Ecuador

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 15, 2011
Flag of Ecuador
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Ecuador
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Map of Ecuador
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Photos of Ecuador
 
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OF ECUADOR
 

Introduction

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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 30 years of civilian governance in 2004, the period was marred by political instability. Protests in Quito contributed to the mid-term ouster of three of Ecuador's last four democratically elected Presidents. In September 2008, voters approved a new constitution, Ecuador's 20th since gaining independence. General elections, under the new constitutional framework, were held in April 2009, and voters re-elected President Rafael CORREA.
 
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Geography

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Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru
 
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2 00 S, 77 30 W
 
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total: 283,561 sq km
country comparison to the world: 74
land: 276,841 sq km
water: 6,720 sq km
note: includes Galapagos Islands
 
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slightly smaller than Nevada
 
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total: 2,010 km
border countries: Colombia 590 km, Peru 1,420 km
 
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2,237 km
 
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territorial sea: 200 nm
continental shelf: 100 nm from 2,500-m isobath
 
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tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands
 
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coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)
 
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lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Chimborazo 6,267 m
note: due to the fact that the earth is not a perfect sphere and has an equatorial bulge, the highest point on the planet furthest from its center is Mount Chimborazo not Mount Everest, which is merely the highest peak above sea-level
 
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petroleum, fish, timber, hydropower
 
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arable land: 5.71%
permanent crops: 4.81%
other: 89.48% (2005)
 
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8,650 sq km (2008)
 
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432 cu km (2000)
 
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total: 16.98 cu km/yr (12%/5%/82%)
per capita: 1,283 cu m/yr (2000)
 
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frequent earthquakes; landslides; volcanic activity; floods; periodic droughts
volcanism: Ecuador experiences volcanic activity in the Andes Mountains; Sangay (elev. 5,230 m), which erupted in 2010, is mainland Ecuador's most active volcano; other historically active volcanoes in the Andes include Antisana, Cayambe, Chacana, Cotopaxi, Guagua Pichincha, Reventador, Sumaco, and Tungurahua; Fernandina (elev. 1,476 m), a shield volcano that last erupted in 2009, is the most active of the many Galapagos volcanoes; other historically active Galapagos volcanoes include Wolf, Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul, Pinta, Marchena, and Santiago
 
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deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution; pollution from oil production wastes in ecologically sensitive areas of the Amazon Basin and Galapagos Islands
 
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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
 
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Cotopaxi in Andes is highest active volcano in world
 
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People and Society

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noun: Ecuadorian(s)
adjective: Ecuadorian
 
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mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65%, Amerindian 25%, Spanish and others 7%, black 3%
 
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Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
 
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Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%
 
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15,007,343 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
 
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0-14 years: 30.1% (male 2,301,840/female 2,209,971)
15-64 years: 63.5% (male 4,699,548/female 4,831,521)
65 years and over: 6.4% (male 463,481/female 500,982) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 25.7 years
male: 25 years
female: 26.3 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.443% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
 
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19.96 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
 
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5 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185
 
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-0.52 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
 
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urban population: 67% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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Guayaquil 2.634 million; QUITO (capital) 1.801 million (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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140 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
country comparison to the world: 62
 
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total: 19.65 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 99
male: 23.02 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.11 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 75.73 years
country comparison to the world: 83
male: 72.79 years
female: 78.82 years (2011 est.)
 
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2.42 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90
 
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5% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 140
 
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1.48 physicians/1,000 population (2000)
country comparison to the world: 81
 
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1.5 beds/1,000 population (2008)
country comparison to the world: 123
 
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improved:
urban: 97% of population
rural: 88% of population
total: 94% of population
unimproved:
urban: 3% of population
rural: 12% of population
total: 6% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 96% of population
rural: 84% of population
total: 92% of population
unimproved:
urban: 4% of population
rural: 16% of population
total: 8% of population (2008)
 
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0.4% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
 
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37,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
 
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2,200 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
 
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degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)
 
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6.2% (2004)
country comparison to the world: 76
 
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NA
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91%
male: 92.3%
female: 89.7% (2001 census)
 
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total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2008)
 
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total: 14.1%
country comparison to the world: 81
male: 11.7%
female: 18.1% (2009)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Republic of Ecuador
conventional short form: Ecuador
local long form: Republica del Ecuador
local short form: Ecuador
 
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republic
 
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name: Quito
geographic coordinates: 0 13 S, 78 30 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
 
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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
 
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24 May 1822 (from Spain)
 
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Independence Day (independence of Quito), 10 August (1809)
 
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20 October 2008
 
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civil law based on the Chilean civil code with modifications
 
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has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
 
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16 years of age; universal, compulsory for persons ages 18-65, optional for other eligible voters
 
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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
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elections: the president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a four-year term and can be re-elected for another consecutive term; election last held on 26 April 2009 (next to be held in 2013)
election results: President Rafael CORREA Delgado reelected president; percent of vote - Rafael CORREA Delgado 52%; Lucio GUTIERREZ 28.2%; Alvaro NOBOA 11.4%; other 8.4%
 
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unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (124 seats; members are elected through a party-list proportional representation system to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 26 April 2009 (next to be held in 2013)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PAIS 59, PSP 19, PSC 11, PRIAN 7, MPD 5, PRE 3, other 20; note - defections by members of National Assembly are commonplace, resulting in frequent changes in the numbers of seats held by the various parties
 
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National Court of Justice or Corte Nacional de Justicia (according to the Constitution, justices are elected through a procedure overseen by the Judiciary Council); Constitutional Court or Corte Constitucional (Constitutional Court justices are appointed by a commission composed of two delegates each from the Executive, Legislative, and Transparency branches of government)
 
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Alianza PAIS movement [Rafael Vicente CORREA Delgado]; Democratic Left or ID [Dalton BACIGALUPO]; Ethical and Democratic Network or RED [Martha ROLDOS]; Institutional Renewal and National Action Party or PRIAN [Vicente TAIANO]; Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement - New Country or MUPP-NP [Rafael ANTUNI]; Patriotic Society Party or PSP [Lucio GUTIERREZ Borbua]; Popular Democratic Movement or MPD [Luis VILLACIS]; Roldosist Party or PRE [Abdala BUCARAM Pulley, director]; Social Christian Party or PSC [Pascual DEL CIOPPO]; Socialist Party - Broad Front or PS-FA [Rafael QUINTERO]; Warrior's Spirit Movement [Jaime NEBOT]
 
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Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador or CONAIE [Marlon SANTI, president]; Federation of Indigenous Evangelists of Ecuador or FEINE [Manuel CHUGCHILAN, president]; National Federation of Indigenous Afro-Ecuatorianos and Peasants or FENOCIN [Luis Alberto ANDRANGO Cadena, president]; National Teacher's Union or UNE [Mariana PALLASCO]
 
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CAN, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, RG, UN, UNAMID, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Efrain Baus PALACIOS
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, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New Haven, New Orleans, New York, Newark (New Jersey), Phoenix, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Timothy ZUNIGA-BROWN
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
 
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three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double width), blue, and red with the coat of arms superimposed at the center of the flag; the flag retains the three main colors of the banner of Gran Columbia, the South American republic that broke up in 1830; the yellow color represents sunshine, grain, and mineral wealth, blue the sky, sea, and rivers, and red the blood of patriots spilled in the struggle for freedom and justice
note: similar to the flag of Colombia, which is shorter and does not bear a coat of arms
 
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Andean condor
 
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name: "Salve, Oh Patria!" (We Salute You Our Homeland)
lyrics/music: Juan Leon MERA/Antonio NEUMANE
note: adopted 1948; Juan Leon MERA wrote the lyrics in 1865; only the chorus and second verse are sung
 
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Economy

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Ecuador is substantially dependent on its petroleum resources, which have accounted for more than half of the country's export earnings and approximately one-third of public sector revenues in recent years. In 1999/2000, Ecuador suffered a severe economic crisis, with GDP contracting by 5.3%. Poverty increased significantly, the banking system collapsed, and Ecuador defaulted on its external debt. In March 2000, the 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 an average of 5.2% per year, the highest five-year average in 25 years. After moderate growth in 2007, the economy reached a growth rate of 7.2% in 2008, in large part due to high global petroleum prices and increased public sector investment. President Rafael CORREA, who took office in January 2007, defaulted in December 2008 on Ecuador's sovereign debt, which, with a total face value of approximately US$3.2 billion, represented about 80% of Ecuador's private external debt. In May 2009, Ecuador bought back 91% of its "defaulted" bonds via an international auction. Economic policies under the CORREA administration - including an announcement in late 2009 of its intention to terminate 13 bilateral investment treaties, including one with the United States - have generated economic uncertainty and discouraged private investment. The Ecuadorian economy contracted 0.4% in 2009 due to the global financial crisis and to the sharp decline in world oil prices and remittance flows. Growth picked up to a 3.7% rate in 2010, according to Ecuadorian government estimates.
 
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$115 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
$111.4 billion (2009 est.)
$111 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$58.91 billion (2010 est.)
 
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3.2% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
0.4% (2009 est.)
7.2% (2008 est.)
 
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$7,800 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
$7,600 (2009 est.)
$7,700 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 6.4%
industry: 35.9%
services: 57.7% (2010 est.)
 
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4.645 million (urban) (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
 
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agriculture: 8.3%
industry: 21.2%
services: 70.4% (2005)
 
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7.6% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
8.5% (2009 est.)
 
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33.1% (June 2010)
 
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lowest 10%: 1%
highest 10%: 35.3%
note: data for urban households only (June 2010)
 
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46.9 (June 2010)
country comparison to the world: 31
50.5 (2006)
note: data are for urban households
 
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25.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58
 
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revenues: $21.5 billion
expenditures: $23.7 billion (2010 est.)
 
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36.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58
 
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-3.7% of GDP (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116
 
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23.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103
19.9% of GDP (2009 est.)
 
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3.6% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
5.2% (2009 est.)
 
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8.68% (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 35
9.19% (31 December 2009)
 
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9% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
9.203% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$6.421 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
$5.201 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$21.22 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
$18.83 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$16.62 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
$12.31 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$5.263 billion (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 87
$4.248 billion (31 December 2009)
$4.562 billion (31 December 2008)
 
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bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, manioc (tapioca), plantains, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork, dairy products; balsa wood; fish, shrimp
 
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petroleum, food processing, textiles, wood products, chemicals
 
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3.1% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
 
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18.06 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
 
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14.75 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
 
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21 million kWh (2008 est.)
 
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1.099 billion kWh (2008 est.)
 
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485,600 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
 
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201,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
 
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364,500 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
 
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80,430 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
 
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6.51 billion bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
 
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296 million cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
 
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296 million cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
 
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7.985 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
 
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-$1.917 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
-$179.8 million (2009 est.)
 
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$18.06 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
$14.41 billion (2009 est.)
 
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petroleum, bananas, cut flowers, shrimp, cacao, coffee, wood, fish
 
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US 37.3%, Panama 13%, Peru 6.2%, Colombia 4.5%, Russia 4.2%, Chile 4.2% (2010)
 
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$19.64 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
$14.27 billion (2009 est.)
 
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industrial materials, fuels and lubricants, nondurable consumer goods
 
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US 29.6%, Colombia 9.3%, China 8.1%, Venezuela 5.9%, Brazil 5.3% (2010)
 
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$2.622 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105
$3.792 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$14.32 billion (30 June 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
$14.73 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
 
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$12.11 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
$11.95 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$6.848 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
$7.962 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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the US dollar became Ecuador's currency in 2001
 
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Communications

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2.086 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 56
 
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14.781 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 52
 
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general assessment: generally elementary but being expanded
domestic: fixed-line services provided by multiple telecommunications operators; fixed-line teledensity stands at about 14 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular use has surged and subscribership reached about 95 per 100 persons in 2009
international: country code - 593; landing points for the PAN-AM and South America-1 submarine cables that provide 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) (2009)
 
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many TV and radio stations are privately-owned; the government owns and runs one national television station and controls two others, as well as multiple radio stations; Ecuador has multiple television networks and TV channels, and a large number of local channels; more than 400 radio stations; broadcast media required by law to give the government free air time to broadcast programs produced by the state (2007)
 
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.ec
 
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67,975 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 82
 
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3.352 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 64
 
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Transportation

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428 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 18
 
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total: 105
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 25
under 914 m: 55 (2010)
 
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total: 323
914 to 1,523 m: 39
under 914 m: 284 (2010)
 
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2 (2010)
 
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extra heavy crude 434 km; gas 5 km; oil 1,378 km; refined products 1,262 km (2010)
 
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total: 965 km
country comparison to the world: 90
narrow gauge: 965 km 1.067-m gauge (2010)
 
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total: 43,670 km
country comparison to the world: 85
paved: 6,472 km
unpaved: 37,198 km (2007)
 
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1,500 km (most inaccessible) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 53
 
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total: 41
country comparison to the world: 76
by type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 3, liquefied gas 1, passenger 9, petroleum tanker 26, refrigerated cargo 1
registered in other countries: 7 (Bolivia 1, Panama 6) (2010)
 
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Esmeraldas, Guayaquil, Manta, Puerto Bolivar
 
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Military

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Ecuadorian Armed Forces: Ecuadorian Land Force (Fuerza Terrestre Ecuatoriana, FTE), Ecuadorian Navy (Fuerza Naval del Ecuador (FNE), includes Naval Infantry, Naval Aviation, Coast Guard), Ecuadorian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Ecuatoriana, FAE) (2011)
 
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20 years of age for selective conscript military service; 12-month service obligation (2008)
 
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males age 16-49: 3,728,906
females age 16-49: 3,844,918 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 2,834,213
females age 16-49: 3,269,535 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 152,593
female: 147,143 (2010 est.)
 
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0.9% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 134
 
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Transnational Issues

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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
 
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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)
 
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current situation: Ecuador is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; the majority of trafficking victims are believed to be women and children trafficked within the country from border and central highland areas to urban centers for nonconsensual commercial sexual exploitation, as well as for domestic servitude, forced begging, and forced labor in mines and other hazardous work; children are forced to work as domestic servants, street vendors, and beggars and some are forced to engage in criminal activity, such as drug trafficking and robbery; Ecuadorian women are subjected to forced prostitution in Colombia, Peru, and Western Europe; Ecuador is a destination country for Colombian, Peruvian, and to a lesser extent, Chinese women and girls subjected to sex trafficking
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - the government did not show evidence of increased efforts to address forced labor and sex trafficking crimes involving adults, or trafficking-related complicity of local government officials, and government protections for adult victims remained inadequate; the government did, however, sustain modest law enforcement measures against child sex trafficking offenders, and continued to work with civil society and the private sector to raise awareness of forced labor and sex trafficking of children (2011)
 
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significant transit country for cocaine originating in Colombia and Peru, with much 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 (2011)
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