Venezuela

Country Summary

Introduction

Background

Venezuela was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Ecuador and New Granada, which became Colombia). For most of the first half of the 20th century, Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen who promoted the oil industry and allowed for some social reforms. Democratically elected governments have held sway since 1959.

Geography

Area

total: 912,050 sq km
land: 882,050 sq km
water: 30,000 sq km

Climate

tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, bauxite, other minerals, hydropower, diamonds

People and Society

Population

30,518,260 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

unspecified Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, Indigenous

Languages

Spanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects

Religions

Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%

Population growth rate

2.4% (2023 est.)

Government

Government type

federal presidential republic

Capital

name: Caracas

Executive branch

chief of state: Notification Statement: the United States does not recognize Nicolas MADURO Moros as president of Venezuela

President Nicolas MADURO Moros (since 19 April 2013); Executive Vice President Delcy RODRIGUEZ Gomez (since 14 June 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Nicolas MADURO Moros (since 19 April 2013); Executive Vice President Delcy RODRIGUEZ Gomez (since 14 June 2018)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (277 seats; 3 seats reserved for indigenous peoples of Venezuela; members serve 5-year terms); note - in 2020, the National Electoral Council increased the number of seats in the National Assembly from 167 to 277 for the 6 December 2020 election

Economy

Economic overview

South American economy; ongoing hyperinflation since mid-2010s; chaotic economy due to political corruption, infrastructure cuts, and human rights abuses; in debt default; oil exporter; hydropower consumer; rising Chinese relations

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$269.068 billion (2018 est.)
$381.6 billion (2017 est.)
$334.751 billion (2017 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$7,704 (2018 est.)
$12,500 (2017 est.)
$9,417 (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, maize, milk, rice, plantains, bananas, pineapples, potatoes, beef, poultry

Industries

agricultural products, livestock, raw materials, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, construction materials, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, iron and steel products, crude oil and petroleum products

Exports

$83.401 billion (2018 est.)
$93.485 billion (2017 est.)
$28.684 billion (2016 est.)

Exports - partners

India 34%, China 28%, United States 12%, Spain 6% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, refined petroleum, industrial alcohols, gold, iron (2019)

Imports

$18.432 billion (2018 est.)
$18.376 billion (2017 est.)
$25.81 billion (2016 est.)

Imports - partners

China 28%, United States 22%, Brazil 8%, Spain 6%, Mexico 6%  (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, rice, corn, tires, soybean meal, wheat (2019)

Exchange rates

bolivars (VEB) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
9.975 (2017 est.)
9.257 (2016 est.)
6.284 (2015 est.)
6.284 (2014 est.)
6.048 (2013 est.)


Page last updated: Tuesday, April 16, 2024