Introduction

South America :: 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 February 2013, and voters re-elected President Rafael CORREA.

Geography

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
Country comparison to the world: 74
Land: 276,841 sq km
Water: 6,720 sq km
note: includes Galapagos Islands

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Nevada

Land boundaries:
Total: 2,010 km
Border countries: Colombia 590 km, Peru 1,420 km

Coastline:
2,237 km

Maritime claims:
Territorial sea: 200 nm
Continental shelf: 100 nm from 2,500-m isobath

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 extremes:
Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Chimborazo 6,267 m
note: due to the fact that the earth is not a perfect sphere and has an equatorial bulge, the highest point on the planet furthest 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:
Arable land: 4.51%
Permanent crops: 5.38%
Other: 90.11% (2011)

Irrigated land:
8,534 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:
424.4 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 9.92 cu km/yr (13%/6%/81%)
Per capita: 716.1 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards:
frequent earthquakes; landslides; volcanic activity; floods; periodic droughts
Volcanism: volcanic activity concentrated along the Andes Mountains; Sangay (elev. 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 (elev. 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

Nationality:
Noun: Ecuadorian(s)
Adjective: Ecuadorian

Ethnic groups:
mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 71.9%, Montubio 7.4%, Afroecuadorian 7.2%, Amerindian 7%, white 6.1%, other 0.4% (2010 census)

Languages:
Spanish (official), indigenous (Quechua, Shuar)

Religions:
Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%

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.

Population:
15,439,429 (July 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 67

Age structure:
0-14 years: 29% (male 2,284,815/female 2,193,648)
15-24 years: 18.7% (male 1,462,025/female 1,427,181)
25-54 years: 38.7% (male 2,908,224/female 3,061,896)
55-64 years: 6.9% (male 524,574/female 540,074)
65 years and over: 6.7% (male 496,557/female 540,435) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 57.4 %
Youth dependency ratio: 47.2 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 10.3 %
Potential support ratio: 9.8 (2013)

Median age:
Total: 26.3 years
Male: 25.7 years
Female: 26.9 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
1.4% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 87

Birth rate:
19.23 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 92

Death rate:
5.03 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 184

Net migration rate:
-0.25 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 122

Urbanization:
Urban population: 67% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
Guayaquil 2.634 million; QUITO (capital) 1.622 million (2011)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:
21.8 (2004 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
110 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 67

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 18.48 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 98
Male: 21.73 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 15.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 76.15 years
Country comparison to the world: 84
Male: 73.2 years
Female: 79.25 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.33 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 95

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
72.7% (2004)

Health expenditures:
8.1% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 57

Physicians density:
1.48 physicians/1,000 population (2000)

Hospital bed density:
1.5 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Drinking water source:
Improved:
urban: 96% of population
rural: 89% of population
total: 94% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 4% of population
rural: 11% of population
total: 6% of population (2010 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
Improved:
urban: 96% of population
rural: 84% of population
total: 92% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 4% of population
rural: 16% of population
total: 8% of population (2010 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.4% (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 74

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
37,000 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 63

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
2,200 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 54

Major infectious diseases:
Degree of risk: high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
21.4% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 86

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
6.2% (2004)
Country comparison to the world: 80

Education expenditures:
4.9% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 79

Literacy:
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 91.6%
Male: 93.1%
Female: 90.2% (2011 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Total: 14 years
Male: 13 years
Female: 14 years (2008)

Child labor - children ages 5-14:
Total number: 227,599
Percentage: 8 % (2008 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Total: 14.1%
Country comparison to the world: 91
Male: 11.7%
Female: 18.1% (2009)

Government

Country name:
Conventional long form: Republic of Ecuador
Conventional short form: Ecuador
Local long form: Republica del Ecuador
Local short form: Ecuador

Government type:
republic

Capital:
Name: Quito
Geographic coordinates: 0 13 S, 78 30 W
Time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)

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:
20 October 2008; this is Ecuador's 20th constitution

Legal system:
civil law based on the Chilean civil code with modifications

International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

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

Executive branch:
Chief of state: President Rafael CORREA Delgado (since 15 January 2007); Vice President Lenin MORENO Garces (since 15 January 2007); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President Rafael CORREA Delgado (since 15 January 2007); Vice President Lenin MORENO Garces (since 15 January 2007)
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
Elections: the president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a four-year term and can be re-elected for another consecutive term; election last held on 17 February 2013 (next to be held in 2017)
Election results: President Rafael CORREA Delgado reelected president; percent of vote - Rafael CORREA Delgado 57.2%, Guillermo LASSO 22.7%, Lucio GUTIERREZ 6.8%, Mauricio RODAS 3.9%, other 9.4%

Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (137 seats; members are elected through a party-list proportional representation system to serve four-year terms)
Elections: last held on 17 February 2013 (next to be held in 2017)
Election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PAIS 100, CREO 11, PSC 6, AVANZA 5, MUPP 5, PSP 5, other 5; 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 court(s): National Court of Justice or Corte Nacional de Justicia (consists of 21 judges including a chief justice and organized into 5 specialized chambers); Constitutional Court or Corte Constitutional (consists of 11 judges)
Judge selection and term of office: justices of National Court of Justice elected by the Judiciary Council, a 9-member independent body of professionals; judges elected for 9-year, non-renewable terms, with one-third of the judges renewed every 3 years; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the National Assembly from candidates selected by the president, Supreme Court, and other government officials; judges appointed for 2-year terms
Subordinate courts: Fiscal Tribunal; Superior Court (one for each province); lower provincial and cantonal courts

Political parties and leaders:
Alianza PAIS movement [Rafael Vicente CORREA Delgado]
Avanza Party or AVANZA [Ramiro GONZALEZ]
Breakaway Party [Martha ROLDOS]
Creating Opportunities Movement or CREO [Guillermo LASSO]
Institutional Renewal and National Action Party or PRIAN [Alvaro NOBOA]
Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement or MUPP [Rafael ANTUNI]
Patriotic Society Party or PSP [Lucio GUTIERREZ Borbua]
Plurinational Union Movement of the Left [Alberto ACOSTA]
Roldosist Party or PRE [Abdala BUCARAM Pulley, director]
Social Christian Party or PSC [Pascual DEL CIOPPO]
Socialist Party
Society United for More Action or SUMA [Mauricio RODAS]
Warrior's Spirit Movement [Jaime NEBOT]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador or CONAIE [Humberto CHOLANGO]
Federation of Indigenous Evangelists of Ecuador or FEINE [Manuel CHUGCHILAN, president]
National Federation of Indigenous Afro-Ecuatorianos and Peasants or FENOCIN
National Teacher's Union or UNE [Mariana PALLASCO]

International organization participation:
CAN, CD, CELAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), 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, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Saskia Nathalie CELY Suarez
Chancery: 1050 30th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
Telephone: [1] (202) 465-8140
FAX: [1] (202) 333-2893
Consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Haven (CT), New Orleans, New York, Newark (NJ), Phoenix, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Adam NAMM
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

National symbol(s):
Andean condor

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

Economy - overview:
Ecuador is substantially dependent on its petroleum resources, which have accounted for more than half of the country's export earnings and approximately two-fifths of public sector revenues in recent years. In 1999/2000, Ecuador's economy suffered from a banking crisis, with GDP contracting by 5.3% and poverty increasing significantly. In March 2000, the Congress approved a series of structural reforms that also provided for the adoption of the US dollar as legal tender. Dollarization stabilized the economy, and positive growth returned in the years that followed, helped by high oil prices, remittances, and increased non-traditional exports. From 2002-06 the economy grew an average of 4.3% per year, the highest five-year average in 25 years. After moderate growth in 2007, the economy reached a growth rate of 6.4% in 2008, buoyed by high global petroleum prices and increased public sector investment. President Rafael CORREA, who took office in January 2007, defaulted in December 2008 on Ecuador's sovereign debt, which, with a total face value of approximately US$3.2 billion, represented about 30% of Ecuador's public external debt. In May 2009, Ecuador bought back 91% of its "defaulted" bonds via an international reverse auction. Economic policies under the CORREA administration - for example, an announcement in late 2009 of its intention to terminate 13 bilateral investment treaties, including one with the United States - have generated economic uncertainty and discouraged private investment. The Ecuadorian economy slowed to 1% growth in 2009 due to the global financial crisis and to the sharp decline in world oil prices and remittance flows. Growth picked up to a 3.3% rate in 2010 and nearly 8% in 2011, before falling to 5% in 2012. China has become Ecuador's largest foreign lender since Quito defaulted in 2008, allowing the government to maintain a high rate of social spending; Ecuador contracted with the Chinese government for more than $9 billion in oil for cash and project loans as of December 2012.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$155.8 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 61
$148.4 billion (2011 est.)
$137.4 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$80.93 billion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
5% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 61
8% (2011 est.)
3.3% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$10,200 (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 118
$9,900 (2011 est.)
$9,300 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

Gross national saving:
26.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 35
27.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
24.6% of GDP (2010 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:
Household consumption: 61.3%
Government consumption: 13.5%
Investment in fixed capital: 26.5%
Investment in inventories: 0.6%
Exports of goods and services: 31%
Imports of goods and services: -33%
(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 5.9%
Industry: 35.6%
Services: 58.5% (2012 est.)

Agriculture - products:
bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, 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:
5.8%
Country comparison to the world: 48
note: excludes oil refining (2012 est.)

Labor force:
6.779 million (December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 64

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: 27.6%
Industry: 18.8%
Services: 53.6% (2010)

Unemployment rate:
4.9% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 43
4.2% (December 2011 est.)

Population below poverty line:
27.3% (December 2012 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: 1.4%
Highest 10%: 38.3%
note: data for urban households only (2010 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
47.7 (December 2012)
Country comparison to the world: 27
50.5 (2006)
note: data are for urban households

Budget:
Revenues: $34.53 billion
Expenditures: $35.48 billion (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
42.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 33

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-1.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 65

Public debt:
20.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 126
17.6% of GDP (2011 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
5.1% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 147
4.5% (2011 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
8.17% (31 December 2011)
Country comparison to the world: 30
8.68% (31 December 2010)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
8.17% (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 112
8.35% (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$7.754 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 85
$6.943 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$26.55 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 78
$22.18 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$22.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 77
$20.05 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$5.779 billion (31 December 2011)
Country comparison to the world: 83
$5.263 billion (31 December 2010)
$4.248 billion (31 December 2009)

Current account balance:
-$1.387 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 122
-$238.4 million (2011 est.)

Exports:
$24.65 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 71
$23.08 billion (2011 est.)

Exports - commodities:
petroleum, bananas, cut flowers, shrimp, cacao, coffee, wood, fish

Exports - partners:
US 37%, Chile 8.1%, Peru 7.1%, Colombia 4.6%, Japan 4.5%, Russia 4.4% (2012)

Imports:
$24.58 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 70
$23.24 billion (2011 est.)

Imports - commodities:
industrial materials, fuels and lubricants, nondurable consumer goods

Imports - partners:
US 28%, China 11.2%, Colombia 9.3%, Peru 4.9% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$2.483 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 118
$2.958 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Debt - external:
$17.71 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 83
$16.5 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$17.29 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 72
$16.71 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$6.33 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 62
$6.33 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Exchange rates:
the US dollar became Ecuador's currency in 2001

Energy

Electricity - production:
21.84 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 69

Electricity - consumption:
14.92 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 77

Electricity - exports:
14.1 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 82

Electricity - imports:
1.3 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 57

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
4.939 million kW (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 73

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
56.2% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 143

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 79

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
41.7% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 53

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
2.1% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 56

Crude oil - production:
504,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 29

Crude oil - exports:
366,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 23

Crude oil - imports:
154,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 40

Crude oil - proved reserves:
6.573 billion bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 21

Refined petroleum products - production:
198,700 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 56

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
280,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 45

Refined petroleum products - exports:
28,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 67

Refined petroleum products - imports:
111,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 45

Natural gas - production:
330 million cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 74

Natural gas - consumption:
330 million cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 99

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 90

Natural gas - imports:
25,000 cu m (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 75

Natural gas - proved reserves:
7.985 billion cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 81

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
24.43 million Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 78

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
2.211 million (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 56

Telephones - mobile cellular:
15.333 million (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 55

Telephone system:
General assessment: elementary fixed-line service, but increasingly sophisticated mobile-cellular network
Domestic: fixed-line services provided by multiple telecommunications operators; fixed-line teledensity stands at about 15 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular use has surged and subscribership has reached 100 per 100 persons
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; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media:
Ecuador has multiple TV networks and many local channels, as well as more than 300 radio stations; many TV and radio stations are privately owned; the government owns or controls 5 national TV stations and multiple radio stations; broadcast media required by law to give the government free air time to broadcast programs produced by the state (2007)

Internet country code:
.ec

Internet hosts:
170,538 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 76

Internet users:
3.352 million (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 64

Transportation

Airports:
432 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 20

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 104
Over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 18
914 to 1,523 m: 26
Under 914 m: 51 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 328
914 to 1,523 m: 37
Under 914 m:
291 (2013)

Heliports:
2 (2013)

Pipelines:
extra heavy crude 527 km; gas 71 km; oil 2,131 km; refined products 1,526 km (2013)

Railways:
Total: 965 km
Country comparison to the world: 90
Narrow gauge: 965 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:
Total: 43,670 km
Country comparison to the world: 85
Paved: 6,472 km
Unpaved: 37,198 km (2007)

Waterways:
1,500 km (most inaccessible) (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 53

Merchant marine:
Total: 44
Country comparison to the world: 72
By type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 4, liquefied gas 1, passenger 9, petroleum tanker 28, refrigerated cargo 1
Registered in other countries: 4 (Panama 3, Peru 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:
Major seaport(s): Esmeraldas, Manta, Puerto Bolivar
River port(s): Guayaquil (Guayas)

Military

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, Ecadorian birth requirement; 1-year service obligation (2012)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 3,728,906
Females age 16-49: 3,844,918 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 2,834,213
Females age 16-49: 3,269,535 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 152,593
Female: 147,143 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
2.3% of GDP (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 60

Transnational Issues

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): 122,964 (Colombia) (2012)

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 (2008)

Flag of Ecuador



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 Columbia, 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