Photos of Ecuador

A colorful lava rock on Bartholomew (Bartolome) Island.



What is now Ecuador formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the Spanish conquest in 1533. Quito -- the traditional name for the area -- 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 to become an independent republic in 1830, the traditional name was changed to 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 has had nearly 50 years of civilian governance, the period has been marked by political instability.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



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


total: 283,561 sq km

land: 276,841 sq km

water: 6,720 sq km

note: includes Galapagos Islands

comparison ranking: total 75

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Nevada

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 2,237 km

border countries (2): Colombia 708 km; Peru 1529 km


2,237 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm

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


tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands


coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)


highest point: Chimborazo 6,267

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 1,117 m

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% (2018 est.)

arable land: 4.7% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 5.6% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 19.4% (2018 est.)

forest: 38.9% (2018 est.)

other: 31.4% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

10,000 sq km (2020)

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Amazon (6,145,186 sq km)

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

Geography - note

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

note 2: genetic research indicates that the cherry-sized tomato originated in Ecuador without any human domestication; later domestication in Mexico transformed the plant into the large modern tomato; archeological research indicates that 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.

People and Society


total: 18,309,984

male: 9,023,170

female: 9,286,814 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 69; male 69; total 68


noun: Ecuadorian(s)

adjective: Ecuadorian

Ethnic groups

Mestizo (mixed Indigenous and White) 77.5%, Montubio 7.7%, Indigenous 7.7%, White 2.2%, Afroecuadorian 2%, Mulatto 1.4%, Black 1.3%, other 0.1% (2022 est.)


Spanish (Castilian; official) 98.6%, indigenous 3.9% (Quechua 3.2%, other indigenous 0.7%), foreign 2.8%, other 0.6% (includes Ecuadorian sign language); 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) (2022 est.)

major-language sample(s):
La Libreta Informativa del Mundo, la fuente indispensable de información básica. (Spanish)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

note: shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census

Spanish audio sample:


Roman Catholic 68.2%, Protestant 19% (Evangelical 18.3%, Adventist 0.6%, other Protestant 0.2%), Jehovah's Witness 1.4%, other 2.3%, none 8.2% don't know/no response 1% (2023 est.)

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 health care among poor children.  Ecuador’s total fertility rate – the average number of children born per woman – is just below replacement level as of 2023, but its population is continuing to grow.

Ecuador continues to be both a country of emigration and immigration. The first large-scale emigration of largely undocumented Ecuadorians occurred between 1980 and 2000, when an economic crisis drove Ecuadorians from southern provinces to New York City, where they had connections from the earlier Panama hat trade. Emigration from all parts of Ecuador 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 became Spain’s second largest immigrant source country. The bulk of Ecuadorian emigration, however, occurred between 2000 and 2007, largely to the US, Spain, and Italy.  Emigration has again surged since 2017, as economic problems, high unemployment, poverty, and violence have lead thousands of Ecuadorian migrants and refugees to head to the US.  As of 2021, Ecuadorians were the fourth-highest nationality coming into contact with US Customs and Border Protection at the US-Mexico border. Most Ecuadorian migrants and refugees traverse the dangerous Darien Gap between Colombia and Panama to reach Mexico. Although Mexico reinstated a visa requirement in September 2021, Ecuadorians continue to enter Mexico illegally and then travel to the US or Canada.  Some wind up staying in Mexico if their journeys north fail. Emigrants represent 8-10% of Ecuador’s population, as of 2021. 

Ecuador hosts one of the region’s largest refugee populations.  From 2000-2005, Colombians arrived in growing numbers to escape armed conflict, and they have continued to immigrate to Ecuador steadily.  Between 2008, when Ecuador lifted visa requirements for all countries, and 2016, immigrants entered from Haiti, Cuba, and other continents.  The influx of Venezuelans began in 2017, and, as of May 2022, Ecuador was home to the third-largest community of Venezuelan migrants and refugees in the world at over half a million.  Immigrants and refugees account for 3-5% of the Ecuador’s population, as of 2021.

Age structure

0-14 years: 26.8% (male 2,505,729/female 2,395,198)

15-64 years: 64.1% (male 5,771,234/female 5,972,938)

65 years and over: 9.1% (2024 est.) (male 746,207/female 918,678)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 50.9

youth dependency ratio: 39.4

elderly dependency ratio: 11.5

potential support ratio: 8.7 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 28 years (2024 est.)

male: 27 years

female: 28.9 years

comparison ranking: total 153

Population growth rate

0.94% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 99

Birth rate

17.7 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 83

Death rate

7.2 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 113

Net migration rate

-1.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 150

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


urban population: 64.8% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.62% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

3.142 million Guayaquil, 1.957 million QUITO (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

66 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 90

Infant mortality rate

total: 11.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 12.2 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.2 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 121

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 74.9 years (2024 est.)

male: 69.7 years

female: 80.4 years

comparison ranking: total population 135

Total fertility rate

2.21 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 83

Gross reproduction rate

1.08 (2024 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

77.9% (2018/19)

note: percent of women aged 15-50

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 87.1% of population

total: 95.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 12.9% of population

total: 4.6% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

8.5% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

2.22 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

1.4 beds/1,000 population (2016)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 96.9% of population

total: 98.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 3.1% of population

total: 1.1% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: high (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

19.9% (2016)

comparison ranking: 106

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 3.05 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 2.32 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.09 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.61 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.03 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 114

Tobacco use

total: 11.3% (2020 est.)

male: 18.4% (2020 est.)

female: 4.2% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 128

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

5.2% (2018/19)

comparison ranking: 73

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 3.8%

women married by age 18: 22.2% (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

3.7% of GDP (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 128


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 93.9%

male: 94.9%

female: 93.1% (2022)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 15 years

male: 14 years

female: 15 years (2020)


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 Protection, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands

Land use

agricultural land: 29.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 4.7% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 5.6% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 19.4% (2018 est.)

forest: 38.9% (2018 est.)

other: 31.4% (2018 est.)


urban population: 64.8% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.62% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0.27% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 83

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 61

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 16.55 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 41.15 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 23.51 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 5,297,211 tons (2015 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 683,340 tons (2015 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 12.9% (2015 est.)

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Amazon (6,145,186 sq km)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 1.29 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 550 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 8.8 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

442.4 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)


total global geoparks and regional networks: 1

global geoparks and regional networks: Imbabura (2023)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Ecuador

conventional short form: Ecuador

local long form: República 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


name: Quito

geographic coordinates: 0 13 S, 78 30 W

time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

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

etymology: named after the Quitu, a Pre-Columbian indigenous people credited with founding the city; the name is also a combination of two Tsafiki words: quitso (meaning "center" or "half") + to or tu ("the world"); the combination roughly translates as "center of the world" and reflects the fact that native peoples recognized that at the two annual equinoxes, the overhead sun in that area (only about 20 km (12 mi) north of the equator) did not display any shade and thus must be in the middle of the world

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


24 May 1822 (from Spain)

National holiday

Independence Day (independence of Quito), 10 August (1809)


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, 2024

Legal system

civil law based on the Chilean civil code with modifications; traditional law in indigenous communities

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 3 years


18-65 years of age; universal and compulsory; 16-18, over 65, and other eligible voters, voluntary

Executive branch

chief of state: President Daniel NOBOA Azin (since 23 November 2023); Vice President Verónica ABAD Rojas (since 23 November 2023); the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Daniel NOBOA Azin (since 23 November 2023); Vice President Verónica ABAD Rojas (since 23 November 2023)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president


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 20 August 2023 with a runoff on 15 October 2023 (next to be held on 28 February 2025); note – on 18 May 2023, Ecuador’s National Electoral Council announced that the legislative and presidential elections—originally scheduled for February 2025—would be held on 20 August 2023 with a runoff on 15 October 2023 after former president Guillermo LASSO dissolved the National Assembly by decree on 17 May 2023; though eligible for a second term, LASSO announced that he would not run in the 2023 election; President Daniel NOBOA Azin will serve out the remainder of the current presidential term (2021–2025)

election results:
2023: Daniel NOBOA Azin elected president; percent of vote in the second round - Luisa GONZÁLEZ Alcivar (MRC) 33.6%, Daniel NOBOA Azin (ADN) 23.5%, Christian Gustavo ZURITA Ron (Construye) 16.4%, Jan Tomislav TOPIĆ Feraud (Por Un País Sin Miedo) 14.7%, Otto Ramón SONNENHOLZNER Sper (Avanza) 7.1% other 4.7%; percent of vote in the second round - Daniel NOBOA Azin 51.8%, Luisa GONZÁLEZ Alcivar 48.2%

2021: Guillermo LASSO Mendoza elected president; percent of vote in the first round - Andres ARAUZ (UNES) 32.7%, Guillermo LASSO Mendoza (CREO) 19.7%, Yaku PEREZ Guartambel (MUPP) 19.4%, Xavier HERVAS Mora (ID) 15.7%, other 12.5%; percent of vote in the second round - Guillermo LASSO Mendoza (CREO) 52.5%, Andres ARAUZ (UNES) 47.5%

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 open-list proportional representation vote, and 6 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies for Ecuadorians living abroad by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms); note - all Assembly members have alternates from the same party who cast votes when a primary member is absent, resigns, or is removed from office

elections: last held on 20 August 2023 (next to be held on 28 February 2025); note – on 18 May 2023, Ecuador’s National Electoral Council announced that the legislative and presidential elections - originally scheduled for February 2025 - would be held on 20 August 2023 after President Guillermo LASSO dissolved the National Assembly by decree on 17 May 2023; a return to a regular election cycle will occur in February 2025

election results: percent of vote by party - RC5 38%, Construye 20.4%, ADN 10.2%, PSC 10.2%, Actuemos 5.8%, MUPP 2.9%, other 12.4%; seats by party - RC5 52, Construye 28, ADN 14, PSC 14, Actuemos 8, MUPP 4, other 17; composition - men 78, women 59, percentage women 43.1%; note - defections by National Assembly members are commonplace, resulting in frequent changes in the numbers of seats held by the various parties

Judicial branch

highest court(s): 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 the court president and 8 judges)

judge selection and term of office: candidates for the National Court of Justice evaluated and appointed justices by the Judicial Council, a 9-member independent body of law professionals; justices elected for 9-year, non-renewable terms, with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years; candidates for the Constitutional Court evaluated and appointed judges by a 6-member independent body of law professionals; judges appointed for 4-year renewable terms

subordinate courts: provincial courts (one for each province except Galapagos); fiscal, criminal, and administrative tribunals; Election Dispute Settlement Courts; cantonal courts

Political parties and leaders

Actuemos Ecuador or Actuemos
AMIGO movement, Independent Mobilizing Action Generating Opportunities (Movimiento AMIGO (Acción Movilizadora Independiente Generando Oportunidades)) or AM16O [Victor BRAVO, acting president]
Avanza Party or AVANZA [Javier ORTI Torres]
Central Democratic Movement or CD [Jimmy JAIRALA]
Citizen Revolution Movement or MRC or RC5 [Luisa GONZÁLEZ]
Creating Opportunities Movement or CREO [Esteban BERNAL]
Democratic Left or ID [Analía LEDESMA]
Democracy Yes Movement (Movimiento Democracia Si) [Gustavo LARREA]
For A Country Without Fear (Por Un País Sin Miedo) (an alliance including PSC, CD, and PSP) [Jan Tomislav TOPIĆ Feraud]
Green Movement (Movimiento Verde
Movimiento Construye or Construye [María Paula ROMO]
National Democratic Action (Acción Democrática Nacional) or ADN [Daniel NOBOA]
Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement or MUPP [Guillermo CHURUCHUMBI]
Patriotic Society Party or PSP [Lucio GUTIÉRREZ Borbúa]
People, Equality, and Democracy Party (Partido Pueblo, Igualdad y Democracia) or PID [Arturo MORENO]
Popular Unity Party (Partido Unidad Popular) or UP [Geovanni ATARIHUANA]
Revolutionary and Democratic Ethical Green Movement (Movimiento Verde Ético Revolucionario y Democrático) or MOVER [René ESPÍN, Secretary-General]
Social Christian Party or PSC [Alfredo SERRANO]
Socialist Party [Gustavo VALLEJO]
Society United for More Action or SUMA [Guillermo CELI]
Total Renovation Movement (Movimiento Renovacion Total) or RETO [Eduardo SÁNCHEZ]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Chargé d'Affaires Maria Soledad PEÑA PLAZA (since 9 February 2024)

chancery: 2535 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 234-7200

FAX: [1] (202) 333-2893

email address and website:

Contact – Washington (

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis (MN), New Haven (CT), New York, Newark (NJ), Phoenix, San Juan (PR)

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Michael J. FITZPATRICK (since 3 July 2019)

embassy: E12-170 Avenida Avigiras y Avenida Eloy Alfaro, Quito

mailing address: 3420 Quito Place, Washington DC  20521-3420

telephone: [593] (2) 398-5000

email address and website:

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

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 5 (3 cultural, 2 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Historic Quito (c); Galápagos Islands (n); Historic Cuenca (c); Qhapaq Ñan/Andean Road System (c); Sangay National Park (n)


Economic overview

highly informal South American economy; USD currency user; major banana exporter; hard hit by COVID-19; macroeconomic fragility from oil dependency; successful debt restructuring; China funding budget deficits; social unrest hampering economic activity

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$195.477 billion (2022 est.)
$189.88 billion (2021 est.)
$182.165 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 69

Real GDP growth rate

2.95% (2022 est.)
4.24% (2021 est.)
-7.79% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 137

Real GDP per capita

$10,900 (2022 est.)
$10,700 (2021 est.)
$10,400 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 139

GDP (official exchange rate)

$115.049 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

3.47% (2022 est.)
0.13% (2021 est.)
-0.34% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 50

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: B- (2020)

Moody's rating: Caa3 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: B- (2020)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 6.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 32.9% (2017 est.)

services: 60.4% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 121; industry 60; agriculture 115

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.)

Agricultural products

sugarcane, bananas, oil palm fruit, milk, maize, rice, plantains, chicken, cocoa beans, pineapples (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage


petroleum, food processing, textiles, wood products, chemicals

Industrial production growth rate

1.08% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 147

Labor force

8.813 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 59

Unemployment rate

3.76% (2022 est.)
4.55% (2021 est.)
6.13% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 69

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 14.2% (2021 est.)

male: 11.4%

female: 18.8%

comparison ranking: total 123

Population below poverty line

25.2% (2022 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

45.5 (2022 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 22

Average household expenditures

on food: 26.3% of household expenditures (2021 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 0.8% of household expenditures (2021 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.7%

highest 10%: 34.3% (2022 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population


4.13% of GDP (2022 est.)
4.11% of GDP (2021 est.)
3.37% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities


revenues: $35.914 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $39.319 billion (2019 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-4.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 164

Public debt

45.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
43.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 120

Taxes and other revenues

13.21% (of GDP) (2022 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 161

Current account balance

$2.114 billion (2022 est.)
$3.097 billion (2021 est.)
$2.21 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 40


$35.92 billion (2022 est.)
$29.037 billion (2021 est.)
$22.373 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 76

Exports - partners

US 27%, China 17%, Panama 14%, Chile 4%, Colombia 3% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, shellfish, bananas, fish, refined petroleum (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars


$36.051 billion (2022 est.)
$28.128 billion (2021 est.)
$19.874 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 73

Imports - partners

US 26%, China 23%, Colombia 6%, Peru 4%, Brazil 4% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, coal tar oil, cars, natural gas, soybean meal (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$8.459 billion (2022 est.)
$7.912 billion (2021 est.)
$7.137 billion (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 116

Debt - external

$50.667 billion (2019 est.)
$43.224 billion (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 67

Exchange rates

the US dollar became Ecuador's currency in 2001


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)


installed generating capacity: 9.354 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 26,353,430,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 1.826 billion kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 6 million kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 4.303 billion kWh (2019 est.)

comparison rankings: installed generating capacity 67; transmission/distribution losses 162; imports 118; exports 53; consumption 68

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 21% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0.1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 77.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 1.5% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)


production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 10,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 10,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 24 million metric tons (2019 est.)


total petroleum production: 478,000 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 259,000 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 349,400 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 8.273 billion barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

137,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 62

Refined petroleum products - exports

25,870 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 66

Refined petroleum products - imports

153,900 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 40

Natural gas

production: 342.407 million cubic meters (2019 est.)

consumption: 342.407 million cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 10.902 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

36.051 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 45,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 35.329 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 677,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 70

Energy consumption per capita

42.564 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 104


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 1.644 million (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 9 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 57

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 17.491 million (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 97 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 67

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Ecuador has a small telecom market dominated by the mobile sector; the evolution of the market has been influenced by the poor fixed-line infrastructure, which has stymied the development of fixed-line broadband services; to some extent poor infrastructure has been the result of topographical challenges which have rendered the cost of deploying networks to remote and mountainous areas prohibitive; although Ecuador has several fixed-line operators and a large number of ISPs, the state-owned incumbent leads the fixed-line market, and thus also the fixed broadband market; thus far the MVNO sector has been slow to develop, partly because the incumbent operators also have their low-cost brands and thus there is little business case for new market entrants; the government is keen to advance and improve teledensity; from 2022, additional revenue will be earmarked for programs aimed at expanding the reach of internet and mobile services in rural areas of the country; Ecuador lacks a national 5G roadmap; the mobile operators have conducted several 5G pilots, but no progress has been made on allocation spectrum for 5G, or on developing strategies to encourage investment in the sector (2022)

domestic: according to 2021 statistics from the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society, 50 percent of Ecuadorian homes do not have access to fixed internet; fixed-line teledensity is about 10 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular service with a subscribership of nearly 94 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 593; landing points for the SPSC (Mistral Submarine Cable), Panamerican Cable System (PAN-AM), Pacific Caribbean Cable System (PCCS), America Movil-Telxius West Coast Cable and SAm-1 submarine (SAm-1) 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)

Broadcast media

the Communication Council, an official entity, carried out a media registry in Ecuador in December 2020.  It registered 956 media outlets, 89% are private, 5% are public and 6% belong to small communities. The government controls most of the 44 public media, this includes national media and multiple local radio stations. In addition, of the 956 registered media, 58% are radio and 18% print. Two provinces have the largest number of media outlets: Guayas has 172 media outlets and Pichincha has 130 media outlets. (2020) so also sent to the National Assembly a new regulation proposal that is still under discussion.


Internet users

total: 13.68 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 76% (2021 est.)

according to 2021 statistics from Ecuador's Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society, 50% of homes do not have access to fixed internet

comparison ranking: total 52

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 2,371,297 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 55


National air transport system

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 (2018) mt-km


310 (2024)

comparison ranking: 22


28 (2024)


485 km extra heavy crude, 123 km gas, 2,131 km oil, 1,526 km refined products (2017)


total: 965 km (2022)

narrow gauge: 965 km (2022) 1.067-m gauge

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

comparison ranking: total 90


total: 43,950 km

paved: 8,895 km

unpaved: 35,055 km (2022)

comparison ranking: total 89


1,500 km (2012) (most inaccessible)

comparison ranking: 55

Merchant marine

total: 154 (2023)

by type: container ship 1, general cargo 8, oil tanker 28, other 117

comparison ranking: total 73


total ports: 6 (2024)

large: 0

medium: 0

small: 2

very small: 4

ports with oil terminals: 5

key ports: Esmeraldas, Guayaquil, La Libertad, Manta, Puerto Bolivar, Puerto Maritimo de Guayaquil

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Ecuadorian Armed Forces: the Ecuadorian Army (Ejército Ecuatoriano), Ecuadorian Navy (Armada del Ecuador, Fuerza Naval del Ecuador, FNE; includes naval infantry, naval aviation, coast guard), Ecuadorian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Ecuatoriana, FAE) (2024)

note: the National Police of Ecuador (Policía Nacional del Ecuador) is under the Ministry of Government/Interior

Military expenditures

2% of GDP (2022 est.)
2% of GDP (2021 est.)
2.3% of GDP (2020 est.)
2.2% of GDP (2019)
2.4% of GDP (2018)

comparison ranking: 63

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 40,000 active military personnel (25,000 Army; 9,000 Navy; 6,000 Air Force) (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the military's inventory includes a wide mix of mostly older equipment derived from a variety of sources such as Brazil, China, Russia, and the US; in recent years, Ecuador has received limited amounts of more modern material from several countries, including Germany and Spain (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-22 years of age for selective conscript military service for men, although conscription was suspended in 2008; 18 years of age for voluntary military service for men and women; 12-month service obligation (2023)

note: in 2022, women made up an estimated 3-4% of the military

Military - note

the military is responsible for preserving Ecuador’s national sovereignty and defending the integrity of the state; it also has some domestic security responsibilities and may complement police operations in maintaining public order if required; the military shares responsibility for border enforcement with the National Police; it participates in bilateral and multinational training exercises and has sent troops on UN peacekeeping missions; the military has defense ties to regional countries, such as Chile, Colombia, and Peru, and security ties with the US have been revived in recent years

border conflicts with Peru dominated the military’s focus until the late 1990s and border security remains a priority, but in more recent years, security challenges have included counterinsurgency and counternarcotics operations, particularly in the northern border area where violence and other criminal activity related to terrorism, insurgency, and narco-trafficking in Colombia, as well as refugees from Venezuela, have spilled over the border; the military has established a joint service task force for counterinsurgency and counternarcotics operations and boosted troop deployments along those borders; other missions include countering illegal mining, smuggling, and maritime piracy; since 2012, the Ecuadorian Government has expanded the military’s role in general public security and domestic crime operations, in part due to rising violence, police corruption, and police ineffectiveness 

the Joint Command of the Armed Forces (El Comando Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas or CCFFAA) is the military’s highest body for planning, preparation, and strategic conduct of military operations; the chief of the CCFFAA is appointed by the president; the military is deployed throughout the country in five joint service operational commands or task forces; it also has a cyber defense command; the Army is organized into four regionally based divisions and approximately 12 combat brigades, including armored cavalry, artillery, aviation, infantry (including specialized jungle infantry), and special forces; the Navy is a compact force comprised of two frigates, six corvettes, three missile attack boats, and two attack submarines; it also has a small aviation force and a Marine Corps with about 2,000 amphibious infantry and commandos; the Air Force has small numbers of operational jet fighters and light ground attack aircraft, as well as some multirole helicopters  

the military has had a large role in Ecuador’s political history; it ruled the country from 1963-1966 and 1972-1979, and supported a dictatorship in 1970-1972; during the 1980s, the military remained loyal to the civilian government, but civilian-military relations were at times tenuous, and the military had considerable autonomy from civilian oversight; it was involved in coup attempts in 2000 and 2010 (2024)


Space agency/agencies

Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency (EXA; a civilian independent research and development institution in charge of the administration and execution of Ecuador’s space program, established 2007); Ecuadorian Space Institute (established 2012, disbanded 2018) (2024)

Space program overview

has a small program focused on acquiring or manufacturing satellites; builds scientific satellites; conducts research and develops some space-related technologies; has established relations with the space agencies and industries of China and Russia, as well as the Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency (ALCE) and its member states (2024)

note: further details about the key activities, programs, and milestones of the country’s space program, as well as government spending estimates on the space sector, appear in Appendix S

Transnational Issues

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 65,854 (Colombia) (refugees and asylum seekers) (2021); 474,945 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum, are recognized as refugees, or have received alternative legal stay) (2023)

Illicit drugs

Ecuador is a major transit country for cocaine destined for the United States and other international destinations; criminal groups traffic cocaine precursor chemicals for drug gangs; not a major drug producing country; a major source of precursor or essential chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics