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Countries of Europe - Andorra (Principality of Andorra)

Countries of Europe - Andorra (Principality of Andorra)

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Published by Khaye Dyosa

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Published by: Khaye Dyosa on Nov 21, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/11/2011

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Andorra
I
INTRODUCTION
Andorra: Flag and Anthem
© Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved./© Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Andorra, country in southwestern Europe, located high in the eastern Pyrenees Mountains between France to the northand Spain to the south. Andorra is one of the smallest nations in the world, with an area of 468 sq km (181 sq mi) anda population (2007 estimate) of 71,822. The capital and largest city is Andorra la Vella (population, 2004 estimate,22,035).Andorra is a rugged land marked by deep gorges, narrow valleys, and towering mountains. The lowest part of Andorrastands about 914 m (3,000 ft) above sea level. Due to its alpine location, winters are cold, and heavy snowfallfrequently blocks the mountain passes, especially the road linking Andorra to France. Summers are cool, dry, andsunny.
Andorran Village
 The tiny mountainous principality of Andorra draws tourists to the Pyrenees year-round for sightseeing, skiing, and duty-freeshopping. Although tourism is the nation's main source of revenue, some villagers retain a pastoral way of life, moving with cattle andsheep to high mountain pastures in summer.Everett C. Johnson/Leo de Wys, Inc.
 
Isolated for centuries, Andorra had become a popular tourist destination by the 1950s. Although tiny, Andorra offerssome of the best skiing and snowboarding in the Pyrenees. Great hiking, mountain biking, and stunning alpine sceneryattract visitors in summer. But most of the visitors to Andorra are day travelers from France or Spain, who takeadvantage of Andorra’s duty-free shopping. Merchants selling electronic goods, alcohol, tobacco, and luxury itemscrowd the streets of Andorra la Vella and other nearby towns. Tourism is Andorra’s main source of revenue, but some Andorrans still raise sheep and cattle as they have sinceancient times. In the summer months, villagers herd livestock up the mountains to graze in alpine pastures. Most of the small patches of land suitable for cultivation are used to grow tobacco.For more than 700 years Andorra was ruled jointly by the leader of France and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Urgel innorthwestern Spain. These leaders, known as the “princes of Andorra,” served as overlords of Andorra. The countryformally remains a co-principality (jointly ruled by princes) to the present day. In 1993 Andorrans adopted their firstconstitution, which established the country as an independent democratic co-principality. Today, the president of France and the Bishop of Urgel remain Andorra’s heads of state, but their roles are largely ceremonial.
II
LAND AND RESOURCES
Geography of Andorra
Area468 sq km181 sq miCoastline0 km0 miHighestpointPic de Coma Pedrosa2,946 m/9,665 ft
Andorra occupies a region of gorges and valleys in the eastern Pyrenees. The country is almost completely encircledby high mountains. The Coma Pedrosa, which rises to 2,946 m (9,965 ft), is Andorra’s highest peak.
Andorran Landscape
Andorra is a region of deep gorges, narrow valleys, and towering mountain peaks. Andorra is located in the eastern Pyrenees, nestledon the border between France to the north and Spain to the south.
 
Andorra Tourist Office
Over the centuries, settlers have cleared much of Andorra’s original alpine forest cover, including birch, pine, and fir,creating pastures in valleys and on the slopes. Overgrazing by livestock has caused soil erosion in some mountainmeadows.Andorra is drained by the Valira River. Many streams meet to form the Valira, which flows south into Spain. Waterpoweris one of Andorra’s few significant natural resources, and it permits the country to produce nearly half of its electricityneeds. Andorra has small deposits of iron and lead, but they have not been mined extensively because of the highcosts of transportation. Some marble is also quarried.
III
PEOPLE
People of Andorra
Population71,822 (2007 estimate)Population density159 persons per sq km413 persons per sq mi (2007 estimate)Urban populationdistribution90 percent (2003 estimate)Rural population distribution10 percent (2003 estimate)Largest city, with populationAndorra la Vella, 22,035 (2004 estimate)Official languageCatalanChief religious affiliationsRoman Catholic, 89 percentNonreligious, 5 percentOther, 6 percentLife expectancy83.5 years (2007 estimate)Infant mortality rate4 deaths per 1,000 live births (2007 estimate)Literacy rateNot available
 The citizens of Andorra account for only about one-fourth of the entire population. French and Spanish immigrants,allowed residence in Andorra under a strict quota system, make up the majority of the remaining population. Mostnative Andorrans trace their ancestry to Catalonia.

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