All the basic information about Spain, from population to dialling code.
Full name: Kingdom of Spain
Population: 45 million (UN 2010)
Area: 505,988km (195,363miles)
Major languages: Spanish (Castellano), Catalan /Valencian, Gallego (Galician), Euskera (Basque)
Major religion: Christianity Roman Catholic
Life expectancy: 79 years (men), 85 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit: 1 euro = 100 cents
Main exports: Transport equipment, agricultural products
Internet domain: .es
International dialling code: +34
16th – 19th Century Spain was a world power and maintained a vast overseas empire until the early 19th century.
20th Century History is marked by the bitterly fought Spanish Civil War of 1936-39 between the Republicans and the right wing Nationalists, followed by a 36-year dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.
1975 Franco died and Spain made the transition to a democratic state and built a successful economy, with monarch King Juan Carlos as head of state.
1978 The Constitution, signed on 6th December, shows respect for linguistic and cultural diversity within a united Spain.
2014 Juan Carlos abdicated in favour of his son Felipe VI
17 Autonomous Regions; the country is divided into regions which all have their own directly elected authorities. Each autonomous region has its own level of jurisdiction over tax laws and other matters.
Until 2008, the Spanish economy was regarded as one of the most dynamic within the EU. However, the mainstays of the economy were tourism and a booming housing market and construction industry, and the global economic crisis of 2008-9 hit the Spanish economy hard.
Spain was tipped into a severe recession and by mid-2010 unemployment had climbed to over 20% – double the EU average.
2014 1st Quarter Spain economy is in recovery and GDP is up for the first time consisitently over 2 quarters, and unemployment has fallen
Spain shares the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal and its territory includes the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands and two North African enclaves.
Art & Culture
From Velazquez in the seventeenth century, through Goya straddling the eighteenth and nineteenth, to Picasso in the twentieth, Spain has the proudest of traditions in art.
Flamenco music and dance are widely admired around the world while Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote is one of the most popular ever written.
Cinema is much loved and the films of directors such as Pedro Almodovar attract huge audiences.
Head of state: Felipe VI
The Spanish Royal Family is very popular in Spain, King Juan Carlos is honoured and respected for ensuring the country’s transition to democracy after the death of the former dictator, General Franco, and for saving Spain from a coup attempt in 1981.
Prime minister: Marina Rajoy (elected November 2011)
Rajoy suceeded Aznar in 2004 as leader of the more right wing conservative Party Popular and was leader of the opposition from 2004 – 2011 when the Party Popular won the elections after Zapatero resigned.