Andorra Country Facts

Andorra
Capital city Andorra-la-Vella
Surface 468 km²
Population 78,000
Road network length 279 km
Length of highway network 0 km
First highway N/A
Motorway name N/A
Traffic drives Right
License plate code AND

The Principality of Andorra (Catalan: Principat d’Andorra) is a mini-state in southwestern Europe. The country has 78,000 inhabitants and the capital is Andorra-la-Vella.

Geography

Andorra is located in the Pyrenees, between France and Spain. The country measures a maximum of 25 by 30 kilometers. Andorra is very mountainous and consists of two valleys in which almost all places are located, surrounded by mountain ranges. The 2,943 meter high Coma Pedrosa is the highest point in Andorra. The lowest point is at 840 meters above sea level, where the river Gran Valira flows into Spain. Most of Andorra drains into Spain, but the easternmost part drains into France, because the border here does not run over the mountain range, but lies further east.

Demographics

Andorra had only 5,000 inhabitants in 1900. Andorrans are a Romanesque group of Catalan descent. The population grew to 6,100 in 1950 and 65,000 in 2000. After 2010, the population started to shrink again. Two thirds of the inhabitants do not have Andorran nationality. Catalan is the most widely spoken native language in Andorra, but Spanish, Portuguese and to a lesser extent French are also spoken. English is relatively rarely spoken as a second or third language.

The capital Andorra la Vella has 22,000 inhabitants, about a quarter of the total population. There are two other places with more than 10,000 inhabitants, namely Escaldes-Engordany and Encamp. The population density in the central valley is relatively high, this area is quite urbanized.

Economy

Andorra has a small but highly developed economy. Tourism is by far the most important sector and accounts for almost 80% of the GNP. Tourism is based on winter sports, to a lesser extent on mountain hikers in summer but mainly visitors from France who buy cheap products in Andorra, as taxes in Andorra are significantly lower than France and to a lesser extent lower than Spain. Due to the attractive tax environment, the banking sector is also quite large. Andorra does not belong to the European Union and there are therefore border controls with neighboring countries, which are mainly aimed at taxes and hardly at all on identity. Andorra traditionally has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world.

History

Andorra is believed to have been founded by the Emperor Charlemagne and from then on was ruled by the Earl of Urgell. From 988 it was administered by the Diocese of Urgell, after which it became a principality in 1278, governed by two co-princes, the Bishop of Urgell in Spain and the President of France. The country declared war on Germany in World War I, but was not covered by the Treaty of Versailles and was therefore still at war until 1958. Andorra’s isolated location meant that the country had few relations with countries other than its two neighbours. The country has only been a member of the United Nations since 1993.

Road Network

The Carreteras Generales of Andorra.

Andorra has only a small road network due to its small size and mountainous character. There is one through road from a tunnel from France to Spain. There are no highways, but in Andorra-la-Vella there are roads with alternating lanes. The roads are generally in good condition.

The main road network is formed by the 6 carreteras generales, the CG-1 to CG-6. The CG-1 and CG-2 together form the through route from France to Spain, the CG-3 serves the north of Andorra. In addition, the carreteras secundarias form the secondary road network. These are branches of the carreteras generales.

The connection with France has traditionally been via the 2,408 meter high Port d’Envalira, the highest road in the Pyrenees. In 2002 the Túnel d’Envalira opened under this mountain pass, which is suitable for through traffic.

Andorra has only two border crossings, the CG-1 to Spain and the CG-2 to France. The border complex of the CG-1 is actually on the border, the border complex to France is a few kilometers to the east on the French N22. The CG-6 also runs as far as Spain to Os de Civís. This Spanish village can only be reached via Andorra, so there is no border crossing. The CG-4 also runs to the Spanish border at 2,300 meters altitude, but no paved road continues on the Spanish side.

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *