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Monday, April 25, 2011

COUNTRY #176: Andorra

Welcome country #176:



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For 715 years, from 1278 to 1993, Andorrans lived under a unique co-principality, ruled by French and Spanish leaders (from 1607 onward, the French chief of state and the Spanish bishop of Urgel). In 1993, this feudal system was modified with the titular heads of state retained, but the government transformed into a parliamentary democracy. Long isolated and impoverished, mountainous Andorra achieved considerable prosperity since World War II through its tourist industry. Many immigrants (legal and illegal) are attracted to the thriving economy with its lack of income taxes.

Map data ©2011 Geocentre Consulting, Tele Atlas - Terms of Use

Landlocked; straddles a number of important crossroads in the Pyrenees
Location:Southwestern Europe, between France and Spain
Geographic coordinates:42 30 N, 1 30 E
Area:total: 468 sq km land: 468 sq km water: 0 sq km 

Size comparison: 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land Boundaries:total: 120.3 km border countries: France 56.6 km, Spain 63.7 km
Coastline:0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:none (landlocked)
Climate:temperate; snowy, cold winters and warm, dry summers
Terrain:rugged mountains dissected by narrow valleys
Elevation extremes:lowest point: Riu Runer 840 m highest point: Coma Pedrosa 2,946 m
Natural resources:hydropower, mineral water, timber, iron ore, lead
Land use:arable land: 2.13% permanent crops: 0% other: 97.87% (2005)
Irrigated land:NA
Natural hazards:avalanches
Current Environment Issues:deforestation; overgrazing of mountain meadows contributes to soil erosion; air pollution; wastewater treatment and solid waste disposal
International Environment Agreements:party to: Biodiversity, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Population:83,888 (July 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 198
Age structure:0-14 years: 15.5% (male 6,710/female 6,305) 15-64 years: 72.2% (male 31,604/female 28,925) 65 years and over: 12.3% (male 5,113/female 5,231) (2009 est.)
Median age:total: 39.4 years male: 39.7 years female: 39.1 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate:1.135% (2009 est.)
Birth rate:10.35 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate:5.89 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
Net migration rate:6.89 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.98 male(s)/female total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate:total: 3.76 deaths/1,000 live births male: 3.78 deaths/1,000 live births female: 3.74 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:total population: 82.51 years male: 80.33 years female: 84.84 years (2009 est.)
Total fertility rate:1.33 children born/woman (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:NA
Nationality:noun: Andorran(s) adjective: Andorran
Ethnic groups:Spanish 43%, Andorran 33%, Portuguese 11%, French 7%, other 6% (1998)
Religions:Roman Catholic (predominant)
Languages:Catalan (official), French, Castilian, Portuguese
Literacy:definition: NA total population: 100% male: 100% female: 100%
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Country name:conventional long form: Principality of Andorra conventional short form: Andorra local long form: Principat d'Andorra local short form: Andorra
Government type:parliamentary democracy (since March 1993) that retains as its chiefs of state a coprincipality; the two princes are the president of France and bishop of Seo de Urgel, Spain, who are represented locally by coprinces' representatives
Capital:name: Andorra la Vella geographic coordinates: 42 30 N, 1 31 E time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:7 parishes (parroquies, singular - parroquia); Andorra la Vella, Canillo, Encamp, Escaldes-Engordany, La Massana, Ordino, Sant Julia de Loria
Independence:1278 (formed under the joint suzerainty of the French Count of Foix and the Spanish Bishop of Urgel)
National holiday:Our Lady of Meritxell Day, 8 September (1278)
Constitution:Andorra's first written constitution was drafted in 1991; approved by referendum 14 March 1993; effective 28 April 1993
Legal system:based on French and Spanish civil codes; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:chief of state: French Coprince Nicolas SARKOZY (since 16 May 2007); represented by Christian FREMONT (since September 2008) and Spanish Coprince Bishop Joan-Enric VIVES i SICILIA (since 12 May 2003); represented by Nemesi MARQUES i OSTE (since 30 July 2003) head of government: Executive Council President Jaume BARTUMEU Cassany (since 5 June 2009) cabinet: Executive Council or Govern designated by the Executive Council president elections: Executive Council president elected by the General Council and formally appointed by the coprinces for a four-year term; election last held 26 April 2009 (next to be held in April-May 2013) election results: Jaume BARTUMEU CASSANY elected executive council president; percent of General Council vote - NA
Legislative branch:unicameral General Council of the Valleys or Consell General de las Valls (28 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote, 14 from a single national constituency and 14 to represent each of the seven parishes; to serve four-year terms) elections: last held on 26 April 2009 (next to be held in March-April 2013) election results: percent of vote by party - PS 45%, Reformist Coaliton 32%, Andorra for Change 19%, Andorran Green 4%; seats by party - PS 14, Reformist Coalition 11, Andorra for Change 3
Judicial branch:Tribunal of Judges or Tribunal de Batlles; Tribunal of the Courts or Tribunal de Corts; Supreme Court of Justice of Andorra or Tribunal Superior de Justicia d'Andorra; Supreme Council of Justice or Consell Superior de la Justicia; Fiscal Ministry or Ministeri Fiscal; Constitutional Tribunal or Tribunal Constitucional
Political parties and leaders:Andorra for Change [Juan Eusebio NOMEN CALVET]; Greens of Andorra [Isabel LOZANO MUNOZ]; New Center [Vicenc MATEU] (formerly Andorran Democratic Center Party); Liberal Party of Andorra or PLA [Joan Gabriel i ESTANY] (formerly Liberal Union or UL); Reformist Coalition (includes the Liberal Party and New Center) [Joan Gabriel i ESTANY]; Social Democratic Party or PS [Jaume BARTUMEU CASSANY] (formerly part of National Democratic Group or AND)
Political pressure groups and leaders:NA
International organization participation:CE, FAO, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IFRCS, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITU, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, Union Latina, UNWTO, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Narcis CASAL de FONSDEVIELA chancery: 2 United Nations Plaza, 25th Floor, New York, NY 10017 telephone: [1] (212) 750-8064 FAX: [1] (212) 750-6630
Diplomatic representation from the US:the US does not have an embassy in Andorra; the US Ambassador to Spain is accredited to Andorra; US interests in Andorra are represented by the Consulate General's office in Barcelona (Spain); mailing address: Paseo Reina Elisenda de Montcada, 23, 08034 Barcelona, Spain; telephone: [34] (93) 280-2227; FAX: [34] (93) 280-6175
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Tourism, the mainstay of Andorra's tiny, well-to-do economy, accounts for more than 80% of GDP. An estimated 11.6 million tourists visit annually, attracted by Andorra's duty-free status and by its summer and winter resorts. Andorra's comparative advantage has recently eroded as the economies of neighboring France and Spain have been opened up, providing broader availability of goods and lower tariffs. The banking sector, with its partial "tax haven" status, also contributes substantially to the economy. Agricultural production is limited - only 2% of the land is arable - and most food has to be imported. The principal livestock activity is sheep raising. Manufacturing output consists mainly of cigarettes, cigars, and furniture. Andorra is a member of the EU Customs Union and is treated as an EU member for trade in manufactured goods (no tariffs) and as a non-EU member for agricultural products.
GDP (purchasing power parity):GDP (purchasing power parity): $3.66 billion (2007 est.) $3.588 billion (2006 est.) $2.77 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):GDP (official exchange rate): $NA
GDP - real growth rate:2% (2007 est.) 3.5% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):GDP - per capita (PPP): $42,500 (2007 est.) $38,800 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:agriculture: NA% industry: NA% services: NA%
Labor force:42,230 (2007)
Labor force - by occupation:agriculture: 0.3% industry: 20.8% services: 79% (2007)
Unemployment rate:0% (2007 est.) 0% (2006)
Population below poverty line:NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: NA% highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.9% (2007 est.) 3.2% (2005)
Budget:revenues: $496.9 million expenditures: $496.8 million (2007)
Agriculture - products:small quantities of rye, wheat, barley, oats, vegetables; sheep
Industries:tourism (particularly skiing), cattle raising, timber, banking, tobacco, furniture
Industrial production growth rate:NA%
Electricity - production:NA kWh
Electricity - consumption:NA kWh
Electricity - exports:NA kWh
Electricity - imports:NA kWh; note - most electricity supplied by Spain and France; Andorra generates a small amount of hydropower
Exports:$117.1 million (2007 est.) $148.7 million (2005)
Exports - commodities:tobacco products, furniture
Imports:$1.789 billion (2007 est.) $1.879 billion (2005)
Imports - commodities:consumer goods, food, electricity
Debt - external:$NA
Exchange rates:euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.7338 (2009), 0.6827 (2008), 0.7306 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005)
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Telephones in use:37,400 (2008) country comparison to the world: 173
Cellular Phones in use:64,200 (2008)
Telephone system:general assessment: NA domestic: modern system with microwave radio relay connections between exchanges international: country code - 376; landline circuits to France and Spain
Radio broadcast stations:AM 0, FM 1, shortwave 0 (easy access to radio and television broadcasts originating in France and Spain) (2007)
Television broadcast stations:1 (2007)
Internet country
Internet hosts:23,421 (2009)
Internet users:59,100 (2008)
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Roadways:total: 270 km (1994) country comparison to the world: 203
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Defense is the responsibility of France and Spain
Military branches:no regular military forces, Police Service of Andorra (2008)
Manpower available for military service:males age 16-49: 18,685 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:males age 16-49: 18,617 females age 16-49: 17,613 (2009 est.)
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Source: CIA - The World Factbook

I have included the full CIA Factbook info because Andorra was an honorable mention best place to live in SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity.  To quote


A tiny (population of 82,000 and 181 square miles), mountainous (starts at 2,854 feet and goes up) and rich ($38,800 GDP/capita, easily in the top ten) country which belongs to the United Nations, I included Andorra because it has the highest life expectancy (83.52 years in 2007) in the world and draws 9 million tourists each year. It is located between France and Spain in the Eastern Pyrenees.

Yes, the highest life expectancy in the world.  There, though, is reported to be some racial discrimination.  There is a lot snow, but people generally speak English.  Surely, this must be one of those places I must visit someday,

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