Ecuador Population: 16,080,778

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 History
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 late 2008, voters approved a new constitution, Ecuador's 20th since gaining independence. General elections were held in February 2013, and voters reelected President Rafael CORREA.

 Geography
Cotopaxi in Andes is highest active volcano in world
Location: Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru
Geographic coordinates: 2 00 S, 77 30 W
Area: total: 283,561 sq km
land: 276,841 sq km
water: 6,720 sq km

note: includes Galapagos Islands

Size comparison: slightly smaller than Nevada
Land Boundaries: total: 2,237 km border countries (2): Colombia 708 km, Peru 1,529 km
Coastline: 2,237 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 200 nm
continental shelf: 100 nm from 2,500-m isobath
Climate: tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands
Terrain: coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)
Elevation extremes:
Natural resources: petroleum, fish, timber, hydropower
Land use: agricultural land: 29.7% arable land 4.7%; permanent crops 5.6%; permanent pasture 19.4% forest: 38.9%
other: 31.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 15,000 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: frequent earthquakes; landslides; volcanic activity; floods; periodic droughts volcanism: volcanic activity concentrated along 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
Current Environment Issues: deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution; pollution from oil production wastes in ecologically sensitive areas of the Amazon Basin and Galapagos Islands
International Environment 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
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 People
Nationality: noun: Ecuadorian(s)
adjective: Ecuadorian
Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 71.9%, Montubio 7.4%, Amerindian 7%, white 6.1%, Afroecuadorian 4.3%, mulato 1.9%, black 1%, other 0.4% (2010 est.)
Languages: Spanish (Castilian) 93% (official), Quechua 4.1%, other indigenous 0.7%, foreign 2.2% note: (Quechua and Shuar are official languages of intercultural relations; other indigenous languages are in official use by indigenous peoples in the areas they inhabit) (2010 est.)
Religions: Roman Catholic 74%, Evangelical 10.4%, Jehovah's Witness 1.2%, other 6.4% (includes Mormon Buddhist, Jewish, Spiritualist, Muslim, Hindu, indigenous religions, African American religions, Pentecostal), atheist 7.9%, agnostic 0.1%

note: data represents persons at least 16 years of age from five Ecuadoran cities (2012 est.)
Population: 16,080,778 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 27.52% (male 2,257,535/female 2,168,198)
15-24 years: 18.47% (male 1,508,341/female 1,461,207)
25-54 years: 39.38% (male 3,086,599/female 3,245,266)
55-64 years: 7.39% (male 581,560/female 606,821)
65 years and over: 7.25% (male 554,371/female 610,880) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 55.6%
youth dependency ratio: 45.1%
elderly dependency ratio: 10.4%
potential support ratio: 9.6% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 27.4 years
male: 26.7 years
female: 28.1 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.31% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 18.2 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 5.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 63.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.9% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: Guayaquil 2.709 million; QUITO (capital) 1.726 million (2015)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 64 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 16.9 deaths/1,000 live births male: 19.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 76.8 years male: 73.8 years
female: 79.9 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.22 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Health expenditures: 9.2% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 1.72 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
Hospital bed density: 1.6 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 93.4% of population
rural: 75.5% of population
total: 86.9% of population

unimproved:
urban: 6.6% of population
rural: 24.5% of population
total: 13.1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 87% of population
rural: 80.7% of population
total: 84.7% of population

unimproved:
urban: 13% of population
rural: 19.3% of population
total: 15.3% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.29% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 29,100 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 900 (2015 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 18% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 6.4% (2013)
Education expenditures: 4.9% of GDP (2015)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.5%
male: 95.4%
female: 93.5% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 14 years male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2012)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 10.9% male: 8.4%
female: 15.7% (2013 est.)
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 Government
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Ecuador
conventional short form: Ecuador
local long form: Republica del Ecuador
local short form: Ecuador
etymology: the country's position on the globe, straddling the Equator, accounts for its Spanish name
Government type: presidential republic
Capital: name: Quito
geographic coordinates: 0 13 S, 78 30 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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
Independence: 24 May 1822 (from Spain)
National holiday: Independence Day (independence of Quito), 10 August (1809)
Constitution: many previous; latest approved 20 October 2008; amended 2011; note - a 2015 constitutional amendment lifting presidential term limits becomes effective in 2021 (2016)
Legal system: civil law based on the Chilean civil code with modifications; traditional law in indigenous communities
Suffrage: 18-65 years of age, universal and compulsory; 16-18, over 65, and other eligible voters, voluntary
Executive branch: chief of state: President Rafael CORREA Delgado (since 15 January 2007); Vice President Jorge GLAS Espinel (since 24 May 2013); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Rafael CORREA Delgado (since 15 January 2007); Vice President Jorge GLAS Espinel (since 24 May 2013)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 17 February 2013 (next to be held in 2017)

election results: President Rafael CORREA Delgado reelected president; percent of vote - Rafael CORREA Delgado (Alianza PAIS Movement) 57.2%, Guillermo LASSO (CREO) 22.7%, Lucio GUTIERREZ (PSP) 6.8%, Mauricio RODAS (SUMA) 3.9%, other 9.4%
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (137 seats; 116 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 15 members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote, and 6 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies for Ecuadorians living abroad by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 17 February 2013 (next to be held in 2017)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PAIS 100, CREO 11, PSC 6, AVANZA 5, MUPP 5, PSP 5, other 5; note - defections by members of National Assembly are commonplace, resulting in frequent changes in the numbers of seats held by the various parties
Judicial branch: highest court(s): National Court of Justice or Corte Nacional de Justicia (consists of 21 judges including the chief justice and organized into 5 specialized chambers); Constitutional Court or Corte Constitucional (consists of 9 judges) judge selection and term of office: justices of National Court of Justice elected by the Judiciary Council, a 9-member independent body of law professionals; judges elected for 9-year, non-renewable terms, with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the executive, legislative, and Citizen Participation branches of government; judges appointed for 9-year non-renewable terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years

subordinate courts: Fiscal Tribunal; Election Dispute Settlement Courts, provincial courts (one for each province); cantonal courts
Political parties and leaders: Alianza PAIS movement [Rafael Vicente CORREA Delgado] Avanza Party or AVANZA [Ramiro GONZALEZ] Creating Opportunities Movement or CREO [Guillermo LASSO] Institutional Renewal and National Action Party or PRIAN [Alvaro NOBOA] Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement or MUPP [Rafael ANTUNI] Patriotic Society Party or PSP [Lucio GUTIERREZ Borbua] Popular Democracy Movement or MPD [Luis VILLACIS] Roldosist Party or PRE Social Christian Party or PSC [Pascual DEL CIOPPO] Socialist Party [Fabian SOLANO] Society United for More Action or SUMA [Mauricio RODAS] Warrior's Spirit Movement [Jaime NEBOT]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador or CONAIE [Humberto CHOLANGO] Federation of Indigenous Evangelists of Ecuador or FEINE [Manuel CHUGCHILAN, president] National Federation of Indigenous Afro-Ecuatorianos and Peasants or FENOCIN National Teacher's Union or UNE [Mariana PALLASCO]
International organization participation: CAN, CD, CELAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, OPEC, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): Andean condor; national colors: yellow, blue, red
National anthem: 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
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Jose Francisco BORJA Cevallos (since 18 May 2015)
chancery: 2535 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 234-7200
FAX: [1] (202) 667-3482
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New Haven (CT), New Orleans, New York, Newark (NJ), Phoenix, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Todd CHAPMAN (since 14 April 2016)
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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 Economy
Ecuador is substantially dependent on its petroleum resources, which have accounted for more than half of the country's export earnings and approximately 25% of public sector revenues in recent years. In 1999/2000, Ecuador's economy suffered from a banking crisis, with GDP contracting by 5.3% and poverty increasing significantly. 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. The economy grew an average of 4.3% per year from 2002 to 2006, the highest five-year average in 25 years. After moderate growth in 2007, the economy reached a growth rate of 6.4% in 2008, buoyed by high global petroleum prices and increased public sector investment. President Rafael CORREA Delgado, 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 30% of Ecuador's public external debt. In May 2009, Ecuador bought back 91% of its "defaulted" bonds via an international reverse auction. Economic policies under the CORREA administration - for example, an announcement in late 2009 of its intention to terminate 13 bilateral investment treaties, including one with the US - have generated economic uncertainty and discouraged private investment. China has become Ecuador's largest foreign lender since Quito defaulted in 2008, allowing the government to maintain a high rate of social spending; Ecuador contracted with the Chinese government for more than $9.9 billion in forward oil sales, project financing, and budget support loans as of December 2013. The level of foreign investment in Ecuador continues to be one of the lowest in the region as a result of an unstable regulatory environment, weak rule of law, and the crowding-out effect of public investments. Faced with a 2013 trade deficit of $1.1 billion, Ecuador erected technical barriers to trade in December 2013, causing tensions with its largest trading partners. Ecuador also decriminalized intellectual property rights violations in February 2014. In March, 2015 Ecuador imposed tariff surcharges for 15 months from 5% to 45% on an estimated 32% of imports. In 2014, oil output increased slightly and production remained steady in 2015. In 2015, however, lower oil prices forced CORREA to cut the budget twice, and the government has considered further budget and subsidy cuts for 2016.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $182.4 billion (2016 est.) $186.6 billion (2015 est.) $186.1 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $99.12 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: -2.3% (2016 est.) 0.3% (2015 est.) 3.7% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $11,000 (2016 est.) $11,500 (2015 est.) $11,600 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 23.3% of GDP (2016 est.) 25.2% of GDP (2015 est.) 28.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 62%
government consumption: 13.3%
investment in fixed capital: 25.5%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 19.8%
imports of goods and services: -20.7% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 62%
government consumption: 13.3%
investment in fixed capital: 25.5%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 19.8%
imports of goods and services: -20.7% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, cassava (manioc, tapioca), plantains, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork, dairy products; fish, shrimp; balsa wood
Industries: petroleum, food processing, textiles, wood products, chemicals
Industrial production growth rate: -3.2% note: excludes oil refining (2016 est.)
Labor force: 4.848 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 27.8%
industry: 17.8%
services: 54.4% (2012 est.)
Unemployment rate: 5.5% (2016 est.) 4.3% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line: 25.6% (December 2013 est)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.4%
highest 10%: 35.4% note: data for urban households only (2012 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 48.5 (December 2013) 50.5 (December 2010) note: data are for urban households
Budget: revenues: $30.9 billion
expenditures: $34.9 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 31.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 33% of GDP (2016 est.) 30.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.1% (2016 est.) 4% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$1.47 billion (2016 est.) -$2.247 billion (2015 est.)
Exports: $16.77 billion (2016 est.) $19.05 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum, bananas, cut flowers, shrimp, cacao, coffee, wood, fish
Exports - partners: US 39.5%, Chile 6.2%, Peru 5.1%, Vietnam 4.3%, Colombia 4.3% (2015)
Imports: $17.74 billion (2016 est.) $20.7 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: industrial materials, fuels and lubricants, nondurable consumer goods
Imports - partners: US 27.1%, China 15.3%, Colombia 8.3%, Panama 4.9% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $2.163 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $2.496 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $33.22 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $30.79 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $17.83 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $15.63 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $6.33 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $6.33 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $5.911 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $5.779 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $5.263 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Exchange rates: the US dollar became Ecuador's currency in 2001, 1 (2016 est.), 1 (2015 est.)
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 23 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 21 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 47 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports: 800 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 6.3 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 57.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 41.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 1.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 543,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 378,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 8.832 billion bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 207,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 282,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 22,890 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 133,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 578 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 578 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 10.99 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 38 million Mt (2013 est.)
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 Communications
Cellular Phones in use: total: 12.888 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 81 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: elementary fixed-line service but increasingly sophisticated mobile-cellular network

domestic: fixed-line services provided by multiple telecommunications operators; fixed-line teledensity stands at about 15 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular use has surged and subscribership has reached 80 per 100 persons

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 (2015)
Broadcast media: multiple TV networks and many local channels, as well as more than 300 radio stations; many TV and radio stations are privately owned; the government owns or controls 5 national TV stations and multiple radio stations; broadcast media required by law to g (2007)
Internet country code: .ec
Internet users: total: 7.766 million percent of population: 48.9% (July 2015 est.)
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 Transportation
Airports: 432 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 104
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 18
914 to 1,523 m: 26
under 914 m: 51 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 328

914 to 1,523 m: 37
under 914 m: 291 (2013)
Heliports: 2 (2013)
Pipelines: extra heavy crude 527 km; gas 71 km; oil 2,131 km; refined products 1,526 km (2013)
Railways: total 965 km

narrow gauge: 965 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
Roadways: total 43,670 km
paved: 6,472 km
unpaved: 37,198 km (2007)
Waterways: 1,500 km (most inaccessible) (2012)
Merchant marine: total 44

by type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 4, liquefied gas 1, passenger 9, petroleum tanker 28, refrigerated cargo 1

registered in other countries: 4 (Panama 3, Peru 1) (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Esmeraldas, Manta, Puerto Bolivar
river port(s): Guayaquil (Guayas) container port(s) (TEUs): Guayaquil (1,405,762)
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 Military
Military branches: 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) (2012)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for selective conscript military service; conscription has been suspended; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; Air Force 18-22 years of age, Ecuadorian birth requirement; 1-year service obligation (2012)
Military expenditures: 2.83% of GDP (2012) 3.2% of GDP (2011) 2.83% of GDP (2010)
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 Transnational Issues
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): 120,685 (Colombia) (2015) IDPs: 28,775 (earthquake April 2016) (2016)
Illicit drugs: 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 (2008)
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