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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 912,050 square kilometres (slightly more than twice the size of California) with 26,414,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Venezuela

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 and 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

Venezuela Flag Icon

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

SummaryContinent: South America
Neighbours: Guyana, Brazil, Colombia
Capital: Caracas
Size912,050 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 352,144 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly more than twice the size of California
CurrencyName Bolivar, Currency Code:VEB
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).ve
Telephone Country Prefix+58
Mobile Phone Connections28,124,000
Landline Phone Connections6,867,000

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 nameValueWorld Rank
Area912,050 (sq km)33

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population28,459,085 45
Population growth rate1.44 (%)83
Birth rate19.66 (births/1,000 population)88
Death rate5.23 (deaths/1,000 population)180
Maternal mortality rate92.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)78
Infant mortality rate19.75 (deaths/1,000 live births)94
Life expectancy at birth74.23 (years)113
Total fertility rate2.37 (children born/woman)92
Health expenditures4.90 (% of GDP)144
Obesity - adult prevalence rate30.30 (%)26
Children under the age of 5 years underweight3.70 (%)98
Education expenditures3.60 (% of GDP)124
Unemployment, youth ages 15-2417.50 (%)72


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)408,500,000,000 34
GDP - real growth rate5.50 (%)54
GDP - per capita (PPP)13,800 97
Labor force13,700,000 41
Unemployment rate8.00 (%)95
Distribution of family income - Gini index39.00 69
Investment (gross fixed)19.30 (% of GDP)108
Taxes and other revenues30.40 (% of GDP)91
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-15.40 (% of GDP)214
Public debt49.00 (% of GDP)65
Inflation rate (consumer prices)20.90 (%)217
Central bank discount rate29.50 (%)3
Commercial bank prime lending rate17.15 (%)28
Stock of narrow money175,700,000,000 22
Stock of broad money188,200,000,000 43
Stock of domestic credit176,400,000,000 43
Market value of publicly traded shares3,991,000,000 89
Industrial production growth rate3.40 (%)82
Current account balance20,600,000,000 18
Exports96,900,000,000 42
Imports56,690,000,000 53
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold25,230,000,000 54
Debt - external63,740,000,000 54
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home49,600,000,000 56
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad21,950,000,000 44


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production127,600,000,000 (kWh)29
Electricity - consumption85,050,000,000 (kWh)35
Electricity - exports633,000,000 (kWh)58
Electricity - imports260,000,000 (kWh)85
Electricity - installed generating capacity27,500,000 (kW)29
Electricity - from fossil fuels35.70 (% of total installed capacity)175
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants64.30 (% of total installed capacity)27
Crude oil - production2,470,000 (bbl/day)14
Crude oil - exports1,645,000 (bbl/day)10
Crude oil - proved reserves209,400,000,000 (bbl)3
Refined petroleum products - production1,176,000 (bbl/day)21
Refined petroleum products - consumption571,000 (bbl/day)33
Refined petroleum products - exports638,000 (bbl/day)11
Refined petroleum products - imports16,660 (bbl/day)112
Natural gas - production31,200,000,000 (cu m)28
Natural gas - consumption33,100,000,000 (cu m)29
Natural gas - imports1,446,000,000 (cu m)53
Natural gas - proved reserves5,524,000,000,000 (cu m)9
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy158,400,000 (Mt)33


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use7,332,000 24
Telephones - mobile cellular28,782,000 35
Internet hosts1,016,000 46
Internet users8,918,000 32


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports492 15
Railways806 (km)98
Roadways96,155 (km)44
Waterways7,100 (km)21
Merchant marine53 69


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures0.70 (% 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

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 60 ...