Spain, a country occupying the greater part of the Iberian Peninsula, and bounded on the north
by the Bay of Biscay, France, and Andorra, and on the east by the Mediterranean Sea. The Balearic
Islands in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa are
governed as provinces of Spain. Also, Spain administers two small exclaves in Morocco--Ceuta and
Melilla. The area of Spain, including the African and insular territories, is 194,885 sq mi. Madrid is the
capital and largest city.
The Spanish people are essentially a mixture of the indigenous peoples of the Iberian Peninsula with the
successive peoples who conquered the peninsula and occupied it for extended periods. These added
ethnologic elements include the Romans, a Mediterranean people, and the Suevi, Vandals, and Visigoths,
Teutonic peoples. Semitic elements are also present.
The population of Spain at the 1991 census was 38,872,268.
The estimate for 1995 is 39,276,000, giving
the country an overall density of about 202 per sq mi. Spain is increasingly urban, with more than 80
percent of the population in towns and cities.
The capital and largest city is Madrid (population, greater city, 1991, 3,010,492), also the capital of
Madrid autonomous region; the second largest city, chief port, and commercial center is Barcelona, capital
of Barcelona province and Catalonia region. Other important cities include Valencia, capital of Valencia
province and Valencia region, a manufacturing and railroad center; Seville, a cultural center; Saragossa,
and Bilbao (369,839), a busy port.
Roman Catholicism is professed by about 97 percent of the population. The country is divided into 11
metropolitan and 52 suffragan sees. In addition, the archdioceses of Barcelona and Madrid are directly
responsible to the Holy See. Formerly, Roman Catholicism was the established church,