|Official Country Name:||Principality of Andorra|
|Language(s):||Catalan, French, Castilian|
Andorra, located between France and Spain on the southern slope of the Pyrenees Mountains, is one of Europe's smallest countries. This landlocked country houses a population of approximately 66,000 in an area about two and one half times the size of Washington, DC. The population is 43 percent Spanish, 33 percent Andorran, and 24 percent other ethnic groups. The official language is Catalan, but French and Spanish are also spoken. The Roman Catholic Church is the predominant religious institution. Andorra has a 100 percent literacy rate, an average life expectancy of almost 84 years, a negligible unemployment rate, and no income tax. The country has become prosperous since World War II.
Formal education for Andorran students begins at age 6 and is free and compulsory until age 16. Students attend six years of primary school and four years of secondary school. Instruction is provided in Catalan-, French-, and Spanish-language schools. About 50 percent of the students attend the French-speaking schools and the other 50 percent attend the Spanish or Catalan schools.
Most teachers in Andorra are paid by Spain or France, but the schools are built and maintained by the Andorran government. In 1999, about 15.5 percent of the total government expenditure was allocated to education, youth, and sports.
In 1997-1998, an enrollment of 9,272 students attended Andorra's primary and secondary schools; an additional 1,217 students were enrolled in higher education. Although most higher education is completed in other countries, Andorra does have two graduate schools for nursing and computer science programs.
The number of schools and the percent of the budget spent on education seem to indicate Andorra's interest in the future of its children. With continued emphasis on educational development, Andorra will provide well for the education of its students.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The World Factbook 2000. Directorate of Intelligence, 1 January 2000. Available from http://www.cia.gov/.
The Europa World Year Book 2000. London: Europa Publications Limited, 2001.
—Linda K. Clemmer
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