Andorra State Overview

According to topschoolsintheusa, Andorra is a country in southern Europe with an area of 468 km 2, located in the Pyrenees between Spain and France, with an average altitude of 1 996 meters above sea level.

It is constituted as a social and democratic state of law, whose political regime is the parliamentary principality and has as heads of state the Bishop of Urgel, currently Joan Enric Vives Sicília, and the President of the French Republic, currently Francois Hollande. The current head of government is Jaume Bartumeu Cassany and the official language is Catalan.

It does not have its own armed forces and its defense is the responsibility of Spain and France.In case of emergencies and / or natural disasters, such as the floods that occurred in 1982, the somatén is summoned, made up of men over 18 years of age and with Andorran nationality.

Geography

The highest mountain is the Comapedrosa peak which, with an altitude of 2,942 meters above sea level, is located in the Pyrenees mountain range, nestled between the border of Spain and France. It is a region of steep mountain peaks and narrow valleys through which numerous watercourses flow that unite to form the three main rivers: the Valira del Norte River, the Valira de Oriente River and the Gran Valira River. There are large wooded areas of pines and birches due to the high mountain Mediterranean climate that the country enjoys. In 2004, the Madriu-Perafita-Claror valley was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Climate

Variations in climate occur depending on altitude and orientation. The Principality has a high percentage of sunny days and the climate is dry.

The average annual minimum is -11 ° C and the maximum is 24 ° C. At dusk is when there is more precipitation except in winter which is, above all, snow.

Vegetation

The forests occupy 2/5 of the territory, distributed in three altitudinal floors; up to 1,200 m, holm oaks and oaks, up to 1,600-1,700 m the Scots pine predominates and up to 2,200-2,300 m black pine abounds, replaced on the peaks by alpine meadows. In the parish of La Massana is the Arinsal forest, one of the most important forest masses in Andorra.

Demography

Population

Due to a voluntary policy of a restrictive nature to acquire nationality, in 1998, the last date for which information is available on all residents with Andorran nationality, only 53.1% were born in Andorra. Even so, the total number of Andorran citizens has grown significantly in the last ten years: in 1998, they only represented 24.5% of the total population and today, they are already a relative majority. On the contrary, the absolute number of Spanish citizens in 2007 It was slightly lower than the 1998 number, but their percentage of the total population has decreased significantly from 48.4% to 32.8%, and today they constitute the first minority in the country, together with the Portuguese (16.3%). and French (6.3%) like the other main groups. Overall, citizens who do not have Andorran nationality are in the majority but do not have the right to vote in communal elections, nor can they be presidents or own more than 33% of the capital stock of a private company.

Regarding the parishes, the most populated is Andorra la Vieja, with a population of 24,678 residents in 2008, followed by Escaldes-Engordany with 16,714, Encamp with 14,234, Sant Julio de Lòria with 9,651, La Massana 9,635, Canillo 5,625 and Ordino with only 3,947 residents, being the least populated.

Languages

The official language of Andorra is Catalan, although the linguistic reality is the result of the great demographic transformation that the country has undergone since the second half of the 20th century: in 1940, foreign residents in the country represented only 17%; in 1989 they represented 75.7% —historical maximum— and in 2007 they are around 65%. Due to this phenomenon, despite the fact that Catalan is the official language, Spanish predominates. French is also often heard, obviously due to the border situation of the Principality. Recently there has been a significant increase in the Portuguese-speaking population.

According to the Andorran government’s Language Policy Service, Catalan is the mother tongue of 49.4% of the Andorran population, but only 29.9% of the total population uses it. On the contrary, Spanish is the most widespread mother tongue among the population of the Principality. Despite the growth in the population of Andorran and Portuguese nationalities, 43.4% declared that Spanish is their mother tongue. The study shows that in recent years there has been a deterioration in the position of the Catalan language in favor of Spanish.

Economy

Agricultural production is limited, since only 2% of the land is cultivable, tobacco is planted in almost all of its fields, and the main livestock activity is bovine and equine breeding, based on an extensive farming system. In the secondary sector, transformation industries (cigarettes, cigars and furniture) and primary industries predominate. Currently the tertiary sector represents, according to estimates, 80% of Andorran GDP, with tourism being the mainstay of the Andorran economy. Nine million people visit it annually, attracted by its status as a tax haven, its ski resorts and the price differential in trade with respect to neighboring countries, although the latter has recently eroded while the French and Spanish economies have opened , providing a wider availability of goods and lower rates. In the year In 2005, the country received 11,049,490 visitors of which 2,418,409 were tourists and 8,631,081 hikers. Of the total visitors, 57.2% were Spanish, 39.8% French and only 3.0% came from other countries.

Currency

Although the Principality does not have an official currency, since January 1, 2002, the euro has been used as the de facto currency. Before the entry of the single European currency, state budgets were drawn up in pesetas, although the French franc was also used commercially. Exceptionally, its own currency has been issued without legal value, the diner.Unlike other small European states that use the euro, Andorra does not issue its own euros, although in October 2004, negotiations between Andorra and the European Union began on an arrangement that will likely allow you to issue your own coins.

Culture

There are several museums: Casa Rull in Sispony, Farga Rossell in La Massana, and the Andorra Romanesque Interpretation Center in Pal, the Viladomat museum, the Museum of Models of Romanesque Art and the Perfume museum in Escaldes-Engordany, the museum of miniatures by Nicolaï Siadristy, the Casa de Areny-Plandolit and the Andorra postal museum in Ordino, the National Automobile Museum in Encamp, the Casa de la Vall, with a section dedicated to philately and numismatics, in Andorra la Vieja and the Tobacco Museum in Sant Julio de Lòria.

Music

In the National Auditorium of Andorra, located in Ordino, the Narciso Yepes International Festival is held, dedicated to classical music and jazz. In the capital, during the nights of Thursdays in July and August, the Dijous de Rock is also held, where local groups and, occasionally, Spanish, offer concerts to the attending public.

The Orquestra Nacional de Cambra d’Andorra, directed and founded in 1992 by the violinist Gerard Claret, celebrates an internationally famous singing competition, endorsed by Montserrat Caballé, in addition to having offered concerts in Spain, France and Belgium and regularly participating in the cycles of the Palau de la Música Catalana. Andorran traditional music, related to that of other Pyrenean regions, has characteristic dances such as the Marratxa. Valuable materials were collected by the folklorist Palmira Jaquetti i Isant.

In 2004, Andorra participated, for the first time, in the Eurovision Song Contest represented by Marta Roure. This fact attracted the attention of the Catalan media, since it was the first song sung in Catalan. The song was eliminated in the semifinal, as well as the compositions of 2005 (performed by Marian van de Wal), 2006 (performed by Jenny), 2007 (performed by Anonymous), 2008 (performed by Gisela) and 2009 (performed by the singer Danish Susanne Georgi).

Andorra State Overview