Religion in Spain

Spain is a country located in the Iberian Peninsula of Europe. It is bordered by Portugal, France, and the Mediterranean Sea. The capital of Spain is Madrid and it is also the largest city in the country. Spain has a population of over 46 million people and its official language is Spanish. The climate in Spain varies from hot, dry summers to mild winters depending on location. Due to its varied climate, Spain has a wide range of landscapes including mountains, beaches, deserts, and forests. There are also many cultural attractions in Spain such as art galleries, museums, historic sites, and churches which make it an ideal destination for tourists. In addition to its vibrant culture and history, Spain is known for its delicious cuisine which includes tapas, paella, and sangria. See for other countries that start with letter S.


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.

Land area 505,370 km²
Total population 50,015,792
Residents per km² 99
Capital Madrid
Official language Spanish (Castilian), Basque (regional), Galician (regional), Catalan (regional)
Income per capita $ 38,400
Currency Euro
ISO 3166 code IT
Internet TLD .it
License plate E.
Telephone code +34
Time zone UTC UTC + 1, daylight saving time UTC + 2
Geographic coordinates 40 00 N, 4 00 W

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.

People in Spain


According to thesciencetutor, 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 landlords.

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.

Spain Religion