Title: The Kingdom of Spain
Population Change: 0.04
National Average Age: 45
Urban Percentage: 80
Christian Population: 33,000,000
Christian Percentage: 72
Introduction: Spain a country on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula includes 17 autonomous regions with diverse geography and cultures. Capital city Madrid is home to the Royal Palace and Prado museum housing works by European masters. Segovia has a medieval castle (the Alcázar) and an intact Roman aqueduct. Catalonia’s capital Barcelona is defined by Antoni Gaudí’s whimsical modernist landmarks like the Sagrada Família church.
Overview: 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 War I and II but suffered through a devastating civil war (1936-39). A peaceful transition to democracy following the death of dictator Francisco FRANCO in 1975 and rapid economic modernization (Spain joined the EU in 1986) gave Spain a dynamic and rapidly growing economy and made it a global champion of freedom and human rights. More recently the government has had to focus on measures to reverse a severe economic recession that began in mid-2008. Austerity measures implemented to reduce a large budget deficit and reassure foreign investors have led to one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe.