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  • [Country flag of Ecuador]

    Ecuador

    [Country map of Ecuador]

    Geography

    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
    land: 276,840 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:
    continental shelf: claims continental shelf between mainland and Galapagos Islands
    territorial sea: 200 nm

    Climate: tropical along coast becoming cooler inland

    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

    Land use:
    arable land: 6%
    permanent crops: 5%
    permanent pastures: 18%
    forests and woodland: 56%
    other: 15% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 5,560 sq km (1993 est.)

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

    Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution; pollution from oil production wastes

    Environment - international agreements:
    party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified : none of the selected agreements

    Geography - note: Cotopaxi in Andes is highest active volcano in world

    People

    Population: 12,105,124 (July 1997 est.)

    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 37% (male 2,252,260; female 2,174,004)
    15-64 years: 59% (male 3,529,606; female 3,619,002)
    65 years and over : 4% (male 248,105; female 282,147) (July 1997 est.)

    Population growth rate: 1.93% (1997 est.)

    Birth rate: 24.04 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Death rate: 5.28 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Net migration rate: 0.58 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

    Infant mortality rate: 33.4 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 71.44 years
    male: 68.83 years
    female: 74.17 years (1997 est.)

    Total fertility rate: 2.87 children born/woman (1997 est.)

    Nationality:
    noun: Ecuadorian(s)
    adjective: Ecuadorian

    Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and Spanish) 55%, Amerindian 25%, Spanish 10%, black 10%

    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

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Ecuador
    conventional short form: Ecuador
    local long form: Republica del Ecuador
    local short form : Ecuador

    Data code: EC

    Government type: republic

    National capital: Quito

    Administrative divisions: 21 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Azuay, Bolivar, Canar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Galapagos, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Rios, Manabi, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Pastaza, Pichincha, Sucumbios, Tungurahua, Zamora-Chinchipe

    Independence: 24 May 1822 (from Spain)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 10 August (1809) (independence of Quito)

    Constitution: 10 August 1979

    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 Fabian ALARCON Rivera (since 11 February 1997); Vice President Rosalia ARTEAGA Serrano de Cordova (since 10 August 1996); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Fabian ALARCON Rivera (since 11 February 1997); Vice President Rosalia ARTEAGA Serrano de Cordova (since 10 August 1996); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    note : in an unusual, out of cycle change in executive power, Congress on 11 February 1997 elected then Congress President ALARCON to be Interim President until August 1998 after ousting former President BUCARAM because of "mental incapacity;" ARTEAGA remained vice president
    cabinet : Cabinet appointed by the president
    elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 19 May 1996; runoff election held 7 July 1996; note - because of the February 1997 unusual change in executive power, the next presidential elections will take place in 1998
    election results : runoff election; percent of vote - Abdala BUCARAM Ortiz 54%, Jaime NEBOT 46%; note - in February 1997, Congress elected ALARCON to be Interim President until August 1998, with 57 of 82 Congressmen voting in favor of him

    Legislative branch: unicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional (82 seats; 12 members are popularly elected at large nationally to serve four-year terms; 70 members are popularly elected by province for two-year terms)
    elections : last held 19 May 1996 (next to be held 1998)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PSC 27, PRE 19, DP 12, P-NP 8, ID 4, FRA 3, MPD 2, PCE 2, CFP 1, independents and other 4; note - defections by members of congress are commonplace, resulting in frequent changes in the numbers of seats held by the various parties

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Corte Suprema), judges are elected by Congress

    Political parties and leaders:
    Center-Right parties: Social Christian Party or PSC [Jaime NEBOT Saadi, president]; Ecuadorian Conservative Party or PCE [Freddy BRAVO]
    Center-Left parties: Democratic Left or ID [Rodrigo BORJA Cevallos, leader]; Popular Democracy or DP [Jamil MAHUAD, leader]; Radical Alfarista Front or FRA [Fabian ALARCON, director]
    Populist parties: Roldosist Party or PRE [Abdala BUCARAM Ortiz, director]; Concentration of Popular Forces or CFP [Averroes BUCARAM, leader]; Popular Revolutionary Action or APRE [Frank VARGAS Passos, leader]; Pachakutik-New Country or P-NP [Freddy EHLERS]
    Far-Left parties: Popular Democratic Movement or MPD [Juan Jose CASTELLO, leader]

    International organization participation: AG, ECLAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission : Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Fernando FLORES
    chancery: 2535 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 234-7200
    consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco
    consulate(s): Newark

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Leslie ALEXANDER
    embassy: Avenida 12 de Octubre and Avenida Patria, Quito
    mailing address: APO AA 34039
    telephone : [593] (2) 562-890
    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 that is shorter and does not bear a coat of arms

    Economy

    Economy - overview: Ecuador has substantial oil resources and rich agricultural areas. As an exporter of primary products such as oil, bananas, and shrimp, fluctuations in world market prices can have a substantial domestic impact. Growth has been uneven in recent years as the government has repeatedly initiated ill-conceived fiscal stabilization measures. The populist government of Abdala BUCARAM Ortiz proposed a major currency reform in 1996, but popular discontent with new austerity measures and rampant official corruption undermined his government's position. Congress replaced BUCARAM with Fabian ALARCON in February 1997. ALARCON has adopted a minimalist economic program that puts off major decisions until the next elected government takes office in August 1998. Ecuador has joined the Word Trade Organization in 1996, but has failed to comply with many of its accession commitments. Growth slowed to 2.0% in 1996, due to a lack of investment caused by political uncertainty and high domestic interest rates.

    GDP: purchasing power parity - $47 billion (1996 est.)

    GDP - real growth rate: 2% (1996 est.)

    GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,100 (1996 est.)

    GDP - composition by sector:
    agriculture : 13%
    industry: 38%
    services: 49% (1996 est.)

    Inflation rate - consumer price index: 26% (1996)

    Labor force:
    total: 3.4 million
    by occupation: agriculture 29%, manufacturing 18%, commerce 15%, services and other activities 38% (1990)

    Unemployment rate: 8.5% with widespread underemployment (1996 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $3.6 billion (1997)
    expenditures: $3.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1996 est.)

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

    Industrial production growth rate: 3.3% (1996 est.)

    Electricity - capacity: 2.754 million kW (1996)

    Electricity - production: 9.27 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity - consumption per capita: 600 kWh (1996)

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

    Exports:
    total value: $4.9 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
    commodities: petroleum 37%, bananas 20%, shrimp 13%, cocoa 2%, coffee 3%
    partners : US 39%, Latin America 25%, EU countries 22%, Asia 12%

    Imports:
    total value: $3.7 billion (c.i.f., 1995)
    commodities: transport equipment, consumer goods, vehicles, machinery, chemicals
    partners: US 32%, EU 19%, Latin America 35%, Asia 11%

    Debt - external: $12.6 billion (1996)

    Economic aid:
    recipient: ODA, $153 million (1993)
    note: received $12.7 million from the US and $160 million from other countries in 1995

    Currency: 1 sucre (S/) = 100 centavos

    Exchange rates: sucres (S/) per US$1 - 3,674.9 (January 1997), 3,189.5 (1996), 2,564.5 (1995), 2,196.7 (1994), 1,919.1 (1993), 1,534.0 (1992)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

    Communications

    Telephones: 586,300 (1994 est.)

    Telephone system:
    domestic: facilities generally inadequate and unreliable
    international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

    Radio broadcast stations: AM 272, FM 0, shortwave 39

    Radios: NA

    Television broadcast stations: 33

    Televisions: 940,000 (1992 est.)

    Transportation

    Railways:
    total: 965 km (single track)
    narrow gauge: 965 km 1.067-m gauge

    Highways:
    total : 43,106 km
    paved: 7,932 km
    unpaved: 35,174 km (1995 est.)

    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: 20 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 117,401 GRT/179,142 DWT
    ships by type: container 2, liquefied gas tanker 1, oil tanker 14, passenger 2, refrigerated cargo 1 (1996 est.)

    Airports: 179 (1996 est.)

    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 143
    over 3,047 m: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m : 6
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
    914 to 1,523 m: 13
    under 914 m: 111 (1996 est.)

    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total : 36
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
    914 to 1,523 m: 33 (1996 est.)

    Heliports: 1 (1996 est.)

    Military

    Military branches: Army (Ejercito Ecuatoriano), Navy (Armada Ecuatoriana, includes Marines), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Ecuatoriana), National Police

    Military manpower - military age: 20 years of age

    Military manpower - availability:
    males age 15-49 : 3,077,812 (1997 est.)

    Military manpower - fit for military service:
    males: 2,079,537 (1997 est.)

    Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
    males: 125,185 (1997 est.)

    Military expenditures - dollar figure: $390.2 million (1996)

    Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.1% (1996)

    Transnational Issues

    Disputes - international: three sections of the boundary with Peru are in dispute

    Illicit drugs: significant transit country for derivatives of coca originating in Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru; minor illicit producer of coca; importer of precursor chemicals used in production of illicit narcotics; important money-laundering hub