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Colombia

 
Flag of Colombia
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Coordinates:
04.00 N  72.00 W

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Colombia

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Colombia Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Colombia was one of the three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others are Ecuador and Venezuela). A 40-year conflict between government forces and anti-government insurgent groups and illegal paramilitary groups - both heavily funded by the drug trade - escalated during the 1990s. The insurgents lack the military or popular support necessary to overthrow the government and violence has been decreasing since about 2002, but insurgents continue attacks against civilians and large swaths of the countryside are under guerrilla influence. Paramilitary groups challenge the insurgents for control of territory and the drug trade. Most paramilitary members have demobilized since 2002 in an ongoing peace process, although their commitment to ceasing illicit activity is unclear. The Colombian Government has stepped up efforts to reassert government control throughout the country, and now has a presence in every one of its municipalities. However, neighboring countries worry about the violence spilling over their borders.
   Geography    Colombia Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
4 00 N, 72 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
South America
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 1,138,910 sq km
land: 1,038,700 sq km
water: 100,210 sq km
note: includes Isla de Malpelo, Roncador Cay, and Serrana Bank
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 6,004 km
border countries: Brazil 1,643 km, Ecuador 590 km, Panama 225 km, Peru 1,496 km (est.), Venezuela 2,050 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
3,208 km (Caribbean Sea 1,760 km, North Pacific Ocean 1,448 km)
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical along coast and eastern plains; cooler in highlands
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
flat coastal lowlands, central highlands, high Andes Mountains, eastern lowland plains
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico Cristobal Colon 5,775 m
note: nearby Pico Simon Bolivar also has the same elevation
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, copper, emeralds, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 2.01%
permanent crops: 1.37%
other: 96.62% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
9,000 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
highlands subject to volcanic eruptions; occasional earthquakes; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
deforestation; soil and water quality damage from overuse of pesticides; air pollution, especially in Bogota, from vehicle emissions
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
only South American country with coastlines on both the North Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea
   People    Colombia Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
43,593,035 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 30.3% (male 6,683,079/female 6,528,563)
15-64 years: 64.5% (male 13,689,384/female 14,416,439)
65 years and over: 5.2% (male 996,022/female 1,279,548) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 26.3 years
male: 25.4 years
female: 27.2 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.46% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20.48 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.58 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 20.35 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 24.25 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.31 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 71.99 years
male: 68.15 years
female: 75.96 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.54 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.7% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
190,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,600 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Colombian(s)
adjective: Colombian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
mestizo 58%, white 20%, mulatto 14%, black 4%, mixed black-Amerindian 3%, Amerindian 1%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic 90%, other 10%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Spanish
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.5%
male: 92.4%
female: 92.6% (2003 est.)
   Government    Colombia Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Colombia
conventional short form: Colombia
local long form: Republica de Colombia
local short form: Colombia
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic; executive branch dominates government structure
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Bogota
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
32 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital district* (distrito capital); Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlantico, Bogota*, Bolivar, Boyaca, Caldas, Caqueta, Casanare, Cauca, Cesar, Choco, Cordoba, Cundinamarca, Guainia, Guaviare, Huila, La Guajira, Magdalena, Meta, Narino, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Quindio, Risaralda, San Andres y Providencia, Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupes, Vichada
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
20 July 1810 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 20 July (1810)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
5 July 1991
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on Spanish law; a new criminal code modeled after US procedures was enacted into law in 2004 and is gradually being implemented; judicial review of executive and legislative acts
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Alvaro URIBE Velez (since 7 August 2002); Vice President Francisco SANTOS (since 7 August 2002); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Alvaro URIBE Velez (since 7 August 2002); Vice President Francisco SANTOS (since 7 August 2002)
cabinet: Cabinet consists of a coalition of the two dominant parties - the PL and PSC - and independents
elections: president and vice president elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 28 May 2006 (next to be held in May 2010)
election results: President Alvaro URIBE Velez reelected president; percent of vote - Alvaro URIBE Velez 62%, Carlos GAVIRIA Diaz 22%, Horacio SERPA Uribe 12%, other 4%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Congress or Congreso consists of the Senate or Senado (102 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (166 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 12 March 2006 (next to be held in March 2010); House of Representatives - last held 12 March 2006 (next to be held in March 2010)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PSUN 20, PC 18, PL 17, CR 15, PDI 11, other parties 21; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PL 36, PSUN 30, PC 29, CR 20, PDA 42, other parties 42
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
four roughly coequal, supreme judicial organs; Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (highest court of criminal law; judges are selected by their peers from the nominees of the Superior Judicial Council for eight-year terms); Council of State (highest court of administrative law; judges are selected from the nominees of the Superior Judicial Council for eight-year terms); Constitutional Court (guards integrity and supremacy of the constitution; rules on constitutionality of laws, amendments to the constitution, and international treaties); Superior Judicial Council (administers and disciplines the civilian judiciary; resolves jurisdictional conflicts arising between other courts; members are elected by three sister courts and Congress for eight-year terms)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Clandestine Communist Party of Colombia or PCC [Jaime CAICEDO]; Colombian Conservative Party or PC [Carlos HOLGUIN Sardi]; Alternative Democratic Pole or PDA [Samuel MORENO Rojas]; Liberal Party or PL [Cesar GAVIRIA]; Social National Unity Party or PSUN [Juan Manuel SANTOS]
note: Colombia has about 60 formally recognized political parties, most of which do not have a presence in either house of Congress
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
two largest insurgent groups active in Colombia - Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC and National Liberation Army or ELN; largest illegal paramilitary group, a roughly organized umbrella group of disparate paramilitary forces, is United Self-Defense Groups of Colombia or AUC
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
BCIE, CAN, CDB, CSN, FAO, G-3, G-15, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Andres PASTRANA
chancery: 2118 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-8338
FAX: [1] (202) 232-8643
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Washington, DC
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador William B. WOOD
embassy: Calle 22D-BIS, numbers 47-51, Apartado Aereo 3831
mailing address: Carrera 45 #22D-45, Bogota, D.C., APO AA 34038
telephone: [57] (1) 315-0811
FAX: [57] (1) 315-2197
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double-width), blue, and red; similar to the flag of Ecuador, which is longer and bears the Ecuadorian coat of arms superimposed in the center
   Economy    Colombia Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Colombia's economy has been on a recovery trend during the past two years despite a serious armed conflict. The economy continues to improve thanks to austere government budgets, focused efforts to reduce public debt levels, an export-oriented growth strategy, and an improved security situation in the country. Ongoing economic problems facing President URIBE range from reforming the pension system to reducing high unemployment. New exploration is needed to offset declining oil production. On the positive side, several international financial institutions have praised the economic reforms introduced by URIBE, which succeeded in reducing the public-sector deficit below 1.5% of GDP. The government's economic policy and democratic security strategy have engendered a growing sense of confidence in the economy, particularly within the business sector. Coffee prices have recovered from previous lows as the Colombian coffee industry pursues greater market shares in developed countries such as the United States.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$337.5 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$97.73 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.1% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$7,900 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 12.5%
industry: 34.2%
services: 53.3% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20.52 million (2005)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 22.7%
industry: 18.7%
services: 58.5% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
11.8% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
49.2% (2005)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 7.9%
highest 10%: 34.3% (2004)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
53.8 (2005)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18.6% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $46.82 billion
expenditures: $48.77 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
49.5% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
coffee, cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, cocoa beans, oilseed, vegetables; forest products; shrimp
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
textiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear, beverages, chemicals, cement; gold, coal, emeralds
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.7% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
50.43 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
48.83 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
1.082 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
48.4 million kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
512,400 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
270,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.492 billion bbl (2005 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.08 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.08 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
127.6 billion cu m (2005)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-$1.931 billion (2005 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$19.3 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, coffee, coal, apparel, bananas, cut flowers
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 39.4%, Venezuela 8.9%, Ecuador 5.6% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$18 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
industrial equipment, transportation equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, paper products, fuels, electricity
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 29%, Venezuela 6.6%, Mexico 6%, Brazil 5.6%, China 5%, Germany 4.6%, Japan 4.3% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$14.96 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$32.35 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$NA
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Colombian peso (COP)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Colombian pesos per US dollar - 2,320.75 (2005), 2,628.61 (2004), 2,877.65 (2003), 2,504.24 (2002), 2,299.63 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Colombia Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.767 million (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10,400,600 (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: modern system in many respects
domestic: nationwide microwave radio relay system; domestic satellite system with 41 earth stations; fiber-optic network linking 50 cities
international: country code - 57; satellite earth stations - 6 Intelsat, 1 Inmarsat; 3 fully digitalized international switching centers; 8 submarine cables
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 454, FM 34, shortwave 27 (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
60 (includes seven low-power stations) (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.co
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
386,610 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,585,688 (2004)
   Transportation    Colombia Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
981 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 100
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 38
914 to 1,523 m: 40
under 914 m: 11 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 881
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 35
914 to 1,523 m: 273
under 914 m: 572 (2005)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
2 (2005)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
gas 4,360 km; oil 6,134 km; refined products 3,140 km (2004)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 3,304 km
standard gauge: 150 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 3,154 km 0.914-m gauge (2004)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 110,000 km
paved: 26,000 km
unpaved: 84,000 km (2000)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18,000 km (2005)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 16 ships (1000 GRT or over) 40,463 GRT/55,802 DWT
by type: cargo 13, liquefied gas 1, petroleum tanker 2
registered in other countries: 8 (Antigua and Barbuda 2, Panama 6) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Barranquilla, Buenaventura, Cartagena, Muelles El Bosque, Puerto Bolivar, Santa Marta, Turbo
   Military    Colombia Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army (Ejercito Nacional), Navy (Armada Nacional, includes Naval Aviation, Marines, and Coast Guard), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Colombiana)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 24 months (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 10,212,456
females age 18-49: 10,561,562 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 6,986,228
females age 18-49: 8,794,465 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 389,735
females age 18-49: 383,146 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$3.3 billion (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.4% (FY01)
   Transnational Issues    Colombia Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Nicaragua filed a claim against Honduras in 1999 and against Colombia in 2001 at the ICJ over disputed maritime boundary involving 50,000 sq km in the Caribbean Sea, including the Archipelago de San Andres y Providencia and Quita Sueno Bank; dispute with Venezuela over maritime boundary and Los Monjes Islands near the Gulf of Venezuela; Colombian-organized illegal narcotics, guerrilla, and paramilitary activities penetrate all of its neighbors' borders and have created a serious refugee crisis with over 300,000 persons having fled the country, mostly into neighboring states
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Definition Field Listing
IDPs: 2,900,000 - 3,400,000 (conflict between government and FARC; drug wars) (2004)
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
illicit producer of coca, opium poppy, and cannabis; world's leading coca cultivator (cultivation of coca in 2004 was 114,100 hectares, virtually unchanged from 2003, but down one-third from its peak of 169,800 ha); producing a potential of 430 mt of pure cocaine; the world's largest producer of coca derivatives; supplying most of the US market and the great majority of cocaine to other international drug markets; important supplier of heroin to the US market; opium poppy cultivation fell 50% between 2003 and 2004 to 2,100 hectares yielding a potential 3.8 metric tons of pure heroin, mostly for the US market; in 2004, aerial eradication treated over 130,000 hectares of coca but aggressive replanting on the part of growers means Colombia remains a key producer; a significant portion of non-US narcotics proceeds are either laundered or invested in Colombia through the black market peso exchange

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook