Economy of Andorra
|EU customs union|
|GDP||$3.163 billion (PPP, 2012 est.)|
|GDP rank||180th (PPP, 2012 est.)|
|-1.6% (Real, 2012 est.)|
GDP per capita
|$37,200 (PPP, 2012 est.)|
GDP by sector
|agriculture 14%, industry 79%, services 6% (2011 est.)|
|1.1% (CPI, 2012 est.)|
Population below poverty line
Labour force by occupation
|agriculture 0.4%, industry 4.7%, services 94.9% (2010)|
|Unemployment||2.9% (2012 est.)|
|tourism (particularly skiing), cattle raising, timber, banking, tobacco, furniture|
|Exports||$70 million (2012)|
|tobacco products, furniture|
Main export partners
|France 34%, Spain 58% (1998)|
|Imports||$1.43 billion (2012)|
|consumer goods, food, electricity|
Main import partners
|Spain 51.5%, France 22.3%, US 0.3% (2003)|
|Revenues||$403 million (2011)|
|Expenses||$470 million (2011)|
|Economic aid||no data|
AAA (T&C Assessment)
(Standard & Poor's)
Andorra's GDP in 2007 was $3.66 billion (CIA), with tourism as its principal component. Attractive for shoppers from France and Spain as a free port, the country also has developed active summer and winter tourist resorts. With some 270 hotels and 400 restaurants, as well as many shops, the tourist trade employs a growing portion of the domestic labour force. An estimated 13 million tourists visit annually.
There is a fairly active trade in consumer goods, including imported manufactured items, which, because they are duty-free, are less expensive in Andorra than in neighboring countries. Andorra's duty-free status also has had a significant effect on the controversy concerning its relationship with the European Union. Its negotiations on duty-free status and relationship with the Union began in 1987, soon after Spain joined. An agreement that went into effect in July 1991 sets duty-free quotas and places limits on certain items--mainly milk products, tobacco, and alcoholic beverages. Andorra is permitted to maintain price differences from other EU countries, and visitors enjoy limited duty-free allowances.
The results of Andorra's elections thus far indicate that many support the government's reform initiatives and believe Andorra must, to some degree, integrate into the European Union in order to continue to enjoy its prosperity. Although less than 2% of the land is arable, agriculture was the mainstay of the Andorran economy until the upsurge in tourism. Sheep raising has been the principal agricultural activity, but tobacco growing is lucrative. Most of Andorra's food is imported.
In addition to handicrafts, manufacturing includes cigars, cigarettes, and furniture for domestic and export markets. A hydroelectric plant at Les Escaldes, with a capacity of 26.5 megawatts, provides 40% of Andorra's electricity; Spain provides the rest.
Tourism, the mainstay of Andorra's tiny, well-to-do economy, accounts for roughly 80% of GDP. An estimated 9 million tourists visit annually, attracted by Andorra's duty-free status and by its summer and winter resorts. Andorra's comparative advantage has recently eroded as the economies of neighboring France and Spain have been opened up, providing broader availability of goods and lower tariffs. The banking sector, with its "tax haven" status, also contributes substantially to the economy. Agricultural production is limited by a scarcity of arable land, and most food has to be imported. The principal livestock activity is sheep raising. Manufacturing consists mainly of cigarettes, cigars, and furniture. Andorra is a member of the EU Customs Union and is treated as an EU member for trade in manufactured goods (no tariffs) and as a non-EU member for agricultural products.
Because of Andorra’s mountainous character, only about 2% of the land is suitable for crops. However, until the tourism sector in Andorra experienced an upsurge, agriculture had been the mainstay of the economy. Hay, tobacco, and vegetables must be irrigated; cereals, mainly rye and barley, are dry-cropped. Most of the cropped land is devoted to hay production for animal feed. Since there is insufficient sunlight on northward-facing slopes and the lands in shadow are too cold for most crops, some southward-facing fields high in the mountains must be used even though they are a considerable distance from the farmers’ homes.
Tobacco, the most distinctive Andorran crop, is grown on the best lands. Andorran tobacco is usually mixed with eastern tobaccos, because of its strong quality. Other farm products include cereals, potatoes, and garden vegetables. Grapes are used mainly for raisins and for the making of anisette. The lack of modern methods on Andorra’s family farms is causing the agricultural sector to decrease in importance. Most food is now imported.
For many centuries, until eclipsed by tourism and other service industries, sheep raising was the basis of Andorra’s economy. Andorran mules are still greatly prized. Cattle, sheep, and goats are raised both in the valleys and in some of the higher areas. Cattle are raised mainly for their meat, and there are few dairy cows. When the cattle move upward in the spring, entire families move to temporary villages in the mountains to herd, mow, and plant. Large droves of sheep and goats from France and Spain feed in Andorra in the summer, and the Spanish-owned animals in particular are looked after by Andorran shepherds. On their way back to their native land, many of the animals are sold at annual fairs; the Spanish fairs are usually held in Andorra in September and the French in November. Andorra’s own animal fairs are also held in the fall.
Livestock includes an estimated 9,000 sheep, 1,100 cattle, and 200 horses. Meat production has increased in recent years, but imports account for about 90% of total meat consumption. The milk produced is sufficient for domestic consumption, and some milk has been exported to Spain.
The streams are full of trout and other freshwater fish, but Andorra imports most fish for domestic consumption from Spain.
About 25,000 acres (100 km2), or 22% of the total land area, is forested. Fuel wood may be freely gathered by anyone, but it may not be bought or sold. Wood needed for building purposes is cut in rotation from a different district each year. For centuries logs have been shipped to Spain. Most reforestation is in pines.
For hundreds of years, Andorran forges were famous in northern Spain. There are still iron ore deposits in the valley of Ordino and in many of the mountain areas, but access to them is difficult. In addition to iron, small amounts of lead are still mined, and alum and building stones are extracted. The sulfurous waters of Les Escaldes are used in washing wool.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $3.66 billion (2007)
country comparison to the world: 168
GDP - real growth rate: 2% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $42,500 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 15
GDP - composition by sector:
Population below poverty line: N/A
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.9% (2007)
country comparison to the world: 59
Labor force: 42,230 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 185
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 0.3%, industry 20.8%, services 79% (2007)
Unemployment rate: 2.9%
country comparison to the world: 1
revenues: $496.9 million
expenditures: $496.8 million (2007)
Industries: tourism (particularly skiing), cattle raising, timber, banking, tobacco, furniture
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity - production: N/A GWh
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 0%
other: 60% imported from Spain
Electricity - consumption: NA kWh (2007)
Electricity - exports: NA kWh (2007)
Electricity - imports: NA kWh; note - imports electricity from Spain and France; Andorra generates a small amount of hydropower
Agriculture - products: small quantities of rye, wheat, barley, oats, vegetables; sheep
Exports: $117.1 million f.o.b. (2007)
country comparison to the world: 193
Exports - commodities: tobacco products, furniture
Exports - partners: France 17%, Spain 59.5% (2006)
Imports: $1.789 billion (2007)
country comparison to the world: 154
Imports - commodities: consumer goods, food, electricity
Imports - partners: Spain 53,2%, France 21,1% (2006)
Debt - external: $NA
Economic aid - recipient: none
Currency: Euros have replaced the French franc and the Spanish peseta.
Exchange rates: euros per US dollar - 0.6827 (2008), 0.7306 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1,1175 (2001), 0,9867 (January 2000), 0,9386 (1999)
Fiscal year: calendar year
- "Sovereigns rating list". Standard & Poor's. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State (Background Notes).