Spain is a country on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula which 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.
1. EU’s Second Largest Country
Spain or the Kingdom of Spain is the second largest country in the European Union after France. It measures up at around 506,000 square kilometers if you include the Canary Islands and the Spanish territories along the North African coastline.
2. Most Widely Spoken Language
There are an estimated 440 million native Spanish speakers around the world, second only to Mandarin. But while Spanish is the official language of Spain, the regional languages of Catalan, Basque (Euskara) and Galician (Galego) all have official status in their respective regions.
3. Nudity is Legal in Spain
With its Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters, you might be tempted to strip off while in Spain. With 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, there are also few better places to top up your tan. And any budding naturists out there will be pleased to know nudity is legal in Spain, although it’s considered inappropriate in plenty of places.
4. Fifth Largest Population in Europe
Spain is home to 47 million people three-quarters of the population live in urban areas. Around 6.5 million, for instance, live in the greater Madrid area, while 5.5 million reside in the greater Barcelona area. This means both cities have larger populations than New Zealand.
5. Second Highest Unemployment Rate
Spain has the second highest unemployment rate in the EU, behind only Greece. However, the current rate of 13.8% is a significant improvement from the 24.2% unemployment rate Spain experienced back in 2015.
6. Good Place for Female Entrepreneurs
During the five years following the beginning of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, female entrepreneurs set up 40% of all new businesses in Spain. This totaled some 800,000 businesses and was a significant boost to the economy.
7. Average High School Qualifications
Around half of all adults up to the age of 64 have the equivalent of a high school diploma, well below the OECD average of almost 75%. However, younger generations are bucking the trend, with 65% of millennials gaining the qualification and the number is growing.
8. The Spanish Love to Chill Out
Spanish enjoy taking things a little easier than other nationalities. In fact, according to an OECD report published back in 2013, the average Spaniard devotes 16 out of the 24 hours every day to leisure, including eating, drinking, and sleeping.
9. The First Novel was Written in Spanish
Back in 1605, Miguel de Cervantes wrote Don Quixote, widely considered to be the world’s first modern novel. The seminal book is seen as one of the most important pieces of Spanish literature ever written and is a founding work of Western literature.