Map Ecuador
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of 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 has been marred by political instability. Protests in Quito contributed to the mid-term ouster of three of Ecuador's last four democratically elected Presidents. In September 2008, voters approved a new constitution; Ecuador's twentieth since gaining independence. General elections, under the new constitutional framework, were held in April 2009, and voters re-elected President Rafael CORREA.
Location: Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru
Area land: 276,841 sq km
Area water: 6,720 sq km
Coastline: 2,237 km
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Ecuador
Country name conventional short form: Ecuador
Country name former: Republic of Ecuador
Population: 15,007,343 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 30.1% (male 2,301,840/female 2,209,971); 15-64 years: 63.5% (male 4,699,548/female 4,831,521); 65 years and over: 6.4% (male 463,481/female 500,982) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 1.443% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 19.96 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 5 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.52 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female; total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 19.65 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 23.02 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 16.11 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.73 years; male: 72.79 years; female: 78.82 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 2.42 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.4% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 37,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 2,200 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Ecuadorian(s); adjective: Ecuadorian;
Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65%, Amerindian 25%, Spanish and others 7%, black 3%;
Religions: Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%;
Languages: Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 91%; male: 92.3%; female: 89.7% (2001 census);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $115.3 billion (2010 est.); $111.2 billion (2009 est.); $111.6 billion (2008 est.);

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $56.5 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 3.7% (2010 est.); -0.4% (2009 est.); 7.2% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $8,000 (2010 est.); $7,700 (2009 est.); $7,800 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 6.4%; industry: 35.9%; services: 57.7% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 33.1% (June 2010);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1%; highest 10%: 35.3%;
note: data for urban households only (June 2010)

Labor force: 4.59 million (urban) (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 8.3%; industry: 21.2%; services: 70.4% (2005);
Unemployment rate: 5% (2010 est.); 6.5% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $14.48 billion; expenditures: planned $18.21 billion (2011 est.);
Industries: petroleum, food processing, textiles, wood products, chemicals;
Industrial production growth rate: 3.6% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 16.42 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 15.81 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 20.68 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - imports: 1.12 billion kWh (2007 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.


El Comercio

(Conservative), Quito

El Universo

(Centrist), Guayaquil

La Hora

(Left-wing), Quito

Vistazo Vistazo

(Centrist newsmagazine), Guayaquil

Ecuador in the News

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Displaying 13 to 16 of 16 items.

Bye Bye Birdie

Correspondent Michelle Lescure describes how an arms deal gone wrong defrauded the Ecuadorian navy of 18 million dollars.

People Power Prevails

Just one year after a loose-knit coalition of indigenous groups combined with rebellious military officers to bring down the government of President Jamil Mahuad, his successor’s attempt to implement unpopular fuel and transport price increases at the start of 2001 produced a familiar showdown between Indian “people power” and Ecuadoran authorities.

Democracy Challenged

Chile’s peaceful election of its first Socialist president since the ill-fated Salvador Allende three decades ago has roused optimism in the regional press. The feeling is that the nation’s struggle to reestablish democracy and achieve social reconciliation following the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet is finally drawing to a close.

A Peaceful Year

Blessed are the peacemakers—for they shall trade freely. The first anniversary of the historic peace agreement settling the century-old border dispute between Peru and Ecuador passed in October with little outward appearance of the quiet revolution unfolding along the newly demarcated frontier, observes the centrist Hoy of Quito (Oct. 26).