Courtyard of the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin (Mezquita) in Cordoba. The cathedral was originally a church (constructed about A.D. 600) that was considerably expanded and converted to a mosque during the Muslim conquest (it became the second-largest mosque in the world). Following the recapture of the city in 1236, the building was reconsecrated as a Christian church and additional architectural alterations were added in subsequent centuries.
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Introduction

Background

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 solid years of GDP growth above the EU average. Unemployment has fallen but remains high, especially among youth. Spain is the euro-zone's fourth-largest economy. The country has faced increased domestic turmoil in recent years due to the independence movement in its restive Catalonia region.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Southwestern Europe, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, Bay of Biscay, and Pyrenees Mountains; southwest of France

Geographic coordinates

40 00 N, 4 00 W

Area

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: 54

Area - comparative

almost five times the size of Kentucky; slightly more than twice the size of Oregon

Area comparison map
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 1,952.7 km

border countries (5): Andorra 63 km; France 646 km; Gibraltar 1.2 km; Portugal 1,224 km; Morocco (Ceuta) 8 km and 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

4,964 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm (applies only to the Atlantic Ocean)

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 Mountains in north

Elevation

highest point: Pico de Teide (Tenerife) on Canary Islands 3,718 m

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 660 m

Natural resources

coal, lignite, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, uranium, tungsten, mercury, pyrites, magnesite, fluorspar, gypsum, sepiolite, kaolin, potash, hydropower, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 54.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 24.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 9.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 20.1% (2018 est.)

forest: 36.8% (2018 est.)

other: 9.1% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

38,000 sq km (2012)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Tagus river source (shared with Portugal [m]) - 1,006
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Population distribution

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

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

Geography - note

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; Spain's Canary Islands are one of four North Atlantic archipelagos that make up Macaronesia; the others are Azores (Portugal), Madeira (Portugal), and Cabo Verde

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Spaniard(s)

adjective: Spanish

Ethnic groups

Spanish 84.8%, Moroccan 1.7%, Romanian 1.2%, other 12.3% (2021 est.)

note: data represent population by country of birth

Languages

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

major-language sample(s):
La Libreta Informativa del Mundo, la fuente indispensable de información básica. (Spanish)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Spanish audio sample:

Religions

Roman Catholic 58.2%, atheist 16.2%, agnostic 10.8%, other 2.7%, non-believer 10.5%, unspecified 1.7% (2021 est.)

Age structure

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.)

2022 population pyramid
2022 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 52.4

youth dependency ratio: 21.9

elderly dependency ratio: 30.4

potential support ratio: 3.3 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 43.9 years

male: 42.7 years

female: 45.1 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 19

Birth rate

7.13 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 222

Death rate

10.22 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 34

Net migration rate

4.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 27

Population distribution

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

urban population: 81.3% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 0.24% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

note: data include Canary Islands, Ceuta, and Melilla

Major urban areas - population

6.714 million MADRID (capital), 5.658 million Barcelona, 837,000 Valencia (2022)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

31.2 years (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

4 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 174

Infant mortality rate

total: 2.47 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 2.73 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 2.19 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 217

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 82.55 years

male: 79.84 years

female: 85.4 years (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 23

Contraceptive prevalence rate

62.1% (2018)

note: percent of women aged 18-49

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 99.9% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 99.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.1% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0.1% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

9.1% of GDP (2019)

Physicians density

4.44 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density

3 beds/1,000 population (2018)

Sanitation facility access

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 (2020 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

150,000 (2020 est.)

note: estimate does not include children

country comparison to the world: 35

HIV/AIDS - deaths

(2020) <1,000

note: estimate does not include children

Major infectious diseases

respiratory diseases: 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 18 August 2022, Spain has reported a total of 13,306,301 cases of COVID-19 or 28,112.33 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population with a total of 111,906 cumulative deaths or a rate of 236.42 cumulative deaths per 100,000 population; as of 10 August 2022, 86.94% of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine; 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

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 10.73 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 4.67 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 3.52 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 2.34 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.19 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 17

Tobacco use

total: 27.7% (2020 est.)

male: 28.6% (2020 est.)

female: 26.7% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 39

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98.6%

male: 99%

female: 98.2% (2020)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 18 years

male: 17 years

female: 18 years (2019)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 38.3%

male: 37.1%

female: 39.7% (2020 est.)

Environment

Environment - current issues

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

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Heavy Metals, Air Pollution-Multi-effect Protocol, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 9.48 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 244 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 36.94 megatons (2020 est.)

Climate

temperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast

Land use

agricultural land: 54.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 24.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 9.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 20.1% (2018 est.)

forest: 36.8% (2018 est.)

other: 9.1% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 81.3% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 0.24% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

note: data include Canary Islands, Ceuta, and Melilla

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 168

Major infectious diseases

respiratory diseases: 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 18 August 2022, Spain has reported a total of 13,306,301 cases of COVID-19 or 28,112.33 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population with a total of 111,906 cumulative deaths or a rate of 236.42 cumulative deaths per 100,000 population; as of 10 August 2022, 86.94% of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine; 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

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 20.151 million tons (2015 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 3,393,428 tons (2015 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 16.8% (2015 est.)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Tagus river source (shared with Portugal [m]) - 1,006
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 4.89 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 5.966 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 20.36 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

111.5 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Government

Country name

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

parliamentary constitutional monarchy

Capital

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

time zone 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

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

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

National Day (Hispanic Day), 12 October (1492); note - commemorates the arrival of COLUMBUS in the Americas

Constitution

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, 2011

Legal system

civil law system with regional variations

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

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

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

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 number 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

description: bicameral General Courts or Las Cortes Generales consists of:
Senate or Senado (265 seats; 208 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 57 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)

elections:
Senate - last held on 10 November 2019 (next to be held no later than 30 November 2023)
Congress of Deputies - last held on 10 November 2019 (next to be held no later than 30 November 2023)

election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PSOE 113, PP 101, ERC 14, PNV 10, Cs 3, Junts 5, Vox 3, other 16; composition (as of mid-2022) - men 161, women 104; percent of women 39.3%
Congress of Deputies - percent of vote by party - PSOE 34.3%, PP 25.1%, Vox 14.9%, UP 9.4%, Cs 2.6%, ERC 3.7%, PNV 10, EH-Bildu 1.4, other 7.4%; seats by party - PSOE 120, PP 88, Vox 52, UP 33, Cs 9, ERC 13, PNV 6, EH-Bildu 5, other 26; composition (as mid-2022, 349 members) - men 199, women 150, percent of women 43%; note - overall General Courts percent of women 42%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): 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

Asturias Forum or FAC [Carmen MORIYON]
Basque Country Unite (Euskal Herria Bildu) or EH Bildu [Arnaldo OTEGI] (coalition of 4 Basque pro-independence parties)
Basque Nationalist Party or PNV or EAJ [Andoni ORTUZAR]
Canarian Coalition or CC [Fernando Clavijo BATLLE] (coalition of 5 parties)
Ciudadanos Party (Citizens Party) or Cs [Ines ARRIMADAS]
Compromis - Compromise Coalition [Enric MORERA i Català]
Together for Catalonia or JuntsxCat [Laura BORRAS]
People's Party or PP [Pablo CASADO]
Republican Left of Catalonia or ERC [Oriol JUNQUERAS]
Spanish Socialist Workers Party or PSOE [Pedro SANCHEZ]
Teruel Existe or TE [Tomas GUITARTE]
Unidas Podemos (United We Can) or UP [Ione BELARRA] (formerly Podemos IU; electoral coalition formed for May 2016 election)
Union of People of Navarra or UPN [Javier ESPARZA]
Vox or VOX [Santiago ABASCAL]

International organization participation

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, Wassenaar Arrangement, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Santiago CABANAS Ansorena (since 17 September 2018)

chancery: 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

telephone: [1] (202) 452-0100

FAX: [1] (202) 833-5670

email address and website:
emb.washington@maec.es

http://www.exteriores.gob.es/embajadas/washington/en/pages/inicio2.aspx

consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Julissa REYNOSO (since 2 February 2022); note - also accredited to Andorra

embassy: Calle de Serrano, 75, 28006 Madrid

mailing address: 8500 Madrid Place, Washington DC  20521-8500

telephone: [34] (91) 587-2200

FAX: [34] (91) 587-2303

email address and website:
askACS@state.gov

https://es.usembassy.gov/

consulate(s) general: Barcelona

Flag description

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)

Pillars of Hercules; national colors: red, yellow

National anthem

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

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 49 (43 cultural, 4 natural, 2 mixed)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain (c); Works of Antoni Gaudí (c); Santiago de Compostela (Old Town) (c); Historic City of Toledo (c); Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida (c); Tower of Hercules (c); Doñana National Park (n); Pyrénées - Mont Perdu (m); Alhambra, Generalife, and Albayzín in Granada (c); Old City of Salamanca (c); Teide National Park (n); Historic Walled Town of Cuenca (c); Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct (c); Historic Cordoba (c); El Escorial (c)

Economy

Economic overview

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.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1,714,860,000,000 (2020 est.)

$1,923,330,000,000 (2019 est.)

$1,886,540,000,000 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 16

Real GDP growth rate

1.95% (2019 est.)

2.43% (2018 est.)

2.97% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 140

Real GDP per capita

$36,200 (2020 est.)

$40,800 (2019 est.)

$40,300 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 53

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1,393,351,000,000 (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

0.7% (2019 est.)

1.6% (2018 est.)

1.9% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 55

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: A- (2018)

Moody's rating: Baa1 (2018)

Standard & Poors rating: A (2019)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 2.6% (2017 est.)

industry: 23.2% (2017 est.)

services: 74.2% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

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.)

Agricultural products

barley, milk, wheat, olives, grapes, tomatoes, pork, maize, oranges, sugar beet

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

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 4.2%

industry: 24%

services: 71.7% (2009)

Unemployment rate

14.13% (2019 est.)

15.25% (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 173

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 38.3%

male: 37.1%

female: 39.7% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 17

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.5%

highest 10%: 24% (2011)

Budget

revenues: 498.1 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 539 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

98.4% of GDP (2017 est.)

99% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 18

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$29.603 billion (2019 est.)

$27.206 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 13

Exports

$392.85 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$486.15 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$499.55 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 18

Exports - partners

France 15%, Germany 11%, Portugal 8%, Italy 8%, United Kingdom 7%, United States 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

cars and vehicle parts, refined petroleum, packaged medicines, delivery trucks, clothing and apparel (2019)

Imports

$373.67 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$444.31 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$460.98 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 18

Imports - partners

Germany 13%, France 11%, China 8%, Italy 7% (2019)

Imports - commodities

crude petroleum, cars and vehicle parts, packaged medicines, natural gas, refined petroleum (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$69.41 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$63.14 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 32

Debt - external

$2,338,853,000,000 (2019 est.)

$2,366,534,000,000 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11

Exchange rates

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.82771 (2020 est.)

0.90338 (2019 est.)

0.87789 (2018 est.)

0.7525 (2014 est.)

0.7634 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 115.837 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 233.267 billion kWh (2020 est.)

exports: 14.649 billion kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 17.928 billion kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 23.999 billion kWh (2020 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 32.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 21.9% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 8.1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 22.1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 13.1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 2.6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Coal

production: 546,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 4.918 million metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 2.083 million metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 4.857 million metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 1.187 billion metric tons (2019 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 47,200 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 1.328 million bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 1,364,700 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 150 million barrels (2021 est.)

Natural gas

production: 57.993 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

consumption: 32,026,216,000 cubic meters (2020 est.)

exports: 1,185,285,000 cubic meters (2020 est.)

imports: 32,489,309,000 cubic meters (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 2.549 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

280.624 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 16.743 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 191.299 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 72.582 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 22

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 19,455,658 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 42 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 14

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 55,354,900 (2019)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 118.44 (2019)

country comparison to the world: 27

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Spain’s telecom sector has tracked the performance of the overall economy, which has been one of the most heavily impacted by the pandemic in all of Europe; GDP dropped by 10.8% in 2020, while telecom revenue reversed the previous five years’ positive results by falling 5.3%; fixed-line services were the hardest hit, with revenue falling 13.7%; mobile voice services did not fare much better, falling 4.7%; this is despite relatively small shifts in the number of subscribers, though the harsh lockdown conditions resulted in a significant drop in usage; it had appeared that a return to growth might be possible in 2021 following lifting the state of emergency in May, but the most recent surge in cases and the continued restrictions on travel may once again put the brakes on growth until at least 2022; Spain’s fixed-line broadband market managed to extend its decade-long pattern of steady growth into 2020, with a slight increase in demand caused by the need for fast internet access to support working and learning from home; while most of Spain’s larger telcos delivered negative revenue and profit in 2020 (2021)

domestic: fixed-line nearly 42 per 100 and mobile-cellular 119 telephones per 100 persons (2020)

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, FLAG Europe-Asia (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), Eutelsat; tropospheric scatter to adjacent countries (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced a downturn, particularly in mobile device production; progress toward 5G implementation has resumed, as well as upgrades to infrastructure; consumer spending on telecom services has increased due to the surge in demand for capacity and bandwidth; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home is still evident, and the spike in this area has seen growth opportunities for development of new tools and increased services

Broadcast media

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 

(2019)

Internet users

total: 44,047,980 (2020 est.)

percent of population: 93% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 21

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 16,188,502 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 35 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 15

Transportation

National air transport system

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 (2018) mt-km

Airports - with paved runways

total: 102

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 (2021)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 33

914 to 1,523 m: 14

under 914 m: 19 (2021)

Heliports

13 (2021)

Pipelines

10,481 km gas, 358 km oil, 4,378 km refined products (2017)

Railways

total: 15,111 km (2017) (9,699 km electrified)

standard gauge: 2,571 km (2017) 1.435-m gauge (2,571 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 1,207 km (2017) 1.000-m gauge (400 km electrified)

broad gauge: 11,333 km (2017) 1.668-m gauge (6,538 km electrified)

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

country comparison to the world: 19

Roadways

total: 683,175 km (2011)

paved: 683,175 km (2011) (includes 16,205 km of expressways)

country comparison to the world: 12

Merchant marine

total: 478

by type: bulk carrier 1, general cargo 36, oil tanker 24, other 417 (2021)

country comparison to the world: 43

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s):
Atlantic Ocean: Bilbao, Huelva; Las Palmas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (in the Canary Islands)
Mediterranean Sea: Algeciras, Barcelona, Cartagena, Tarragona, Valencia

container port(s) (TEUs): Algeciras (5,125,385), Barcelona (3,324,650), Valencia (5,439,827) (2019)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Barcelona, Bilbao, Cartagena, El Musel, Huelva, Mugardos, Sagunto

river port(s): Seville (Guadalquivir River)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

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) (2022)

note: the Civil Guard is a military force with police duties (including coast guard) under both the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of the Interior; it also responds to the needs of the Ministry of Finance

Military expenditures

1% of GDP (2022 est.)

1% of GDP (2021)

1% of GDP (2020)

0.9% of GDP (2019) (approximately $16.8 billion)

0.9% of GDP (2018) (approximately $16.7 billion)

country comparison to the world: 133

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 120,000 active-duty troops (75,000 Army; 25,000 Navy, including about 5,000 marines; 20,000 Air Force); 80,000 Guardia Civil (2022)

note:  a 2007 law established a maximum strength of 130,000 military personnel

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the inventory of the Spanish military is comprised of domestically-produced and imported Western weapons systems; France, Germany, and the US have been 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 (2021)

Military service age and obligation

18-26 years of age for voluntary military service for men and women; 24-36 month initial obligation; women allowed to serve in all branches, including combat units; no conscription (abolished 2001), but the Spanish Government retains the right to mobilize citizens 19-25 years of age in a national emergency; 18-58 for the voluntary reserves (2022)

note 1: as of 2019, women comprised about 13% of the military's full-time personnel

note 2: the military recruits foreign nationals with residency in Spain from countries of its former empire, including Argentina, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela

Military deployments

approximately 200 Iraq (NATO/EU training assistance); up to 600 Latvia (NATO); 650 Lebanon (UNIFIL); approximately 500 Mali (EUTM); 150 Turkey (NATO) (2022)

note: in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, some NATO countries, including Spain, have sent additional troops and equipment to the battlegroups deployed in NATO territory in eastern Europe

Military - note

Spain joined NATO in 1982 but refrained from participating in the integrated military structure until 1996

the Spanish Marine Corps, established in 1537, is the oldest marine corps in the world; the Spanish Army has an infantry regiment, formed in the 13th century, that is considered the oldest still active military unit in the western world

Spain created a Spanish Legion for foreigners in 1920, but early on the Legion was primarily filled by native Spaniards due to difficulties in recruiting foreigners and most of its foreign members were from the Republic of Cuba; it was modeled after the French Foreign Legion and its purpose was to provide a corps of professional troops to fight in Spain's colonial campaigns in North Africa; in more recent years, it has been used in NATO peacekeeping deployments; today’s Legion includes a mix of native Spaniards and foreigners with Spanish residency (2022)

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS); al-Qa’ida

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

Disputes - international

Spain-Andorra: none identified

Spain-France: none identified

Spain-Gibraltar (UK): 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 does not recognize British sovereignty beyond the original fortified perimeter of the city and 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

Spain-Morocco: 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), which remains unoccupied but was the site of a  military standoff in 2002; Morocco serves as the primary embarkation area for illegal migration into mainland Spain from North Africa

Spain-Portugal: 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

refugees (country of origin): 14,823 (Syria) (mid-year 2021); 418,200 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum, are recognized as refugees, or have received alternative legal stay) (2021); 151,786 (Ukraine) (as of 7 November 2022)

stateless persons: 692 (mid-year 2021)

note: 276,667 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals, including Canary Islands (January 2015-November 2022)

Illicit drugs

primary transit point in Europe for cocaine from South America and for hashish from Morocco; cocaine is shipped in raw or liquid form with mixed cargo to avoid detection; traffickers ship methamphetamine via express mail; increasing number of indoor cannabis production; illegal labs cutting, mixing, and reconstituting cocaine, and heroin and methamphetamine labs; synthetic drugs, including ketamine and MDMA (ecstasy) transit from Spain to the United States