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Spain - Country facts

Map

Small map of Spain
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Flag

Country flag: Spain

Capital

Madrid

Currency

euro (EUR)
note:

Internet Code

.es

Location

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

Background

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 Wars I and II, but suffered through a devastating civil war (1936-39). In the second half of the 20th century, Spain has played a catch-up role in the western international community; it joined the EU in 1986. Continuing challenges include Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorism and further reductions in unemployment.

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

Population

40,341,462 (July 2005 est.)

Ethnic Groups

composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types

Religions

Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%

Languages

Castilian Spanish 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%; note - Castilian is the official language nationwide; the other languages are official regionally

Map of Spain

Large map of Spain
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