Spain is a sovereign state located on the Iberian Peninsula, in the southwest of the European continent. Since the Constitution came into force in 1978, Spain has been a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system.

The 1978 Constitution ended a 36-year dictatorship under General Francisco Franco, who died while in power in 1975. Since its return to democracy, Spain has gone to great lengths to come to terms with its past, especially with the legacy of the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39 and subsequent repression. Some 114,000 victims of the war and the Franco repression are still missing.

Spain is a unitary country, but its 17 regions have their own elected authorities and enjoy a high degree of autonomy. Indeed, during the dictatorship, Spanish nationalism was imposed throughout the country, and regional nationalisms were suppressed. In response to such developments, the 1978 Constitution paved the way for the so-called "state of autonomies" (Estado de las autonomías), qualifying Spain as an inseparable "nation" composed of "nationalities and regions. Nevertheless, the Constitution does not define these concepts. This caused confusion and fueled regional nationalism. Consequently, regions such as Basque Country and Catalonia have repeatedly demanded more autonomy. In recent years, the Catalan region has embarked on a process of independence that has received a strong negative response from the central government.,/p>

The population of Spain is about 46 million people as of 2020. And the urban population is 76%. The official language is Spanish or Castilian, in the autonomous regions the other languages are official alongside Castilian (Spanish) (Catalan-Valencian-Balearic in Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands, Basque in the Basque Country and Navarra, Galician in Galicia, Aranese in Catalonia). Some indigenous Spaniards also speak unofficial Aragonese, Estremadura, Occitan and Fala de Chalima. Spain is a multi-ethnic country. In addition to Castilians, Spain has Catalans, Galicians, Basques, Occitanians, Asturians and Aragonese who speak their own languages.

During the Franco regime, ethnic minorities were forcibly assimilated, but despite this, the languages of these peoples have not disappeared and are experiencing a real revival in recent decades. However, the Aragonese language, formerly widespread and now preserved only in a few rural settlements, is disappearing. The Basque language in the province of Navarra has experienced strong assimilation, but in the Basque Country the Basque language has a strong position. Also the Asturian language (variants of names depending on locality: Asturleon, Asturian, León, Extremadura), which is found in the autonomous communities of Asturias, Castile-León, Extremadura and Cantabria, is reviving.,/p>

Spain is a secular state whose constitution guarantees freedom of religion. The majority of the population is Christian and belongs to the Roman Catholic Church (75%). The first Protestant communities in Spain appeared in the 16th century, but were completely destroyed by the Spanish Inquisition. Protestants began to preach in Spain again in the middle of the 19th century. At present time in the country lived 567 thousand people of this direction of Christianity, most of them were Pentecostals (312 thousand). From the end of 19th century in the coastal towns of the country settled Greek merchants that confessed Orthodoxy. In connection with the mass labor migration from Eastern Europe the number of Orthodox Christians increased markedly by the end of the twentieth century. Currently in Spain there are 900 thousand Orthodox Christians (mostly Romanians, Bulgarians, Ukrainians, Greeks and Serbs).

From the end of the 19th century, Muslims, primarily workers from Morocco, moved to Spain en masse. In the second half of the 20th century, the flow of migrants increased to include refugees from other North African countries. By 2010 there were already 1 million Muslims in the country (Islamic leaders say about 2 million Muslims). The predominant direction of Islam is Sunnism. A small but influential group in the country is religious Jews (15,000). Among migrants there are also Buddhists (47 thousand), Hindus (45 thousand), Sikhs, supporters of the Chinese folk religion and the Afro-Brazilian religion Macumba. During the last generation, the number of nonreligious people in Spain has grown considerably. Today, 19% of the population is nonreligious. According to some surveys, the number is even higher. In a June 2015 survey by the Center for Sociological Research, 25.4% of respondents said they were nonreligious (9.5% were convinced atheists and 15.9% were non-believers).

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