Catalonia is an autonomous community of Spain, with the official status of a nationality. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the center of one of the largest metropolitan areas in Europe. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an official population of 7,535,251.
It comprises the larger part of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia, with the remainder of the historic Catalan region now part of southern France. Catalonia borders France and Andorra to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the east (580 km coastline). The neighbouring Spanish regions of Aragon and the Valencian Community lie to the west and south respectively. The official languages are Catalan, Spanish, and Aranese, Catalan Sign Language is also officially recognised. The Catalan government intends to hold a referendum on independence from Spain in 2014