Europe: Spain

About Spain

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, it has played a catch-up role in the western international community. Continuing concerns are large-scale unemployment and the Basque separatist movement.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Madrid
Population: 40,037,995 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: NA%
Language: Castilian Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%
Date of independence: 1492 (expulsion of the Moors and un
Form of government: parliamentary monarchy
Title of Leader: King
Natural Resources: coal, lignite, iron ore, uranium, mercury, pyrites, fluorspar, gypsum, zinc, lead, tungsten, copper, kaolin, potash, hydropower, arable land
Environmental 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
Agricultural Products: grain, vegetables, olives, wine grapes, sugar beets, citrus; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish
Imports: machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, semifinished goods; foodstuffs, consumer goods (1997)
Exports: machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, other consumer goods
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: EU 68% (France 18%, Germany 16%, Italy 9%, UK 7%, Benelux 8%), US 8%, OPEC 5%, Latin America 4%, Japan 3% (1999)
EXPORTS: EU 71% (France 20%, Germany 12%, Italy 9%, Portugal 9%, UK 8%), Latin America 6%, US 5% (2000)


Spain Headlines


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