Catalonia (in Catalan, Catalunya; Aranese, Catalonha) is a Spanish autonomous community considered historical nationality, 3 located northeast of the Iberian Peninsula. It occupies an area of about 32,000 square kilo meters bordered on the north by France (Midi-Pyrenees and Languedoc-Roussillon) and Andorra, on the east by the Mediterranean sea along a coastal strip of about 580 kilometers, south to Valencia ( Castellón), and west with Aragon (Huesca, Zaragoza and Teruel). This strategic location has favored a very intense relationship with the territories of the Mediterranean and continental Europe. Catalonia is formed by the provinces of Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona. Its capital is the city of Barcelona.
In Catalonia 7504881 people4 currently living in a total of 946 municipalities of which 63 exceed 20,000 (in which lives 70 percent of the Catalan population). Two thirds of the population lives in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. Is a very dense and highly industrialized territory, leading the sector in Spain since the nineteenth century and its economy is the most important among the autonomous communities, generating 18.6% of Spanish GDP, 2 although according to an independent report from INE during 2009 for the first time was ranked second with a GDP of 210,853.1 million euros, following the Community Madrid.5 6 with respect to per capita GDP, is in fourth place after the Basque Country, the Community Madrid and Navarra. Its history and language are, for many of its inhabitants, the basis of their collective identity.
According to the Valencian Institute of Economic Research 2007, its human development index (0.958) 7 is the 8th largest in Spain, behind the autonomous community of La Rioja, and ahead of Asturias.
Barcelona is a Spanish city, capital of the province and the autonomous community of Catalonia. With a population of 1,620,943 inhabitants in 20124 is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the eleventh of the European Union. The metropolitan area of Barcelona, included in the urban region of Barcelona, has 5,029,181 inhabitants (2011), making it the sixth most populous of the Union Europea.5
Located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, just 120 km south of the mountain range of the Pyrenees and the border with France, in a small coastal plain bounded by the sea to the east, the Sierra de Collserola west, the Llobregat river Besos river south and north. Having been the capital of the Barcelona County is often referred to it with the name of Ciudad Condal.
Barcelona has been the scene of many world events that have helped shape the city and give international exposure. The most important have been the Universal Exhibition of 1888, the International Exhibition of 1929, the Summer Olympics of 1992 and the Universal Forum of Cultures 2004. It also hosts the secretariat of the Union for the Mediterráneo.6
Today, Barcelona is recognized as a global city for its cultural, financial, commercial and tourist importance. It has one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean and is also an important communications point between Spain and France, due to motorway connections and high-speed train. Barcelona airport was used by more than 35 million passengers in 2012..