Catalonia, Spanish Cataluña, Catalan Catalunya, comunidad autónoma (autonomous community) and historic region of Spain, encompassing the northeastern provincias(provinces) of Girona, Barcelona, Tarragona, and Lleida. The autonomous community of Catalonia occupies a triangular area in the northeastern corner of Spain.
It is bordered by France and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, the autonomous community of Valencia to the south, and the autonomous community of Aragon to the west. The Pyrenees separate Catalonia from France, and to the west the pre-Pyrenees and the Ebro River basin mark the border with Aragon. To the southwest the Ebro basin gives way to coastal hills separating the Catalonian province of Tarragona from the Valencian province of Castellón.
The autonomous community of Catalonia was established by the statute of autonomy of December 18, 1979. The government consists of a Generalitat (an executive council headed by a president) and a unicameral parliament. The capital is Barcelona. Area 12,390 square miles (32,091 square km). Pop. (2011) 7,519,838; (2016 est.) 7,522,596.
The provinces of Tarragona, Barcelona, and Girona have a Mediterranean shoreline, and the low-lying Catalanides range separates the coastal plain from the Ebro river basin. The Catalanides have historically separated the industrial towns of the coast from the predominantly agricultural settlements of the hinterlands. North of the Catalanides is a high tableland that comprises most of Lleida province. The principal rivers in Catalonia are the Ter, Llobregat, and Ebro, all of which flow into the Mediterranean. A Mediterranean climate prevails throughout most of Catalonia, with hot, dry summers and mild, relatively rainy winters. The towns of the Catalan coast have dominated the development of the region, with the result that the population is heavily concentrated along the Mediterranean, increasingly depopulating the hinterland. In the 20th century there was additional concentration of population in the city of Barcelona and its satellite towns.
Catalonia’s traditional agriculture was centred on the production of wine, almonds, and olive oil for export, as well as rice, potatoes, and corn (maize) as staples. Slightly more than one-third of Catalonia remains under cultivation, and the traditional crops of olives and grapes are being supplanted by fruits and vegetables for consumption in the cities. The raising of pigs and cows is the dominant agricultural activity. Agriculture accounts for only a tiny fraction of Catalonia’s domestic product, however.
The autonomous community of Catalonia is the richest and most highly industrialized part of Spain. The Catalan textile industry first achieved prominence between 1283 and 1313 and long remained the region’s premier industry. The manufacturing sector underwent rapid expansion and diversification since the 1950s, however, and metalworking, food-processing, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries had overtaken textiles in importance by the 21st century. Textile, papermaking and graphic arts, chemicals, and metalworking industries are concentrated in Barcelona; Sabadell and Terrassa are also textile centres. One of Barcelona’s plants produces electric automobiles for Nissan. Catalonia’s growing demand for petroleum products led to the expansion of Tarragona’s petroleum refineries. Services, particularly those of tourism and transportation, are highly developed.
Catalonia is one of the 19 autonomous communities and cities of Spain. The Catalan Regional Government (Generalitat de Catalunya) has competences in matters such as Education, Housing (Shelter), Environment and Natural Spaces, Gender Policies, Health, Public Safety or Social Services, among others. The Ministry of the Vice-presidency and of the Economy and Finance, the Department of the Generalitat that is participating in this pilot project has competences in Public Finance, Statistics, Taxes, Economy or Treasury.
In 2016 the Parliament of Catalonia passed the Resolution 17 / XI which urged the Catalan Government to encourage the development of a study on the evolution of poverty and inequality of income and wealth and continue working on the indicators that should allow to prepare a report on the social progress of Catalonia. To fulfil this parliamentary will the Statistical Institute of Catalonia (Idescat) and Ministry of the Vice-presidency and of the Economy and Finance started the development of a set of indicators of welfare and social progress, available here: https://www.idescat.cat/pub/?id=indbps
It follows the following criteria:
- That it is relevant, accurate and reliable, and that it can be disseminated on time and on time every year.
- Be consistent or reconcilable, comparable between regions and countries, and accessible to users.
- That it is significant in relation to social welfare and progress unequivocally.
- To learn how the EU-SPI can help the government to prioritize the allocation of funds, and to track the results of Cohesion Policy investment in our region, considering that it measures non-monetary outputs.
- Sharing best practices and establishing collaboration amongst European regions.
- Increasing our knowledge about the EU-SPI and other Beyond GDP initiatives.