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Ecuador Country Guide

Explore Ecuador in South America

Ecuador with the capital city Quito is located in South America (Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator). It covers some 283,561 square kilometres (slightly smaller than Nevada) with 13,927,000 citizens.

Map of the area of  in

The topography includes coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente). The average density of population is approximately 49 per km². The notable climate conditions in Ecuador can be described as tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations with tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands. Possible natural disasters include frequent earthquakes or landslides, volcanic activity, floods or periodic droughts.

To reach someone in Ecuador dial +593 prior to a number. There are 2,004,000 installed telephones. And there are 13,635,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 1800 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".ec". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 120V - 60Hz.

About the flag and history of Ecuador

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.

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 Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: South America
Neighbours: Peru, Colombia
Capital: Quito
Size 283,560 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 109,483 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than Nevada
Population 13,927,000
Currency Name: Dollar, Currency Code: USD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .ec
Telephone Country Prefix +593
Mobile Phone Connections 13,635,000
Landline Phone Connections 2,004,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 283,561 (sq km) 74

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 15,439,429 67
Population growth rate 1.40 (%) 86
Birth rate 19.23 (births/1,000 population) 91
Death rate 5.03 (deaths/1,000 population) 183
Net migration rate -0.25 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 122
Maternal mortality rate 110.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 66
Infant mortality rate 18.48 (deaths/1,000 live births) 98
Life expectancy at birth 76.15 (years) 84
Total fertility rate 2.33 (children born/woman) 95
Health expenditures 8.10 (% of GDP) 57
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.40 (%) 73
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 37,000 63
HIV/AIDS - deaths 2,200 54
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 21.40 (%) 86
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 6.20 (%) 80
Education expenditures 4.90 (% of GDP) 79
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 14.1 (%) 91


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 155,800,000,000 61
GDP - real growth rate 5.00 (%) 67
GDP - per capita (PPP) 10,200 118
Labor force 6,779,000 64
Unemployment rate 4.10 (%) 33
Distribution of family income - Gini index 48 27
Investment (gross fixed) 24.60 (% of GDP) 56
Taxes and other revenues 19.6 (% of GDP) 167
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -5.20 (% of GDP) 162
Public debt 23.30 (% of GDP) 122
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 5.30 (%) 147
Central bank discount rate 8.68 (%) 30
Commercial bank prime lending rate 8.35 (%) 111
Stock of narrow money 7,701,000,000 86
Stock of broad money 26,550,000,000 78
Stock of domestic credit 22,400,000,000 80
Market value of publicly traded shares 5,263,000,000 83
Industrial production growth rate 10.10 (%) 11
Current account balance -1,387,000,000 122
Exports 23,770,000,000 72
Imports 24,670,000,000 68
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 2,482,000,000 117
Debt - external 15,480,000,000 86
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 13,110,000,000 80
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 6,330,000,000 62


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 21,840,000,000 (kWh) 70
Electricity - consumption 14,920,000,000 (kWh) 78
Electricity - exports 14,100,000 (kWh) 83
Electricity - imports 1,300,000,000 (kWh) 58
Electricity - installed generating capacity 4939000 (kW) 74
Electricity - from fossil fuels 56.2 (% of total installed capacity) 144
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 41.7 (% of total installed capacity) 53
Electricity - from other renewable sources 2.1 (% of total installed capacity) 57
Crude oil - production 504,000 (bbl/day) 30
Crude oil - exports 366,000 (bbl/day) 24
Crude oil - imports 154,000 (bbl/day) 41
Crude oil - proved reserves 6573000000 (bbl) 22
Refined petroleum products - production 198,700 (bbl/day) 57
Refined petroleum products - consumption 280,000 (bbl/day) 46
Refined petroleum products - exports 28,000 (bbl/day) 68
Refined petroleum products - imports 111,000 (bbl/day) 46
Natural gas - production 330,000,000 (cu m) 75
Natural gas - consumption 330,000,000 (cu m) 100
Natural gas - imports 25,000 (cu m) 76
Natural gas - proved reserves 7,985,000,000 (cu m) 82
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 24,430,000 (Mt) 79


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 2,211,000 56
Telephones - mobile cellular 15,333,000 54
Internet hosts 170,538 76
Internet users 3,352,000 64


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 431 20
Railways 965 (km) 90
Roadways 43,670 (km) 84
Waterways 1,500 (km) 53
Merchant marine 44 72


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 2.30 (% of GDP) 61

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
City of Quito
Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 2,850 m. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America. The monast ...
Galápagos Islands
Situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the South American continent, these 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique ‘living museum and showcase of evolution’. Located at the confluence of three ocean curre ...
Historic Centre of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca
Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca is set in a valley surrounded by the Andean mountains in the south of Ecuador. This inland colonial town (entroterra ), now the country's third city, was founded in 1557 on the rigorous planning guidelines issued 30 y ...
Sangay National Park
With its outstanding natural beauty and two active volcanoes, the park illustrates the entire spectrum of ecosystems, ranging from tropical rainforests to glaciers, with striking contrasts between the snowcapped peaks and the forests of the plains. I ...