Large, flat to dissected plateau surrounded by rugged hills; Pyrenees Mountains in north
Temperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast
Population: 47,737,941 (July 2014 est.)
Languages: Castilian Spanish (official) 74%, Cataian 17%, Galician 7%, and Basque 2%
Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%
Spain experienced a prolonged recession in the wake of the global financial crisis. GDP contracted by 3.7% in 2009, ending a 16-year growth trend, and continued contracting through most of 2013. Economic growth resumed in late 2013, albeit only modestly, as credit contraction in the private sector, fiscal austerity, and high unemployment continued to weigh on domestic consumption and investment. Exports, however, have been resilient throughout the economic downturn.
Spain today is a consumer society that relies on credit cards. Spaniards love to go shopping and are interested in cars, gadgets, and entertainment. Cars are commonplace and have become a problem in big cities (due to limited parking, pollution, congested traffic, and car theft). The public transportation system in Spain is excellent. Consequently, many people who work in cities have moved to towns on the outskirts that are now part of suburbia.
US Military Presence/Support
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (1:07)