Introducing SPAIN





Time Zone

08:21 PM

Spain's powerful world empire of the 16th and 17th centuries ultimately yielded command of the seas to England. Subsequent failure to embrace the mercantile and industrial revolutions caused the country to fall behind Britain, France, and Germany in economic and political power. Spain remained neutral in World War I and II but suffered through a devastating civil war (1936-39). A peaceful transition to democracy following the death of dictator Francisco FRANCO in 1975, and rapid economic modernization (Spain joined the EU in 1986) gave Spain a dynamic and rapidly growing economy and made it a global champion of freedom and human rights. More recently, Spain has emerged from a severe economic recession that began in mid-2008, posting four straight years of GDP growth above the EU average. Unemployment has fallen, but remains high, especially among youth. Spain is the Eurozone's fourth-largest economy. The country has faced increased domestic turmoil in recent years due to the independence movement in its restive Catalonia region.

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

total: 505,370 sq km

land: 498,980 sq km

water: 6,390 sq km

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

47,163,418 (2022 est.)

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.


Spanish 84.8%,

Moroccan 1.7%,

Romanian 1.2%,

other 12.3% (2021 est.)

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 the Basque-speaking area of Navarre) 2%,
Aranese (official in the northwest corner of Catalonia (Vall d'Aran) along with Catalan,

Roman Catholic 58.2%,

atheist 16.2%,

agnostic 10.8%,

other 2.7%,

non-believer 10.5%,

unspecified 1.7% (2021 est.)

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% (2020 est.) (male 3,970,417/female 5,276,984)

periodic droughts, occasional flooding

$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

1.95% (2019 est.)

2.43% (2018 est.)

2.97% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 140

$36,200 (2020 est.)

$40,800 (2019 est.)

$40,300 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars country comparison to the world: 53

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

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