Presidential republic, independent from Spain since 1822. President: Lucio Gutiérrez.
República del Ecuador.
Yellow / blue / red with a state emblem in the middle, consisting of sun, condor, Chimborazo, Río Guayas u. Steamboat.
In the north with Colombia, in the south u. East with Perú, west of the Pacific Ocean.
About 272,000 square kilometers (including the Galapagos Islands / 8,010 square kilometers), which are divided into 21 provinces.
Officially Spanish, in the highlands also Quechua (almost 2 mill. Pers.), In the Amazon and in the northern coastal area still isolated tribal languages (especially Shuar in the south Oriente).
US dollar. US American notes and coins are in circulation, plus their own, Ecuadorian coins (1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents).
The total population is almost 13 million inhabitants.
The state capital is Quito (1.8 million inhabitants), the largest city is Guayaquil (2.8 million inhabitants, overseas port and industrial center).
Other important cities are Machala (450,000 inhabitants, banana handling port), Manta (400,000 inhabitants, fishing port and automobile industry), Cuenca (350,000 inhabitants, cultural and tourist stronghold). Other cities over 100,000 inhabitants are Durán (opposite side of Guayaquil), Portoviejo (Manabí / coast), Santo Domingo (inner coast), Ambato (central highlands), Esmeraldas (north coast), Loja (southern highlands), Babahoyo (inner coast), Quevedo (inner coast), Milagro (inner coast), Daule (inner coast), Chone (Manabí / coast), Riobamba (central highlands), Ibarra (northern highlands).
About 60% of Ecuadorians live in these metropolitan areas! The rest is spread over small towns, villages and. Hamlet, where one third of the total population is employed in agriculture.
Average population density:
46 inh. Per sq. Km. Growth rate: 2.2% per year, with about 40% of the population under 15 years old!
67 years for men and 72 years for women. Illiteracy rate: 10% (large city-country gradient).
About $ 1,200 per capita.
On average over 50% (1988-92).
10-15% (underemployment rate about 30%). Working population: 30% university graduates, 18% lower secondary school graduates, 50% without or only a very short degree. The statutory minimum wage is around $ 150 a month!
Avg. 12 doctors and 20 hospital beds per 10,000 inhabitants.
30% Indians (mostly living in highlands and Amazonia), 50% mestizos and cholos, 8% blacks, mulattos and zombos, 10% whites, Asians and Arabs (including 5,000 Germans, 3,000 Swiss and 20,000 Koreans). Despite religious freedom (since 1904), 93% of the population is exclusively Roman Catholic!
Almost 2% of all Ecuadorians belong to a rich white upper class. Another 10% are wealthy or at least wealthy. Together, these family minorities have over two thirds of the total national income!
The proportion of middle classes has declined noticeably in recent years and today amounts to just 25%. More than 60% of the population can be described as poor, of whom a good third live practically below subsistence level!
Provinces in the Andean Highlands (sierra):
Azuay (8,100 sq km, 650,000 inh, capital Cuenca), Bolivar (4,000 sq km, 200,000 inh., Capital Guaranda), Cañar (3,100 sq km, 200,000 inh., Cape Azogues), Carchi (3,600 sq. Km, 240,000 inh., Cap. Tulcán), Cotopaxi 6,000 sq km, 350,000 inh., Cap. Latacunga), Chimborazo (6,600 sq km, 480,000 inh., Cape Riobamba), Imbabura (4,600 qkm, 350,000 inh., Cap Ibarra), Loja (11,000 qkm, 500,000 inh., Cap Loja), Pichincha (13,000 sq. Km, 2.5 Mill. Inh., Cap. Quito), Tungurahua (3,340 sq. Km, 450,000 Inh., Cap. Ambato).
On the coast (costa):
El Oro (5,850 sq km, 700,000 inh., Machala cape), Esmeraldas (15,200 sq km, 450,000 inh., Esmeraldas cape), Guayas (20,500 sq. Km, 3.6 mill. Inh., Guayaquil cape), Los Ríos (7,200 sq. Km , 750,000 inh., Cap. Babahoyo), Manabí (19,000 square km, 1.6 mill. Inh., Cape Portoviejo).
In Amazonia (oriente):
Morona Santiago (25,700 sq km, 100,000 inh., Macas cape), Napo (34,000 qkm, 150,000 inh., Cape Tena), Pastaza (30,000 qkm, 100,000 inh., Cape Puyo), sucumbios (18,300 qkm, 120,000 inh , cape Lago Agrio), Zamora Chinchipe (23,000 square km, 100,000 inh., cape Zamora).
Insular Region Galápagos:
8,010 sq. Km, 30,000 inh., Cap. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno).
Chimborazo 6.310m, Cotopaxi 5.897m, Cayambe 5.790m, Antizana 5.704m, El Altar 5.320m, Illiniza Sur 5.260m, Sangay 5.230m, Illiniza Norte 5.126m, Carihuayrazo 5.020m, Tungurahua 5.016m, Cotacachi, 4.944m, Sincholagua 4.900 m, Quilindaña 4.878m, Guagua Pichincha 4.794m, Corazón 4.788m, Chile 4.768m, Rumiñahui 4.712m, Rucu Pichincha 4.698m, Sara Urcu 4.676m, Imbabura 4.609m.
Largest flow systems:
To the Pacific, the Río Guayas (confluence of Babahoyo and Daule, the largest water intake system on the American Pacific coast), Río Esmeraldas, Río Cayapas / Santiago, Río Mataje, Río Chone, Río Jubones. To the Amazon to the Río San Miguel / Putumayo, Río Aguarico, Río Napo, Río Cononaco / Curaray, Río Pastaza, Río Santiago (confluence of Zamora, Paute and Upano).
Traffic, Communication & Supply:
40,000 km of road network. 965 km of railway lines. 2 international airports in Quito and Guayaquil. 1 telephone per 20 inhabitants, 1 TV per 12 inhabitants, 1 radio per 3 inhabitants.
Estimated hydroelectric power potential 100,000 megawatts, over 2,000 megawatts of electricity used (mainly by the dams of Paute and Agoyan), with nationwide power outages lasting up to 10 hrs being the norm in the absence of rainfall. Nearly 600 km of Transekuadorian oil pipeline, from the Oriente to the Andes, to the refinery in Esmeraldas (coast).