Venezuela Flag Icon

Venezuela Country Guide

Explore Venezuela in South America

Venezuela with the capital city Caracas is located in South America (Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean). It covers some 912,051 square kilometres (slightly more than twice the size of California) with 26,414,000 citizens.

Map of the area of  in

The landscape offers Andes Mountains and Maracaibo Lowlands in northwest with central plains (llanos) and Guiana Highlands in southeast. The average density of population is approximately 29 per km². The notable climate conditions in Venezuela can be described as tropical with hot, humid, more moderate in highlands. Potential threats by nature are subject to floods, rockslides, mudslides or periodic droughts.

To reach someone in Venezuela dial +58 prior to a number. There are 6,867,000 installed telephones. And there are 28,124,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".ve". 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 Venezuela

Three equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), blue, and red with the coat of arms on the hoist side of the yellow band and an arc of eight white five-pointed stars centered in the blue band; the flag retains the three equal horizontal bands and three main colors of the banner of Gran Colombia, the South American republic that broke up in 1830; yellow is interpreted as standing for the riches of the land, blue for the courage of its people, and red for the blood shed in attaining independence; the seven stars on the original flag represented the seven provinces in Venezuela that united in the war of independence; in 2006, President Hugo CHAVEZ ordered an eighth star added to the star arc - a decision that sparked much controversy - to conform with the flag proclaimed by Simon Bolivar in 1827 and to represent the province of Guayana.

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. Hugo CHAVEZ, president from 1999 to 2013, sought to implement his "21st Century Socialism," which purported to alleviate social ills while at the same time attacking capitalist globalization and existing democratic institutions. Current concerns include: a weakening of democratic institutions, political polarization, a politicized military, rampant violent crime, overdependence on the petroleum industry with its price fluctuations, and irresponsible mining operations that are endangering the rain forest and indigenous peoples.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: South America
Neighbours: Guyana, Brazil, Colombia
Capital: Caracas
Size 912,050 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 352,144 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly more than twice the size of California
Population 26,414,000
Currency Name: Bolivar, Currency Code: VEB
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .ve
Telephone Country Prefix +58
Mobile Phone Connections 28,124,000
Landline Phone Connections 6,867,000

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 912,050 (sq km) 33

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 28,459,085 45
Population growth rate 1.44 (%) 83
Birth rate 19.66 (births/1,000 population) 88
Death rate 5.23 (deaths/1,000 population) 180
Maternal mortality rate 92.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 78
Infant mortality rate 19.75 (deaths/1,000 live births) 94
Life expectancy at birth 74.23 (years) 113
Total fertility rate 2.37 (children born/woman) 92
Health expenditures 4.90 (% of GDP) 144
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 30.30 (%) 26
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 3.70 (%) 98
Education expenditures 3.60 (% of GDP) 124
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 17.5 (%) 72


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 408,500,000,000 34
GDP - real growth rate 5.50 (%) 54
GDP - per capita (PPP) 13,800 97
Labor force 13,700,000 41
Unemployment rate 8.00 (%) 95
Distribution of family income - Gini index 39 69
Investment (gross fixed) 19.30 (% of GDP) 108
Taxes and other revenues 30.4 (% of GDP) 91
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -15.40 (% of GDP) 214
Public debt 49.00 (% of GDP) 65
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 20.90 (%) 217
Central bank discount rate 29.50 (%) 3
Commercial bank prime lending rate 17.15 (%) 28
Stock of narrow money 175,700,000,000 22
Stock of broad money 188,200,000,000 43
Stock of domestic credit 176,400,000,000 43
Market value of publicly traded shares 3,991,000,000 89
Industrial production growth rate 3.40 (%) 82
Current account balance 20,600,000,000 18
Exports 96,900,000,000 42
Imports 56,690,000,000 53
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 25,230,000,000 54
Debt - external 63,740,000,000 54
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 49,600,000,000 56
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 21,950,000,000 44


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 127,600,000,000 (kWh) 29
Electricity - consumption 85,050,000,000 (kWh) 35
Electricity - exports 633,000,000 (kWh) 58
Electricity - imports 260,000,000 (kWh) 85
Electricity - installed generating capacity 27500000 (kW) 29
Electricity - from fossil fuels 35.7 (% of total installed capacity) 175
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 64.3 (% of total installed capacity) 27
Crude oil - production 2,470,000 (bbl/day) 14
Crude oil - exports 1,645,000 (bbl/day) 10
Crude oil - proved reserves 209400000000 (bbl) 3
Refined petroleum products - production 1,176,000 (bbl/day) 21
Refined petroleum products - consumption 571,000 (bbl/day) 33
Refined petroleum products - exports 638,000 (bbl/day) 11
Refined petroleum products - imports 16,660 (bbl/day) 112
Natural gas - production 31,200,000,000 (cu m) 28
Natural gas - consumption 33,100,000,000 (cu m) 29
Natural gas - imports 1,446,000,000 (cu m) 53
Natural gas - proved reserves 5,524,000,000,000 (cu m) 9
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 158,400,000 (Mt) 33


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 7,332,000 24
Telephones - mobile cellular 28,782,000 35
Internet hosts 1,016,000 46
Internet users 8,918,000 32


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 492 15
Railways 806 (km) 98
Roadways 96,155 (km) 44
Waterways 7,100 (km) 21
Merchant marine 53 69


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 0.70 (% of GDP) 153

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

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Canaima National Park
Canaima National Park is spread over 3 million ha in south-eastern Venezuela along the border between Guyana and Brazil. Roughly 65% of the park is covered by table mountain (tepui) formations. The tepuis constitute a unique biogeological entity and ...
Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas
The Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas, built to the design of the architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva, between 1940 and 1960, is an outstanding example of the Modern Movement in architecture. The university campus integrates the large number of buildings ...
Coro and its Port
With its earthen constructions unique to the Caribbean, Coro is the only surviving example of a rich fusion of local traditions with Spanish Mudéjar and Dutch architectural techniques. One of the first colonial towns (founded in 1527), it has some 6 ...