Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, in Castilian Spain, is a country in Southern Europe and, according to the definitions of the West, which occupies most of the Iberian Peninsula. In 2015, there were 46 million inhabitants, making it the twenty-eighth country in the world in terms of population. Spain is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south and east, with the exception of the British territory of Gibraltar and the Strait of the same name which separates the continent of Africa. To the north, the Pyrenees form a natural border with France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay. Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean bordering the west and northwest. Spanish territory also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast, and two autonomous cities in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla neighboring Morocco. With an area of 504,030 km², Spain is the largest country in Western Europe and the European Union after France and the third in Europe behind Ukraine and France besides the European part (as defined) of Russia. Because of its location, the territory of Spain was subject to many external influences, often simultaneously, since prehistoric times until the birth of Spain as a country. Conversely, the country itself has been an important source of inspiration for other regions, especially during the modern era, when it became a colonial empire that has left a legacy of over 400 million Spanish speakers this day. Spain as a country was born from the dynastic union in the fifteenth century of two sovereign states, the Crowns of Castile and Aragon - themselves built throughout the Middle Ages by the union or the conquest of political, cultural and linguistic entities originally distinct, which are found in many historical nationalities recognized by the present Constitution of the Spanish State - and absorption in 1492 of the Kingdom of Granada in 1512 and the Iberian part of the Kingdom of Navarre . This set becomes a unitary state in 1715-1716 by the dissolution of the two Crowns in application of Nueva Planta decrees. The Spanish Catholic Monarchy, which then has a vast colonial empire, is the fifteenth to the early seventeenth century, a great political and economic power. She especially knows an important cultural influence throughout Europe during the Spanish Golden Age (sixteenth century-seventeenth century). The Spanish influence declines thereafter, particularly throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century with the loss of its colonies, the rise of nationalism and the multiplication of political crises, economic and social culminating in the Civil War 1936-1939 followed by a long period of Franco's dictatorship, conservative, militaristic and national Catholic from 1939 to 1975. Following the transition to democracy open to the death of Francisco Franco in 1975 and the cultural movement that accompanied the Movida, Spain became a constitutional monarchy to parliamentary democracy. It is a developed country with the ninth largest world economy by nominal GDP (twelfth in purchasing power parity), and a standard of living "very high" (23rd in the HDI ranking in 2012). It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, Latin Union, NATO, OECD and WTO.