Castile-Leon

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Castile-León (–lāōn´), 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.

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Castile-León Region in n Spain; includes the provinces of Ávila, Burgos, León, Palencia, Salamanca, Segovia, Soria, Valladolid and Zamora; the capital is Valladolid. Formerly part of the kingdom of León, Castile and Aragón were united in 1479. Extreme climate and poor soil allow limited grain growing and sheep raising. Area: 94,147sq km (36,350sq mi). Pop. (1998) 2,484,683.