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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

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


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Population: 12,336,572 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 36% (male 2,253,920; female 2,175,402)
15-64 years: 60% (male 3,636,637; female 3,725,766)
65 years and over: 4% (male 254,432; female 290,415) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.86% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 23.16 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 5.17 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.56 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 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 (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 32.07 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.8 years
male: 69.19 years
female: 74.54 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.75 children born/woman (1998 est.)

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)

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


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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 Pedro AGUAYO (since 1 April 1998); 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 Pedro AGUAYO (since 1 April 1998); 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 until March 1998
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 31 May 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 31 May 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]; Roldosista Party or PRE [Abdala BUCARAM, leader]
Leftist parties: Popular Democratic Movement or MPD [leader NA]
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]


Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Alberto Federico MASPONS GUZMAN
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


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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 joined the World 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, but economic activity picked up in 1997. Exports and economic growth in 1998 may be adversely affected by lower world oil prices and, to a smaller extent, by El Nino.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$53.4 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 3.4% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$4,400 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 12%
industry: 37%
services: 51% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 31% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 4.2 million
by occupation: agriculture 29%, manufacturing 18%, commerce 15%, services and other activities 38% (1990)

Unemployment rate: 6.9% with widespread underemployment (August 1997 est.)

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: 2.4% (1997 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

total value: $3.4 billion (f.o.b., 1997)
commodities: petroleum 30%, bananas 26%, shrimp 16%, cut flowers 2%, fish 1.9%
partners: US 39%, Latin America 25%, EU countries 22%, Asia 12%

total value: $2.9 billion (c.i.f., 1997)
commodities: transport equipment, consumer goods, vehicles, machinery, chemicals
partners: US 32%, EU 19%, Latin America 35%, Asia 11%

Debt—external: $12.5 billion (1997)

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—4,498.0 (January 1998), 3,988.3 (1997), 3,189.5 (1996), 2,564.5 (1995), 2,196.7 (1994), 1,919.1 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year


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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.)


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

total: 43,249 km
paved: 5,752 km
unpaved: 37,497 km (1996 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: 18 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 84,423 GRT/137,272 DWT
ships by type: liquefied gas tanker 1, oil tanker 14, passenger 3 (1997 est.)

Airports: 183 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 52
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 16
under 914 m: 18 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 131
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 38
under 914 m: 90 (1997 est.)

Heliports: 1 (1997 est.)




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