Oranger Palace

Spain Facts and Figures

Government

Being a member of the European Union since 1986,Spain, like so many other parts of Europe, has a dual system of government. Spain is a constitutional monarchy organised as a parliamentary democracy and run by King Carlos as well as the current President of the Government - José L. Rodríguez Zapatero.

Administrative divisions in Spain

Spain is broken up into 17 autonomous communities, including the Balearic and Canary Islands, which are self-run and 2 autonomous cities - Ceuta and Melilla. These autonomous communities are subdivided into 50 provinces.
Spain also owns 3 islands just off Morocco, including Penon de Alhucemas.

Capital

Madrid is the capital and the largest city of Spain

Spain Geography

Spain is a Western European country and also the 51st largest country in the world.
With the area of 504,782 km² Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe.
The country consists of Peninsular Spain which is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, two archipelagos, one in each sea, and two autonomous cities in North Africa.
Spain borders Portugal, France, Andorra, the British colony of Gibraltar, and Morocco.
Spanish territory also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands off the African coast.

Climate of Spain

Due to its position at the corner of Europe,Spain bordered by Pyrenees mountains and both the Mediterranean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean has the extremely diverse climate.
Spain is extremely hot during mid-summer, in July and August. The rest of the year the climate of Spain is generally temperate in the north, but warm in the south.
The best time to visit Spain is during spring or autumn, except for the Atlantic coast, which has heavy rains in October and November.
August in Spain is the busiest month, while May and October are the best times for both ideal weather and fewer crowds.
Madrid and the high central area of Spain can get very cold during winter.

Population in Spain

In 2007 a population of Spain officially reached 45 million people.
Spain's population density, at 87.8/km² , is lower than that of most Western European countries and its distribution along the country is very unequal.
With the exception of the region surrounding the capital, Madrid, the most populated areas lie around the coast.

Languages in Spain

The main language in Spain is Castilian Spanish.
However, Spain also recognises Catalan, Basque and Galician as languages.
In addition to the native languages, English or French are commonly studied in school.
If you are visiting a tourist area you will find people who are fluent in several languages. You won't be as lucky in other places as most Spaniards speak English rather poorly.

Religions in Spain

Spain is mainly a Roman Catholic country, although there are small pockets of other religions as well in Spain.
About 76% of Spaniards identify themselves as Catholics, about 2% identify with another religious faith, and about 19% identify themselves as non-religious.

Time zone

Spain uses the Central European Time (CET), which places it one hour ahead of the more universal GMT time zone (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and the Saturday before the last Sunday in October); the Canary Islands: GMT (GMT +1 in summer).

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