Ceuta (-esˈθeuta) is an 18.5 km2 autonomous city of Spain and an exclave located on the north coast of North Africa surrounded by Morocco. Separated from the Iberian peninsula by the Strait of Gibraltar, Ceuta lies on the border of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Ceuta along with the other Spanish exclave Melilla are the only Spanish territories located in mainland Africa. It was regarded as a part of Cadiz province prior to 14 March 1995, when the city's Statute of Autonomy was passed.
Ceuta (like Melilla) was a free port before Spain joined the European Union. As of 2008, it has a population of 75,276. Its population consists of Christians, Muslims (chiefly Moroccan Arabic speakers), and small minorities of Jews and Hindus. Spanish is the official language.
Morocco had previously called for negotiations on the future of Ceuta, Melilla and a number of Mediterranean islands and enclaves which border it. The majority of the city's population are ethnic Spanish who are opposed to the idea of being ruled by Morocco. A poll conducted by Instituto Opina found that 87.9% of people from mainland Spain consider the two cities to be Spanish.