General background: Long isolated and impoverished,
mountainous Andorra has achieved considerable prosperity
since World War II through its tourist industry. Many
immigrants (legal and illegal) are attracted to the thriving
economy with its lack of income taxes.
comparative: 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Climate: temperate: snowy, cold winters and
warm, dry summers
Terrain: rugged mountains dissected by narrow valleys
Population: 68,403 (July 2002 est.)
Ethnic groups: Spanish 43%, Andorran 33%, Portuguese
11%, French 7%, other 6% (1998)
Religions: Roman Catholic (predominant)
Language: Catalan (official), French, Castilian
Government type: Parliamentary democracy (since
March 1993) that retains as its heads of state a coprincipality;
the two princes are the president of France and bishop
of Seo de Urgel, Spain, who are represented locally
by coprinces' representatives.
Capital: Andorra la Vella
Legal system: Based on French and Spanish civil
codes; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not
accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
Economic overview: Tourism, the mainstay of
Andorra's tiny, well-to-do economy, accounts for roughly
80% of GDP. An estimated 9 million tourists visit annually,
attracted by Andorra's duty-free status and by its summer
and winter resorts. Andorra's comparative advantage
has recently eroded as the economies of neighboring
France and Spain have been opened up, providing broader
availability of goods and lower tariffs. The banking
sector, with its "tax haven" status, also
contributes substantially to the economy. Agricultural
production is limited - only 2% of the land is arable
- and most food has to be imported. The principal livestock
activity is sheep raising. Manufacturing output consists
mainly of cigarettes, cigars, and furniture. Andorra
is a member of the EU Customs Union and is treated as
an EU member for trade in manufactured goods (no tariffs)
and as a non-EU member for agricultural products.
Communication/Telephone system: Modern system
with microwave radio relay connections between exchanges.
Landline circuits to France and Spain.
Places of interest: