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The World Factbook 2002

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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Map of Ecuador

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Ecuador
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing
Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
2 00 S, 77 30 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
South America
Definition Field Listing
total: 283,560 sq km
note: includes Galapagos Islands
water: 6,720 sq km
land: 276,840 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Nevada
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2,010 km
border countries: Colombia 590 km, Peru 1,420 km
Definition Field Listing
2,237 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
continental shelf: claims continental shelf between mainland and Galapagos Islands
territorial sea: 200 NM
Definition Field Listing
tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands
Definition Field Listing
coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Chimborazo 6,267 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, fish, timber, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 6%
permanent crops: 5%
other: 89% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
8,650 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
frequent earthquakes, landslides, volcanic activity; floods; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution; pollution from oil production wastes in ecologically sensitive areas of the Galapagos Islands
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Cotopaxi in Andes is highest active volcano in world
   People    Ecuador
Definition Field Listing
13,447,494 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
1.96% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
25.47 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.36 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.53 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
33.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 71.61 years
female: 74.57 years (2002 est.)
male: 68.79 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.05 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.3% (2001)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
20,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
232 (2001)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Ecuadorian(s)
adjective: Ecuadorian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65%, Amerindian 25%, Spanish and others 7%, black 3%
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic 95%
Definition Field Listing
Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.1%
male: 92%
female: 88.2% (1995 est.)
   Government    Ecuador
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Ecuador
conventional short form: Ecuador
local long form: Republica del Ecuador
local short form: Ecuador
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing
24 May 1822 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day (independence of Quito), 10 August (1809)
Definition Field Listing
10 August 1998
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal, compulsory for literate persons ages 18-65, optional for other eligible voters
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (new justices are elected by the full Supreme Court)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Ivonne A-BAKI
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Newark, 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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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.
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $39.6 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.3% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $3,000 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 11%
industry: 25%
services: 64% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
70% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 2.2%
highest 10%: 33.8% (1995)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
43.7 (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
22% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
3.7 million (urban)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 30%, industry 25%, services 45% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
14%; note - widespread underemployment (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $5.6 billion
expenditures: planned $5.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, food processing, textiles, metal work, paper products, wood products, chemicals, plastics, fishing, lumber
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.1% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
10.395 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 25.01%
hydro: 74.99%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
9.667 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, manioc (tapioca), plantains, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork, dairy products; balsa wood; fish, shrimp
Definition Field Listing
$4.8 billion (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, bananas, shrimp, coffee, cocoa, cut flowers, fish
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 38%, Peru 6%, Chile 5%, Colombia 5%, Italy 3% (2000)
Definition Field Listing
$4.8 billion (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and equipment, chemicals, raw materials, fuels; consumer goods
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 25%, Colombia 13%, Japan 8%, Venezuela 8%, Brazil 4% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$14 billion (2001)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$120 million (2001)
Definition Field Listing
US dollar (USD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Ecuador
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
1,115,272 (1999)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
384,000 (1999)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: generally elementary but being expanded
domestic: facilities generally inadequate and unreliable
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 392, FM 35, shortwave 29 (2001)
Definition Field Listing
5 million (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
7 (plus 14 repeaters) (2001)
Definition Field Listing
2.5 million (2001)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
31 (2001)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
180,000 (2001)
   Transportation    Ecuador
Definition Field Listing
total: 965 km
narrow gauge: 965 km 1.067-m gauge (2000 est.)
Definition Field Listing
total: 43,197 km
paved: 8,165 km
unpaved: 35,032 km (2001)
Definition Field Listing
1,500 km
Definition Field Listing
crude oil 800 km; petroleum products 1,358 km
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Esmeraldas, Guayaquil, La Libertad, Manta, Puerto Bolivar, San Lorenzo
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing
205 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
total: 144
914 to 1,523 m: 31
under 914 m: 113 (2001)
Definition Field Listing
1 (2001)
   Military    Ecuador
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy (including Marines), Air Force, National Police
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
20 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 3,468,678 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 2,337,944 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 132,978 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$720 million (FY98)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
3.4% (FY98)
   Transnational Issues    Ecuador
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
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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