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Flag of Ecuador

Country Profile

Capital City: Quito (pop. 1.4 million)

Other Cities: Cuenca, Guayaquil

Local Time
: UTC -5h

Location: Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru.
Area: 276,840 sq. km;
Terrain: Jungle east of the Andes, a rich agricultural coastal plain west of the Andes, high-elevation valleys through the mountainous center of the country and an archipelago of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Border countries: Colombia, Peru

Climate: Varied, mild year-round in the mountain valleys; tropical, hot and humid in coastal and Amazonian jungle lowlands.

Independence: 24 May 1822 (from Spain).
Constitution: 10 August 1998.

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Ecuadorian(s).
Population (July 2004 est.): 13,212,742.
Ethnic groups: Mestizo (mixed Indian and Spanish) 65%, Indigenous 25%, Caucasian and others 7%, African 3%.
Religion: Predominantly Roman Catholic (95%), but religious freedom recognized.
Languages: Spanish (official), indigenous languages, especially Quichua, the Ecuadorian dialect of Quechua. Literacy: 90%



Currency: US Dollar (USD)

Natural resources: Petroleum, fish, timber, hydropower.

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.

Exports partners:
USA 42.4%, Colombia 5.7%, Germany 5.6% (2003)

Imports partners: USA 23.9%, Colombia 12.8%, Venezuela 7.1%, Brazil 6.1%, Chile 4.8%, Japan 4.2% (2003)

Internet Links

Official Sites of Ecuador

Presidencia de la República del Ecuador

Ministerio Relaciones Exteriores del Ecuador

Diplomatic Missions
Embassy of Ecuador

Embassies and Consulates in Ecuador

Diplomatic Missions of Ecuador

Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Censos

Map of Ecuador

Map of South America



Background:  The "Republic of the Equator" was one of three countries
that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others
being Colombia and Venezuela).  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.

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: 283,560 sq km note: includes Galapagos Islands water:
6,720 sq km land: 276,840 sq km

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:  continental shelf: claims continental shelf between
mainland and Galapagos Islands territorial sea: 200 NM

Climate:  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

Natural resources:  petroleum, fish, timber, hydropower

Land use:  arable land: 6% permanent crops: 5% other: 89% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  8,650 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:  frequent earthquakes, landslides, volcanic activity;
floods; periodic droughts

Environment - current issues:  deforestation; soil erosion;
desertification; water pollution; pollution from oil production wastes
in ecologically sensitive areas of the Galapagos Islands

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Antarctic-Environmental
Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate
Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous
Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, 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:  13,447,494 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 35.4% (male 2,415,764; female 2,337,095)
15-64 years: 60.2% (male 4,007,495; female 4,090,957) 65 years and over:
4.4% (male 276,482; female 319,701) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  1.96% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  25.47 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  5.36 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -0.53 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.03
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.86 male(s)/female total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  33.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   74.57 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  3.05 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.3% (2001)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  20,000 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  232 (2001)

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%

Languages:  Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 90.1% male: 92% female: 88.2% (1995 est.)

Government Ecuador

Country name:   Republic of Ecuador conventional short form: Government
type:  republic

Capital:  Quito

Administrative divisions:  22 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, Sucumbios,
Tungurahua, Zamora-Chinchipe

Independence:  24 May 1822 (from Spain)

National holiday:  Independence Day (independence of Quito), 10 August

Constitution:  10 August 1998

Legal system:  based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory
ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal, compulsory for literate persons
ages 18-65, optional for other eligible voters

Executive branch:  chief of state: President Gustavo NOBOA Bejarano
(since 22 January 2000) selected president following coup that deposed
President Jamil MAHUAD; Vice President Pedro PINTO Rubianes (since 28
January 2000) elected by National Congress from a slate of candidates
submitted by President NOBOA; note - the president is both the chief
of state and head of government elections: formerly, the president
and vice president were elected on the same ticket by popular vote for
four-year term (no reelection); election last held 31 May 1998; runoff
election held 12 July 1998 (next to be held 20 October 2002) head of
government: President Gustavo NOBOA Bejarano (since 22 January 2000)
selected president following coup that deposed President Jamil MAHUAD;
Vice President Pedro PINTO Rubianes (since 28 January 2000) elected by
National Congress from a slate of candidates submitted by President
NOBOA; note - the president is both the chief of state and head of
government cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president election results:
results of the last election prior to the coup were: Jamil MAHUAD elected
president; percent of vote - 51% note: a military-indigenous coup toppled
democratically-elected President Jamil MAHAUD on 21 January 2000; the
military quickly handed power over to Vice President Gustavo NOBOA on
22 January 2000; National Congress then elected a new vice president
from a slate of candidates submitted by NOBOA; the new administration
is scheduled to complete the remainder of MAHAUD's term, due to expire
in January 2003

Legislative branch:  unicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional
(123 seats; 20 members are popularly elected at-large nationally to
serve four-year terms; 103 members are popularly elected by province
to serve four-year terms) elections: last held 31 May 1998 (next to be
held 20 October 2002) election results: percent of vote by party - NA%;
seats by party - DP 32, PSC 27, PRE 24, ID 18, P-NP 9, FRA 5, PCE 3,
MPD 2, CFP 1; note - defections by members of National Congress are
commonplace, resulting in frequent changes in the numbers of seats held
by the various parties

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (new justices are
elected by the full Supreme Court)

Political parties and leaders:  Concentration of Popular Forces or CFP
[Averroes BUCARAM]; Democratic Left or ID [Rodrigo BORJA Cevallos];
Ecuadorian Conservative Party or PCE [Jacinto JIJON Y CAMANO]; Independent
National Movement or MIN [Eliseo AZUERO]; Pachakutik-New Country or P-NP
[Miguel LLUCO]; Popular Democracy or DP [Dr. Juan Manuel FUERTES]; Popular
Democratic Movement or MPD [Gustavo TERAN Acosta]; Radical Alfarista Front
or FRA [Fabian ALARCON, director]; Roldosist Party or PRE [Abdala BUCARAM
Ortiz, director]; Social Christian Party or PSC [Pascual DEL CIOPPO]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  Confederation of Indigenous
Nationalities of Ecuador or CONAIE [Leonidas IZA, president]; Coordinator
of Social Movements or CMS [F. Napoleon SANTOS]; Federation of Indigenous
Evangelists of Ecuador or FEINE [Marco MURILLO, president]; National
Federation of Indigenous Afro-Ecuatorianos and Peasants or FENOCIN
[Pedro DE LA CRUZ, president]; Popular Front or FP [Luis VILLACIS]

International organization participation:  CAN, CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-77,

Diplomatic representation in the US:   Ambassador Ivonne A-BAKI
consulate(s) general:  Philadelphia, and San Francisco FAX: [1] (202)
667-3482 telephone: [1] (202) 234-7200 chancery: 2535 15th Street NW,
Washington, DC 20009

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
(vacant); Charge d'Affaires Larry L.  PALMER embassy: Avenida 12 de
Octubre y Avenida Patria, Quito mailing address: APO AA 34039 telephone:
[593] (2) 256-2890 FAX: [593] (2) 502-052 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; similar to the flag of Colombia which is shorter and does not bear
a coat of arms

Economy Ecuador

Economy - overview:  Ecuador has substantial oil resources and rich
agricultural areas. Because the country exports primary products such
as oil, bananas, and shrimp, fluctuations in world market prices can
have a substantial domestic impact. Ecuador joined the World Trade
Organization in 1996, but has failed to comply with many of its accession
commitments. The aftermath of El Nino and depressed oil market of 1997-98
drove Ecuador's economy into a free-fall in 1999. The beginning of 1999
saw the banking sector collapse, which helped precipitate an unprecedented
default on external loans later that year. Continued economic instability
drove a 70% depreciation of the currency throughout 1999, which forced
a desperate government to "dollarize" the currency regime in 2000. The
move stabilized the currency, but did not stave off the ouster of the
government. Gustavo NOBOA, who assumed the presidency in January 2000,
has managed to pass substantial economic reforms and mend relations
with international financial institutions. Ecuador completed its first
standby agreement since 1986 when the IMF Board approved a 10 December
2001 disbursement of $96 million, the final installment of a $300 million
standby credit agreement.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $39.6 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  4.3% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $3,000 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 11% industry: 25% services:
64% (2000 est.)

Population below poverty line:  70% (2001 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: 2.2%
highest 10%: 33.8% (1995)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  43.7 (1995)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  22% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  3.7 million (urban)

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture 30%, industry 25%, services 45%
(2001 est.)

Unemployment rate:  14%; note - widespread underemployment (2001 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $5.6 billion expenditures: planned $5.6 billion,
including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)

Industries:  petroleum, food processing, textiles, metal work, paper
products, wood products, chemicals, plastics, fishing, lumber

Industrial production growth rate:  5.1% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production:  10.395 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 25.01% hydro: 74.99%
other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  9.667 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, manioc
(tapioca), plantains, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork, dairy
products; balsa wood; fish, shrimp

Exports:  $4.8 billion (2001 est.)

Exports - commodities:  petroleum, bananas, shrimp, coffee, cocoa,
cut flowers, fish

Exports - partners:  US 38%, Peru 6%, Chile 5%, Colombia 5%, Italy 3%

Imports:  $4.8 billion (2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  machinery and equipment, chemicals, raw materials,
fuels; consumer goods

Imports - partners:  US 25%, Colombia 13%, Japan 8%, Venezuela 8%,
Brazil 4% (2000)

Debt - external:  $14 billion (2001)

Economic aid - recipient:  $120 million (2001)

Currency:  US dollar (USD)

Currency code:  USD

Exchange rates:  sucres per US dollar - 25,000.0 (January 2002), 25,000.0
(2001), 24,988.4 (2000), 11,786.8 (1999), 5,446.6 (1998), 3,988.3 (1997)
note: on 13 March 2000, the National Congress approved a new exchange
system whereby the US dollar was adopted as the main legal tender in
Ecuador for all purposes; on 20 March 2000, the Central Bank of Ecuador
started to exchange sucres for US dollars at a fixed rate of 25,000 sucres
per US dollar; since 30 April 2000, all transactions are denominated in
US dollars

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Ecuador

Telephones - main lines in use:  1,115,272 (1999)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  384,000 (1999)

Telephone system:   generally elementary but being expanded domestic:
earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 392, FM 35, shortwave 29 (2001)

Radios:  5 million (2001)

Television broadcast stations:  7 (plus 14 repeaters) (2001)

Televisions:  2.5 million (2001)

Internet country code:  .ec

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  31 (2001)

Internet users:  180,000 (2001)

Transportation Ecuador

Railways:  total: 965 km narrow gauge: 965 km 1.067-m gauge (2000 est.)

Highways:  total: 43,197 km paved: 8,165 km unpaved: 35,032 km (2001)

Waterways:  1,500 km

Pipelines:  crude oil 800 km; petroleum products 1,358 km

Ports and harbors:  Esmeraldas, Guayaquil, La Libertad, Manta, Puerto
Bolivar, San Lorenzo

Merchant marine:  total: 33 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 239,876
GRT/393,680 DWT note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here
as a flag of convenience: Chile 1, Greece 1 (2002 est.)  ships by type:
cargo 2, chemical tanker 3, liquefied gas 1, passenger 3, petroleum
tanker 23, specialized tanker 1

Airports:  205 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 61 over 3,047 m: 2 2,438 to 3,047
m: 5 914 to 1,523 m: 17 under 914 m: 19 (2001) 1,524 to 2,437 m: 18

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 144 914 to 1,523 m: 31 under
914 m: 113 (2001)

Heliports:  1 (2001)

Military Ecuador

Military branches:  Army, Navy (including Marines), Air Force, National

Military manpower - military age:  20 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 3,468,678 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 2,337,944
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 132,978
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $720 million (FY98)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  3.4% (FY98)

Transnational Issues Ecuador

Disputes - international:  none

Illicit drugs:  significant transit country for cocaine originating in
Colombia and Peru; importer of precursor chemicals used in production
of illicit narcotics; important money-laundering hub; increased activity
on the northern frontier by trafficking groups and Colombian insurgents

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

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