South America :: Colombia
  • Introduction :: Colombia
  • Background:

    Colombia was one of the three countries that emerged after the dissolution of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others are Ecuador and Venezuela). A decades-long conflict between government forces, paramilitaries, and antigovernment insurgent groups heavily funded by the drug trade, principally the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), escalated during the 1990s. More than 31,000 former United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) paramilitaries demobilized by the end of 2006, and the AUC as a formal organization ceased to operate. In the wake of the paramilitary demobilization, illegal armed groups arose, whose members include some former paramilitaries. After four years of formal peace negotiations, the Colombian Government signed a final peace accord with the FARC in November 2016, which was subsequently ratified by the Colombian Congress. The accord calls for members of the FARC to demobilize, disarm, and reincorporate into society and politics. The accord also committed the Colombian Government to create three new institutions to form a “comprehensive system for truth, justice, reparation, and non-repetition,” to include a truth commission, a special unit to coordinate the search for those who disappeared during the conflict, and a “Special Jurisdiction for Peace” to administer justice for conflict-related crimes. The Colombian Government has stepped up efforts to expand its presence into every one of its administrative departments. Despite decades of internal conflict and drug-related security challenges, Colombia maintains relatively strong democratic institutions characterized by peaceful, transparent elections and the protection of civil liberties.

    COLUMBIA SUMMARY: PDF
  • Geography :: Colombia
  • Location:
    Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama
    Geographic coordinates:
    4 00 N, 72 00 W
    Map references:
    South America
    Area:
    total: 1,138,910 sq km
    land: 1,038,700 sq km
    water: 100,210 sq km

    note: includes Isla de Malpelo, Roncador Cay, and Serrana Bank

    country comparison to the world: 27
    Area - comparative:
    slightly less than twice the size of Texas
    Land boundaries:
    total: 6,672 km
    border countries (5): Brazil 1790 km, Ecuador 708 km, Panama 339 km, Peru 1494 km, Venezuela 2341 km
    Coastline:
    3,208 km (Caribbean Sea 1,760 km, North Pacific Ocean 1,448 km)
    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    Climate:
    tropical along coast and eastern plains; cooler in highlands
    Terrain:
    flat coastal lowlands, central highlands, high Andes Mountains, eastern lowland plains (Llanos)
    Elevation:
    mean elevation: 593 m
    elevation extremes: 0 m lowest point: Pacific Ocean
    5730 highest point: Pico Cristobal Colon

    note: nearby Pico Simon Bolivar also has the same elevation

    Natural resources:
    petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, copper, emeralds, hydropower
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 37.5% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 1.4% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 1.6% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 34.5% (2011 est.)
    forest: 54.4% (2011 est.)
    other: 8.1% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    10,900 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    the majority of people live in the north and west where agricultural opportunities and natural resources are found; the vast grasslands of the llanos to the south and east, which make up approximately 60% of the country, are sparsely populated
    Natural hazards:

    highlands subject to volcanic eruptions; occasional earthquakes; periodic droughts

    volcanism: Galeras (4,276 m) is one of Colombia's most active volcanoes, having erupted in 2009 and 2010 causing major evacuations; it has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Nevado del Ruiz (5,321 m), 129 km (80 mi) west of Bogota, erupted in 1985 producing lahars (mudflows) that killed 23,000 people; the volcano last erupted in 1991; additionally, after 500 years of dormancy, Nevado del Huila reawakened in 2007 and has experienced frequent eruptions since then; other historically active volcanoes include Cumbal, Dona Juana, Nevado del Tolima, and Purace

    Environment - current issues:
    deforestation resulting from timber exploitation in the jungles of the Amazon and the region of Chocó; illicit drug crops grown by peasants in the national parks; soil erosion; soil and water quality damage from overuse of pesticides; air pollution, especially in Bogota, from vehicle emissions
    Environment - international agreements:
    party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
    Geography - note:
    only South American country with coastlines on both the North Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea
  • People and Society :: Colombia
  • Population:
    48,168,996 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Nationality:
    noun: Colombian(s)
    adjective: Colombian
    Ethnic groups:
    mestizo and white 84.2%, Afro-Colombian (includes mulatto, Raizal, and Palenquero) 10.4%, Amerindian 3.4%, Romani (2005 est.)
    Languages:
    Spanish (official)
    Religions:
    Roman Catholic 79%, Protestant 14% (includes Pentecostal 6%, mainline Protestant 2%, other 6%), other 2%, unspecified 5% (2014 est.)
    Demographic profile:

    Colombia is in the midst of a demographic transition resulting from steady declines in its fertility, mortality, and population growth rates. The birth rate has fallen from more than 6 children per woman in the 1960s to just above replacement level today as a result of increased literacy, family planning services, and urbanization. However, income inequality is among the worst in the world, and more than a third of the population lives below the poverty line.

    Colombia experiences significant legal and illegal economic emigration and refugee outflows. Large-scale labor emigration dates to the 1960s; the United States and, until recently, Venezuela have been the main host countries. Emigration to Spain picked up in the 1990s because of its economic growth, but this flow has since diminished because of Spain’s ailing economy and high unemployment. Colombia has been the largest source of Latin American refugees in Latin America, nearly 400,000 of whom live primarily in Venezuela and Ecuador. Venezuela’s political and economic crisis since 2015, however, has created a reverse flow, consisting largely of Colombians returning home.

    Forced displacement continues to be prevalent because of violence among guerrillas, paramilitary groups, and Colombian security forces. Afro-Colombian and indigenous populations are disproportionately affected. Even with the Colombian Government’s December 2016 peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the risk of displacement remains as other rebel groups fill the void left by the FARC. Between 1985 and September 2017, nearly 7.6 million persons have been internally displaced, the highest total in the world. These estimates may undercount actual numbers because many internally displaced persons are not registered. Historically, Colombia also has one of the world’s highest levels of forced disappearances. About 30,000 cases have been recorded over the last four decades—although the number is likely to be much higher—including human rights activists, trade unionists, Afro-Colombians, indigenous people, and farmers in rural conflict zones.

    Because of political violence and economic problems, Colombia received limited numbers of immigrants during the 19th and 20th centuries, mostly from the Middle East, Europe, and Japan. More recently, growth in the oil, mining, and manufacturing sectors has attracted increased labor migration; the primary source countries are Venezuela, the US, Mexico, and Argentina. Colombia has also become a transit area for illegal migrants from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean -- especially Haiti and Cuba -- who are en route to the US or Canada.

    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 23.89% (male 5,895,637 /female 5,611,298)
    15-24 years: 16.96% (male 4,161,661 /female 4,006,875)
    25-54 years: 41.98% (male 10,043,080 /female 10,177,042)
    55-64 years: 9.44% (male 2,145,031 /female 2,404,090)
    65 years and over: 7.73% (male 1,555,848 /female 2,168,434) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 45.6 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 35.4 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 10.2 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 9.8 (2015 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 30.4 years
    male: 29.4 years
    female: 31.4 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Population growth rate:
    0.97% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Birth rate:
    15.8 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Death rate:
    5.5 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    Net migration rate:
    -0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    Population distribution:
    the majority of people live in the north and west where agricultural opportunities and natural resources are found; the vast grasslands of the llanos to the south and east, which make up approximately 60% of the country, are sparsely populated
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 80.8% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 1.22% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    10.574 million BOGOTA (capital), 3.934 million Medellin, 2.726 million Cali, 2.218 million Barranquilla, 1.295 million Bucaramanga, 1.047 million Cartagena (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth:
    21.7 years (2015 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate:
    64 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 13.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 16 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 10.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 76.2 years (2018 est.)
    male: 73 years (2018 est.)
    female: 79.5 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    Total fertility rate:
    1.98 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    81% (2015/16)
    Health expenditures:
    7.2% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Physicians density:
    1.82 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
    Hospital bed density:
    1.5 beds/1,000 population (2014)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 96.8% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 73.8% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 91.4% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 3.2% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 26.2% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 8.6% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 85.2% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 67.9% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 81.1% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 14.8% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 32.1% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 18.9% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    0.5% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    150,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    4,400 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Major infectious diseases:
    degree of risk: high (2016)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea (2016)
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever (2016)

    note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus

    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    22.3% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
    3.4% (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Education expenditures:
    4.5% of GDP (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
    total population: 94.2% (2015 est.)
    male: 94.1% (2015 est.)
    female: 94.4% (2015 est.)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 14 years (2015)
    male: 14 years (2015)
    female: 15 years (2015)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 17.5% (2016 est.)
    male: 13.7% (2016 est.)
    female: 22.7% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
  • Government :: Colombia
  • Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Colombia
    conventional short form: Colombia
    local long form: Republica de Colombia
    local short form: Colombia
    etymology: the country is named after explorer Christopher COLUMBUS
    Government type:
    presidential republic
    Capital:
    name: Bogota
    geographic coordinates: 4 36 N, 74 05 W
    time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    Administrative divisions:
    32 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital district* (distrito capital); Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlantico, Bogota*, Bolivar, Boyaca, Caldas, Caqueta, Casanare, Cauca, Cesar, Choco, Cordoba, Cundinamarca, Guainia, Guaviare, Huila, La Guajira, Magdalena, Meta, Narino, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Quindio, Risaralda, Archipielago de San Andres, Providencia y Santa Catalina (colloquially San Andres y Providencia), Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupes, Vichada
    Independence:
    20 July 1810 (from Spain)
    National holiday:
    Independence Day, 20 July (1810)
    Constitution:
    history: several previous; latest promulgated 5 July 1991 (2018)
    amendments: proposed by the government, by Congress, by a constituent assembly, or by public petition; passage requires a majority vote by Congress in each of two consecutive sessions; passage of amendments to constitutional articles on citizen rights, guarantees, and duties also require approval in a referendum by over one-half of voters and participation of over one-fourth of citizens registered to vote; amended many times, last in 2018 (2018)
    International law organization participation:
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship:
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: least one parent must be a citizen or permanent resident of Colombia
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    Suffrage:
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Ivan DUQUE Marquez (since 7 August 2018); Vice President Marta Lucia RAMIREZ Blanco (since 7 August 2018); the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Ivan DUQUE Marquez (since 7 August 2018); Vice President Marta Lucia RAMIREZ Blanco (since 7 August 2018)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed for a single 4-year term (beginning in 2018); election last held on 27 May 2018 with a runoff held on 17 June 2018 (next to be held in 2022); note - political reform in 2015 eliminated presidential reelection
    election results: Ivan DUQUE Marquez elected president in second round; percent of vote - Ivan DUQUE Marquez (CD) 54%, Gustavo PETRO (Humane Colombia) 41.8%, other/blank/invalid 4.2%
    Legislative branch:
    description: bicameral Congress or Congreso consists of:
    Senate or Senado (108 seats; 102 members elected in a single nationwide constituency by party-list proportional representation vote, 2 members elected in a special nationwide constituency for indigenous communities, 5 members of the People’s Alternative Revolutionary Force (FARC) political party for the 2018 and 2022 elections only as per the 2016 peace accord, and 1 seat reserved for the runner-up presidential candidate in the recent election; all members serve 4-year terms)
    Chamber of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (172 seats; 166 members elected in multi-seat constituencies by party-list proportional representation vote, 5 members of the FARC for the 2018 and 2022 elections only as per the 2016 peace, and 1 seat reserved for the runner-up vice presidential candidate in the recent election; all members serve 4-year terms)
    elections:  
    Senate - last held on 11 March 2018 (next to be held in March 2022)
    Chamber of Representatives - last held on 11 March 2018 (next to be held in March 2022)
    election results:
    Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CD 19, CR 16, PC 15, PL 14, U Party 14, Green Alliance 10, PDA 5, other 9
    Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PL 35, CD 32, CR 30, U Party 25, PC 21, Green Alliance 9, other 13
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of the Civil-Agrarian and Labor Chambers each with 7 judges, and the Penal Chamber with 9 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 magistrates); Council of State (consists of 31 members); Superior Judiciary Council (consists of 13 magistrates)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the Supreme Court members from candidates submitted by the Superior Judiciary Council; judges elected for individual 8-year terms; Constitutional Court magistrates - nominated by the president, by the Supreme Court, and elected by the Senate; judges elected for individual 8-year terms; Council of State members appointed by the State Council plenary from lists nominated by the Superior Judiciary Council
    subordinate courts: Superior Tribunals (appellate courts for each of the judicial districts); regional courts; civil municipal courts; Superior Military Tribunal; first instance administrative courts
    Political parties and leaders:
    Alternative Democratic Pole or PDA [Clara LOPEZ]
    Citizens Option (Opcion Ciudadana) or OC [Angel ALIRIO Moreno] (formerly known as the National Integration Party or PIN)
    Conservative Party or PC [David BARGUIL]
    Democratic Center Party or CD [Alvaro URIBE Velez, Oscar Ivan ZULUAGA, Carlos HOLMES TRUJILLO, Ivan DUQUE]
    Green Alliance [Jorge LONDONO, Antonio SANGUINO, Luis AVELLANEDA, Camilo ROMERO]
    Humane Colombia [Gustavo PETRO]
    Liberal Party or PL [Horacio SERPA]
    People's Alternative Revolutionary Force or FARC [Timoleon JIMENEZ]
    Radical Change or CR [Carlos Fernando GALAN]
    Social National Unity Party or U Party [Roy BARRERAS, Jose David NAME]

    note: Colombia has numerous smaller political movements

    International organization participation:
    BCIE, BIS, CAN, Caricom (observer), CD, CDB, CELAC, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-3, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance, PCA, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Francisco SANTOS Calderon (since 17 September 2018)
    chancery: 1724 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20036
    telephone: [1] (202) 387-8338
    FAX: [1] (202) 232-8643
    consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark (NJ), Orlando, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
    consulate(s): Boston, Chicago, San Francisco
    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Kevin WHITAKER (since 11 June 2014)
    embassy: Calle 24 Bis No. 48-50, Bogota, D.C.
    mailing address: Carrera 45 No. 24B-27, Bogota, D.C.
    telephone: [57] (1) 275-2000
    FAX: [57] (1) 275-4600
    Flag description:
    three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double-width), blue, and red; the flag retains the three main colors of the banner of Gran Colombia, the short-lived South American republic that broke up in 1830; various interpretations of the colors exist and include: yellow for the gold in Colombia's land, blue for the seas on its shores, and red for the blood spilled in attaining freedom; alternatively, the colors have been described as representing more elemental concepts such as sovereignty and justice (yellow), loyalty and vigilance (blue), and valor and generosity (red); or simply the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity

    note: similar to the flag of Ecuador, which is longer and bears the Ecuadorian coat of arms superimposed in the center

    National symbol(s):
    Andean condor; national colors: yellow, blue, red
    National anthem:
    name: "Himno Nacional de la Republica de Colombia" (National Anthem of the Republic of Colombia)
    lyrics/music: Rafael NUNEZ/Oreste SINDICI

    note: adopted 1920; the anthem was created from an inspirational poem written by President Rafael NUNEZ

  • Economy :: Colombia
  • Economy - overview:

    Colombia heavily depends on energy and mining exports, making it vulnerable to fluctuations in commodity prices. Colombia is Latin America’s fourth largest oil producer and the world’s fourth largest coal producer, third largest coffee exporter, and second largest cut flowers exporter. Colombia’s economic development is hampered by inadequate infrastructure, poverty, narcotrafficking, and an uncertain security situation, in addition to dependence on primary commodities (goods that have little value-added from processing or labor inputs).

    Colombia’s economy slowed in 2017 because of falling world market prices for oil and lower domestic oil production due to insurgent attacks on pipeline infrastructure. Although real GDP growth averaged 4.7% during the past decade, it fell to an estimated 1.8% in 2017. Declining oil prices also have contributed to reduced government revenues. In 2016, oil revenue dropped below 4% of the federal budget and likely remained below 4% in 2017. A Western credit rating agency in December 2017 downgraded Colombia’s sovereign credit rating to BBB-, because of weaker-than-expected growth and increasing external debt. Colombia has struggled to address local referendums against foreign investment, which have slowed its expansion, especially in the oil and mining sectors. Colombia’s FDI declined by 3% to $10.2 billion between January and September 2017.

    Colombia has signed or is negotiating Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with more than a dozen countries; the US-Colombia FTA went into effect in May 2012. Colombia is a founding member of the Pacific Alliance—a regional trade block formed in 2012 by Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru to promote regional trade and economic integration. The Colombian government took steps in 2017 to address several bilateral trade irritants with the US, including those on truck scrappage, distilled spirits, pharmaceuticals, ethanol imports, and labor rights. Colombia hopes to accede to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $711.6 billion (2017 est.)
    $699.1 billion (2016 est.)
    $685.6 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 31
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $314.5 billion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    1.8% (2017 est.)
    2% (2016 est.)
    3% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $14,400 (2017 est.)
    $14,300 (2016 est.)
    $14,200 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 116
    Gross national saving:
    18.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
    19% of GDP (2016 est.)
    17.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 68.2% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 14.8% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 22.2% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0.2% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 14.6% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -19.7% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 7.2% (2017 est.)
    industry: 30.8% (2017 est.)
    services: 62.1% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    coffee, cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, cocoa beans, oilseed, vegetables; shrimp; forest products
    Industries:
    textiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear, beverages, chemicals, cement; gold, coal, emeralds
    Industrial production growth rate:
    -2.2% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    Labor force:
    25.76 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 62% (2011 est.)
    industry: 21% (2011 est.)
    services: 62% (2011 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    9.3% (2017 est.)
    9.2% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    Population below poverty line:
    28% (2017 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 39.6% (2015 est.)
    highest 10%: 39.6% (2015 est.)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index:
    51.1 (2015)
    53.5 (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Budget:
    revenues: 83.35 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 91.73 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    26.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -2.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    Public debt:
    49.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
    49.8% of GDP (2016 est.)

    note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities

    country comparison to the world: 102
    Fiscal year:
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    4.3% (2017 est.)
    7.5% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    Central bank discount rate:
    4.75% (12 December 2017)
    7.5% (31 December 2016)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    13.69% (31 December 2017 est.)
    14.65% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Stock of narrow money:
    $36.37 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $34.01 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Stock of broad money:
    $36.37 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $34.01 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $173.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $153.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    Market value of publicly traded shares:
    $85.96 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $146.7 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $202.7 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Current account balance:
    -$10.36 billion (2017 est.)
    -$12.13 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    Exports:
    $39.48 billion (2017 est.)
    $31.39 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Exports - commodities:
    petroleum, coal, emeralds, coffee, nickel, cut flowers, bananas, apparel
    Exports - partners:
    US 28.5%, Panama 8.6%, China 5.1% (2017)
    Imports:
    $44.24 billion (2017 est.)
    $44.89 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Imports - commodities:
    industrial equipment, transportation equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, paper products, fuels, electricity
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $47.13 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $46.18 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    Imports - partners:
    US 26.3%, China 19.3%, Mexico 7.5%, Brazil 5%, Germany 4.1% (2017)
    Debt - external:
    $124.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $115 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
    $179.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $164.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
    $55.51 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $51.82 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    Exchange rates:
    Colombian pesos (COP) per US dollar -
    2,957 (2017 est.)
    3,055.3 (2016 est.)
    3,055.3 (2015 est.)
    2,001 (2014 est.)
    2,001.1 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Colombia
  • Electricity access:
    population without electricity: 1.2 million (2013)
    electrification - total population: 97% (2013)
    electrification - urban areas: 100% (2013)
    electrification - rural areas: 88% (2013)
    Electricity - production:
    71.92 billion kWh (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    Electricity - consumption:
    60.11 billion kWh (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Electricity - exports:
    460 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    Electricity - imports:
    45 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    16.91 million kW (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    28.1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    70.4% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    1.5% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    Crude oil - production:
    866,000 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Crude oil - exports:
    726,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Crude oil - imports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    1.665 billion bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    362,100 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    345,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    57,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    57,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    Natural gas - production:
    9.897 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Natural gas - consumption:
    11.51 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Natural gas - exports:
    400 million cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Natural gas - imports:
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    113.9 billion cu m (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    73 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
  • Communications :: Colombia
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 6,987,654 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 15 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 62,222,011 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 130 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: modern system in many respects with a nationwide microwave radio relay system, a domestic satellite system with 41 earth stations, and a fiber-optic network linking 50 cities; the cable sector commands about half of the market by subscribers, with DSL having a declining share and with fibre-based broadband developing strongly, competion among the MVNO sector has promoted 2.9 million subscribers as of mid-2018; though most infrastructure as yet is concentrated in high-density urban areas (2017)
    domestic: fixed-line connections stand at about 15 per 100 persons; mobile cellular telephone subscribership is about 130 per 100 persons; competition among cellular service providers is resulting in falling local and international calling rates and contributing to the steep decline in the market share of fixed-line services (2017)
    international: country code - 57; multiple submarine cable systems provide links to the US, parts of the Caribbean, and Central and South America; satellite earth stations - 10 (6 Intelsat, 1 Inmarsat, 3 fully digitalized international switching centers) (2016)
    Broadcast media:
    combination of state-owned and privately owned broadcast media provide service; more than 500 radio stations and many national, regional, and local TV stations (2007)
    Internet country code:
    .co
    Internet users:
    total: 27,452,550 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 58.1% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 6,318,936 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
  • Transportation :: Colombia
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 12 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 157 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 30,742,928 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1,317,562,271 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    HJ, HK (2016)
    Airports:
    836 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 121 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 9 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 39 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 53 (2017)
    under 914 m: 18 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 715 (2013)
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 25 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 201 (2013)
    under 914 m: 488 (2013)
    Heliports:
    3 (2013)
    Pipelines:
    4991 km gas, 6796 km oil, 3429 km refined products (2013)
    Railways:
    total: 2,141 km (2015)
    standard gauge: 150 km 1.435-m gauge (2015)
    narrow gauge: 1,991 km 0.914-m gauge (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Roadways:
    total: 206,500 km (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    Waterways:
    24,725 km (18,300 km navigable; the most important waterway, the River Magdalena, of which 1,488 km is navigable, is dredged regularly to ensure safe passage of cargo vessels and container barges) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Merchant marine:
    total: 103 (2017)
    by type: general cargo 17, oil tanker 9, other 77 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean) - Cartagena, Santa Marta, Turbo
    oil terminal(s): Covenas offshore terminal
    container port(s) (TEUs): Cartagena (2,510,093) (2016)
    river port(s): Barranquilla (Rio Magdalena)
    dry bulk cargo port(s): Puerto Bolivar (coal)
    Pacific Ocean - Buenaventura
  • Military and Security :: Colombia
  • Military expenditures:
    3.5% of GDP (2018 est.)
    3.39% of GDP (2016)
    3.13% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Military branches:
    National Army (Ejercito Nacional), Republic of Colombia Navy (Armada Republica de Colombia, ARC, includes Naval Aviation, Naval Infantry (Infanteria de Marina, IM), and Coast Guard), Colombian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea de Colombia, FAC) (2012)
    Military service age and obligation:
    18-24 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; service obligation is 18 months (2012)
  • Terrorism :: Colombia
  • Terrorist groups - home based:
    National Liberation Army (Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional, ELN):
    aim(s):
    represent the rural poor against the nation's wealthy and block the privatization of national resources
    area(s) of operation: the nation's largest remaining insurgent group operates mainly in the rural and mountainous areas in the northeast, especially Arauca Department, and is active in the northern and southwestern regions and along the borders with Venezuela and Ecuador
    note: the group has a long history of engaging in narcotics production and trafficking, extortion, and kidnappings for ransom to fund operations (April 2018)
    Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC):
    aim(s):
    signed a peace accord with the Colombian Government in 2016 and entered the political arena in September 2017 as the People’s Alternative Revolutionary Force (also known as FARC) in order to change Colombia's economic model, push an agenda focused on social justice and development of rural areas; historically, FARC's aim has been to install a Marxist-Leninist regime in Colombia through a violent revolution
    area(s) of operation: NA
    note: on 30 November 2016, the Colombian Congress approved a peace accord between the FARC and Colombian Government; the government allowed FARC to form an official political party and integrate former fighters into society through measures such as funding education programs (April 2018)
  • Transnational Issues :: Colombia
  • Disputes - international:
    in December 2007, ICJ allocated San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina islands to Colombia under 1928 Treaty but did not rule on 82 degrees W meridian as maritime boundary with Nicaraguamanaged dispute with Venezuela over maritime boundary and Venezuelan-administered Los Monjes Islands near the Gulf of VenezuelaColombian-organized illegal narcotics, guerrilla, and paramilitary activities penetrate all neighboring borders and have caused Colombian citizens to flee mostly into neighboring countriesColombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Jamaica, and the US assert various claims to Bajo Nuevo and Serranilla Bank
    Refugees and internally displaced persons:
    refugees (country of origin): 417,355 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum or have received alternative legal stay) (2018)
    IDPs: 7,708,465 (conflict between government and illegal armed groups and drug traffickers since 1985; about 300,000 new IDPs each year since 2000) (2018)
    stateless persons: 11 (2016)
    Illicit drugs:
    illicit producer of coca, opium poppy, and cannabis; world's leading coca cultivator with 188,000 hectares in coca cultivation in 2016, a 18% increase over 2015, producing a potential of 710 mt of pure cocaine; the world's largest producer of coca derivatives; supplies cocaine to nearly all of the US market and the great majority of other international drug markets; in 2016, the Colombian government reported manual eradication of 17,642 hectares; Colombia suspended aerial eradication in October 2015 making 2016 the first full year without aerial eradication; a significant portion of narcotics proceeds are either laundered or invested in Colombia through the black market peso exchange; Colombia probably remains the second largest supplier of heroin to the US market; opium poppy cultivation was estimated to be 1,100 hectares in 2015, sufficient to potentially produce three metric tons of pure heroin