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Main languages: Andorran (Catalan), Spanish (Castilian) 

Main religions: Roman Catholicism 

Andorra’s population includes Andorrans 36,526 (45.5 per cent), Spanish 21,348  (26.6 per cent), Portuguese 10,352 (12.9 per cent) and French 4,200 (5.2 per cent) (Andorra Statistics, 2017). There are also smaller numbers of British, Dutch, Germans, Italians and other Europeans, as well as Argentinians, Chileans, Indians, Moroccans and Uruguayans.   

Most Spanish and French in Andorra are wealthy tax exiles. The population also includes nationals of Argentina, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Morocco, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The Andorran language is related to Catalan. Despite the existence of a government linguistic advice service, new forms of leisure and around 8 million tourists annually are eroding both language and tradition. 

 

Updated May 2020

With a population of just 80,000, Andorra is one of the smallest countries in the world. Bordered by France and Spain, Andorrans make up less than half of the total population, with sizeable Spanish, Portuguese and French communities. The majority are wealthy tax exiles. The official language is Catalan.  

While Andorra has strengthened its anti-discrimination policies and developed an educational programme to tackle racism, homophobia and transphobia in schools, with the aim of combatting prejudice, a comprehensive anti-discrimination legal framework is not yet in place. A 2017 report by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance highlighted the need for a dedicated anti-discrimination body to address racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance. The Ombudsman has a limited mandate without powers to address discrimination in the private sector; the office also lacks explicit authority to tackle racial discrimination or homo/transphobia.  

Andorra is not a signatory to several key human rights treaties, including the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. Consequently, it has no formal policy on asylum seekers and refugees, whose limited intake it manages on a case by case basis. UNHCR reported in January 2013 that the country hosted just seven refugees, and numbers do not appear to have increased since then.    

 

Updated May 2020

Environment

The Principality of Andorra is a tiny state located in the eastern Pyrenees between France and Spain.

History

From 1278 to 1993 Andorra was a co-principality, its joint sovereigns being the French head of state and the bishop of the nearby Spanish town of Seu d’Urgell. Andorra’s new Constitution of 1993 gave it independence but allowed the co-princes a veto over treaties affecting borders and security.

Governance

It is extremely difficult to gain Andorran citizenship, although the 1995 Law on Nationality is less restrictive than the 1939 law. The main means for foreign citizens to gain Andorran nationality are through marriage to an Andorran or by establishing their main residence in Andorra for 15 years, though members of the political opposition are developing legislation that would offer options for applicants to apply for citizenship sooner.  A major disincentive to acquiring Andorran nationality is that any other nationalities must be revoked. Applicants are also required to take an exam in the Catalan language. A reform reducing the number of years before foreigners can qualify for nationality is being drafted. 

Foreigners cannot vote, own businesses, or join unions or political parties. 

In 2002 the government adopted an immigration policy setting quotas and favouring Spanish and French immigrants, then those from other European Union countries, then those from the European Economic Area. In 2007 the government created an interministerial committee to ensure the welfare of five Eritreans who were given safe haven for 90 days and the option of seeking asylum. The committee oversees any further permissions for refugees to enter the country. Nevertheless, Andorra is still not a signatory to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. While its special relationship with the EU (it is not a full member) has meant the country has offered to cooperate with the EU on its common policy, the number of refugees it has committed to hosting remains minimal. 

There is prejudice against Portuguese, and Arab residents and migrants. 

 

Updated May 2020

Minority based and advocacy organisations

Sources and further reading