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Andorra Geography and Population

Andorra

OFFICIAL NAME: Principality of Andorra

CAPITAL CITY: Andorra la Vella

POPULATION: 69,000 (2016)

AREA: 468 km²

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Catalan, Spanish, French

RELIGION: Catholics 79%, others 21%

COIN: Euro

CURRENCY CODE: EUR

ENGLISH NAME: Andorra

POPULATION COMPOSITION: Spaniards 43%, Andorrans 33%, Portuguese 11%, French 7%, others 6%

GDP PER residents: USD 45,033 (2014)

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 81.3 (2014)

INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.845

INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 34

INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .ad

Andorra, independent republic of the Pyrenees between France and Spain. With its current borders, it is one of the oldest states in Europe. Andorra is a duty free area and completely characterized by tourism.

National flag

The flag dates from 1866/67 and may be due to the French emperor Napoleon 3. The colors are the flag colors of France and Spain. The state flag has Andorra's coat of arms with fields for the Bishop of Urgel in Catalonia as well as for the Counts of Foix, Catalonia and Béarn in the yellow stripe.

Population

Since the 1950's, the population has grown sharply, mainly due to large-scale immigration from Spain. The mix of nationalities and the large number of tourists who visit the state every year help to give the country an international touch. The official language is Catalan. The standard of living is high and the social system is well developed. The population is concentrated in the country's seven small towns, the vast majority around the capital. It is located in the southern part of the country on the west bank of the river Valira and is known for hot sulfur sources. Together with the suburb of Les Escaldes, it forms an expansive tourist and trade center with strong population growth.

Andorra Population

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Economy and business

Retail, tourism and banking are by far the most important occupations. Following accession to the EU Customs Union, Andorra has replaced customs duties with VAT, which is significantly lower than VAT in France and Spain. Every year approximately 2.5 million tourists by the good trading conditions and by the country's winter sports facilities and nature (2017). One-day tourism especially from Spain is important and the shops are open every day of the week. Tourists shopping for luxury in the capital have been a very important industry in recent decades, and the country's liberal banking legislation, e.g. with account anonymity (banking secrecy), makes the banks competitive with the Swiss.

Andorra has not previously had its own currency, but has used neighboring countries' pesetas and francs and later the euro as a de facto legal tender. In 2012, a monetary agreement between Andorra and the EU entered into force, making the euro the official currency. From 2015, the country has minted its own coins.

Less than 5% of the country's area is cultivated, limited by spring meltwater currents. The crops are mainly vegetables and tobacco, and an annual summer dry season necessitates irrigation. In addition, sheep and cattle are kept. The hydropower plant at Les Escaldes, which produces electricity for the whole country, also supplies electricity to Barcelona. The country has neither airport nor railway; on the other hand, the road system is well developed. The pass at Pas de la Casa (Port d'Envalira) towards France may be closed during periods in winter, but the motorway connection to Spain through the Valira Valley is permanent. Andorra is not a full member of the EU.

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Nature

Andorra is located at an altitude of 900-2900 m with mountains and plains intersected by deep valleys; the largest are Valira del Norte and Gran Valira. The country is surrounded by mountain peaks of over 3000 m. The rivers all run to the main river Valira, which via Segre flows into the Ebro. The annual rainfall in the mountains is over 850 mm and falls mainly in the spring and autumn months. The average summer temperature in the lowlands is just over 20 °C; winter temperatures fluctuate around freezing point. The original forest of oak, poplar and spruce is largely destroyed by felling, but the natural plant growth is rich in species. The country has a relatively rich, huntable wildlife with, among other things, wild boar, deer and partridges.

Constitution

The current constitution is from 1993. According to the previous constitution from 1228, the French president and the Spanish bishop of Urgel were supremacy in the principality of Andorra. This is now of an almost exclusively formal nature.

Parliament consists of 28 members, elected for a four-year term. By recent elections, half of its members are women. The right to vote is 18 years, and only Andorran citizens have the right to vote, just like those who have lived in the country for more than 20 years. All men have had the right to vote since 1947 and women since 1970. The executive power lies with a government whose head (Cap de Govern) is elected by parliament. The head of government appoints members of the government.

Andorra Geography

History

The first signs of settlement date from approximately 300 BC Andorra was the last territory the Arabs conquered in Europe, and they left virtually no trace. Charlemagne and his son Louis the Pious conquered the country in 803 and gave it in 819 to the Spanish bishop of Urgel. The French counts of Foix, who inherited the rights of Louis I, have since contested the authority of the bishops in the country; but by arbitration in 1278 the sovereignty was formally divided, and on the same occasion the residents had their independence confirmed under a partially elected council. The official and real creation of Parliament (Consell de la Terra, later: Consell General)) took place in 1419. Andorra managed to stay out of both the two world wars and the Spanish Civil War.

 
 
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