Photos of Spain

Building of the Government Subdelagation along the Gran Via in Bilbao, Bizkaia Province.



Spain's powerful world empire of the 16th and 17th centuries ultimately yielded command of the seas to England.  Spain remained neutral during both World Wars but suffered through a devastating civil war (1936-39) resulting in a dictatorship. A peaceful transition to democracy after the death of dictator Francisco FRANCO in 1975 and rapid economic modernization after Spain joined the EU in 1986 gave Spain a dynamic and rapidly growing economy. After a severe recession in the wake of the global financial crisis in 2008, Spain has posted 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.



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


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

comparison ranking: total 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


4,964 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

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


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


large, flat to dissected plateau surrounded by rugged hills; Pyrenees Mountains in north


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

37,593 sq km (2020)

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


total: 47,280,433

male: 23,069,327

female: 24,211,106 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 32; male 34; total 32


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


Castilian Spanish (official nationwide) 74%, Catalan (official in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, and the Valencian Community) 17%, Galician (official in Galicia) 7%, Basque (official in the Basque Country and Navarre) 2%, Aranese (official in part of Catalonia) <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:


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: 13% (male 3,147,019/female 3,012,821)

15-64 years: 66.1% (male 15,662,492/female 15,585,138)

65 years and over: 20.9% (2024 est.) (male 4,259,816/female 5,613,147)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 52.4

youth dependency ratio: 21.9

elderly dependency ratio: 30.2

potential support ratio: 3.3 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 46.8 years (2024 est.)

male: 45.7 years

female: 47.8 years

comparison ranking: total 8

Population growth rate

0.12% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 182

Birth rate

7.1 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 221

Death rate

10 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 36

Net migration rate

4.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 25

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


urban population: 81.6% of total population (2023)

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

note: data include Canary Islands, Ceuta, and Melilla

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

6.751 million MADRID (capital), 5.687 million Barcelona, 838,000 Valencia (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

31.2 years (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

3 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 177

Infant mortality rate

total: 2.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 2.7 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 2.1 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 217

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 83 years (2024 est.)

male: 80.3 years

female: 85.8 years

comparison ranking: total population 18

Total fertility rate

1.3 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 218

Gross reproduction rate

0.64 (2024 est.)

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

10.7% of GDP (2020)

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.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

23.8% (2016)

comparison ranking: 62

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 10.72 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.)

comparison ranking: total 17

Tobacco use

total: 27.7% (2020 est.)

male: 28.6% (2020 est.)

female: 26.7% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 39

Education expenditures

4.6% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 95


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: 18 years

female: 19 years (2020)


Environment - current issues

pollution of the Mediterranean Sea from raw sewage and effluents from the offshore production of oil and gas and drought are negatively impacting 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


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.)


urban population: 81.6% of total population (2023)

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

note: data include Canary Islands, Ceuta, and Melilla

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0.02% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 144

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 163

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 9.34 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 244 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 36.94 megatons (2020 est.)

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: 4.56 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 5.5 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 18.96 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

111.5 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)


total global geoparks and regional networks: 17 (2024)

global geoparks and regional networks: Basque Coast UNESCO; Cabo de Gata-Níjar; Cabo Ortegal; Calatrava Volcanoes. Ciudad Real; Central Catalonia; Courel Mountains; El Hierro; Granada; Lanzarote and Chinijo Islands; Las Loras; Maestrazgo; Molina-Alto; Origens; Sierra Norte de Sevilla; Sierras Subbéticas; Sobrarbe-Pirineos: Villuercas Ibores Jara (2024)


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


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)


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


history: several previous; 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 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


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 of Spain (prime minister-equivalent) Pedro SANCHEZ PEREZ-CASTEJON (since 2 June 2018); Vice President Nadia Maria CALVINO Santamaria (since 12 July 2021)

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 majority party or coalition, who is then indirectly elected by the Congress of Deputies; election last held on 23 July 2023 (next to be held on 31 July 2027); vice president and Council of Ministers appointed by the president

election results: Congress of Deputies 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 23 July 2023 (next to be held no later than July 2027)
Congress of Deputies - last held on 23 July 2023 (next to be held no later than July 2027)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PP 120, PSOE 72, ERC 7, PNV 4, other 5; composition - men 153, women 112; percentage women 42.3%

Congress of Deputies - percent of vote by party - PP 33.1%, PSOE 31.7%, Vox 12.4%, Sumar 12.3%, ERC 1.7%, Junts 1.6%, EH-Bildu 1.4%, PNV 1.1% other 4.7%; seats by party - PP 137, PSOE 121, Vox 33, Sumar 31, ERC 7, Junts 7, EH-Bildu 6, PNV 5, other 3; composition - men 195, women 155, percentage women 44.3%; total General Courts percentage 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 [Adrian Vazquez LAZARA]
Compromis - Compromise Coalition [Enric MORERA i Català]
Navarrese People's Union or UPN [Javier ESPARZA]
Together for Catalonia or Junts [Carles PUIGDEMONT]
People's Party or PP [Alberto Nunez FEIJOO]
Republican Left of Catalonia or ERC [Oriol JUNQUERAS]
Spanish Socialist Workers Party or PSOE [Pedro SANCHEZ]
Teruel Existe or TE [Tomas GUITARTE]
Unidas (Unite) or Sumar [Yolanda Diaz] (electoral coalition formed in March 2022) (formerly Unidas Podemos or UP)
Vox or VOX [Santiago ABASCAL]

International organization participation

ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BCIE, BIS, CABEI, 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, UNOOSA, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, Wassenaar Arrangement, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Ángeles MORENO Bau (since 27 February 2024)

chancery: 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

telephone: [1] (202) 452-0100

FAX: [1] (202) 833-5670

email address and website:

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:

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: 50 (44 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)


Economic overview

high-income core EU economy; diversified trade portfolio; continental tourism locale; high government spending and debt; prone to political financing corruption; negatively impacted by COVID-19; important port and customs infrastructure; key clothing/footwear supplier

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1.922 trillion (2022 est.)
$1.817 trillion (2021 est.)
$1.708 trillion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 15

Real GDP growth rate

5.77% (2022 est.)
6.4% (2021 est.)
-11.17% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 58

Real GDP per capita

$40,200 (2022 est.)
$38,300 (2021 est.)
$36,100 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 51

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1.418 trillion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

8.39% (2022 est.)
3.09% (2021 est.)
-0.32% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 140

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: A- (2018)

Moody's rating: Baa1 (2018)

Standard & Poors rating: A (2019)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 2.6% (2017 est.)

industry: 23.2% (2017 est.)

services: 74.2% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 49; industry 122; agriculture 158

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

milk, barley, wheat, grapes, pork, olives, tomatoes, maize, oranges, sugar beets (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage


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

2.71% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 123

Labor force

23.687 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 29

Unemployment rate

12.92% (2022 est.)
14.78% (2021 est.)
15.53% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 186

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 36.9% (2021 est.)

male: 35.9%

female: 38.2%

comparison ranking: total 22

Population below poverty line

20.4% (2021 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

34.9 (2020 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 102

Average household expenditures

on food: 13.1% of household expenditures (2021 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 4% of household expenditures (2021 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.9%

highest 10%: 25% (2020 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population


0.3% of GDP (2022 est.)
0.27% of GDP (2021 est.)
0.23% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities


revenues: $546.084 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $585.979 billion (2019 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-3.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 134

Public debt

134.1% of GDP (2021 est.)
140.27% of GDP (2020 est.)
112.05% of GDP (2019 est.)

note: central government debt as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 7

Taxes and other revenues

15.03% (of GDP) (2021 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 141

Current account balance

$8.095 billion (2022 est.)
$10.893 billion (2021 est.)
$8.229 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 28


$578.039 billion (2022 est.)
$493.359 billion (2021 est.)
$393.87 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 18

Exports - partners

France 17%, Germany 10%, Portugal 9%, Italy 8%, UK 6% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

cars, refined petroleum, garments, packaged medicine, vehicle parts/accessories (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars


$561.49 billion (2022 est.)
$479.392 billion (2021 est.)
$375.378 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 16

Imports - partners

Germany 11%, China 10%, France 10%, Italy 7%, US 6% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

crude petroleum, natural gas, garments, cars, vehicle parts/accessories (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$92.905 billion (2022 est.)
$92.201 billion (2021 est.)
$81.288 billion (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 32

Debt - external

$2.338 trillion (2019 est.)
$2.366 trillion (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 11

Exchange rates

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
0.95 (2022 est.)
0.845 (2021 est.)
0.876 (2020 est.)
0.893 (2019 est.)
0.847 (2018 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)


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.)

comparison rankings: transmission/distribution losses 195; imports 15; exports 13; consumption 20; installed generating capacity 12

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.)

Nuclear energy

Number of operational nuclear reactors: 7 (2023)

Number of nuclear reactors under construction: 0

Net capacity of operational nuclear reactors: 7.12GW (2023)

Percent of total electricity production: 21.38% (2016)

Percent of total energy produced: 33.2% (2021)

Number of nuclear reactors permanently shut down: 1


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.)


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.)

Refined petroleum products - production

1.361 million bbl/day (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 13

Refined petroleum products - exports

562,400 bbl/day (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 16

Refined petroleum products - imports

464,800 bbl/day (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 18

Natural gas

production: 57.99 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

consumption: 32.03 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

exports: 1.185 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

imports: 32.489 billion 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.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 22

Energy consumption per capita

122.673 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 45


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 18.687 million (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 39 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 14

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 59.02 million (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 124 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 29

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 is 39 per 100 and mobile-cellular 124 telephones per 100 persons (2022)

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)

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 


Internet users

total: 44.18 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 94% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 23

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

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

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 35 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 15


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 billion (2018) mt-km


363 (2024)

comparison ranking: 20


121 (2024)


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


total: 15,489 km (2020) 9,953 km electrified

comparison ranking: total 19


total: 150,110 km (2021)

comparison ranking: total 35


1,000 km (2012)

comparison ranking: 69

Merchant marine

total: 503 (2023)

by type: bulk carrier 1, general cargo 33, oil tanker 24, other 445

comparison ranking: total 42


total ports: 52 (2024)

large: 3

medium: 14

small: 9

very small: 24

size unknown: 2

ports with oil terminals: 13

key ports: Alicante, Barcelona, Cadiz, Ceuta, Ferrol, Huelva, Las Palmas, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Puerto de Bilbao, Puerto de Pasajes, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Santander, Sevilla, Tarragona, Valencia, Vigo

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Spanish Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas de España): Army (Ejército de Tierra), Spanish Navy (Armada Espanola; includes Marine Corps), Air and Space Force (Ejército del Aire y del Espacio), Emergency Response Unit (Unidad Militar de Emergencias); Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) (2024)

note 1: 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

note 2: the Emergency Response Unit was established in 2006 as a separate branch of service for responding to natural disasters and providing disaster relief both domestically and abroad; it has personnel from all the other military services

note 3: the Spanish National Police (Cuerpo Nacional de Policía, CNP) and the Civil Guard maintain internal security as well as migration and border enforcement under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior; the regional police under the authority of the Catalan and the Basque Country regional governments and municipal police throughout the country also support domestic security 

note 4: the military has a Common Corps of four specialized corps that provide professional services to all the branches of the Armed Forces and the Civil Guard, including comptroller, legal, medical, and music services

note 5: the Royal Guard is an independent regiment of the military dedicated to the protection of the King and members of the royal family; it is made up of members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Common Corps

Military expenditures

1.2% of GDP (2023 est.)
1.2% of GDP (2022)
1% of GDP (2021)
1% of GDP (2020)
0.9% of GDP (2019)

comparison ranking: 106

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 120,000 active-duty troops (72,000 Army; 25,000 Navy, including about 5,500 marines; 23,000 Air and Space Force); 80,000 Guardia Civil (2023)

note: military figures include about 3,500 Emergency Response Unit and 1,500-2,000 Royal Guard personnel

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the military's inventory is comprised of domestically produced and imported Western weapons systems; in recent years, leading suppliers have included France, Germany, and the US; Spain's defense industry manufactures land, air, and sea weapons systems and is integrated within the European defense-industrial sector (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18 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 (2024)

note 1: as of 2023, 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

Spain has up to 3,000 military personnel deployed on 17 missions supporting the EU, NATO, and the UN on four continents, as well as naval missions in the Mediterranean and the seas off the Horn of Africa; its largest deployments are up to 700 troops in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and about 1,700 personnel in Eastern Europe supporting NATO missions in Latvia, Romania, and Slovakia (2024)


Military - note

the Spanish Armed Forces have a wide variety of responsibilities, including protecting the country’s national interests, sovereignty, and territory, providing support during natural disasters, and fulfilling Spain’s responsibilities to European and international security; the military conducts operations worldwide, and its air, ground, and naval forces participate in a variety of EU-, NATO-, and UN-led missions; Spain joined NATO in 1982 and is fully integrated into the NATO structure; it routinely conducts exercises with EU and NATO partners, and hosts one of NATO’s two combined air operations centers 

the military is organized into commands for air, cyberspace, joint, land, maritime, and space operations; it also has a separate Emergency Response Unit, a permanent joint service force designed to respond to catastrophes and emergencies in both domestic and overseas environments; the Army is the largest service and has two divisional headquarters with several subordinate brigades of mechanized infantry and one of paratroopers; there are also separate commands for air defense, artillery, aviation, mountain troops, and special operations forces, as well as for the garrison units in the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Ceuta, and Melilla

the basic structure of the Navy’s operational units includes surface and action forces, aviation and submarine flotillas, and a marine corps; the Surface Combat Force includes amphibious, mine warfare, surface warship, and escort squadrons and groups, while the Maritime Action Force is generally made up of units and assets whose main task is to conduct maritime security and surveillance operations in geographically based areas such as the Balearic and Canary islands, Cadiz, and Cartagena; the Navy’s principal warships include 11 frigates, four attack submarines, and three large helicopter-capable amphibious assault ships; it also has squadrons of multirole fighters and anti-submarine warfare aircraft; the 5,500-strong Marine Corps (aka Marine Infantry or Infantería de Armada) has amphibious, garrison, and special operations forces

the Air Force is organized into an Air Combat Command, home to the air combat squadrons, a General Air Command, and a Canary Islands Air Command; it has approximately 400 aircraft, including about 170 modern European- and US-made fighters and multirole fighter aircraft; in addition to traditional military operations, the Air Force supports such missions as medical operations, delivering humanitarian aid, evacuations, search and rescue, firefighting, and surveillance

the Spanish military has a rich history that goes back to the 13th century; the Army has an infantry regiment, formed in the 13th century, that is considered the oldest still active military unit in the Western world; the Marine Corps, which traces its roots back to 1537, is the oldest naval infantry force in the 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 (2023)


Space agency/agencies

Spanish Space Agency (AEE; became operational in April 2023); previously, the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial or INTA, established 1942), a public research organization that depends on the Ministry of Defense, acted as Spain’s space agency; Space Command (Mando del Espacio or MESPA; established January 2024); Center for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI); Catalan Space Agency (established 2021); Valencian Space Consortium (established 2009) (2024)

Space launch site(s)

El Arenosillo Test Center/Range (Andalusia); private launch site (Teruel province) (2024)

Space program overview

space program is integrated into the European Space Agency (ESA) and dates back to the 1940s; manufactures and operates communications, remote sensing (RS), and scientific/technology satellites; has developed sounding rockets; conducts research and development in a broad range of space-related capabilities, including astrobiology, astronomy, imaging/RS, materials, meteorology, optics, propulsion, robotics, satellites (particularly micro- and nano-satellites), satellite systems and subsystems, satellite/space launch vehicles (SLVs), and space sciences; participates in ESA, EU, and other international programs; hosts the European Space Astronomy Center (ESOC) and the ESA’s Space Surveillance and Tracking Data Centre (ESAC); cooperates with foreign space agencies and industries, including those of ESA and EU member states and the US; has a considerable commercial space industry, which is involved in a wide range of space-related research, development, and production, including satellites and SLVs; the CDTI coordinates the activities of the commercial space sector (2024)

note: further details about the key activities, programs, and milestones of the country’s space program, as well as government spending estimates on the space sector, appear in Appendix S


Terrorist group(s)

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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 14,994 (Syria) (mid-year 2022); 438,400 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum, are recognized as refugees, or have received alternative legal stay) (2022); 192,390 (Ukraine) (as of 29 February 2024)

stateless persons: 6,489 (2022)

note: 351,562 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals, including Canary Islands (January 2015-March 2024)

Illicit drugs

a European transit point for cocaine from South America and for hashish from Morocco; cocaine is shipped in raw or liquid form with mixed cargo to avoid detection or altered to escape detection after which chemists within Spain extract and reconstitute any altered form of cocaine, preparing it for distribution within Europe;  minor domestic drug production; occasionally synthetic drugs, including ketamine, new psychoactive substances (NPS), and MDMA transit through Spain to the United States