Andorra is a small country located in Southwestern Europe and is bordered by France and Spain. The country is officially known as the Principality of Andorra and is governed through a co-principality framework where the Bishop of Urgell and the President of France act as its co-princes. Here are some facts few people know about the small nation.
Fun Facts about Andorra
- Established in 1419, the Andorran Parliament, known as the Consell General, is the oldest in the world.
- Nature occupies 90% of the country’s land area, as only 4% of Andorra is used for human habitation.
- One can easily cross the entire country by foot through following the Gran Recorrido Pais trail.
- Andorra has the largest skiable area in Southern Europe with over 180 miles of snow-laden slopes.
- The high life expectancy in Andorra of 81 years ranks fifth in the world.
- Coma Pedrosa is the highest peak in Andorra, rising 9,652 feet above sea level.
- Andorra has the highest concentration of museums in the world with 20 museums within its 180-square-mile area.
- Andorra le Vella is the capital city of Andorra and is also the country’s largest city.
- Andorra le Vella is the highest capital city in Europe with an altitude of 3,356 feet.
- Andorra was established as a Principality in 1278.
- Most Andorran citizens are trilingual and can communicate in Catalan, Spanish, and French.
- About 10% of the country’s land area has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Andorra is a key tourist destination attracting over 10 million tourists each year.
- Tourism is the country’s biggest GDP contributor, accounting for 80% of Andorra’s GDP.
- Andorra’s relaxed tax laws make it a tax haven attracting many foreign companies.
- The unemployment rate in Andorra is one of the lowest in the world with the rate being at only 0.35% as of December 2016.
- Despite its small size, Andorra has the ninth largest GDP per capita in the world.
- Andorra is one of the few countries in the world with neither an official military nor a ministry of defense.
- However, the country does have a ceremonial army made up of 12 male volunteers.
- The primary role of the ceremonial army is the presentation of the Andorran flag during ceremonies.
- The responsibility of Andorra’s defense lies with Spain and France.
- The eldest non-disabled adult man from each household in Andorra is required by law to carry a firearm.
- The country is landlocked and hence has no navy.
- Despite not having a military, Andorra was passively involved in World War I when it declared war on Germany.
- Andorra remained as the longest combatant in World War I, as it officially ended its conflict with Germany in 1958.
- Andorra was not included during the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which officially ended World War I.
- Andorra maintained neutrality during World War II.
- The country has a small, well-equipped police force made up of 240 officers.
- Andorra has existed in relative isolation throughout its history and only modernized its political system in 1993.
- While Andorra is not an official member state of the European Union, the country uses the euro as its official currency.
- Christianity is the most popular religion in Andorra, with 88.2% of its population identifying as Roman Catholic.
- Education is a mandatory requirement in Andorra with the government funding education from kindergarten until the secondary level.
- Andorra has only one university, which is the state-funded Universitat d’Andorra.
- Andorra is rated among one of the safest nations in the world with almost no records of car theft, pickpocketing, and disorderly behavior incidents.
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