Alicante is a city and port in Spain on the Costa Blanca, the capital of the province of Alicante and the comarca of Alacantí, in the south of the Valencian Community. It is also a historic Mediterranean port. The population of the city was 330,525, estimated as of 2016, ranking as the second-largest Valencian city. Including nearby municipalities, the Alicante conurbation had 452,462 residents. The population of the metropolitan area was 757,085 as of 2014 estimates, ranking as the eighth-largest metropolitan area of Spain.
Until the global recession which started in 2008, Alicante was one of the fastest-growing cities in Spain. The boom depended partly on tourism directed to the beaches of the Costa Blanca and particularly on the second residence-construction boom which started in the 1960s and revived again by the late 1990s. Services and public administration also play a significant role in the city’s economy. The construction boom has raised many environmental concerns, and both the local autonomous government and city council are under scrutiny by the European Union. The construction surge was the subject of hot debates among politicians and citizens alike. Alicante enjoys mild winter temperatures, hot summers and little rain, concentrated in equinoctial periods.
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