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The territory and its people

Physical and human environment

Mapa de situación

Navarre enjoys a privileged setting on the Atlantic Seaboard.

Navarre, the Comunidad Foral de Navarra, is situated in the North of Spain, at the western end of the Pyrenees, where it shares a 163-kilometre stretch of frontier with France. It has a land area of 10,391.08 square kilometres and is bordered, to the east, by Aragon -its provinces of Huesca and Zaragoza- to the south by Aragon and La Rioja, and to the northwest by the Basque Autonomous Community -Alava and Guipuzcoa -.

The vast range of terrains, climates and peoples in Navarre is traditionally grouped into three regions arranged from North to South: the Mountains (Montaña), the Middle Area (Zona Media) and the Ribera, on the banks of the Ebro River. Yet as this division is insufficient to cater for all the existing variations, these three divisions are, in turn, divided into districts (comarcas).

Accordingly, the Mountains consist of the humid Navarre Húmeda, the valleys of the Valles Pirenaicos and the river basins of the Cuencas Prepirenaicas; the Middle Area around Estella is called Tierra Estella and the eastern part is Navarre Media Oriental; finally, the lands of the South, close to the Ebro, are divided into the Ribera Estellesa and Ribera Tudelana.


Navarre has half a million inhabitants.


The number of inhabitants has risen from 307,000 in 1900 to 640,000 currently and the density has grown from 29 inhabitants per square kilometre to 55. The population growth in Navarre has been below the Spanish average and density continues to be low.

The growth of district administrative centres, and especially of Pamplona and its metropolitan areas, has evolved at the expense of draining population from areas in which small rural hamlets prevail.

The Valles Pirenaicos, Tierra Estella and Navarre Media Oriental have been losing inhabitants since the beginning of the 20th century; this also applies, albeit to a more moderate extent, to the Navarre Húmeda, and growth has only been recorded in both Riberas and in the Pamplona basin, which concentrates the majority of the population of Navarre.

In terms of municipalities, 42.3% of the population of Navarre live in cities of more than 20,000 inhabitants, namely Pamplona, Tudela and Barañain, 39.2% in towns of between 2,000 and 20,000 inhabitants and 18.5% live in villages of fewer than 2,000 people.

In recent years, as has occurred in Spain as a whole, Navarre has become a receiving region for a migrant population. In total, it is estimated that nearly 20,000 people have arrived from developing countries. The greater part of this migrant influx has settled in the district of Pamplona and the remainder is distributed throughout Navarre, although to a greater extent in the southern third of the community.

Government of Navarre

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