With an area of 464 km², the Principality of Andorra is one of the smallest countries in the world (and about half the size of Berlin).
|Capital||Andorra la Vella|
|Form of government||Constitutional monarchy|
|Time zone||UTC +1|
|Telephone area code||00376 (Source: ALLCITYCODES)|
With an area of 464 km², the Principality of Andorra is one of the smallest countries in the world (and about half the size of Berlin). In Europe, only Liechtenstein, San Marino, the Vatican, the island of Malta and Monaco are smaller countries in terms of area.
The mountainous country lies south of the main Pyrenees ridge between France in the north (Pyr¨¦n¨¦es Orientales and Ari¨¨ge) and Spain in the south and west. Around two fifths of the country’s surface is above 2,400 m, the highest elevation is the Pic Alt (Coma Pedrosa) at 2,946 m. The center of the country is the Andorra la Vella valley, through which the country’s only major river, the Valira, flows. The country’s capital is Andorra la Vella with just under 21,000 residents. The city is 1,100 meters above sea level.
Moderately cold winters and short, warm summers determine the mountain climate in Andorra. The temperatures differ depending on the respective altitude, in the valleys values of over 30 °C are reached in summer, the average temperatures in January are given as 2.4 °C and in July as 19.4 °C. While an average rainfall of around 800 mm per year is measured in the lower regions, up to 2,000 mm fall in the mountains. There is snow here for five to eight months a year.
Flora and fauna
Pines, birches and pines have replaced the original oak forests in large parts of the country. Red pines and black spruces predominate in the subalpine zone, juniper and boxwood also grow here. Alpine mats can be found above the tree line from around 2,300 m.
The animal world essentially corresponds to the Central European fauna with hedgehogs, moles, weasels, foxes, badgers and squirrels. Chamois and marmots live in the mountains. The bird life is rich in species, golden eagles, geese, Egyptian vultures and bearded vultures occur. A specialty of the Andorran wildlife is the Pyrenees-Desman, an insectivore related to the mole, which is about 14 centimeters long and is looking for food in the mountain streams.
Andorra has 83,000 residents today, and only about a third of them are Andorrans. Since the beginning of the 1960s, the population has increased tenfold due to the influx of foreigners. According to COUNTRYAAH, the strongest foreign group are the Spaniards with around 33%, French with 6%, Portuguese with 16% and other nationalities with also 7%. Around 95% of the population are committed to the Roman Catholic Church. Around two thirds of the total population live in the cities of Andorra la Vella and Les Escaldes.
Population growth is 5%, which is mainly due to immigration, life expectancy is 83.5 years. Both are the highest values determined by reliable official bodies worldwide. The official language is Catalan; French and Spanish are important commercial languages.
According to the May 1993 constitution, Andorra is a constitutional principality without its own princes. Official heads of state are still the bishop of the Spanish city of Seo de Urgel and the French president, both of whom are represented in Andorra by a permanent delegate. These co-princes have the right to object to legislation and international contracts. The Andorra government is headed by the Prime Minister (Antoni Mart¨ª Petit, since 2011). The legislative branch lies with the General Council (“Conseil G¨¦n¨¦ral de les Valls”) with 28 members elected for four years.
The country’s most important parties are the Dem¨°C rates per Andorra and the Partit Socialdem¨°C rata.
Andorra is divided into seven municipalities (Parr¨°quies): Canillo, Encamp, Ordino, La Massana, Andorra La Vella, Sant Juli¨¤ de L¨°ria and Escaldes-Engordany.
Andorra is one of the wealthiest countries in Europe. The most important economic sector is year-round tourism and trade in imported goods, which are sold here duty-free and almost tax-free (around 80% of the gross domestic product is generated by services). The most important trading partners for imports and exports are the neighboring countries Spain and France. The number of tourists is estimated at over nine million annually, who mainly visit the country as a transit traveler for cheap shopping. But winter sports also have strongly increasing tendencies. Another important economic sector is the financial sector.
Andorra has only been charging VAT (4%) since 2006, and EU withholding tax since 2005. Andorrans are still exempt from direct taxes. However, a profit tax of 5% was introduced on economic activities in 2011. An equal tax is levied on company profits.
Due to the difficult natural conditions, agriculture plays almost no role, only around 3% of the workforce is employed here, and only 3% of the country’s land can be used for agriculture. In the valleys mainly tobacco and potatoes are cultivated, in cattle farming only cattle and sheep are important.
Industrial production is limited to companies that process wood and tobacco, and textiles are also manufactured. Hydropower is particularly important in terms of natural resources. However, the country’s own energy production can no longer meet demand since consumption has increased.
The small area of the state means that there is neither rail nor air traffic. The road network covers around 270 km and is very well developed.
The Andorran currency is the euro.