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South America :: Ecuador Print
Page last updated on November 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: Ecuador
  • Background field listing
    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.
  • Geography :: Ecuador
  • Location field listing
    Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    2 00 S, 77 30 W
    Map references field listing
    South America
    Area field listing
    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 field listing
    slightly smaller than Nevada
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 2,237 km
    border countries (2): Colombia 708 km, Peru 1529 km
    Coastline field listing
    2,237 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    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 field listing
    tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands
    Terrain field listing
    coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 1,117 m
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Chimborazo 6,267
    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 field listing
    petroleum, fish, timber, hydropower
    Land use field listing
    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 field listing
    15,000 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    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 field listing

    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    note 1: Cotopaxi in Andes is highest active volcano in world

    note 2: according to the latest archeological research, the cacao tree, whose seeds are used to make chocolate and which was long thought to have originated in Mesoamerica, was first domesticated in the upper Amazon region of northwest South America - present-day Ecuador - about 3,300 B.C. (2020)
  • People and Society :: Ecuador
  • Population field listing
    16,904,867 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Ecuadorian(s)
    adjective: Ecuadorian
    Ethnic groups field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    Roman Catholic 74%, Evangelical 10.4%, Jehovah's Witness 1.2%, other 6.4% (includes Mormon, Buddhist, Jewish, Spiritualist, Muslim, Hindu, indigenous, African American, 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 field listing

    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 field listing
    0-14 years: 25.82% (male 2,226,240/female 2,138,219)
    15-24 years: 17.8% (male 1,531,545/female 1,478,222)
    25-54 years: 40.31% (male 3,333,650/female 3,480,262)
    55-64 years: 7.92% (male 647,718/female 691,759)
    65 years and over: 8.15% (male 648,761/female 728,491) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 53.8
    youth dependency ratio: 42.1
    elderly dependency ratio: 11.7
    potential support ratio: 8.6 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 28.8 years
    male: 28 years
    female: 29.6 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Population growth rate field listing
    1.2% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    Birth rate field listing
    17 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    Death rate field listing
    5.2 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    Net migration rate field listing
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    Population distribution field listing
    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 field listing
    urban population: 64.2% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 1.66% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030: PDF
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    2.994 million Guayaquil, 1.874 million QUITO (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    59 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 15 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 17.8 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 12 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 77.5 years
    male: 74.5 years
    female: 80.6 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    Total fertility rate field listing
    2.09 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    80.1% (2007/12)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 100% of population
    rural: 83.5% of population
    total: 94% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population
    rural: 16.2% of population
    total: 6% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    8.3% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    2.04 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    1.4 beds/1,000 population (2016)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 100% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 91.9% of population
    total: 97.1% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population
    rural: 8.1% of population
    total: 2.1% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    0.4% (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    47,000 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    <1000 (2019 est.)
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: high (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    19.9% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    5.1% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Education expenditures field listing
    5% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 92.8%
    male: 93.8%
    female: 92.1% (2017)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 15 years
    male: 15 years
    female: 16 years (2015)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 7.9%
    male: 6.4%
    female: 10.6% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
  • Government :: Ecuador
  • Country name field listing
    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 field listing
    presidential republic
    Capital field listing
    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)

    named after the Quitus, a Pre-Columbian indigenous people credited with founding the city

    Administrative divisions field listing
    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 field listing
    24 May 1822 (from Spain)
    National holiday field listing
    Independence Day (independence of Quito), 10 August (1809)
    Constitution field listing
    history: many previous; latest approved 20 October 2008
    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 membership of the National Assembly; 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, 2018; note - a 2015 constitutional amendment lifting presidential term limits was overturned by a February 2018 referendum
    International law organization participation field listing
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: yes
    citizenship by descent only: yes
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 3 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18-65 years of age; universal and compulsory; 16-18, over 65, and other eligible voters, voluntary
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Lenin MORENO Garces (since 24 May 2017); Vice President María Alejandra MUNOZ (since 17 July 2020); the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Lenin MORENO Garces (since 24 May 2017); Vice President (vacant)
    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 field listing
    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 on 7 February 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; composition - men 85, women 52, percent of women 38%; 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 field listing
    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 field listing
    Alianza PAIS movement [Lenin Voltaire MORENO Garces]
    Avanza Party or AVANZA [Ramiro GONZALEZ]
    Citizen Revolution Movement or MRC [Rafael CORREA]
    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 field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    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 field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Michael J. FITZPATRICK (since 18 June 2019)
    telephone: [593] (2) 398-5000
    embassy: Avenida Avigiras E12-170 y Avenida Eloy Alfaro, Quito
    mailing address: Avenida Guayacanes N52-205 y Avenida Avigiras
    FAX: [593] (2) 398-5100
    consulate(s) general: Guayaquil
    Flag description field listing
    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) field listing
    Andean condor; national colors: yellow, blue, red
    National anthem field listing
    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 field listing

    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) field listing
    $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) field listing
    $104.3 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    0.06% (2019 est.)
    1.29% (2018 est.)
    2.37% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $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 field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    agriculture: 6.7% (2017 est.)
    industry: 32.9% (2017 est.)
    services: 60.4% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, cassava (manioc, tapioca), plantains, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork, dairy products; fish, shrimp; balsa wood
    Industries field listing
    petroleum, food processing, textiles, wood products, chemicals
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    -0.6% (2017 est.)

    note: excludes oil refining

    country comparison to the world: 173
    Labor force field listing
    8.086 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 26.1%
    industry: 18.4%
    services: 55.5% (2017 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    5.71% (2019 est.)
    5.26% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Population below poverty line field listing
    21.5% (December 2017 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 1.4%
    highest 10%: 35.4% (2012 est.)

    note: data are for urban households only

    Budget field listing
    revenues: 33.43 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 38.08 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    32% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -4.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    Public debt field listing
    45.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
    43.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    0.4% (2017 est.)
    1.7% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    Current account balance field listing
    -$53 million (2019 est.)
    -$1.328 billion (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    Exports field listing
    $19.62 billion (2017 est.)
    $16.8 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    Exports - partners field listing
    US 31.5%, Vietnam 7.6%, Peru 6.7%, Chile 6.5%, Panama 4.9%, Russia 4.4%, China 4% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    petroleum, bananas, cut flowers, shrimp, cacao, coffee, wood, fish
    Imports field listing
    $19.31 billion (2017 est.)
    $15.86 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Imports - commodities field listing
    industrial materials, fuels and lubricants, nondurable consumer goods
    Imports - partners field listing
    US 22.8%, China 15.4%, Colombia 8.7%, Panama 6.4%, Brazil 4.4%, Peru 4.2% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $2.395 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $4.259 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Debt - external field listing
    $39.29 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $38.14 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    Exchange rates field listing

    the US dollar became Ecuador's currency in 2001

  • Energy :: Ecuador
  • Electricity access field listing
    population without electricity: 500,000 (2016)
    electrification - total population: 99.9% (2016)
    electrification - urban areas: 100% (2016)
    electrification - rural areas: 99.8% (2016)
    Electricity - production field listing
    26.5 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    22.68 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    Electricity - exports field listing
    211 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    Electricity - imports field listing
    82 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    8.192 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    43% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    54% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    Crude oil - production field listing
    517,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    383,500 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    8.273 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    137,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    265,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    25,870 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    153,900 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Natural gas - production field listing
    477.8 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    453.1 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    10.9 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    37.54 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
  • Communications :: Ecuador
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 2,111,291
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 12.64 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 15,241,719
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 91.25 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: much of the country's fixed-line structure is influenced by topographical challenges associated with the Andes Mountains; Ecuador has a small telecom market with a dominant mobile sector; the state-owned incumbent CNT dominates the fixed-line market, and therefore the DSL broadband market as well; mobile broadband market growing and expanding LTE services (2020)
    domestic: fixed-line services with digital networks provided by multiple telecommunications operators; fixed-line teledensity stands at about 13 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular use has surged and subscribership has reached 91 per 100 persons (2019)
    international: country code - 593; landing points for the PAN-AM, PCCS, America Movil-Telxius West Coast Cable and SAm-1 submarine cables that provide links to South and Central America, and extending onward to the Caribbean and the US; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    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; an antimonopoly law and communication law limit ownership and investment in the media by non-media businesses (2019)
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 9,448,692
    percent of population: 57.27% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 1,953,607
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 12 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
  • Transportation :: Ecuador
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 7 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 35
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 5,365,261 (2018)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 64.2 million mt-km (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    HC (2016)
    Airports field listing
    432 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    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 field listing
    total: 328 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 37 (2013)
    under 914 m: 291 (2013)
    Heliports field listing
    2 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    485 km extra heavy crude, 123 km gas, 2131 km oil, 1526 km refined products (2017)
    Railways field listing
    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 field listing
    total: 43,216 km (2015)
    paved: 8,161 km (2015)
    unpaved: 35,055 km (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    Waterways field listing
    1,500 km (most inaccessible) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 137
    by type: bulk carrier 1, general cargo 7, oil tanker 28, other 101 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Esmeraldas, Manta, Puerto Bolivar
    container port(s) (TEUs): Guayaquil (1,871,591) (2017)
    river port(s): Guayaquil (Guayas)
  • Military and Security :: Ecuador
  • Military and security forces field listing
    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) (2020)
    Military expenditures field listing
    2.3% of GDP (2019)
    2.4% of GDP (2018)
    2.4% of GDP (2017)
    2.5% of GDP (2016)
    2.6% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    the Ecuadorian Armed Forces have approximately 40,000 active personnel (25,000 Army; 9,000 Navy; 6,000 Air Force) (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the military's equipment inventory is mostly older and derived from a wide variety of sources; since 2010, the leading suppliers of military hardware are Brazil, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Spain (2019 est.)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    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 (2013)
    Maritime threats field listing
    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, there has been an increase over the last two years with four attacks reported in 2018
  • Transnational Issues :: Ecuador
  • Disputes - international field listing

    organized illegal narcotics operations in Colombia penetrate across Ecuador's shared border

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 102,928 (Colombia) (2019); 207,324 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum, are recognized as refugees, or have received alternative legal stay) (2020)
    Illicit drugs field listing
    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