Introduction to Spain
Spain’s capital city is Madrid, the 3rd largest city in Europe. Madrid houses the large majority of Spanish businesses and is considered the major financial centre of Southern Europe. The population of Spain is 46 million people with 6 million of those living within the Madrid metropolitan area. The official language used in Spain is ‘Castilian’ Spanish, although ‘Catalan,’ ‘Galician’ and ‘Basque’ Spanish are all used in their respective regions. The culture can vary significantly between region to region, and some areas have even sought national sovereignty, but the relaxed lifestyle and penchant for afternoon ‘siestas’ remain nationwide traits.
As a member of the Eurozone, the national currency in Spain is the Euro. Spain is a developed country with the 12th largest economy in the world and it is also rated as having the 10th highest quality of life index in the world. Spanish is spoken in more countries than any other language, with 400 million people using it as their native tongue. This is due to the wide-reaching Spanish Empire of the early modern period.
Spain partners Portugal in the Iberian Peninsula and as such has a coastline exposed to the Atlantic Ocean. Spain’s attractive coastline however, is predominantly associated with the Mediterranean Sea. Many tourists decide to visit and many expatriating citizens decide to move, to the Spanish Med every year. The hot summer sun, beautiful beaches and laid-back locals make Spain an incredibly popular destination.
The rich history and cultural diversity of the country ensure that Spain does not have to rely on its natural beauty and favourable climate to attract expats. Art and architecture have thrived in Spain, with perhaps Salvador Dali and Gaudi the most famous Spanish cultural figures.