Spanish Facts

Spain

Image(España in Spanish) comes from the Latin name Hispania

  • Capital: Madrid
  • Official Language: Spanish. In some autonmous communitities, Aranese, Basque, Catalan and Galician are co-official
  • Population: 44 Million (2006)
  • King: Juan Carlos I
  • Prime Minister: Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
  • Currency: Euro


Spain, is a country located in Southern Europe, with two small exclaves in North Africa, politically organized as a parliamentary monarchy. It is the largest of the three sovereign nations that make up the Iberian Peninsula—the others are Portugal and the microstate of Andorra.

Spanish and English are in a virtual dead heat to be the second most spoken language in the world. As of 1999, Spanish had 332 million speakers, while English had 322 million. They were far behind Chinese, with 885 million. (If people who speak English as a second language were included, however, English would come out on top.)

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Other countries or semi-autonomous areas with significant Spanish-speaking populations include Andorra, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Gibraltar, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, the United States and Venezuela.


Nearly 30 percent of the residents of Spain have a first language other than Spanish, although most also use Spanish as a second language. Languages of Spain include Catalan (some 12 percent of the population speak it as a first language, and even more speak it as a second language), Galician (8 percent of the population) and Basque (a little more than 1 percent). Source: Ethnologue.

 

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