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Introduction :: Ecuador
Background:
What is now Ecuador formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the Spanish conquest in 1533. Quito became a seat of Spanish colonial government in 1563 and part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717. The territories of the Viceroyalty - New Granada (Colombia), Venezuela, and Quito - gained their independence between 1819 and 1822 and formed a federation known as Gran Colombia. When Quito withdrew in 1830, the traditional name was changed in favor of the "Republic of the Equator." Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999. Although Ecuador marked 30 years of civilian governance in 2004, the period has been marred by political instability. Protests in Quito contributed to the mid-term ouster of three of Ecuador's last four democratically elected Presidents. In September 2008, voters approved a new constitution; Ecuador's twentieth since gaining independence. General elections, under the new constitutional framework, were held in April 2009, and voters re-elected President Rafael CORREA.
Geography :: Ecuador
Location:
Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru
Geographic coordinates:
2 00 S, 77 30 W
Map references:
South America
Area:
total: 283,561 sq km
country comparison to the world: 73
land: 276,841 sq km
water: 6,720 sq km
note: includes Galapagos Islands
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Nevada
Land boundaries:
total: 2,010 km
border countries: Colombia 590 km, Peru 1,420 km
Coastline:
2,237 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 200 nm
continental shelf: 100 nm from 2,500-m isobath
Climate:
Current Weather
tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands
Terrain:
coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Chimborazo 6,267 m
note: due to the fact that the earth is not a perfect sphere and has an equatorial bulge, the highest point on the planet furthest from its center is Mount Chimborazo not Mount Everest, which is merely the highest peak above sea-level
Natural resources:
petroleum, fish, timber, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 5.71%
permanent crops: 4.81%
other: 89.48% (2005)
Irrigated land:
8,650 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
432 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 16.98 cu km/yr (12%/5%/82%)
per capita: 1,283 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
frequent earthquakes; landslides; volcanic activity; floods; periodic droughts
volcanism: Ecuador experiences volcanic activity in the Andes Mountains; Sangay (elev. 5,230 m, 17,159 ft), which erupted in 2010, is mainland Ecuador's most active volcano; other historically active volcanoes in the Andes include Antisana, Cayambe, Chacana, Cotopaxi, Guagua Pichincha, Reventador, Sumaco, and Tungurahua; Fernandina (elev. 1,476 m, 4,842 ft), a shield volcano that last erupted in 2009, is the most active of the many Galapagos volcanoes; other historically active Galapagos volcanoes include Wolf, Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul, Pinta, Marchena, and Santiago
Environment - current issues:
deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution; pollution from oil production wastes in ecologically sensitive areas of the Amazon Basin and Galapagos Islands
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Cotopaxi in Andes is highest active volcano in world
People :: Ecuador
Population:
14,790,608 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
Age structure:
0-14 years: 31.1% (male 2,312,610/female 2,220,378)
15-64 years: 62.7% (male 4,506,908/female 4,636,703)
65 years and over: 6.2% (male 432,144/female 464,358) (2010 est.)
Median age:
total: 25.3 years
male: 24.7 years
female: 25.9 years (2010 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.466% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
Birth rate:
20.32 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90
Death rate:
5 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186
Net migration rate:
-0.66 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147
Urbanization:
urban population: 66% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 2.1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 20.26 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 100
male: 23.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.66 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.52 years
country comparison to the world: 81
male: 72.58 years
female: 78.6 years (2010 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.46 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.3% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
26,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
1,400 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)
Nationality:
noun: Ecuadorian(s)
adjective: Ecuadorian
Ethnic groups:
mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65%, Amerindian 25%, Spanish and others 7%, black 3%
Religions:
Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%
Languages:
Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91%
male: 92.3%
female: 89.7% (2001 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2008)
Education expenditures:
1% of GDP (2001)
country comparison to the world: 182
Government :: Ecuador
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Ecuador
conventional short form: Ecuador
local long form: Republica del Ecuador
local short form: Ecuador
Government type:
republic
Capital:
name: Quito
geographic coordinates: 0 13 S, 78 30 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
24 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Azuay, Bolivar, Canar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Galapagos, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Rios, Manabi, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Santa Elena, Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, Sucumbios, Tungurahua, Zamora-Chinchipe
Independence:
24 May 1822 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Independence Day (independence of Quito), 10 August (1809)
Constitution:
20 October 2008
Legal system:
based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
16 years of age; universal, compulsory for persons ages 18-65, optional for other eligible voters
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Rafael CORREA Delgado (since 15 January 2007); Vice President Lenin MORENO Garces (since 15 January 2007); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Rafael CORREA Delgado (since 15 January 2007); Vice President Lenin MORENO Garces (since 15 January 2007)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: the president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a four-year term and can be re-elected for another consecutive term; election last held on 26 April 2009 (next to be held in 2013)
election results: President Rafael CORREA Delgado reelected president; percent of vote - Rafael CORREA Delgado 52%; Lucio GUTIERREZ 28.2%; Alvaro NOBOA 11.4%; other 8.4%
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (124 seats; members are elected through a party-list proportional representation system to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 26 April 2009 (next to be held in 2013)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PAIS 59, PSP 19, PSC 11, PRIAN 7, MPD 5, PRE 3, other 20; note - defections by members of National Assembly are commonplace, resulting in frequent changes in the numbers of seats held by the various parties
Judicial branch:
National Court of Justice or Corte Nacional de Justicia (according to the Constitution, justices are elected through a procedure overseen by the Judiciary Council); Constitutional Court or Corte Constitucional (Constitutional Court justices are appointed by a commission composed of two delegates each from the Executive, Legislative, and Transparency branches of government)
Political parties and leaders:
Alianza PAIS movement [Rafael Vicente CORREA Delgado]; Christian Democratic Union or UDC [Luis ACOSTA Moreta]; Democratic Left or ID [Dalton BACIGALUPO]; Ethical and Democratic Network or RED [Martha ROLDOS]; Institutional Renewal and National Action Party or PRIAN [Vicente TAIANO]; Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement - New Country or MUPP-NP [Jorge GUAMAN Coronel]; Patriotic Society Party or PSP [Lucio GUTIERREZ Borbua]; Popular Democratic Movement or MPD [Luis VILLACIS]; Roldosist Party or PRE [Abdala BUCARAM Pulley, director]; Social Christian Party or PSC [Pascual DEL CIOPPO]; Socialist Party - Broad Front or PS-FA [Silvia SALGADO]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador or CONAIE [Marlon SANTI, president]; Coordinator of Social Movements or CMS [F. Napoleon SALTOS]; Federation of Indigenous Evangelists of Ecuador or FEINE [Manuel CHUGCHILAN, president]; National Federation of Indigenous Afro-Ecuatorianos and Peasants or FENOCIN [Luis Alberto ANDRANGO Cadena, president]
International organization participation:
CAN, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, RG, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Luis Benigno GALLEGOS Chiriboga
chancery: 2535 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 234-7200
FAX: [1] (202) 667-3482
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Newark (New Jersey), San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Heather HODGES
embassy: Avenida Avigiras E12-170 y Avenida Eloy Alfaro, Quito
mailing address: Avenida Guayacanes N52-205 y Avenida Avigiras
telephone: [593] (2) 398-5000
FAX: [593] (2) 398-5100
consulate(s) general: Guayaquil
Flag description:
three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double width), blue, and red with the coat of arms superimposed at the center of the flag; the flag retains the three main colors of the banner of Gran Columbia, the South American republic that broke up in 1830; the yellow color represents sunshine, grain, and mineral wealth, blue the sky, sea, and rivers, and red the blood of patriots spilled in the struggle for freedom and justice
note: similar to the flag of Colombia, which is shorter and does not bear a coat of arms
National anthem:
name: "Salve, Oh Patria!" (We Salute You Our Homeland)
lyrics/music: Juan Leon MERA/Antonio NEUMANE
note: adopted 1948; Juan Leon MERA wrote the lyrics in 1865; only the chorus and second verse are sung
Economy :: Ecuador
Economy - overview:
Ecuador is substantially dependent on its petroleum resources, which have accounted for more than half of the country's export earnings and one-fourth of public sector revenues in recent years. In 1999/2000, Ecuador suffered a severe economic crisis, with GDP contracting by more than 6%. Poverty increased significantly, the banking system collapsed, and Ecuador defaulted on its external debt later that year. In March 2000, the Congress approved a series of structural reforms that also provided for the adoption of the US dollar as legal tender. Dollarization stabilized the economy, and positive growth returned in the years that followed, helped by high oil prices, remittances, and increased non-traditional exports. From 2002-06 the economy grew 5.5%, the highest five-year average in 25 years. After moderate growth in 2007, the economy reached a growth rate of 7.2% in 2008, in large part due to high global petroleum prices. President Rafael CORREA, who took office in January 2007, defaulted on Ecuador's sovereign debt in December 2008, refusing to make payment on $3.2 billion in international bonds, representing over 80% of Ecuador's private external debt. Economic policies under the CORREA administration - including an announcement in late 2009 terminating 13 bilateral investment treaties - have generated economic uncertainty and discouraged private investment. The Ecuadorian economy slowed to 0.4% growth in 2009 due to the global financial crisis, and the sharp decline in world oil prices and remittance flows, but picked up to a 2.4% growth rate in 2010.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$114.7 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
$112 billion (2009 est.)
$111.6 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$61.49 billion (2010 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
2.4% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
0.4% (2009 est.)
7.2% (2008 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$7,800 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
$7,700 (2009 est.)
$7,800 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 6.8%
industry: 32.9%
services: 60.3% (2010 est.)
Labor force:
4.59 million (urban) (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 8.3%
industry: 21.2%
services: 70.4% (2005)
Unemployment rate:
7.6% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
8.5% (2009 est.)
Population below poverty line:
35.1% (2008)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.2%
highest 10%: 43.3%
note: data for urban households only (2007)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
47.9 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 31
50.5 (2006)
note: data are for urban households
Investment (gross fixed):
23.7% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
Public debt:
23.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104
19.7% of GDP (2009 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.6% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104
8.4% (2008 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
9.19% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 50
9.14% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
19% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 102
9.14% (31 December 2008)
Stock of narrow money:
$6.198 billion (31 December 2010 est)
$5.201 billion (31 December 2009 est)
Stock of broad money:
$18.62 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$15.47 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$14.92 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
$12.31 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$4.248 billion (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 83
$4.562 billion (31 December 2008)
$4.266 billion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products:
bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, manioc (tapioca), plantains, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork, dairy products; balsa wood; fish, shrimp
Industries:
petroleum, food processing, textiles, wood products, chemicals
Industrial production growth rate:
2% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
Electricity - production:
16.42 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
Electricity - consumption:
15.81 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
Electricity - exports:
20.68 million kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports:
1.12 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production:
485,700 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
Oil - consumption:
181,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58
Oil - exports:
327,600 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
Oil - imports:
54,190 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
Oil - proved reserves:
6.542 billion bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22
Natural gas - production:
260 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
Natural gas - consumption:
260 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
Natural gas - proved reserves:
7.985 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
Current account balance:
-$692 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
-$337.4 million (2009 est.)
Exports:
$17.37 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
$14.35 billion (2009 est.)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum, bananas, cut flowers, shrimp, cacao, coffee, hemp, wood, fish
Exports - partners:
US 33.5%, Peru 6.8%, Chile 6.5%, Columbia 4.9%, Colombia 4.58%, Russia 4.11% (2009)
Imports:
$17.65 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
$14.27 billion (2009 est.)
Imports - commodities:
industrial materials, fuels and lubricants, nondurable consumer goods
Imports - partners:
US 25.4%, Columbia 10.6%, Venezuela 6.5%, Brazil 4.5%, Brazil 4.35% (2009)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$3.59 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
$3.792 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Debt - external:
$14.71 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
$13.48 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$12.3 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
$11.95 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$NA (31 December 2010 est.)
$8.019 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Exchange rates:
1 (2010), 1 (2009)
note: the US dollar is legal tender
Communications :: Ecuador
Telephones - main lines in use:
2.004 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 56
Telephones - mobile cellular:
13.635 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 52
Telephone system:
general assessment: generally elementary but being expanded
domestic: fixed-line services provided by multiple telecommunications operators; fixed-line teledensity stands at about 14 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular use has surged and subscribership reached about 95 per 100 persons in 2009
international: country code - 593; landing points for the PAN-AM and South America-1 submarine cables that provide links to the west coast of South America, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and extending onward to Aruba and the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2009)
Broadcast media:
private broadcast media dominate; all stations are privately-owned except for 1 government-controlled station; multiple television networks, a number of national TV channels, and a large number of local channels; more than 400 radio stations; broadcast media required by law to give the government free air time to broadcast programs produced by the state (2007)
Internet country code:
.ec
Internet hosts:
67,975 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 82
Internet users:
3.352 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 64
Transportation :: Ecuador
Airports:
428 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 18
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 105
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 25
under 914 m: 55 (2010)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 323
914 to 1,523 m: 39
under 914 m: 284 (2010)
Heliports:
2 (2010)
Pipelines:
extra heavy crude 435 km; gas 5 km; oil 1,374 km; refined products 1,301 km (2009)
Railways:
total: 965 km
country comparison to the world: 91
narrow gauge: 965 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
Roadways:
total: 43,670 km
country comparison to the world: 86
paved: 6,472 km
unpaved: 37,198 km (2006)
Waterways:
1,500 km (most inaccessible) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 54
Merchant marine:
total: 41
country comparison to the world: 76
by type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 3, liquefied gas 1, passenger 9, petroleum tanker 26, refrigerated cargo 1
registered in other countries: 7 (Bolivia 1, Panama 6) (2010)
Ports and terminals:
Esmeraldas, Guayaquil, Manta, Puerto Bolivar
Military :: Ecuador
Military branches:
Army, Navy (includes Naval Infantry, Naval Aviation, Coast Guard), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Ecuatoriana, FAE) (2007)
Military service age and obligation:
20 years of age for selective conscript military service; 12-month service obligation (2008)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 3,662,176
females age 16-49: 3,781,102 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,770,465
females age 16-49: 3,217,235 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 150,296
female: 145,184 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
0.9% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 138
Transnational Issues :: Ecuador
Disputes - international:
organized illegal narcotics operations in Colombia penetrate across Ecuador's shared border, which thousands of Colombians also cross to escape the violence in their home country
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 11,526 (Colombia); note - UNHCR estimates as many as 250,000 Columbians are seeking asylum in Ecuador, many of whom do not register as refugees for fear of deportation (2007)
Illicit drugs:
significant transit country for cocaine originating in Colombia and Peru, with much of the US-bound cocaine passing through Ecuadorian Pacific waters; importer of precursor chemicals used in production of illicit narcotics; attractive location for cash-placement by drug traffickers laundering money because of dollarization and weak anti-money-laundering regime; increased activity on the northern frontier by trafficking groups and Colombian insurgents (2008)

Credits: CIA World Factbook

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