Statistical information Venezuela 1996Venezuela

Map of Venezuela | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Venezuela in the World
Venezuela in the World

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Venezuela - Introduction 1996
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Background: Venezuela was one of the three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Colombia and Ecuador). For most of the first half of the 20th century Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen who promoted the oil industry and allowed for some social reforms. Democratically elected governments have held sway since 1959. Current concerns include: drug-related conflicts along the Colombian border increasing internal drug consumption overdependence on the petroleum industry with its price fluctuations and irresponsible mining operations which are endangering the rain forest and indigenous peoples.

Venezuela - Geography 1996
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Location: Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, between Colombia and Guyana

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 912,050 km²
Land: 882,050 km²
Comparative: slightly more than twice the size of California

Land boundaries: Total 4,993 km, Brazil 2,200 km, Colombia 2,050 km, Guyana 743 km

Coastline: 2,800 km

Maritime claims
Contiguous zone: 15 nm
Continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: Tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands

Terrain: Andes Mountains and Maracaibo Lowlands in northwest; central plains (llanos); Guiana Highlands in southeast
Lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
Highest point: Pico Bolivar (La Columna) 5,007 m


Natural resources:
Natural gas
Iron ore
Other minerals

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 3%
Permanent crops: 1%
Permanent pastures: 20%
Forests and woodland: 39%
Other: 37%

Irrigated land: 2,640 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Venezuela - People 1996
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21,983,188 (July 1996 est.)
21,004,773 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
1.89% (1996 est.)
2.1% (1995 est.)

Noun: Venezuelan(s)
Adjective: Venezuelan

Ethnic groups:
Mestizo 67%
White 21%
Black 10%
Amerindian 2%

Languages: Spanish (official), native dialects spoken by about 200,000 Amerindians in the remote interior

Nominally Roman Catholic 96%
Protestant 2%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
35% (male 3,946,196; female 3,704,561) (July 1995 est.)
35% (male 3,795,032; female 3,650,705) (July 1995 est.)

15-64 years:
61% (male 6,702,404; female 6,666,626) (July 1995 est.)
60% (male 6,313,887; female 6,350,466) (July 1995 est.)

65 years and over: 4% (male 442,659; female 520,742) (July 1996 est.) 5% (male 408,663; female 486,020) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
1.89% (1996 est.)
2.1% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
24.39 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
25.11 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
5.09 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
4.57 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
-0.36 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
0.46 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: sewage pollution of Lago de Valencia; oil and urban pollution of Lago de Maracaibo; deforestation; soil degradation; urban and industrial pollution, especially along the Caribbean coast
Current issues Natural hazards: subject to floods, rockslides, mudslides; periodic droughts
International agreements: party to_Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified_Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping
International agreements note: On major sea and air routes linking North and South America

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
All ages:
1.02 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:29.5 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
26.5 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 72.09 years (1996 est.), 73.31 years (1995 est.)
Male: 69.11 years (1996 est.), 70.48 years (1995 est.)
Female: 75.29 years (1996 est.), 76.29 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.87 children born/woman (1996 est.)
2.97 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write (1995 est.)
Total population: 91.1%
Male: 91.8%
Female: 90.3%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Venezuela - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Venezuela
Conventional short form: Venezuela
Local long form: Republica de Venezuela
Local short form: Venezuela

Government type: Republic

Capital: Caracas

Administrative divisions: 21 states (estados, singular_estado), 1 territory* (territorio), 1 federal district** (distrito federal), and 1 federal dependency*** (dependencia federal); Amazonas*, Anzoategui, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Bolivar, Carabobo, Cojedes, Delta Amacuro, Dependencias Federales***, Distrito Federal**, Falcon, Guarico, Lara, Merida, Miranda, Monagas, Nueva Esparta, Portuguesa, Sucre, Tachira, Trujillo, Yaracuy, Zulia
Note: The federal dependency consists of 11 federally controlled island groups with a total of 72 individual islands

Dependent areas

Independence: 5 July 1811 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day, 5 July (1811)

Constitution: 23 January 1961

Legal system: Based on Napoleonic code; judicial review of legislative acts in Cassation Court only; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state and head of government: President Rafael CALDERA Rodriguez (since 2 February 1994); election last held 5 December 1993 (next to be held NA December 1998); results_Rafael CALDERA (National Convergence) 30.45%, Claudio FERMIN (AD) 23.59%, Oswaldo ALVAREZ PAZ (COPEI) 22.72%, Andres VELASQUEZ (Causa R) 21.94%, other 1.3%
Cabinet: Council of Ministers; appointed by the president

Legislative branch: Bicameral Congress of the Republic (Congreso de la Republica) Senate (Senado):Elections last held 5 December 1993 (next to be held NA December 1998; results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(53 total) AD 18, COPEI 15, Causa R 9, MAS 5, National Convergence 6; note_3 former presidents (2 from AD, 1 from COPEI) hold lifetime senate seats Chamber of Deputies (Camara De Diputados):Elections last held 5 December 1993 (next to be held NA December 1998; results_AD 27.9%, COPEI 26.9%, MAS 12.4%, National Convergence 12.9%, Causa R 19.9%; seats_(203 total) AD 55, COPEI 53, MAS 24, National Convergence 26, Causa R 40, other 5

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice (Corte Suprema de Justicia), magistrates are elected by both chambers in joint session

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: AG, BCIE, Caricom (observer), CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G- 3, G-11, G-15, G-19, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, MINURSO, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPEC, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Venezuela: Three equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), blue, and red with the coat of arms on the hoist side of the yellow band and an arc of seven white five-pointed stars centered in the blue band

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Venezuela - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: The petroleum sector continues to dominate the economy, accounting for roughly 25% of GDP, 70% of total merchandise exports, and 45% of government revenue. According to preliminary Venezuelan government figures, real GDP grew 2.2% in 1995, largely on the strength of 6% growth in the petroleum sector. Nonoil private sector GDP registered only a 0.8% gain in 1995, however, reflecting difficult domestic operating conditions, including a virtual cutoff of foreign exchange disbursements in the fourth quarter; the government has used foreign exchange controls to conserve reserves since mid-1994. The CALDERA administration is currently negotiating with the IMF for a $3 billion stand-by agreement; it is unclear whether Caracas is willing to take the tough steps_including a substantial increase in gasoline prices_needed to seal a deal. Most private forecasters predict a difficult 1996, including flat or declining GDP, continued inflationary pressure, a tight foreign exchange situation, and potentially severe budget difficulties for the government.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate:
2.2% (1995 est.)
-3.3% (1994 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: Accounts for 5% of GDP; products_corn, sorghum, sugarcane, rice, bananas, vegetables, coffee, beef, pork, milk, eggs, fish; not self-sufficient in food other than meat

Iron-ore mining
Construction materials
Food processing
Motor vehicle assembly

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate 0.5% (1995 est.), -1.4% (1993 est.), accounts for 41% of GDP

Labor force: 7.6 million
By occupation Services: 63%
By occupation Industry: 25%
By occupation Agriculture: 12% (1993)
Labor force

Unemployment rate:
11.7% (1995 est.)
9% (1994 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $7.25 billion (1995 est.); $10.3 billion (1994 est.)
Expenditures: $9.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA million (1995 est.); $14.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $103 million (1994 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: Calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

total value. $18.3 billion (f.o.b., 1995)
$15.2 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)

Petroleum 72%
Bauxite and aluminum
Agricultural products
Basic manufactures

U.S. and Puerto Rico 55%

Total value:
$11.6 billion (f.o.b., 1995)
$7.6 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)

Raw materials
Machinery and equipment
Transport equipment
Construction materials

U.S. 40%

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $40.1 billion (1994)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Bolivares (Bs) per US$1_288.690 (January 1996), 176.843 (1995), 148.503 (1994), 90.826 (1993), 68.376 (1992), 56.816 (1991), 46.90 (1990)

Venezuela - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 72 billion kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 3,311 kWh (1993)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Venezuela - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 1.44 million telephones (1987 est.); modern and expanding
Local: NA
Intercity: 3 domestic satellite earth stations
International: 3 submarine coaxial cables; 1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth station

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Venezuela - Military 1996
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $902 million, 1.4% of GDP (1996; $1.95 billion, 4% of GDP (1991)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Venezuela - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 377
With paved runways over 3047 m: 5
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 10
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 8
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 96 (1995 est.)
With paved runways under 914 m: 165

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 5
2438 to 3047 m: 10
15-24 to 2437 m: 8
914 to 1523 m: 96 (1995 est.)
Under 914 m: 165

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: Crude oil 6,370 km; petroleum products 480 km; natural gas 4,010 km



Waterways: 7,100 km; Rio Orinoco and Lago de Maracaibo accept oceangoing vessels

Merchant marine
Total: 32 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 612,645 GRT/1,090,707 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 4, cargo 9, combination bulk 1, liquefied gas tanker 2, oil tanker 12, passenger-cargo 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 2, short-sea passenger 1 (1995 est.)

Ports and terminals

Venezuela - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: Illicit producer of cannabis, opium, and coca leaf for the international drug trade on a small scale; however, large quantities of cocaine and heroin transit the country from Colombia; important money-laundering hub; active aerial eradication program primarily targeting opium

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