OFFICIAL NAME: Principality of Andorra
CAPITAL: Andorra La Vella
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Co-principality between France and Spain
AREA: 465 Sq Km (180 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION 65,100
LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Andorra is a landlocked country
bordered by France to the north and Spain to the south.
It is one of the smallest countries in Europe and is located
on the southern slopes of the Pyrenees Mountains. The country's
terrain is rugged with little level ground and mostly consists
of gorges, narrow valleys and defiles which are surrounded
by mountain peaks. The country is well drained by a single
basin and mountain pastures account for 44% of the land
area, while forests consisting of pine, fir, oak, birch
and box trees cover 41% of the land area. Major Cities (pop.
est.); Andorra la Vella 22,000, Les Escaldes 13,000, Encamp
10,000 (1993). Land Use; forested 22%, pastures 56%, agricultural-cultivated
2%, other 20% (1993).
CLIMATE: Andorra has an alpine climate with severe cold winters
resulting in the northern valleys being snowbound for a minimum of six
months per year. Depending on altitude, the summers are mild or warm and
dry with low humidity. Average annual precipitation is 808 mm (32 inches)
while average temperatures ranges are from -1 to 6 degrees Celsius (30
to 43 degrees Fahrenheit) in January to 12 to 26 degrees Celsius (54 to
79 degrees Fahrenheit) in July.
PEOPLE: Native Andorrans are a minority accounting for only 27%
of the population, while the largest ethnic majority are the Spanish who
account for around 50% of the population. The French also account for 8%
of the population, the Portuguese for 7% and the British for 5%.
DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 118 persons per sq km
(306 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 64.7% urban, 35.3% rural (1986).
Sex Distribution; 53.1% male, 46.9% female (1990). Life Expectancy at Birth;
74.0 years male, 81.0 years female (1990). Age Breakdown; 17% under 15,
26% 15 to 29, 27% 30 to 44, 15% 45 to 59, 11% 60 to 74, 4% 75 and over
(1990). Birth Rate; 12.6 per 1,000 (1989). Death Rate; 4.2 per 1,000 (1989).
Increase Rate; 8.4 per 1,000 (1989). Infant Mortality Rate; 13.3 per 1,000
live births (1987).
RELIGIONS: Mostly Christians with 95% of the population Roman
Catholic while the remainder are Jews, Jehovah Witnesses and Protestants.
LANGUAGES: The official language is Catalan, a romance language
related to Provencal, although French and Castilian Spanish are also widely
EDUCATION: Aged 15 or over and having attained: no formal schooling
5.5%, primary 47.3%, secondary 21.6%, higher 24.9% (1985). Literacy; literate
population aged 15 or over virtually 100% (1987).
MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: Andorra is neither a republic
or a monarchy, it is simply the last surviving remnant of the feudal system
of medieval Europe. Its internal government is ruled by an exclusive aristocracy
and although the Andorrans claim they are independent they are ruled in
reality by the French head of state and the Bishop of Spain. In Jan. 1982
Andorra's first executive council was formed under the leadership of a
President. In June 1990 Andorra signed a customs union agreement with the
EU to permit the free movement of industrial goods between the two parties.
In May 1991 Andorra hosted the IV Games of the Small Countries of Europe.
In June 1991 the General Council agreed unanimously to draft the country's
first constitution. On July 1, 1991 Andorra's customs union agreement went
into effect, ending its economic isolation from the union. In Jan. 1992
the first mass demonstrations were held in protest to the political deadlock
within the parliament as a result of Oscar Ribas Reig's attempt to introduce
a new constitution which in effect would have legalized political parties
and trade unions. As a result, Ribas was forced to resign as President
of the Executive Council and on Jan. 30, 1992 the General Council was dissolved
with elections announced for April 5. The close elections were won by the
reformists and Ribas was sworn in as head of government on May 4, 1992.
The new government's agenda was to complete a new constitution which would
provide a modern political and legal framework and submit it when complete
to a people's referendum. On March 14, 1993 the referendum resulted in
an overwhelmingly vote to adopt the new constitution thus ending a 715
year old feudal system of government. The new constitution although allowing
for full sovereignty, also maintained the unique system of co-princes but
with greatly reduced powers. On May 4, 1993 the new constitution was enacted.
On July 28, 1993 Andorra became a member of the UN. On Dec. 12, 1993 Oscar
Ribas Reig's party won the most seats in general elections and formed a
new coalition government.
CURRENCY: The official currency is the Euro (EUR).
ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $1,231,000,000 (1992). Public
Debt; USD $132,000,000 (1992). Imports; Ptas 116,385,000,000 (1992). Exports;
Ptas 4,208,000,000 (1992). Tourism Receipts; N/A. Balance of Trade; Pta
-112,177,000,000 (1992). Economically Active Population; 28,222 or 51.8%
of total population (1990). Unemployed; N/A.
MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are France,
Spain, Germany and Portugal.
MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Barley, Cattle, Potatoes, Rye, Sheep, Tobacco,
MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Forestry, Furniture, Leather, Publishing, Tax
Free Trading, Textiles, Tobacco Processing, Tourism.
MAIN EXPORTS: Cigarettes, Cigars, Furniture, Mineral Water, Postage
TRANSPORT: Railroads; nil. Roads; length 220 km (137 mi) (1990).
Vehicles; cars 31,571 (1989), trucks and buses 4,193 (1989). Merchant Marine;
nil. Air Transport; nil.
COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 3 with a total circulation
of 4,000 (1992). Radio; receivers 10,000 (1994). Television; receivers
4,000 (1993). Telephones; units 26,800 (1993).