Andalusian people

Andalusian people

ethnic group

caption = Some notable Andalusians: 'Pablo Picasso' 'Juan Ramón Jiménez' 'Diego Velázquez'
8.5 million (est)
*flag|Andalusia: 6,832,933 (2006) [Source: Instituto Andaluz de Estadística (IAE), excluding anyone born outside Andalusia]
*Catalonia: 754,174 (2006) [ Source: Consejería de Gobernación, Junta de Andalucía (Andalusian Autonomous Government)]
*Madrid: 285,164 (2006) ["Ibid"]
*Valencia: 218,440 (2006) ["Ibid"]
*Basque Country: 46,441 (1991) [ Recaño Valverde , Joaquín (1998): "La emigración andaluza en España" in "Boletín Económico de Andalucía", issue 24]
*Balearics: 71,940 (1991) [Recaño Valverde , Joaquín: "Ibid"]
*Murcia: 36,278 (1991) [Recaño Valverde , Joaquín: "Ibid"]
*Rest of Spain: 162,333 (1991) [Recaño Valverde , Joaquín: "Ibid"] flag|France: 31,516 (2006) [Consejería de Gobernación]
flag|Cuba: 23,185 (2006) [Consejería de Gobernación]
flag|Germany: 22,784 (2206) [Consejería de Gobernación]
flag|Argentina: 20,385 (2006) [Consejería de Gobernación]

Rest of the world: 50,000 (est) [,19057,5263732_17010963,00.html?fpChannel=17010963 Dirección General de Andaluces en el Exterior, Junta de Andalucía]
langs=Spanish language (Andalusian Spanish)
rels=Predominantly Roman Catholic.
The Andalusians are an ethnic group or nation in Spain centered in Andalusia. They are generally not considered an ethnically distinct people because they lack two of the most important markers of distinctiveness: their own language and an awareness of a presumed common origin, although the latter is debatable. Nonetheless, Andalusians do have a distinct Andalusian dialect. Andalusians have a rich culture which includes the famous flamenco style of music and dance. Andalusia's own statute of autonomy identifies the region as an "historic nationality" grants it a high level of devolved political power.

Geographical location and population

Andalusian people live mainly in Spain's eight southernmost provinces: Almería, Cádiz, Cordoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga, and Seville, which all are part of the region and modern Autonomous Community of Andalusia. In January 2006 the total population of this region stood at 7,849,799. [ INSTITUTO DE ESTADISTICA DE ANDALUCÍA (2006): "Andalucía. Datos básicos 2006". Consejería de Economía y Hacienda, Junta de Andalucía. Page 13] In comparison with the rest of Spain, Andalusia population growth has been slower and it continues to be sparsely populated in some rural areas (averaging just 84 inh. per km²). Since 1960, the region's share of total population has declined, despite birth rates being about 40 percent higher than the Spanish average during past decades (currently it is only a 13% higher ["Ibid"] ).

Between 1951 to 1975, over 1.7 million Andalusian people emigrated out of Andalusia to other areas of Spain. [Recaño Valverde, Joaquín: "Ibid"] This figure was approximately a 24% of the population of Andalusia as a whole, mostly hitting the countryside areas. The main receivers of this migration were Catalonia (989,256 people of Andalusian origin in 1975), Madrid (330,479) and Valencia (217,636), and to a lesser level, the Basque Country and Balearics.

During 1962 to 1974, around 700,000 Andalusians —almost all of them male, aged 15 to 44— moved abroad for economic reasons, mainly originating from the provinces of Granada, Jaén and Córdoba. Their preferred destination were countries as France, West Germany and Switzerland, followed by the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Belgium. There are no official recorded figures for previous decades. [ "El boom migratorio exterior"]

Previously Andalusia has also experienced similar migratory trends: During the 17th century a sizeable (Morisco) Muslim Andalusian community moved to Tunisia after being forcibly expelled, mainly around the Northern shores of the country and the old city of Carthage today a suburb of the Tunis. Today these communities still claim Andalusian heritage and bear Andalusian surnames. [Rivers, Susan T.: [ "Exiles From Andalusia"] , 'Saudi Aramco World'. Volume 42, Number 4, pp. 10-17.]

In South America in the last twenty years of 19th century, over 150,000 Andalusians emigrated to the Americas as a result of crop failures caused by the Phylloxera plague. [De Mateo Aviles, Elias (1993): "La Emigración Andaluza a América (1850-1936)". Editorial Arguval. Málaga, Spain] Many Andalusian peasants moved to Brazil to work in the coffee plantations, mainly in rural areas of São Paulo State.


Most descriptions of Andalusia begin with the landownership system, as the most powerful forces in the region have for centuries been the owners of the large estates, called "latifundios". These wide expanses of land have their origins in landowning patterns that stretch back to Roman times; in grants of land made to the nobility, to the military orders, and to the church during the Reconquest ("Reconquista"); and in laws of the nineteenth century by which church and common lands were sold in large tracts to the urban middle class. The workers of this land, called "jornaleros" (peasants without land) , were themselves landless.

This economic and cultural system produced a distinctive perspective, involving class consciousness and class conflicts as well as significant emigration. In contrast to the much smaller farm towns and villages of northern Spain, where the land was worked by its owners, class distinctions in the agro-towns of Andalusia stood out. The families of the landless farmers lived at, or near, the poverty level, and their relations with the landed gentry were marked by conflict, aggression, and hostility. The two main forces that kept Andalusia's rural society from flying apart were external. The first was the coercive power of the state, as exemplified by Spain's rural constabulary, the Civil Guard ("Guardia Civil"). The second was the opportunities to migrate to other parts of Spain, or to other countries in Western Europe. Some of this migration was seasonal; in 1972, for example, 80,000 farmers, mostly Andalusians, migrated to France for the wine harvest. Part of the migration consisted of entire families who intended to remain in their new home for longer periods, once the head of the family group had settled down.

ee also

* Andalusian cuisine
* Andalusian nationalism
* List of Andalusians
* Music of Andalusia
* Nationalities in Spain
* Spanish people



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