[Country map of Ecuador]



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

Map references: South America

total area: 283,560 sq km
land area: 276,840 sq km
comparative area: slightly smaller than Nevada
note: includes Galapagos Islands

Land boundaries: total 2,010 km, 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

International disputes: three sections of the boundary with Peru are in dispute

Climate: tropical along coast becoming cooler inland

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

Natural resources: petroleum, fish, timber

Land use:
arable land: 6%
permanent crops: 3%
meadows and pastures: 17%
forest and woodland: 51%
other: 23%

Irrigated land: 5,500 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution
natural hazards: frequent earthquakes, landslides, volcanic activity; periodic droughts
international agreements: party to - Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Tropical Timber 94

Note: Cotopaxi in Andes is highest active volcano in world


Population: 10,890,950 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 36% (female 1,928,977; male 1,990,036)
15-64 years: 60% (female 3,281,575; male 3,230,082)
65 years and over: 4% (female 244,862; male 215,418) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.95% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 25.08 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 5.55 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 37.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 70.35 years
male: 67.83 years
female: 72.99 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.97 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Ecuadorian(s)
adjective: Ecuadorian

Ethnic divisions: mestizo (mixed Indian and Spanish) 55%, Indian 25%, Spanish 10%, black 10%

Religions: Roman Catholic 95%

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

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1990)
total population: 87%
male: 90%
female: 84%

Labor force: 2.8 million
by occupation: agriculture 35%, manufacturing 21%, commerce 16%, services and other activities 28% (1982)


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

Digraph: EC

Type: republic

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 and head of government: President Sixto DURAN-BALLEN Cordovez (since 10 August 1992); Vice President Alberto DAHIK Garzoni (since 10 August 1992); election runoff election held 5 July 1992 (next to be held NA 1996); results - Sixto DURAN-BALLEN elected as president and Alberto DAHIK elected as vice president
cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the president

Legislative branch: unicameral
National Congress (Congreso Nacional): elections last held 1 May 1994 (next to be held 1 May 1996); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (77 total) PSC 25, PRE 11, MPD 8, ID 7, DP 7, PCE 7, PUR 2, CFP 2, APRE 2, PSE 1, FRA 1, PLRE 1, LN 1, independents 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Corte Suprema)

Political parties and leaders:
Center-Right parties: Social Christian Party (PSC), Jaime NEBOT Saadi, president; Republican Unity Party (PUR), President Sixto DURAN-BALLEN, leader; Ecuadorian Conservative Party (PCE), Vice President Alberto DAHIK, president
Center-Left parties: Democratic Left (ID), Andres VALLEJO Arcos, Rodrigo BORJA Cevallos, leaders; Popular Democracy (DP), Rodrigo PAZ, leader; Ecuadorian Radical Liberal Party (PLRE), Medardo MORA, leader; Radical Alfarista Front (FRA), Jaime ASPIAZU Seminario, director
populist parties: Roldista Party (PRE), Abdala BUCARAM Ortiz, director; Concentration of Popular Forces (CFP), Rodolfo BAQUERIZO Nazur, leader; Popular Revolutionary Action (APRE), Frank VARGAS Passos, leader
Far-Left parties: Popular Democratic Movement (MPD), Juan Jose CASTELLO, leader; Ecuadorian Socialist Party (PSE), Leon ROLDOS, leader; Broad Leftist Front (FADI), Rene Mauge MOSQUERA, chairman; Ecuadorian National Liberation (LN), Alfredo CASTILLO, director
Communists: Communist Party of Ecuador (PCE, pro-North Korea), Rene Mauge MOSQUERA, Secretary General; Communist Party of Ecuador/Marxist-Leninist (PCMLE, Maoist)


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Edgar TERAN Teran
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, and San Francisco
consulate(s): Newark

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Peter F. ROMERO
embassy: Avenida 12 de Octubre y Avenida Patria, Quito
mailing address: APO AA 34039-3420
telephone: [593] (2) 562-890, 561-624, 561-749
FAX: [593] (2) 502-052
consulate(s) general: Guayaquil

Flag: 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


Overview: Ecuador has substantial oil resources and rich agricultural areas. Growth has been uneven in recent years because of fluctuations in prices for Ecuador's primary exports - oil and bananas - as well as because of government policies designed to curb inflation. President Sixto DURAN-BALLEN launched a series of macroeconomic reforms when he came into office in August 1992 which included raising domestic fuel prices and utility rates, eliminating most subsidies, and bringing the government budget into balance. These measures helped to reduce inflation from 55% in 1992 to 25% in 1994. DURAN-BALLEN has a much more favorable attitude toward foreign investment than his predecessor and has supported several laws designed to encourage foreign investment. Ecuador has implemented free or complementary trade agreements with Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela, as well as applied for World Trade Organization membership. Ecuador signed a standby agreement with the IMF and rescheduled its $7.6 billion commercial debt in 1994 thereby regaining access to multilateral lending. Growth in 1994 speeded up to 3.9%, based on increased exports of bananas and non-traditional products, while international reserves increased to a record $1.6 billion.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $41.1 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 3.9% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $3,840 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 25% (1994)

Unemployment rate: 7.1% (1994)

revenues: $2.76 billion
expenditures: $2.76 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994)

Exports: $3.3 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: petroleum 39%, bananas 17%, shrimp 16%, cocoa 3%, coffee 6%
partners: US 42%, Latin America 29%, Caribbean, EU countries 17%

Imports: $3 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: transport equipment, consumer goods, vehicles, machinery, chemicals
partners: US 28%, EU 17%, Latin America 31%, Caribbean, Japan

External debt: $13.2 billion (yearend 1993 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 6.4% (1993); accounts for almost 35% of GDP, including petroleum

capacity: 2,230,000 kW
production: 6.9 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 612 kWh (1993)

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

Agriculture: accounts for 14% of GDP (including fishing and forestry); leading producer and exporter of bananas and balsawood; other agricultural exports - coffee, cocoa, fish, shrimp; other crops - rice, potatoes, manioc, plantains, sugarcane; livestock products - cattle, sheep, hogs, beef, pork, dairy products; net importer of foodgrains, dairy products, and sugar

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

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $498 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-91), $2.39 billion; Communist countries (1970-89), $64 million

Currency: 1 sucre (S/) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: sucres (S/) per US$1 - 1,198.1 (December 1994), 2,196.7 (1994), 1,919.1 (1993), 1,534.0 (1992), 1,046.25 (1991), 767.8 (1990), 767.78 (1990), 526.35 (1989)

Fiscal year: calendar year


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

total: 43,709 km
paved: 5,245 km
unpaved: 38,464 km

Inland waterways: 1,500 km

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

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

Merchant marine:
total: 33 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 222,822 GRT/326,447 DWT
ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 2, container 2, liquefied gas tanker 2, oil tanker 13, passenger 3, refrigerated cargo 10

total: 175
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 15
with paved runways under 914 m: 107
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 5
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 31


Telephone system: 318,000 telephones; 30 telephones/1,000 persons; domestic facilities generally inadequate and unreliable
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: 1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth station

broadcast stations: AM 272, FM 0, shortwave 39
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 33
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

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

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 2,814,867; males fit for military service 1,903,979; males reach military age (20) annually 113,985 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: $NA, NA% of GDP