Spain 1997Spain

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Spain - Introduction 1997
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Background: A powerful world empire in the 16th and 17th centuries, Spain ultimately yielded command of the seas to England, beginning with the defeat of the Armada in 1588. Spain subsequently failed to embrace the mercantile and industrial revolutions and fell behind Britain, France, and Germany in economic and political power. Spain remained neutral in World Wars I and II. In the second half of the 20th century Spain played a catch-up role in the western international community. Continuing problems are large-scale unemployment and the Basque separatist movement.

Spain - Geography 1997
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Location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, and North Atlantic Ocean, southwest of France

Geographic coordinates: 40 00 N, 4 00 W

Map referenceEurope

Total: 504,750 km²
Land: 499,400 km²
Water: 5,350 km²
Note: includes Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, and five places of sovereignty (plazas de soberania) on and off the coast of Morocco - Ceuta, Mellila, Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera
Comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Oregon

Land boundaries
Total: 1,919.1 km
Border countries: (5) Andorra 65 km; , France 623 km; , Gibraltar 1.2 km; , Portugal 1,214 km; , Morocco (Ceuta) 6.3 km; , Morocco (Melilla) 9.6 km

Coastline: 4,964 km

Maritime claims
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm (applies only to the Atlantic Ocean)
Territorial sea: 12 nm

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 in north

Extremes lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Pico de Teide on Canary Islands 3,718 m

Natural resources: coal, lignite, iron ore, uranium, mercury, pyrites, fluorspar, gypsum, zinc, lead, tungsten, copper, kaolin, potash, hydropower
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 30%
Permanent crops: 9%
Permanent pastures: 21%
Forests and woodland: 32%
Other: 8% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 34,530 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: periodic droughts

Note: strategic location along approaches to Strait of Gibraltar

Spain - People 1997
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Population: 39,107,912 (July 1997 est.)
Growth rate: 0.06% (1997 est.)

Noun: Spaniard(s)
Adjective: Spanish

Ethnic groups: composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types

Languages: Castilian Spanish 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%

Religions: Roman Catholic 99%, other 1%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 15% (male 3,121,625; female 2,942,492)
15-64 years: 69% (male 13,396,398; female 13,400,728)
65 years and over: 16% (male 2,592,692; female 3,653,977) (July 1997 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 0.06% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 9.94 births/1000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 9.54 deaths/1000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.66 migrant(s)/1000 population (1997 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

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

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 6.6 deaths/1000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 77.39 years
Male: 73.59 years
Female: 81.46 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.18 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 96%
Male: 98%
Female: 94% (1986 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Spain - Government 1997
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Country name
Conventional long form: Kingdom of Spain
Conventional short form: Spain
Local short form: Espana

Government type: parliamentary monarchy

Capital: Madrid

Administrative divisions: 17 autonomous communities (comunidades autonomas, singular - comunidad autonoma); Andalucia, Aragon, Asturias, Canarias, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y Leon, Cataluna, Communidad Valencian, Extremadura, Galicia, Islas Baleares, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, Navarra, Pais Vasco
Note: there are five places of sovereignty on and off the coast of Morocco (Ceuta, Mellila, Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera) with administrative status unknown

Dependent areas

Independence: 1492 (expulsion of the Moors and unification)

National holiday: National Day, 12 October

Constitution: 6 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978

Legal system: civil law system, with regional applications; does not accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: King JUAN CARLOS I (since 22 November 1975)
Head of government: President of the Government Jose Maria AZNAR (since 5 May 1996); First Vice President Francisco ALVAREZ-CASCOS FERNANDEZ (since 5 May 1996) and Second Vice President (and Minister of Economy and Finance) Rodrigo RATO FIGAREDO (since 5 May 1996)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers designated by the president
Note: there is also a Council of State that is the supreme consultative organ of the government
Elections: the king is a hereditary monarch; president proposed by the king and elected by the National Assembly following legislative elections; election last held 3 March 1996 (next to be held by NA 2000)
Election results: Jose Maria AZNAR elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - NA

Legislative branch: bicameral The General Courts or National Assembly or Las Cortes Generales consists of the Senate or Senado (256 seats; 208 members are directly elected by popular vote and the other 48 were appointed by the regional legislatures to serve four-year terms) and the Congress of Deputies or Congreso de los Diputados (350 seats; members are elected by popular vote on block lists by proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
Elections: Senate - last held 3 March 1996 (next to be held by March 2000); Congress of Deputies - last held 3 March 1996 (next to be held by March 2000)
Election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PP 132, PSOE 96, CiU 11, PNV 6, IU 2, others 9; Congress of Deputies - percent of vote by party - PP 38.9%, PSOE 37.5%, IU 10.7%, CiU 4.6%; seats by party - PP 156, PSOE 141, IU 21, CiU 16, other 16

Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 8, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MTCR, NACC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIBH, UNU, UPU, WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Antonio de OYARZABAL MARCHESI
In the us chancery: 2,375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,037
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 452-0100, 728-2,340
In the us FAX: [1] (202) 833-5,670
In the us consulates general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Richard N. GARDNER
From the us embassy: Serrano 75, 28,006 Madrid
From the us mailing address: APO AE 9,642
From the us telephone: [34] (1) 587-2,200
From the us FAX: [34] (1) 587-2,303
From the us consulates general: Barcelona

Flag descriptionflag of Spain: 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 includes the royal seal framed by the Pillars of Hercules, which are the two promontories (Gibraltar and Ceuta) on either side of the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Spain - Economy 1997
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Economy overview: Spain's mixed capitalist economy supports a GDP three-fourths that of the four leading West European economies. Its center-right government has staked much on gaining admission to the first group of countries to implement the European single currency by developing an austere 1997 budget - including a wage freeze for public-sector employees - in hopes of meeting the Maastricht monetary convergence criteria. The government slashed spending by $1.6 billion in mid-1996 to ensure that Spain's deficit did not exceed its target of 4.4% of GDP for the year; the government forecasts a deficit of 3% for 1997. The AZNAR administration advocates liberalization, privatization, and deregulation of the economy, and has introduced some tax reforms to that end. Unemployment, nevertheless, remains the highest in the EU at about 22%, but the government, for political reasons, has made only limited progress in changing labor laws or reforming pension schemes, which are key to the sustainability of Spain's economic advances.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 2.4% (1996 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 3.6%
Industry: 33.6%
Services: 62.8% (1995 est.)

Agriculture products: grain, vegetables, olives, wine grapes, sugar beets, citrus; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish catch of 866,831 metric tons in 1993

Industries: textiles and apparel (including footwear), food and beverages, metals and metal manufactures, chemicals, shipbuilding, automobiles, machine tools, tourism

Industrial production growth rate: 5% (1996 est.)

Labor force
Total: 12.475 million
By occupation services: 62%
By occupation and construction: 29%
By occupation agriculture: 9% (1996)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 22% (1996 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $113 billion
Expenditures: $139 billion, including capital expenditures of $15 billion (1995)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Total value: $94.5 billion (f.o.b., 1995)
Commodities: cars and trucks, semifinished manufactured goods, foodstuffs, machinery (1994)
Partners: EU 72.1%, US 4.2%, other developed countries 7.9% (1996)

Total value: $118.3 billion (c.i.f., 1995)
Commodities: machinery, transport equipment, fuels, semifinished goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, chemicals (1994)
Partners: EU 65.6%, US 6.6%, other developed countries 11.5%, Middle East 6.2% (1996)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $90 billion (1993 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: pesetas (Ptas) per US$1 - 134.77 (January 1997), 126.66 (1996), 124.69 (1995), 133.96 (1994), 127.26 (1993), 102.38 (1992)

Spain - Energy 1997
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 163.7 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 3,752 kWh (1995 est.)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Spain - Communication 1997
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: generally adequate, modern facilities
Domestic: NA
International: 22 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), NA Eutelsat, NA Inmarsat, and NA Marecs; tropospheric scatter to adjacent countries

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Spain - Military 1997
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $6.3 billion (1995)
Percent of gdp: 1.4% (1995)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Spain - Transportation 1997
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 96 (1996 est.)
With paved runways total: 82
With paved runways over 3047 m: 15
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 11
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 15
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 13
With paved runways under 914 m: 28 (1996 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 14
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 2
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 12 (1996 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 82
Over 3047 m: 15
2438 to 3047 m: 11
15-24 to 2437 m: 15
914 to 1523 m: 13
Under 914 m: 28 (1996 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 14
15-24 to 2437 m: 2
914 to 1523 m: 12 (1996 est.)

Heliports: 2 (1996 est.)

Pipelines: crude oil 265 km; petroleum products 1,794 km; natural gas 1,666 km

Total: 14,343 km
Broad gauge: 12,139 km 1.668-m gauge (6,510 km electrified; 2,295 km double track)
Standard gauge: 488 km 1.435-m gauge (488 km electrified)
Narrow gauge: 1,716 km (privately owned:1,669 km 1.000-m gauge, 489 km electrified; 28 km 0.914-m gauge, 28 km electrified; government owned:19 km 1.000-m gauge, all electrified)


Waterways: 1,045 km, but of minor economic importance

Merchant marine
Total: 141 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 888,815 GRT/1,396,541 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 9, cargo 33, chemical tanker 10, combination ore/oil 1, container 9, liquefied gas tanker 4, oil tanker 26, passenger 2, refrigerated cargo 9, roll-on/roll-off cargo 31, short-sea passenger 6, specialized tanker 1 (1996 est.)

Ports and terminals

Spain - Transnational issues 1997
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Disputes international: Gibraltar question with UK; Spain controls five places of sovereignty (plazas de soberania) on and off the coast of Morocco - the coastal enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, which Morocco contests, as well as the islands of Penon de Alhucemas, Penon de Velez de la Gomera, and Islas Chafarinas

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: key European gateway country for Latin American cocaine and North African hashish entering the European market; transshipment point for and consumer of Southwest Asian heroin

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