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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 283,560 square kilometres (slightly smaller than Nevada) with 13,927,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Ecuador

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

Ecuador Flag Icon

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

SummaryContinent: South America
Neighbours: Peru, Colombia
Capital: Quito
Size283,560 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 109,483 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than Nevada
CurrencyName Dollar, Currency Code:USD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).ec
Telephone Country Prefix+593
Mobile Phone Connections13,635,000
Landline Phone Connections2,004,000

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 nameValueWorld Rank
Area283,561 (sq km)74

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population15,439,429 67
Population growth rate1.40 (%)86
Birth rate19.23 (births/1,000 population)91
Death rate5.03 (deaths/1,000 population)183
Net migration rate-0.25 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)122
Maternal mortality rate110.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)66
Infant mortality rate18.48 (deaths/1,000 live births)98
Life expectancy at birth76.15 (years)84
Total fertility rate2.33 (children born/woman)95
Health expenditures8.10 (% of GDP)57
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.40 (%)73
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS37,000 63
HIV/AIDS - deaths2,200 54
Obesity - adult prevalence rate21.40 (%)86
Children under the age of 5 years underweight6.20 (%)80
Education expenditures4.90 (% of GDP)79
Unemployment, youth ages 15-2414.10 (%)91


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)155,800,000,000 61
GDP - real growth rate5.00 (%)67
GDP - per capita (PPP)10,200 118
Labor force6,779,000 64
Unemployment rate4.10 (%)33
Distribution of family income - Gini index47.70 27
Investment (gross fixed)24.60 (% of GDP)56
Taxes and other revenues19.60 (% of GDP)167
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-5.20 (% of GDP)162
Public debt23.30 (% of GDP)122
Inflation rate (consumer prices)5.30 (%)147
Central bank discount rate8.68 (%)30
Commercial bank prime lending rate8.35 (%)111
Stock of narrow money7,701,000,000 86
Stock of broad money26,550,000,000 78
Stock of domestic credit22,400,000,000 80
Market value of publicly traded shares5,263,000,000 83
Industrial production growth rate10.10 (%)11
Current account balance-1,387,000,000 122
Exports23,770,000,000 72
Imports24,670,000,000 68
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold2,482,000,000 117
Debt - external15,480,000,000 86
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home13,110,000,000 80
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad6,330,000,000 62


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production21,840,000,000 (kWh)70
Electricity - consumption14,920,000,000 (kWh)78
Electricity - exports14,100,000 (kWh)83
Electricity - imports1,300,000,000 (kWh)58
Electricity - installed generating capacity4,939,000 (kW)74
Electricity - from fossil fuels56.20 (% of total installed capacity)144
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants41.70 (% of total installed capacity)53
Electricity - from other renewable sources2.10 (% of total installed capacity)57
Crude oil - production504,000 (bbl/day)30
Crude oil - exports366,000 (bbl/day)24
Crude oil - imports154,000 (bbl/day)41
Crude oil - proved reserves6,573,000,000 (bbl)22
Refined petroleum products - production198,700 (bbl/day)57
Refined petroleum products - consumption280,000 (bbl/day)46
Refined petroleum products - exports28,000 (bbl/day)68
Refined petroleum products - imports111,000 (bbl/day)46
Natural gas - production330,000,000 (cu m)75
Natural gas - consumption330,000,000 (cu m)100
Natural gas - imports25,000 (cu m)76
Natural gas - proved reserves7,985,000,000 (cu m)82
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy24,430,000 (Mt)79


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use2,211,000 56
Telephones - mobile cellular15,333,000 54
Internet hosts170,538 76
Internet users3,352,000 64


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports431 20
Railways965 (km)90
Roadways43,670 (km)84
Waterways1,500 (km)53
Merchant marine44 72


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures2.30 (% 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

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 currents, ...
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 ye ...
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 ...