Autonomous communities of Spain

Autonomous communities
CategoryAutonomous administrative division
LocationSpain
Created bySpanish Constitution of 1978
Created1979–1983
Number17 (+2 autonomous cities)
PopulationsAutonomous communities:
321,171 (La Rioja) – 8,415,490 (Andalusia)
Autonomous cities:
81,323 (Melilla), 83,517 (Ceuta)
AreasAutonomous communities:
94,223 km2 (36,380 sq mi) (Castile and León) – 1,927 sq mi (4,990 km2) (Balearic Islands)
Autonomous cities:
4.7 sq mi (12 km2) (Melilla), 7.1 sq mi (18 km2) (Ceuta)
GovernmentAutonomous government
SubdivisionsProvince
Municipality

In Spain, an autonomous community (Spanish: comunidad autónoma, Basque: autonomia erkidegoa, Catalan: comunitat autònoma, Galician: comunidade autónoma, Occitan: comunautat autonòma)[a] is a first-level political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish constitution of 1978, with the aim of guaranteeing limited autonomy of the nationalities and regions that make up Spain.[1][2][3]

Spain is not a federation, but a highly decentralized[4][5] unitary state.[1] While sovereignty is vested in the nation as a whole, represented in the central institutions of government, the nation has, in variable degrees, devolved power to the communities, which, in turn, exercise their right to self-government within the limits set forth in the constitution and their autonomous statutes.[1] Each community has its own set of devolved powers; typically those communities with a stronger local nationalism have more powers; this type of devolution has been called asymmetrical. Some scholars have referred to the resulting system as a federal system in all but name, or a "federation without federalism".[6]There are 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities that are collectively known as "autonomies".[i] The two autonomous cities have the right to become autonomous communities, but neither has yet exercised it. This unique framework of territorial administration is known as the "State of Autonomies".[ii]

The autonomous communities are governed according to the constitution and their own organic laws known as Statutes of Autonomy,[iii] which contain all the competences that they assume. Since devolution was intended to be asymmetrical in nature,[7] the scope of competences vary for each community, but all have the same parliamentary structure.[1]

Autonomous communities

Flag Autonomous
community
Capital President Area (km²) Population (2016) Density (/km²) GDP per capita (euros) Status
Andalusia Seville Susana Díaz (PSOE) 87,268 8,388,107 96 16,960 Nationality
Catalonia Barcelona Quim Torra (JxCat) 32,114 7,522,596 234 27,248 Nationality
Flag of the Community of Madrid.svg Community of Madrid Madrid Ángel Garrido (PP) 8,028 6,466,996 609 29,385 Region
Valencian Community Valencia Ximo Puig (PSOE) 23,255 4,959,968 210 19,964 Nationality
Galicia Santiago de Compostela Alberto Núñez Feijóo (PP) 29,574 2,718,525 92 20,723 Nationality
Castile and León Valladolid
(Only seat of the institutions, but not officially capital)
Juan Vicente Herrera (PP) 94,223 2,447,519 26 22,289 Historical region
Basque Country Vitoria-Gasteiz
(Only seat of the institutions, but not officially capital)
Iñigo Urkullu (PNV) 7,234 2,189,534 300 30,829 Nationality
Castilla-La Mancha Toledo Emiliano García-Page (PSOE) 79,463 2,041,631 26 17,698 Region
Canary Islands Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas Fernando Clavijo (CC) 7,447 2,101,924 280 19,568 Nationality
Region of Murcia Murcia Fernando López Miras (PP) 11,313 1,464,847 129 18,520 Region
Aragon Zaragoza Javier Lambán (PSOE) 47,719 1,308,563 27 25,540 Nationality
Extremadura Mérida Guillermo Fernández Vara (PSOE) 41,634 1,087,778 26 15,394 Region
Balearic Islands Palma Francina Armengol (PSOE) 4,992 1,107,220 220 24,393 Nationality
Asturias Oviedo Javier Fernández (PSOE) 10,604 1,042,608 98 21,035 Historical region
Navarre Pamplona Uxue Barkos (Geroa Bai) 10,391 640,647 62 29,071 Nationality
Cantabria Santander Miguel Ángel Revilla (PRC) 5,321 582,206 109 22,341 Historical region
La Rioja Logroño José Ignacio Ceniceros (PP) 5,045 315,794 63 25,508 Region

Autonomous cities

Coat of arms Autonomous city Mayor-President Area (km²) Population (2016) Density (/km²) GDP per capita
(euros)
Ceuta Ceuta Juan Jesús Vivas (PP) 18.5 84,519 4,500 19,335
Melilla Melilla Juan José Imbroda (PP) 12.3 86,026 6,380 16,981
Other Languages
Bân-lâm-gú: Chū-tī siā-lí
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Аўтаномныя супольнасьці Гішпаніі
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Ispaniya avtonomiyalari
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Španske autonomne pokrajine
West-Vlams: Regio (Spanje)