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The populations least likely to feel Spanish are Catalans and Basques, although these large, complex regional populations are by no means unanimous in their views.The Basque language is unrelated to any living language or known extinct ones; this fact is the principal touchstone of a Basque sense of separateness.
Throughout rural Spain, despite the strength of localism, there is also a perception of shared culture in rural zones called comarcas.
Perhaps because of this power, Cataluña has suffered longer from periodic repression at the hands of the central Castilian state than has any other of modern Spain's regions; this underlies a separatist movement of note in contemporary Cataluña.
The state now known as Spanish has long been dominated by Castile, the region that covers much of the Spanish meseta and the marriage of whose future queen, Isabel, to Fernando of Aragón in 1469 brought about the consolidation of powers that underlay the development of modern Spain.
The Puerta del Sol is at kilometer zero for Spain's road system. Spain's population of 39,852,651 in early 1999 represented a slight decline from levels earlier in the decade.
The population had increased significantly in every previous decade of the twentieth century, rising from under nineteen million in 1900.