Countryaah data, the country's population is unevenly distributed. Large
population concentrations are found in the coastal zones of
the Mediterranean and the Bay of Biscay, along the Ebro
Valley and in the capital Madrid. The mountainous regions
and most of the high plateau are very sparsely populated.
About 80 percent of the population lives in cities, of which
Madrid (3.2 million residents, 2016), Barcelona (1.6
million) and Valencia (790,200) are the largest.
During the 1980s and 1990s, the country's migration flows
changed radically; from having had a large labor emigration
to, for example, France, Germany and Switzerland, the
country received a large immigration. Spain was the country
in the EU that received the most immigrants for several
years during the 1990s; immigration was the largest in 2007
with about 1 million immigrants (ten times more than
Sweden). However, since the end of the 1990s, immigration
has declined as a result of the country's deteriorating
economy. About 12 percent of the population are immigrants.
Various cultural influences can be traced in different
parts of the country and linguistically there are
significant differences. Apart from the Basque region, this
applies mainly to Catalonia, Galicia and Andalusia. These
differences are one of the reasons for the creation of
autonomous regions in Spain.
The official language for the whole country is Spanish.
In several of the autonomous regions, a regional language is
also spoken, which also enjoys official status within the
region. The regional languages are Catalan in Catalonia,
Valencian in Valencia, Balearic in the Balearic Islands (the
latter two are considered to be Catalan variants), Galician
in Galicia and Basque in the Basque Country and Navarre.
If the religion of the indigenous people is little known.
New religious impulses were supplied through the Celts and
Romans. The Visigoths introduced the Aryan form of
Christianity; first through the Synod of Toledo (586), Spain
transitioned to the Catholic Church. Through the Arab
conquest of the 7th century, southern and central Spain came
to belong to the Islamic world. In Moorish Spain there was a
significant Jewish minority and a Christian (Mozarabic)
church. In Christian Spain, the Dominican Order emerged.
Famous religious centers in northern Spain were the
pilgrimage places of Santiago de Compostela and Montserrat.
The most important archbishopric seat was Toledo.
The constant conflicts with the Moors gave the Spanish
church a militant impression. After the reconquest -
reconquistan - the Catholic faith was the only one allowed.
The Jews (compare Marranas) and later the Moors were forced
to be baptized or emigrated. The Inquisition, which had long
been strong in Spain, was renewed in the 16th century and
continued until 1813. The militant spirit was transferred to
the conquered countries of the New World. Two forms of order
gained international importance: the unscrambled branch of
the Carmelite order and the Jesuit order. In the 17th
century, a period of religious isolation and solidification
began, which lasted well into the 20th century.
Enlightenment and liberalism only slowly penetrated, and the
church's increasing wealth led to widespread
anti-clericalism; In 1869 a large part of the church
property was withdrawn into the state and sold to the
When the Republic was proclaimed in 1931, a series of
anti-Catholic laws were introduced, and a new wave of
anti-clericalism took off. During the Civil War of 1936, a
large number of priests, monks and nuns were murdered. The
protection that Franco gave to the Roman Catholic Church
damaged the church's credibility. During this time, another
new order of origin, Opus Dei, emerged. From the 1960s, the
church was liberalized as a result of the Second Vatican
Council. In 1967 freedom of religion was introduced. Spain
does not currently register citizens on the basis of
religious affiliation. Surveys show that about 75% of the
population defines themselves as Catholics. Of these, fewer
than half attend church ceremonies. The church organizations
themselves stated that by the end of the 1990s there were 35
million Catholics, 1.2 million Protestants, 1.15 million
Muslims and 48,000 Jews in Spain.