Coat of Arms
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
»Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
»504,645 km2 (52nd)
»$1.400 trillion (14th)
» Per capita – $32,975 (33rd)
»$1.400 trillion (14th)
» Per capita -$30,113 (28th)
»Euro[e] (€) (EUR)
Spain officially the Kingdom of Spain is a sovereign state located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe.
Its mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.
Along with France and Morocco, it is one of only three countries to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. Spain’s 1,214 km (754 mi) border with Portugal is the longest uninterrupted border within the European Union.
Spanish territory also includes two archipelagos; the Balearic Islands, in the Mediterranean Sea, and the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast; two major exclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, in continental North Africa; and the islands and peñones (rocks) of Alborán, Alhucemas, Chafarinas and Vélez de la Gomera.
With an area of 505,992 km2 (195,365 sq mi), Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, and the fourth largest country in Europe. By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union.
Spanish territory also includes two archipelagos; the Balearic Islands, in the Mediterranean Sea, and the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast; two major exclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, in continental North Africa; and the islands and peñones (rocks) of Alborán, Alhucemas, Chafarinas and Vélez de la Gomera. With an area of 505,992 km2 (195,365 sq mi), Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, and the fourth largest country in Europe. By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union.
Spain’s capitalist mixed economy is the 14th largest worldwide and the 5th largest in the European Union, as well as the Eurozone’s 4th largest.
The centre-right government of former prime minister José María Aznar worked successfully to gain admission to the group of countries launching the euro in 1999. Unemployment stood at 7.6% in October 2006, a rate that compared favourably to many other European countries, and especially with the early 1990s when it stood at over 20%.
By the mid-1990’s the economy had recommended the growth that had been disrupted by the global recession of the early 1990s. The strong economic growth helped the government to reduce the government debt as a percentage of GDP.
Spain is a member of the Schengen Area, the Eurozone and the European Single Market.
Since the 1990’s some Spanish companies have gained multinational status, often expanding their activities in culturally close Latin America. Spain is the second biggest foreign investors there after the United States. Spanish companies have also expanded into Asia, especially China and India. This early global expansion is a competitive advantage over its competitors and European neighbours.
Spain is ranked 27 with an Economic Complexity Index (ECI) of 0.95493
Top 5 Products exported by Spain
- Cars (8.8%),
- Refined Petroleum (6.3%),
- Packaged Medicaments (3.7%),
- Vehicle Parts (3.5%),
- Delivery Trucks (1.9%)
Top 5 Export destinations ofSpain
Top 5 Products imported by Spain
- Crude Petroleum (13%),
- Refined Petroleum (4.6%),
- Vehicle Parts (4.2%),
- Petroleum Gas (4.0%),
- Packaged Medicaments (3.5%)
Top 5 Import origins of Spain
- Germany (11%),
- France (11%),
- China (7.0%),
- Italy (6.4%),
- Netherlands (4.4%)
The climate of Spain, its geographical location, popular coastlines, diverse landscapes, historical legacy, vibrant culture and excellent infrastructure, has made Spain’s international tourism industry among the largest in the world. In the last five decades, international tourism in Spain has grown to become the second largest in the world in terms of spending, worth approximately 40 billion Euros or about 5% of GDP in 2006.
Summer is hot yet everyone in the world vacations in Spain. In August the capital is deserted as the nationals themselves join the internationals at the beach. Many smaller stores and restaurants are closed for summer vacations in August. Cooler temperatures and smaller crowds recommend June as a month to go rather than July or August.
Sophisticated travelers are discovering the beauty of northern Spain, like Galicia, for their summer travel. At this time of year Galicia can get hot.
Over the past three years, average temps for August have reached as high as 40 degrees in the city of Ourense. It has been known to rain on occasions too. The coastal areas can be cooler than inland. The mountains like Ancares or O Courel are quite cool. Evening temps are perfect for sitting outside.
- The most popular beaches are the ones in the Mediterranean coasts and the Canary Islands. Meanwhile, for hiking, the mountains of Sierra Nevada in the south, the Central Cordillera and the northern Pyrenees are the best places.
- Mezquita in Córdoba
- Historically, Spain has been an important crossroads: between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, between North Africa and Europe, and as Europe beginning colonizing the New World, between Europe and the Americas. As such, the country is blessed with a fantastic collection of historical landmarks – in fact, it has the 2nd largest number of UNESCO Heritage Sites and the largest number of World Heritage Cities of any nation in the world.
- In the south of Spain, Andalusia holds many reminders of old Spain.
- Cadiz is regarded as one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in western Europe, with remnants of the Roman settlement that once stood here.
- Nearby, Ronda is a beautiful town situated atop steep cliffs and noted for its gorge-spanning bridge and the oldest bullring in Spain.
- Cordoba and Granada hold the most spectacular reminders of the nation’s Muslim past, with the red-and-white striped arches of the Mezquita in Cordoba and the stunning Alhambra palace perched on a hill above Granada.
- Seville, the cultural center of Andalusia, has a dazzling collection of sights built when the city was the main port for goods from the Americas, the grandest of which being the city’s cathedral, the largest in the country.
- Moving north across the plains of La Mancha into Central Spain, picturesque Toledo stands as perhaps the historical center of the nation, a beautiful medieval city sitting atop a hill that once served as the capital of Spain before Madrid was built.
- North of Madrid and an easy day-trip from the capital city is El Escorial, once the center of the Spanish empire during the time of the Inquisition, and Segovia, noted for its spectacular Roman aqueduct which spans one of the city’s squares.
- Further north in Castile-Leon is Salamanca, known for its famous university and abundance of historic architecture.
- Galicia in northwestern Spain is home to Santiago de Compostela, the end point of the old Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago) pilgrimage route and the supposed burial place of St. James, with perhaps the most beautiful cathedral in all of Spain at the heart of its lovely old town.
- Northeastern Spain has a couple of historical centers to note: Zaragoza, with Roman, Muslim, medieval and Renaissance buildings from throughout its two thousand years of history, and Barcelona with its pseudo-medieval Barri Gòtic neighborhood.
- L’Hemisfèric, in The City of Arts and Sciences (Spanish: Ciudad de Las Artes y Las Ciencias) (Valencia) Picasso and Salvador Dalí.
- Guggenheim Museum with Salve Bridge in the foreground (Bilbao)
Today, Spain’s two largest cities hold the lion’s share of Spain’s most famous artworks.
- Barcelona is renowned for its stunning collection of modern and contemporary art and architecture.