Autonomous communities of Spain

Autonomous communities
Category Autonomous administrative division
Location Spain
Created by Spanish Constitution of 1978
Created 1979–1983
Number 17 (+2 autonomous cities)
Populations Autonomous communities:
321,171 ( La Rioja) – 8,415,490 ( Andalusia)
Autonomous cities:
81,323 ( Melilla), 83,517 ( Ceuta)
Areas Autonomous communities:
94,223 km2 (36,380 sq mi) ( Castile and León) – 1,927 km2 (744 sq mi) ( Balearic Islands)
Autonomous cities:
4.7 km2 (1.8 sq mi) ( Melilla), 7.1 km2 (2.7 sq mi) ( Ceuta)
Government Autonomous government
Subdivisions Province

In Spain, an autonomous community ( Spanish: comunidad autónoma, Basque: autonomia erkidegoa, Catalan: comunitat autònoma, Galician: comunidade autónoma) [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 asymmetrically 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] 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 used this right. 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
Capital President Image Area (km²) Population (2016) GDP per capita ( euros) Status
Andalusia Seville Susana Díaz ( PSOE) Susana Díaz 2015c (cropped).jpg 87,268 8,388,107 16,960 Nationality
Catalonia Barcelona TBD 32,114 7,522,596 27,248 Nationality
Flag of the Community of Madrid.svg Community of Madrid Madrid Cristina Cifuentes ( PP) Cristina Cifuentes 2015f (cropped).jpg 8,028 6,466,996 29,385 Region
Valencian Community Valencia Ximo Puig (PSOE) Ximo Puig 2015.jpg 23,255 4,959,968 19,964 Nationality
Galicia Santiago de Compostela Alberto Núñez Feijóo (PP) Nuñezfeijoo.jpg 29,574 2,718,525 20,723 Nationality
Castile and León Valladolid
(Only seat of the institutions, but not officially capital)
Juan Vicente Herrera (PP) Juan Vicente Herrera 2014 (cropped).jpg 94,223 2,447,519 22,289 Historical region
Basque Country Vitoria-Gasteiz

(Only seat of the institutions, but not officially capital)

Iñigo Urkullu ( PNV) Iñigo Urkullu 2014 (cropped).jpg 7,234 2,189,534 30,829 Nationality
Castilla-La Mancha Toledo Emiliano García-Page (PSOE) Emiliano García-Page 2015 (cropped).jpg 79,463 2,041,631 17,698 Region
Canary Islands Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas (alternating) Fernando Clavijo ( CC) Fernando Clavijo Batlle (b).jpg 7,447 2,101,924 19,568 Nationality
Region of Murcia Murcia Fernando López Miras (PP) Fernando López Miras.png 11,313 1,464,847 18,520 Region
Aragon Zaragoza Javier Lambán (PSOE) Javier Lambán 2015b (cropped).jpg 47,719 1,308,563 25,540 Nationality
Extremadura Mérida Guillermo Fernández Vara (PSOE) Guillermo Fernández Vara 2015 (cropped).jpg 41,634 1,087,778 15,394 Region
Balearic Islands Palma Francina Armengol (PSOE) Francina Armengol 2.jpg 4,992 1,107,220 24,393 Nationality
Asturias Oviedo Javier Fernández (PSOE) Javier Fernández Fernández 2012 (cropped).jpg 10,604 1,042,608 21,035 Historical region
Navarre Pamplona Uxue Barkos ( Geroa Bai) El lehendakari y la presidenta de Navarra firman un Protocolo de Colaboración entre ambas comunidades (cropped).jpg 10,391 640,647 29,071 Nationality
Cantabria Santander Miguel Ángel Revilla ( PRC) Miguel Ángel Revilla (cropped).jpg 5,321 582,206 22,341 Historical region
La Rioja Logroño José Ignacio Ceniceros (PP) Jose Ignacio Ceniceros Gonzalez.png 5,045 315,794 25,508 Region

Autonomous cities

Coat of arms Autonomous city Mayor-President Image Area (km²) Population (2016) GDP per capita
( euros)
Arms of Ceuta.svg Ceuta Juan Jesús Vivas (PP) Juan Jesús Vivas en la Convención Nacional del Partido Popular (enero de 2011).jpg 18.5 84,519 19,335
Arms of Melilla.svg Melilla Juan José Imbroda (PP) Juan José Imbroda (2011).jpg 12.3 86,026 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)