Castile-León (–lāōnˈ) [key], autonomous region (1990 pop. 2,330,333), N central Spain, encompassing the provinces of Valladolid, Burgos, León, Salamanca, Zamora, Palencia, and Segovia. It was established as an autonomous region in 1983. This region rests on the elevated central plateau and is traversed by the Douro river. Two of its provinces are close to the Portuguese border. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, consisting mostly of dry farming except in the irrigated lands of Valladolid and Léon. Crops include wheat, sugar beets, and potatoes. Animal husbandry is also important. Forestry is an industry found chiefly in the mountainous zones. The National Industrial Institute ( Instituto Nacional de Industria ) provided long-term loans and tax incentives in Valladolid in order to further industrialization there. About a quarter of the nation's hydroelectricity is generated in Salamanca and Zamona provinces. Residents of León, Zamora, and Salamanca speak the Leonese dialect. There is much migration from the region to the provincial capitals.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Spanish and Portuguese Political Geography