The Valencian Community, or simply Valencia, is an autonomous community of Spain, with nationality status. It is located in the central and south-eastern side of the Iberian Peninsula. The region is divided into three provinces (Alacant, Castelló and València), thirty four comarques (districts) and five hundred and forty-two municipalities. With around 5.1 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous Spanish autonomous community. Its capital and largest city is València, the third largest city in Spain.
The Valencian Community occupies a long and narrow area aligned on a rough north-south axis along the Mediterranean Sea, which lies to the east. Its borders largely reflect those of the historic Kingdom of Valencia. It is bounded by the autonomous communities of Catalonia to the north, Aragon to the northwest, Castile–La Mancha to the west, and Murcia to the south. The autonomous community of Valencia was established by the Statute of Autonomy of July 1, 1982. Its government consists of an executive council, headed by a president, and a unicameral legislative assembly.
Historically Valencian-speaking, the Valencian Community has seen a major shift to Spanish in the main cities during the last century. Today, although for the majority their language is Spanish, the region is officially bilingual. All road signs, street names, and many advertisements and services are shown in both languages. The Valencian Community is increasingly becoming multilingual with increasing numbers of migrants, expatriates and minority groups speaking their own languages.
Although contested by some groups, Valencian is officially regarded as a variety of Catalan with its own distinct and unique features. Valencian has its own written standard regulated by the Valencian Academy of the Language, and is well known for its long and own literary tradition dating back to the Middle Ages.