ExchangeRate.com Logo
Login | Register |  My Account |   |   |   |  Suggest XR to your friends Print this page
Exchange Rate Home >> Country Info >> Ecuador

   | Post | View
Select Country:
  Ecuador   
Introduction
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational
Issues
  Introduction Back To Top

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 25 years of civilian governance in 2004, the period has been marred by political instability. Protests in Quito have contributed to the mid-term ouster of Ecuador's last three democratically elected Presidents. In 2007, a Constituent Assembly was elected to draft a new constitution; Ecuador's twentieth since gaining independence.

  Geography Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 16.98 cu km/yr (12%/5%/82%)
per capita: 1,283 cu m/yr (2000)

Total renewable water resources:
432 cu km (2000)

Land boundaries:
total: 2,010 km
border countries: Colombia 590 km, Peru 1,420 km

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

Climate:
tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands

Map references:
South America

Geographic coordinates:
2 00 S, 77 30 W

Natural resources:
petroleum, fish, timber, hydropower

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Chimborazo 6,267 m

Terrain:
coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)

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

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

Location:
Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru

Coastline:
2,237 km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Nevada

Irrigated land:
8,650 sq km (2003)

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

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 200 nm
continental shelf: 100 nm from 2,500-m isobath

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

Land use:
arable land: 5.71%
permanent crops: 4.81%
other: 89.48% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
2.59 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.3% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
21,000 (2003 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 76.81 years
male: 73.94 years
female: 79.84 years (2008 est.)

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2008)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91%
male: 92.3%
female: 89.7% (2001 census)

Net migration rate:
-7.98 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65%, Amerindian 25%, Spanish and others 7%, black 3%

Median age:
total: 24.2 years
male: 23.7 years
female: 24.7 years (2008 est.)

Population:
13,927,650 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
1% of GDP (2001)

Population growth rate:
0.935% (2008 est.)

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

Death rate:
4.21 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 21.35 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 25.61 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.88 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
1,700 (2003 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 32.1% (male 2,274,986/female 2,189,437)
15-64 years: 62.7% (male 4,355,909/female 4,381,141)
65 years and over: 5.2% (male 340,861/female 385,316) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
21.54 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Religions:
Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%

Nationality:
noun: Ecuadorian(s)
adjective: Ecuadorian

  Government Back To Top

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

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

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

Government type:
republic

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador or CONAIE [Marlon SANTI, 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]

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: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Jersey City (New Jersey), Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Washington, DC

International organization participation:
CAN, FAO, 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, MINURCAT, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, RG, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Legislative branch:
unicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional (100 seats; members are elected through a party-list proportional representation system to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 15 October 2006 (next to be held in October 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRIAN 28; PSP 24; PSC 13; ID 7; PRE 6; MUPP-NP 6; RED 5; UDC 5; other 6; note - defections by members of National Congress are commonplace, resulting in frequent changes in the numbers of seats held by the various parties; as of 29 November 2007, Congress is on indefinite recess while a Constituent Assembly is convened

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

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

Independence:
24 May 1822 (from Spain)

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

Political parties and leaders:
Alianza PAIS Movement [Rafael Vicente CORREA Delgado]; Christian Democratic Union or UDC [Diego ORDONEZ Guerrero]; Democratic Left or ID [Andres PAEZ Benalcazar]; Ethical and Democratic Network or RED [Leon ROLDOS]; Institutional Renewal and National Action Party or PRIAN [Alvaro NOBOA]; Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement - New Country or MUPP-NP [Jorge GUAMAN]; Patriotic Society Party or PSP [Lucio GUTIERREZ Borbua]; Popular Democratic Movement or MPD [Ciro GUZMAN Aldaz]; Roldosist Party or PRE [Abdala BUCARAM Ortiz, director]; Social Christian Party or PSC [Pascual DEL CIOPPO]; Socialist Party - Broad Front or PS-FA [Gustavo AYALA Cruz]

Capital:
name: Quito
geographic coordinates: 0 13 S, 78 30 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Constitution:
10 August 1998

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 are elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a four-year term (may not serve consecutive terms); election last held 15 October 2006 with a runoff election on 26 November 2006 (next to be held in October 2010)
election results: Rafael CORREA Delgado elected president; percent of vote - Rafael CORREA Delgado 56.7%; Alvaro NOBOA 43.3%

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

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (according to the Constitution, new justices are elected by the full Supreme Court; in December 2004, however, Congress successfully replaced the entire court via a simple-majority resolution)

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
US 41.9%, Peru 8.5%, Chile 4.9%, Russia 4.8%, Colombia 4.7% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
12.9 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
10.72% (31 December 2007)

Electricity - imports:
861 million kWh (2006 est.)

Current account balance:
$2.008 billion (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$16.96 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:
8.7% (2008 est.)

Oil - exports:
421,700 bbl/day (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$7,700 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
23.3% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$8.926 billion (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$107 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$54.67 billion (2008 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
46
note: data are for urban households (2006)

Exchange rates:
the US dollar is used; the sucre was eliminated in 2000

GDP - real growth rate:
3.4% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$4.395 billion (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
4.64 million (urban) (2008 est.)

Imports - partners:
US 23.7%, Colombia 10.3%, China 7.6%, Brazil 5.3%, Japan 4.3% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
8.6% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 6.6%
industry: 33.9%
services: 59.5% (2008 est.)

Oil - imports:
47,060 bbl/day (2005)

Exports:
$19.4 billion (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
280 million cu m (2006 est.)

Currency (code):
US dollar (USD)

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 contracted by more than 6%, with a significant increase in poverty. The banking system also collapsed, and Ecuador defaulted on its external debt later that year. In March 2000, 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. The poverty rate declined but remained high at 38% in 2006. In 2006 the government imposed a windfall revenue tax on foreign oil companies, leading to the suspension of free trade negotiations with the US. These measures led to a drop in petroleum production in 2007. President Rafael CORREA raised the specter of debt default and followed through on those threats in December 2008. He also decreed a higher windfall revenue tax on private oil companies, then renegotiated their contracts to overcome the debilitating effect of the tax. This generated economic uncertainty; private investment has dropped and economic growth has slowed significantly.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
industrial materials, fuels and lubricants, nondurable consumer goods

Industries:
petroleum, food processing, textiles, wood products, chemicals

Electricity - exports:
38.53 million kWh (2006 est.)

Population below poverty line:
38.3% (2006)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
12.5% (15 October 2008)

Stock of quasi money:
$7.974 billion (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
14.84 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Imports:
$16.6 billion (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
4.517 billion bbl (1 January 2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 8.3%
industry: 21.2%
services: 70.4% (2005)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
9.369 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$6.492 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
160,500 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$598 million (2008 est.)

Public debt:
29.2% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$16.81 billion (2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$4.266 billion (31 December 2007)

Currency code:
USD

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 35%
note: data for urban households only (October 2006)

Exports - commodities:
petroleum, bananas, cut flowers, shrimp, cacao, coffee, hemp, wood, fish

Economic aid - recipient:
$209.5 million (2005)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 81%
hydro: 19%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
280 million cu m (2006 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $19.44 billion
expenditures: planned $17.79 billion (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
511,600 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
1.549 million (2006)

Telephones - main lines in use:
1.805 million (2007)

Televisions:
2.5 million (2001)

Internet country code:
.ec

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

Radios:
5 million (2001)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
10.086 million (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
7 (plus 14 repeaters) (2000)

Telephone system:
general assessment: generally elementary but being expanded
domestic: fixed-line services provided by three state-owned enterprises; plans to transfer the state-owned operators to private ownership have repeatedly failed; fixed-line density stands at about 13 per 100 persons; mobile cellular use has surged and has a subscribership of nearly 75 per 100 persons
international: country code - 593; landing point for the PAN-AM submarine telecommunications cable that provides 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) (2007)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
31 (2001)

Internet hosts:
45,404 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Waterways:
1,500 km (most inaccessible) (2008)

Pipelines:
extra heavy crude oil 578 km; gas 71 km; oil 1,389 km; refined products 1,185 km (2007)

Railways:
total: 966 km
narrow gauge: 966 km 1.067-m gauge (2006)

Ports and terminals:
Esmeraldas, Guayaquil, Manta, Puerto Bolivar

Heliports:
1 (2007)

Merchant marine:
total: 37
by type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 1, liquefied gas 1, passenger 8, petroleum tanker 24, refrigerated cargo 1, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 1 (US 1)
registered in other countries: 5 (China 1, Panama 4) (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 104
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 26
under 914 m: 54 (2007)

Roadways:
total: 43,670 km
paved: 6,472 km
unpaved: 37,198 km (2006)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 302
914 to 1,523 m: 34
under 914 m: 268 (2007)

Airports:
406 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

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: 3,536,602
females age 16-49: 3,559,188 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 3,030,664
females age 16-49: 3,037,892 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
Army, Navy (includes Naval Infantry, Naval Aviation, Coast Guard), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Ecuatoriana, FAE) (2007)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 144,821
female: 139,091 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
2.8% of GDP (2006)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

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 over half 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

Got something to say on this page? Feel free to post your comments ! Please limit your comments to discussions about the subject matter of the content. To report bugs or problems with the ExchangeRate.com web site, please use our contact form here. Thank You!

Quiz #2
  1. What famous canal was built at the narrowest point between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans?
  Atlantic-Pacific Canal
  Transcontinental Canal
  Panama Canal
  Erie Canal
Content, information, data, material, services, or products comprising this web-site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission from ExchangeRate.com Inc.. The information supplied by this web-site is believed to be accurate, but ExchangeRate.com Inc. does not warrant or guarantee such accuracy. Users are always advised to verify information with their financial and accounting advisors or with the appropriate government agencies before relying on any such information. Information contained in this web-site is intended for your personal, non-commercial use. All other uses are expressly unauthorized and prohibited to the maximum extent allowed by law.
Copyright © ExchangeRate.com Inc. 1998 - 2012