Andorra

Andorra

A tiny landlocked principality, Andorra lies high in the eastern Pyrenees between France and Spain. It held its first full elections in 1993. Tourism is the main source of income.

Geography: High mountains, with six deep, glaciated valleys that drain into the Valira River as it flows into Spain.

Climate: Cool, wet springs followed by dry, warm summers. Mountain snows linger until March.

People and Society: Immigration is strictly monitored and restricted by quota to French and Spanish nationals seeking employment in Andorra. Low taxes attract wealthy expatriates. A referendum in 1993 ended 715 years of semi-feudal status, but Andorran society remains conservative.

Insight: Andorra’s co-principality status dates from the 13th century. The “princes” are the president of France and the bishop of Urgel in Spain.

The Economy: Tourism and duty-free sales dominate the economy. Banking secrecy laws and low consumer taxes promote investment and commerce. France and Spain effectively decide economic policy. Dependence on imported food and raw materials.

Fact File: 

Official Name: Principality of Andorra

Date of Formation: 1278

Capital: Andorra la Vella

Population: 82,200

Total Area: 181 sq. miles (468 sq. km)

Density: 457 people per sq. mile

Languages: Spanish, Catalan*, French, Portuguese

Religions: Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%

Ethnic Mix: Spanish 46%, Andorran 28%, other 18%, French 8%

Government: Parliamentary system

Currency: Euro = 100 cents

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