All Out Info On Spain Essay, Research Paper
By: Danilo Ananias
Formal Name: Spanish State. Short Form: Spain. Term for Citizens: Spaniard(s). Capital: Madrid. Population: 38.8 million in 1986. Projected 40 million by 1990, 42 million by 2000. Rate of annual growth from 0.8 percent to 1.2 percent from 1930s to 1980s. Growth rates expected to level off or to decline slightly for remainder of twentieth century. Education and Literacy: Primary education (age six to fourteen) free and compulsory. Insufficient number of state schools and teachers to meet this goal and rising enrollment. Gap filled by private schools subsidized by state. By early 1980s, 40 percent of all schools private. By 1965 country had achieved nearly universal enrollment in primary grades. Secondary school attendance optional, but students deciding not to attend secondary school had to attend vocational training until age sixteen. In 1985 estimated 89 percent of students did attend secondary school, and 26 percent attended university. Adult population 94-97 percent literate in late 1980s. Health: Uneven provision of health care. Maldistribution of health care resources of state’s welfare system resulted in poor service in many areas, especially working-class neighborhoods of large cities. High ratio of doctors to inhabitants, but low ratio of nurses to inhabitants and relatively low public expenditures on health care compared with other West European countries. Tuberculosis, typhoid, and leprosy not eradicated. Infant mortality rate 10 per 1,000 in 1985. Life expectancy seventy-four years for males and eighty for females in late 1980s. Languages: Castilian Spanish official language and dominant in usage, especially in formal settings, but estimated one of four Spanish citizens had a different mother tongue. New 1978 Constitution allows for other languages to be “co-official” within respective autonomous communities. Catalan, Galician, Euskera (the Basque language), Valencian, and Majorcan had such status by 1988. Ethnic Groups: Spanish state encompassed numerous distinct ethnic and cultural minorities. New 1978 Constitution recognizes and guarantees autonomy of nationalities and regions making up Spanish state, and seventeen autonomous communities existed in late 1980s. Major ethnic groups: Basques, Catalans, Galicians, Andalusians, Valencians, Asturians, Navarrese, and Aragonese. Also small number of Gypsies. Ethnonationalistic sentiment and commitment to the ethnic homeland varied among and within ethnic communities. Nationalist and separatist sentiment ran deepest among Basques. Religion: 99 percent nominally Roman Catholic. Other 1 percent mostly other Christian faiths. Small Jewish community. Society generally becoming more secular as society and economy became more modern and developed. Religious freedom guaranteed by 1978 Constitution, which formally disestablishes Roman Catholicism as official religion. But church still enjoyed somewhat privileged status. Continuing government financial aid to church was contentious issue in late 1980s. Size: Peninsular Spain covers 492,503 square kilometers. Spanish territory also encompasses the Balearic Islands (Spanish, Islas Baleares) in the Mediterranean Sea and the Canary Islands (Spanish, Canarias) in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the city enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa. Topography: Peninsular
landmass predominantly a vast highland plateau–the Meseta Central–surrounded and dissected by mountain ranges. Major lowland areas include narrow coastal plains, Andalusian Plain in southwest, and Ebro Basin in northeast. Islands, especially Canary Islands, mountainous. Climate: Predominantly continental climate with hot, dry summers and rather harsh, cold winters. Wide diurnal and seasonal variations in temperature and low, irregular rainfall. Maritime climate prevails in northern part of country, characterized by relatively mild winters, warm but not hot summers, and generally abundant rainfall spread throughout year. Slight diurnal and seasonal variations in temperature. Mediterranean climate experienced from Andalusian Plain along south and east coasts, characterized by irregular, inadequate rainfall, mostly in autumn and winter. Gross Domestic Product (GDP): US$340.1 billion in 1988 (US$8,702 per capita). Economy stagnant during late 1970s and first half of the 1980s, but real gross domestic product (GDP–see Glossary) growth averaged 3.3 percent in 1986 and 5.5 percent in 1987, roughly double the West European rate. Agriculture: Made up about 5 percent of GDP in 1988 and employed about 15 percent of population. Very important producer of citrus fruits, olive oil, vegetables, and wine. Agricultural products made up more than 15 percent of country’s exports. Productive and modern farming along southern and eastern coasts able to meet foreign competition. Small antiquated farms of northwestern region threatened by Spain’s membership in European Community (EC–see Glossary). Industry: Made up about 30 percent of GDP and employed about one-third of work force in late 1980s. Consisted of unprofitable heavy industry segment, mainly government-owned, and profitable chemical and manufacturing components that accounted for most of Spain’s exports. Services: Accounted for about half of GDP in 1988. Tourism vital to the economy, and it alone made up about a tenth of GDP. In 1987 more than 50 million foreign tourists visited Spain. Imports: US$49.1 billion in 1987. Because of a surging economy, approximately one-fourth of this amount consisted of capital goods and about one-fifth of consumer goods. Fuels made up approximately one-sixth. Exports: US$34.2 billion in 1987. Raw materials, chemicals, and unfinished goods made up about one-third of this amount, as did non-food consumer goods, most notably cars and trucks. Agricultural products and wine supplied about one-sixth of total exports. Major Trade Partners: In 1987 63.8 percent of Spain’s exports went to the EC, which it supplied Spain with 54.6 of its imports. France was single biggest buyer of Spanish exports, taking 18.9 percent in 1987. Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) most important exporter to Spain, supplying 16.1 percent that year. United States accounted, respectively, for 8.3 and 8.1 of Spain’s imports and exports. Balance of Payments: Spain without a positive merchandise balance since 1960. However, large earnings from tourism and remittances from Spaniards working abroad guaranteed a positive current account balance up through 1987. General Economic Conditions: Strong growth since mid-1980s and controlled inflation made Spain’s economy one of Western Europe’s healthiest. Full membership in EC posed a threat for weaker sectors of the economy, both industrial and agricultural. Spain had long had Western Europe’s highest unemployment rate, more than 20 percent. Exchange Rate: In March 1988, 113.49 pesetas (see Glossary) to US$1. Fiscal year: Calendar year.