Spanish lands beyond Europe; the triband arrangement with the center stripe twice the width of the outer dates to the 18th century

    note: the red and yellow colors are related to those of the oldest Spanish kingdoms: Aragon, Castile, Leon, and Navarre

    National symbol(s) field listing
    Pillars of Hercules; national colors: red, yellow
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Himno Nacional Espanol" (National Anthem of Spain)
    lyrics/music: no lyrics/unknown

    note: officially in use between 1770 and 1931, restored in 1939; the Spanish anthem is the first anthem to be officially adopted, but it has no lyrics; in the years prior to 1931 it became known as "Marcha Real" (The Royal March); it first appeared in a 1761 military bugle call book and was replaced by "Himno de Riego" in the years between 1931 and 1939; the long version of the anthem is used for the king, while the short version is used for the prince, prime minister, and occasions such as sporting events

  • Economy :: Spain
  • Economy - overview field listing

    After a prolonged recession that began in 2008 in the wake of the global financial crisis, Spain marked the fourth full year of positive economic growth in 2017, with economic activity surpassing its pre-crisis peak, largely because of increased private consumption. The financial crisis of 2008 broke 16 consecutive years of economic growth for Spain, leading to an economic contraction that lasted until late 2013. In that year, the government successfully shored up its struggling banking sector - heavily exposed to the collapse of Spain’s real estate boom - with the help of an EU-funded restructuring and recapitalization program.

    Until 2014, contraction in bank lending, fiscal austerity, and high unemployment constrained domestic consumption and investment. The unemployment rate rose from a low of about 8% in 2007 to more than 26% in 2013, but labor reforms prompted a modest reduction to 16.4% in 2017. High unemployment strained Spain's public finances, as spending on social benefits increased while tax revenues fell. Spain’s budget deficit peaked at 11.4% of GDP in 2010, but Spain gradually reduced the deficit to about 3.3% of GDP in 2017. Public debt has increased substantially – from 60.1% of GDP in 2010 to nearly 96.7% in 2017.

    Strong export growth helped bring Spain's current account into surplus in 2013 for the first time since 1986 and sustain Spain’s economic growth. Increasing labor productivity and an internal devaluation resulting from moderating labor costs and lower inflation have improved Spain’s export competitiveness and generated foreign investor interest in the economy, restoring FDI flows.

    In 2017, the Spanish Government’s minority status constrained its ability to implement controversial labor, pension, health care, tax, and education reforms. The European Commission expects the government to meet its 2017 budget deficit target and anticipates that expected economic growth in 2018 will help the government meet its deficit target. Spain’s borrowing costs are dramatically lower since their peak in mid-2012, and increased economic activity has generated a modest level of inflation, at 2% in 2017.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $1.778 trillion (2017 est.)
    $1.727 trillion (2016 est.)
    $1.674 trillion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 15
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $1.314 trillion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    1.95% (2019 est.)
    2.43% (2018 est.)
    2.97% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $38,400 (2017 est.)
    $37,200 (2016 est.)
    $36,100 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 49
    Gross national saving field listing
    23% of GDP (2017 est.)
    22.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
    21.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 57.7% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 18.5% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 20.6% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0.6% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 34.1% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -31.4% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 2.6% (2017 est.)
    industry: 23.2% (2017 est.)
    services: 74.2% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    grain, vegetables, olives, wine grapes, sugar beets, citrus; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish
    Industries field listing
    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
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    4% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Labor force field listing
    19.057 million (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 4.2%
    industry: 24%
    services: 71.7% (2009)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    14.13% (2019 est.)
    15.25% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    Population below poverty line field listing
    21.1% (2012 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 2.5%
    highest 10%: 24% (2011)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 498.1 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 539 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    37.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -3.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Public debt field listing
    98.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
    99% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    2% (2017 est.)
    -0.2% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Current account balance field listing
    $29.603 billion (2019 est.)
    $27.206 billion (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    Exports field listing
    $313.7 billion (2017 est.)
    $280.5 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    Exports - partners field listing
    France 15.1%, Germany 11.3%, Italy 7.8%, Portugal 7.1%, UK 6.9%, US 4.4% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, medicines, other consumer goods
    Imports field listing
    $338.6 billion (2017 est.)
    $300.2 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Imports - commodities field listing
    machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, semi-finished goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, measuring and medical control instruments
    Imports - partners field listing
    Germany 14.2%, France 11.9%, China 6.9%, Italy 6.8%, Netherlands 5.1%, UK 4% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $69.41 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $63.14 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Debt - external field listing
    $2.094 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.963 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Exchange rates field listing
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.885 (2017 est.)
    0.903 (2016 est.)
    0.9214 (2015 est.)
    0.7525 (2014 est.)
    0.7634 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Spain
  • Electricity access field listing
    electrification - total population: 100% (2020)
    Electricity - production field listing
    258.6 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    239.5 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Electricity - exports field listing
    14.18 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    Electricity - imports field listing
    21.85 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    105.9 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    47% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    7% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    14% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    32% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Crude oil - production field listing
    1,700 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    1.325 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    150 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    1.361 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    1.296 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    562,400 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    464,800 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Natural gas - production field listing
    36.81 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    31.27 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    2.888 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    34.63 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    2.548 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    286.7 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
  • Communications :: Spain
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 21,065,700
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 42.4 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 58,750,448
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 118.25 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: well-developed, one of the largest telecom markets in Europe, average mobile penetration for Europe; LTE universal; launch of 5G services; regulator has championed competition; Chinese company Huawei contributes to the telecom sector; fiber broadband accounts for 62% of all fixed-line broadband connections (2020)
    domestic: fixed-line 42 per 100 and mobile-cellular 118 telephones per 100 persons (2019)
    international: country code - 34; landing points for the MAREA, Tata TGN-Western Europe, Pencan-9, SAT-3/WASC, Canalink, Atlantis-2, Columbus -111, Estepona-Tetouan, FEA, Balalink, ORVAL and PENBAL-5 submarine cables providing connectivity to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Asia, Southeast Asia and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), NA Eutelsat; tropospheric scatter to adjacent countries (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing

    a mixture of both publicly operated and privately owned TV and radio stations; overall, hundreds of TV channels are available including national, regional, local, public, and international channels; satellite and cable TV systems available; multiple national radio networks, a large number of regional radio networks, and a larger number of local radio stations; overall, hundreds of radio stations 

    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 42,478,990
    percent of population: 86.11% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 15,176,954
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 31 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
  • Transportation :: Spain
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 21 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 552
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 80,672,105 (2018)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1,117,070,000 mt-km (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    EC (2016)
    Airports field listing
    135 (2020)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 102 (2020)
    over 3,047 m: 18
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 16
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 19
    914 to 1,523 m: 26
    under 914 m: 23
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 33 (2020)
    914 to 1,523 m: 14
    under 914 m: 19
    Heliports field listing
    13 (2020)
    Pipelines field listing
    10481 km gas, 358 km oil, 4378 km refined products (2017)
    Railways field listing
    total: 15,333 km (9,699 km electrified) (2017)
    standard gauge: 2,571 km 1.435-m gauge (2,571 km electrified) (2017)
    narrow gauge: 1,207 km 1.000-m gauge (400 km electrified) (2017)
    broad gauge: 11,333 km 1.668-m gauge (6,538 km electrified) (2017)

    mixed gauge: 190 km 1.668-m and 1.435m gage (190.1 km electrified); 28 km 0.914-m gauge (28 km electrified); 4 km 0.600-m gauge

    country comparison to the world: 19
    Roadways field listing
    total: 683,175 km (2011)
    paved: 683,175 km (includes 16,205 km of expressways) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    Waterways field listing
    1,000 km (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 119
    by type: container ship 2, general cargo 17, oil tanker 12, other 88 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Algeciras, Barcelona, Bilbao, Cartagena, Huelva, Tarragona, Valencia (all in Spain); Las Palmas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (in the Canary Islands)
    container port(s) (TEUs): Algeciras (4,389,836), Barcelona (2,968,757), Valencia (4,832,156) (2017)
    LNG terminal(s) (import): Barcelona, Bilbao, Cartagena, Huelva, Mugardos, Sagunto
  • Military and Security :: Spain
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Spanish Armed Forces: Army (Ejercito de Tierra), Spanish Navy (Armada Espanola, AE, includes Marine Corps), Spanish Air Force (Ejercito del Aire Espanola, EdA); Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) (2019)
    note: the Civil Guard is a military force with police duties (including coast guard) under both the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of the Interior; it also responds to the needs of the Ministry of Finance
    Military expenditures field listing
    0.92% of GDP (2019 est.)
    0.92% of GDP (2018)
    0.9% of GDP (2017)
    0.81% of GDP (2016)
    0.92% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    the Spanish Armed Forces have approximately 120,000 active duty troops (70,000 Army; 20,000 Navy; 20,000 Air Force; 10,000 other/joint); 70-75,000 Guardia Civil (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the inventory of the Spanish military is comprised of domestically-produced and imported Western weapons systems; France, Germany, and the US are the leading suppliers of military hardware since 2010; Spain's defense industry manufactures land, air, and sea weapons systems and is integrated within the European defense-industrial sector (2019 est.)
    Military deployments field listing
    350 Latvia (NATO); 630 Lebanon (UNIFIL); 180 Mali (EUTM); 150 Turkey (NATO) (2020)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18-26 years of age for voluntary military service by a Spanish citizen or legal immigrant, 2-3 year obligation; women allowed to serve in all SAF branches, including combat units; no conscription, but Spanish Government retains right to mobilize citizens 19-25 years of age in a national emergency; mandatory retirement of non-NCO enlisted personnel at age 45 or 58, depending on service length (2013)
  • Terrorism :: Spain
  • Terrorist group(s) field listing
    Basque Fatherland and Liberty (disbanded); Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham; al-Qa’ida (2019)
    note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T
  • Transnational Issues :: Spain
  • Disputes - international field listing

    in 2002, Gibraltar residents voted overwhelmingly by referendum to reject any "shared sovereignty" arrangement; the Government of Gibraltar insists on equal participation in talks between the UK and Spain; Spain disapproves of UK plans to grant Gibraltar greater autonomy; after voters in the UK chose to leave the EU in a June 2016 referendum, Spain again proposed shared sovereignty of Gibraltar; UK officials rejected Spain’s joint sovereignty proposal; 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; both countries claim Isla Perejil (Leila Island); Morocco serves as the primary launching site of illegal migration into Spain from North Africa; Portugal does not recognize Spanish sovereignty over the territory of Olivenza based on a difference of interpretation of the 1815 Congress of Vienna and the 1801 Treaty of Badajoz

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 14,133 (Syria) (2019); 16,540 (Venezuela) (2020) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum, are recognized as refugees, or have received alternative legal stay) (2020)
    stateless persons: 4,246 (2019)

    note: 184,338 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2015-October 2020); 65,325 migrant arrivals in 2018

    Illicit drugs field listing
    despite rigorous law enforcement efforts, North African, Latin American, Galician, and other European traffickers take advantage of Spain's long coastline to land large shipments of cocaine and hashish for distribution to the European market; consumer for Latin American cocaine and North African hashish; destination and minor transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin; money-laundering site for Colombian narcotics trafficking organizations and organized crime