South America :: Ecuador
  • Introduction :: Ecuador
  • Background:
    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 April 2017, and voters elected President Lenin MORENO.
    ECUADOR SUMMARY: PDF
  • Geography :: Ecuador
  • Location:
    Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru
    Geographic coordinates:
    2 00 S, 77 30 W
    Map references:
    South America
    Area:
    total: 283,561 sq km
    land: 276,841 sq km
    water: 6,720 sq km

    note: includes Galapagos Islands

    country comparison to the world: 75
    Area - comparative:
    slightly smaller than Nevada
    Land boundaries:
    total: 2,237 km
    border countries (2): Colombia 708 km, Peru 1529 km
    Coastline:
    2,237 km
    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 200 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm

    note: Ecuador has declared its right to extend its continental shelf to 350nm measured from the baselines of the Galapagos Archipelago

    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:
    mean elevation: 1,117 m
    elevation extremes: 0 m lowest point: Pacific Ocean
    6267 highest point: Chimborazo

    note: because the earth is not a perfect sphere and has an equatorial bulge, the highest point on the planet farthest from its center is Mount Chimborazo not Mount Everest, which is merely the highest peak above sea level

    Natural resources:
    petroleum, fish, timber, hydropower
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 29.7% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 4.7% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 5.6% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 19.4% (2011 est.)
    forest: 38.9% (2011 est.)
    other: 31.4% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    15,000 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    nearly half of the population is concentrated in the interior in the Andean intermontane basins and valleys, with large concentrations also found along the western coastal strip; the rainforests of the east remain sparsely populated
    Natural hazards:

    frequent earthquakes; landslides; volcanic activity; floods; periodic droughts

    volcanism: volcanic activity concentrated along the Andes Mountains; Sangay (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 (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

    Environment - current issues:
    deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution; pollution from oil production wastes in ecologically sensitive areas of the Amazon Basin and Galapagos Islands
    Environment - international 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
    Geography - note:
    Cotopaxi in Andes is highest active volcano in world
  • People and Society :: Ecuador
  • Population:
    16,498,502 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    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%, mulatto 1.9%, black 1%, other 0.4% (2010 est.)
    Languages:
    Spanish (Castilian) 93% (official), Quechua 4.1%, other indigenous 0.7%, foreign 2.2% (2010 est.)

    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)

    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% (2012 est.)

    note: data represent persons at least 16 years of age from five Ecuadoran cities

    Demographic profile:

    Ecuador's high poverty and income inequality most affect indigenous, mixed race, and rural populations. The government has increased its social spending to ameliorate these problems, but critics question the efficiency and implementation of its national development plan. Nevertheless, the conditional cash transfer program, which requires participants' children to attend school and have medical check-ups, has helped improve educational attainment and healthcare among poor children. Ecuador is stalled at above replacement level fertility and the population most likely will keep growing rather than stabilize.

    An estimated 2 to 3 million Ecuadorians live abroad, but increased unemployment in key receiving countries - Spain, the United States, and Italy - is slowing emigration and increasing the likelihood of returnees to Ecuador. The first large-scale emigration of Ecuadorians occurred between 1980 and 2000, when an economic crisis drove Ecuadorians from southern provinces to New York City, where they had trade contacts. A second, nationwide wave of emigration in the late 1990s was caused by another economic downturn, political instability, and a currency crisis. Spain was the logical destination because of its shared language and the wide availability of low-skilled, informal jobs at a time when increased border surveillance made illegal migration to the US difficult. Ecuador has a small but growing immigrant population and is Latin America's top recipient of refugees; 98% are neighboring Colombians fleeing violence in their country.

    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 26.64% (male 2,242,148 /female 2,153,776)
    15-24 years: 18.19% (male 1,526,300 /female 1,474,626)
    25-54 years: 39.82% (male 3,207,692 /female 3,362,464)
    55-64 years: 7.67% (male 615,769 /female 649,777)
    65 years and over: 7.67% (male 599,221 /female 666,729) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 55.6 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 45.1 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 10.4 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 9.6 (2015 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 28.1 years
    male: 27.3 years
    female: 28.8 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Population growth rate:
    1.25% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    Birth rate:
    17.6 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Death rate:
    5.1 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    Net migration rate:
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    Population distribution:
    nearly half of the population is concentrated in the interior in the Andean intermontane basins and valleys, with large concentrations also found along the western coastal strip; the rainforests of the east remain sparsely populated
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 63.8% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 1.66% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    2.899 million Guayaquil, 1.822 million QUITO (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate:
    64 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 15.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 18.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 12.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 77.1 years (2018 est.)
    male: 74.2 years (2018 est.)
    female: 80.3 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    Total fertility rate:
    2.15 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    80.1% (2007/12)
    Health expenditures:
    9.2% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Physicians density:
    1.67 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
    Hospital bed density:
    1.5 beds/1,000 population (2013)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 93.4% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 75.5% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 86.9% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 6.6% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 24.5% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 13.1% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 87% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 80.7% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 84.7% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 13% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 19.3% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 15.3% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    0.3% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    36,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    <1000 (2017 est.)
    Major infectious diseases:
    degree of risk: high (2016)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2016)
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria (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:
    19.9% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
    5.1% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Education expenditures:
    5% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
    total population: 94.4% (2016 est.)
    male: 95.4% (2016 est.)
    female: 93.3% (2016 est.)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 15 years (2012)
    male: 15 years (2012)
    female: 16 years (2012)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 8.4% (2017 est.)
    male: 6.6% (2017 est.)
    female: 11.4% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
  • Government :: Ecuador
  • 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)

    note: Ecuador has two time zones, including the Galapagos Islands (UTC-6)

    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:
    history: many previous; latest approved 20 October 2008 (2018)
    amendments: proposed by the president of the republic through a referendum, by public petition of at least 1% of registered voters, or by agreement of at least one-third of the National Assembly membership; passage requires two separate readings a year apart and approval by at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly, and approval by absolute majority in a referendum; amendments such as changes to the structure of the state, constraints on personal rights and guarantees, or constitutional amendment procedures are not allowed; amended 2011, 2015, last 2018; note - a 2015 constitutional amendment lifting presidential term limits was overturned by a February 2018 referendum (2018)
    International law organization participation:
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship:
    citizenship by birth: yes
    citizenship by descent only: yes
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 3 years
    Suffrage:
    18-65 years of age; universal and compulsory; 16-18, over 65, and other eligible voters, voluntary
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Lenin MORENO Garces (since 24 May 2017); Vice President Maria Alejandra VICUNA Munoz (since 6 January 2018); note - Vice President Jorge GLAS Espinel (since 24 May 2013) was jailed for corruption and absent from office for more than 3 months, causing him to be constitutionally stripped of his office; president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Lenin MORENO Garces (since 24 May 2017); Vice President Maria Alejandra VICUNA Munoz (since 6 January 2018)
    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 19 February 2017 with a runoff on 2 April 2017 (next to be held in 2021)
    election results: Lenin MORENO Garces elected president in second round; percent of vote - Lenin MORENO Garces (Alianza PAIS Movement) 51.1%, Guillermo LASSO (CREO) 48.9%
    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 19 February 2017 (next to be held in 2021)
    election results: percent of vote by party - PAIS 39.1%, CREO-SUMA 20.1%, PSC 15.9%, ID 3.8%, MUPP 2.7%, other 10.7; seats by party - PAIS 74, CREO-SUMA 34, PSC 15, ID 4, MUPP 4, PSP 2, Fuerza Ecuador 1, independent 3; 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 courts: 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 [Lenin Voltaire MORENO Garces]
    Avanza Party or AVANZA [Ramiro GONZALEZ]
    Creating Opportunities Movement or CREO [Guillermo LASSO]
    Democratic Left or ID
    Forward Ecuador Movement [Alvaro NOBOA]
    Fuerza Ecuador [Abdala BUCARAM] (successor to Roldosist Party)
    Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement or MUPP [Marlon Rene SANTI Gualinga]
    Patriotic Society Party or PSP [Gilmar GUTIERREZ Borbua]
    Popular Democracy Movement or MPD [Luis VILLACIS]
    Social Christian Party or PSC [Pascual DEL CIOPPO]
    Socialist Party [Patricio ZABRANO]
    Society United for More Action or SUMA [Mauricio RODAS]
    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
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Francisco Benjamin Esteban CARRION Mena (since 24 January 2018)
    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 C. 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
    Flag description:
    three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double width), blue, and red with the coat of arms superimposed at the center of the flag; the flag retains the three main colors of the banner of Gran Colombia, the South American republic that broke up in 1830; the yellow color represents sunshine, grain, and mineral wealth, blue the sky, sea, and rivers, and red the blood of patriots spilled in the struggle for freedom and justice

    note: similar to the flag of Colombia, which is shorter and does not bear a coat of arms

    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

  • Economy :: Ecuador
  • Economy - overview:

    Ecuador is substantially dependent on its petroleum resources, which accounted for about a third of the country's export earnings in 2017. Remittances from overseas Ecuadorian are also important.

    In 1999/2000, Ecuador's economy suffered from a banking crisis that lead to some reforms, including adoption of the US dollar as legal tender. Dollarization stabilized the economy, and positive growth returned in most of the years that followed. China has become Ecuador's largest foreign lender since 2008 and now accounts for 77.7% of the Ecuador’s bilateral debt. Various economic policies under the CORREA administration, such as an announcement in 2017 that Ecuador would terminate 13 bilateral investment treaties - including one with the US, generated economic uncertainty and discouraged private investment.

    Faced with a 2013 trade deficit of $1.1 billion, Ecuador imposed tariff surcharges from 5% to 45% on an estimated 32% of imports. Ecuador’s economy fell into recession in 2015 and remained in recession in 2016. Declining oil prices and exports forced the CORREA administration to cut government oulays. Foreign investment in Ecuador is low as a result of the unstable regulatory environment and weak rule of law.

    n April of 2017, Lenin MORENO was elected President of Ecuador by popular vote. His immediate challenge was to reengage the private sector to improve cash flow in the country. Ecuador’s economy returned to positive, but sluggish, growth. In early 2018, the MORENO administration held a public referendum on seven economic and political issues in a move counter to CORREA-administration policies, reduce corruption, strengthen democracy, and revive employment and the economy. The referendum resulted in repeal of taxes associated with recovery from the earthquake of 2016, reduced restrictions on metal mining in the Yasuni Intangible Zone - a protected area, and several political reforms.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $193 billion (2017 est.)
    $188.6 billion (2016 est.)
    $190.9 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 66
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $104.3 billion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    2.4% (2017 est.)
    -1.2% (2016 est.)
    0.1% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $11,500 (2017 est.)
    $11,400 (2016 est.)
    $11,700 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 132
    Gross national saving:
    25.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
    26.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
    24.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 60.7% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 14.4% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 24.3% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 1% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 20.8% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -21.3% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 6.7% (2017 est.)
    industry: 32.9% (2017 est.)
    services: 60.4% (2017 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:
    -0.6% (2017 est.)

    note: excludes oil refining

    country comparison to the world: 173
    Labor force:
    8.086 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 55.5% (2017 est.)
    industry: 18.4% (2017)
    services: 55.5% (2017)
    Unemployment rate:
    4.6% (2017 est.)
    5.2% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    Population below poverty line:
    21.5% (December 2017 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 35.4% (2012 est.)
    highest 10%: 35.4% (2012 est.)

    note: data are for urban households only

    Distribution of family income - Gini index:
    45.9 (December 2017)
    48.5 (December 2017)

    note: data are for urban households only

    country comparison to the world: 36
    Budget:
    revenues: 33.43 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 38.08 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    32% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -4.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    Public debt:
    45.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
    43.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Fiscal year:
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    0.4% (2017 est.)
    1.7% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    Central bank discount rate:
    8.17% (31 December 2011)
    8.68% (31 December 2010)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    7.92% (31 December 2017 est.)
    8.69% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    Stock of narrow money:
    $9.578 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $9.281 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    Stock of broad money:
    $9.578 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $9.281 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $39.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $35.56 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Market value of publicly traded shares:
    $6.838 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $6.065 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $6.615 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    Current account balance:
    -$349 million (2017 est.)
    $1.442 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    Exports:
    $19.62 billion (2017 est.)
    $16.8 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    Exports - commodities:
    petroleum, bananas, cut flowers, shrimp, cacao, coffee, wood, fish
    Exports - partners:
    US 31.5%, Vietnam 7.6%, Peru 6.7%, Chile 6.5%, Panama 4.9%, Russia 4.4%, China 4% (2017)
    Imports:
    $19.31 billion (2017 est.)
    $15.55 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Imports - commodities:
    industrial materials, fuels and lubricants, nondurable consumer goods
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $2.395 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $4.259 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Imports - partners:
    US 22.8%, China 15.4%, Colombia 8.7%, Panama 6.4%, Brazil 4.4%, Peru 4.2% (2017)
    Debt - external:
    $39.29 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $38.14 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
    $17.25 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $16.63 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
    $6.33 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Exchange rates:

    the US dollar became Ecuador's currency in 2001

  • Energy :: Ecuador
  • Electricity access:
    population without electricity: 500,000 (2013)
    electrification - total population: 97% (2013)
    electrification - urban areas: 100% (2013)
    electrification - rural areas: 92% (2013)
    Electricity - production:
    27.72 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    Electricity - consumption:
    27.53 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Electricity - exports:
    211 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    Electricity - imports:
    18.5 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    7.435 million kW (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    13.2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    71.9% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    14.8% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    Crude oil - production:
    531,300 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Crude oil - exports:
    376,400 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Crude oil - imports:
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    8.273 billion bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    77,720 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    274,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    15,270 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    44,680 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Natural gas - production:
    497 million cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    Natural gas - consumption:
    497 million cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    Natural gas - imports:
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    10.9 billion cu m (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    38 million Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
  • Communications :: Ecuador
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 2,415,204 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 15 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 13,881,562 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 85 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: fixed-line service and sophisticated 4G LTE ultra-broadband network; developed Internet Service Provider market, some with fiber optics to the home, available to consumers; much of the country’s fixed-line structure is influenced by topographical challenges associated with the Andes Mountains (2018)
    domestic: fixed-line services with digital networks provided by multiple telecommunications operators; fixed-line teledensity stands at about 15 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular use has surged and subscribership has reached 85 per 100 persons (2018)
    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; in 2017, Alcatel completed a 6000km, submarine-cable system from Sarasota, Florida to Manta, Ecuador; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2018)
    Broadcast media:
    about 60 media outlets are recognized as national; the Ecuadorian Government controls 12 national outlets and multiple radio stations; there are multiple TV networks and many local channels, as well as more than 300 radio stations; many TV and radio stations are privately owned; broadcast media is required by law to give the government free airtime to broadcast programs produced by the state; the Ecuadorian Government is the biggest advertiser and grants advertising contracts to outlets that provide favorable coverage; a 2011 antimonopoly law and the 2013 Communication Law limit ownership and investment in the media by non-media businesses (2018)
    Internet country code:
    .ec
    Internet users:
    total: 8,693,739 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 54.1% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 1,683,783 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 10 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
  • Transportation :: Ecuador
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 7 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 35 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 5,762,485 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 86,128,720 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    HC (2016)
    Airports:
    432 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 104 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 4 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 5 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 18 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 26 (2017)
    under 914 m: 51 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 328 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 37 (2013)
    under 914 m: 291 (2013)
    Heliports:
    2 (2013)
    Pipelines:
    485 km extra heavy crude, 123 km gas, 2131 km oil, 1526 km refined products (2017)
    Railways:
    total: 965 km (2017)
    narrow gauge: 965 km 1.067-m gauge (2017)

    note: passenger service limited to certain sections of track, mostly for tourist trains

    country comparison to the world: 91
    Roadways:
    total: 43,670 km (2007)
    paved: 6,472 km (2007)
    unpaved: 37,198 km (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    Waterways:
    1,500 km (most inaccessible) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Merchant marine:
    total: 138 (2017)
    by type: general cargo 6, oil tanker 37, other 95 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Esmeraldas, Manta, Puerto Bolivar
    container port(s) (TEUs): Guayaquil (1,821,654) (2016)
    river port(s): Guayaquil (Guayas)
  • Military and Security :: Ecuador
  • Military expenditures:
    1.7% of GDP (2017)
    2.21% of GDP (2016)
    2.44% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    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)
    Maritime threats:
    the International Maritime Bureau continues to report the territorial and offshore waters as at risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; vessels, including commercial shipping and pleasure craft, have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen; after several years with no incidents, two attacks were reported in 2017
  • Transnational Issues :: Ecuador
  • 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): 101,161 (Colombia) (2016), 105,686 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum or have received alternative legal stay) (2018)
    IDPs: 1,708 (earthquake April 2016) (2017)
    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