Several geographic and climatic factors combined to make Spain one of the European countries with a rich natural heritage. Its geographical situation of transition between continents and seas conditions the existence of types of ecosystems and organisms very different.
The mainly mountainous and semi-arid land of Spain is home to over 5,000 species of plants. Forests cover 28.8 % (2000) of the country, although these figures include formations of pine and eucalyptus trees for soil stabilization or to use its pulp used in papermaking.
At present, the economy of many countries of the world is characterized by a strong growth of the tourism sector. The well-being of the population, the increase of free time and the development of transport are the causes that stimulate many people to travel.
Although, as in other physical or biogeographic aspects, heterogeneity is what predominates in Spanish soils in general they are not usually the most appropriate fit for agricultural use and need careful cultivation and irrigation systems.
The country has many mineral resources, particularly cobalt, copper, iron ore, lead, coal, lignite, manganese, mercury, potassium, tungsten, kaolin, gypsum, salt, silver, sulfur, tin and zinc; also it has small amounts of natural gas and oil.
In the last 60 years Spain has undergone more social change than anywhere else in western Europe. Until the 1950s, Spain was predominantly a poor, rural country, in which only 37 per cent of the population lived in towns of over 10,000 people.