Ecuador 1998Ecuador

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Ecuador - Introduction 1998
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Background: The 'Republic of the Equator' was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Colombia and Venezuela). Between 1904 and 1942 Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru flared in 1995.

Ecuador - Geography 1998
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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 referenceSouth America

Total: 283,560 km²
Land: 276,840 km²
Water: 6,720 km²
Note: includes Galapagos Islands
Comparative: slightly smaller than Nevada

Land boundaries
Total: 2,010 km
Border countries: (2) 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)

Extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Chimborazo 6,267 m

Natural resources: petroleum, fish, timber
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 6%
Permanent crops: 5%
Permanent pastures: 18%
Forests and woodland: 56%
Other: 15% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 5,560 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: frequent earthquakes, landslides, volcanic activity; periodic droughts

Note: Cotopaxi in Andes is highest active volcano in world

Ecuador - People 1998
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Population: 12,336,572 (July 1998 est.)
Growth rate: 1.86% (1998 est.)

Noun: Ecuadorian(s)
Adjective: Ecuadorian

Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and Spanish) 55%, Amerindian 25%, Spanish 10%, black 10%

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

Religions: Roman Catholic 95%

Demographic profile
Age structure

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.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.86% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 23.16 births/1000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 5.17 deaths/1000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.56 migrant(s)/1000 population (1998 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution; pollution from oil production wastes
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
International agreements signed but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

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.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 32.07 deaths/1000 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.)

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 can read and write
Total population: 90.1%
Male: 92%
Female: 88.2% (1995 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Ecuador - Government 1998
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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

Government 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

Dependent areas

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

International law organization participation


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: ead 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


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Alberto Federico MASPONS GUZMAN
In the us chancery: 2,535 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20,009
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 234-7,200
In the us consulates general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco
In the us consulates: Newark
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Leslie ALEXANDER
From the us embassy: Avenida 12 de Octubre and Avenida Patria, Quito
From the us mailing address: APO AA 34,039
From the us telephone: [593] (2) 562-890
From the us fax: [593] (2) 502-052
From the us consulates general: Guayaquil

Flag descriptionflag of Ecuador: 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

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Ecuador - Economy 1998
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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.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 3.4% (1997 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: 12%
Industry: 37%
Services: 51% (1996 est.)

Agriculture products: bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, manioc, plantains, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork, dairy products; balsa wood; fish, shrimp

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

Industrial production growth rate: 2.4% (1997 est.)

Labor force
Total: 4.2 million
By occupation agriculture: 29%
By occupation manufacturing: 18%
By occupation commerce: 15%
By occupation servicesandotheractivities: 38% (1990)
Labor force

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

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $3.6 billion (1997)
Expenditures: $3.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $N/A (1996 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

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

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

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $12.5 billion (1997)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

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)

Ecuador - Energy 1998
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 9.27 billion kWh (1996)

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 600 kWh (1996)

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

Ecuador - Communication 1998
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system
Domestic: facilities generally inadequate and unreliable
International: satellite earth station_1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Ecuador - Military 1998
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $411 million (1997)
Percent of gdp: 2.1% (1997)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Ecuador - Transportation 1998
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 183 (1997 est.)
With paved runways total: 52
With paved runways over 3047 m: 2
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 6
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 10
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 16
With paved runways under 914 m: 18 (1997 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 131
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 3
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 38
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 90 (1997 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 52
Over 3047 m: 2
2438 to 3047 m: 6
15-24 to 2437 m: 10
914 to 1523 m: 16
Under 914 m: 18 (1997 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 131
15-24 to 2437 m: 3
914 to 1523 m: 38
Under 914 m: 90 (1997 est.)

Heliports: 1 (1997 est.)

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

Total: 965 km (single track)
Narrow gauge: 965 km 1.067-m gauge


Waterways: 1,500 km

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.)

Ports and terminals

Ecuador - Transnational issues 1998
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Disputes international: three sections of the boundary with Peru are in dispute

Refugees and internally displaced persons

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


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