Colombia  
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This page was last updated on 4 September 2008


Map of Colombia



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. More than 32,000 former paramilitaries had demobilized by the end of 2006 and the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) as a formal organization had ceased to function. Still, some renegades continued to engage in criminal activities. The Colombian Government has stepped up efforts to reassert government control throughout the country, and now has a presence in every one of its administrative departments. 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: 6,309 km
border countries: Brazil 1,644 km, Ecuador 590 km, Panama 225 km, Peru 1,800 km, 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)
Total renewable water resources:
Definition Field Listing
2,132 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Definition Field Listing
total: 10.71 cu km/yr (50%/4%/46%)
per capita: 235 cu m/yr (2000)
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
45,013,672 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 29.4% (male 6,688,530/female 6,531,768)
15-64 years: 65.1% (male 14,292,647/female 15,017,204)
65 years and over: 5.5% (male 1,072,644/female 1,410,881) (2008 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 26.8 years
male: 25.9 years
female: 27.8 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.405% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
19.86 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.54 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-0.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 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: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 0.9225 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 19.51 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 23.18 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 72.54 years
male: 68.71 years
female: 76.5 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.49 children born/woman (2008 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.)
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2008)
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: 92.8%
male: 92.9%
female: 92.7% (2004 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Definition Field Listing
total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.7% (2006)
   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
name: Bogota
geographic coordinates: 4 36 N, 74 05 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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; amended many times
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on Spanish law; a new criminal code modeled after US procedures was enacted into law in 2004 and reached full implemention in January 2008; judicial review of executive and legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
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 three largest parties that supported President URIBE's reelection - the PSUN, PC, and CR - 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 18, CR 15, PDI 10, other parties 21; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PL 35, PSUN 33, PC 29, CR 20, PDA 8, other parties 41
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
Colombian Conservative Party or PC [Efrain Jose CEPEDA Sarabia]; Alternative Democratic Pole or PDA [Carlos GAVIRIA Diaz]; Liberal Party or PL [Cesar GAVIRIA Trujillo]; Radical Change or CR [German VARGAS Lleras]; Social National Unity Party or U Party [Carlos GARCIA Orjuela]
note: Colombia has 15 formally recognized political parties, and numerous unofficial parties that did not meet the vote threshold in the March 2006 legislative elections required for recognition
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
National Liberation Army or ELN; Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC
note: two largest insurgent groups active in Colombia
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
BCIE, CAN, Caricom (observer), CDB, FAO, G-3, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Carolina BARCO Isakson
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 R. BROWNFIELD
embassy: Calle 24 Bis No. 48-50, Bogota, D.C.
mailing address: Carrera 45 No. 24B-27, Bogota, D.C.
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
note: 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 experienced positive growth over the past five years despite a serious armed conflict. In fact, 2007 is regarded by policy makers and the private sector as one of the best economic years in recent history, after 2005. The economy continues to improve in part because of austere government budgets, focused efforts to reduce public debt levels, an export-oriented growth strategy, improved domestic security, and high commodity prices. Ongoing economic problems facing President URIBE include reforming the pension system, reducing high unemployment, and funding new exploration to offset declining oil production. The government's economic reforms and democratic security strategy, coupled with increased investment, have engendered a growing sense of confidence in the economy. However, the business sector continues to be concerned about failure of the US Congress to approve the signed FTA.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$319.5 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$171.6 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$6,700 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 11.5%
industry: 36%
services: 52.5% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20.5 million (2007 est.)
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
11.2% (2007 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
5.5% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
22.5% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $63.69 billion
expenditures: $64.96 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2007 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
53.5% of GDP (2007 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
9.4% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
50.47 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
38.91 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
1.758 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
16 million kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
539,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
264,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
289,700 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6,453 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.387 billion bbl (2007 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.397 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.397 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
109.7 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-$6.465 billion (2007 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$30.58 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, coffee, coal, nickel, emeralds, apparel, bananas, cut flowers
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 30.5%, Venezuela 12.3%, Ecuador 5.6% (2006)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$31.17 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
industrial equipment, transportation equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, paper products, fuels, electricity
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 27.1%, Brazil 8.4%, Mexico 8.4%, China 6.9%, Venezuela 5.3%, Japan 4.2% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$511.1 million (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$20.95 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$41.16 billion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$54.04 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$10.38 billion (2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$56.2 billion (2006)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Colombian peso (COP)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Colombian pesos per US dollar - 2,013.8 (2007), 2,358.6 (2006), 2,320.75 (2005), 2,628.61 (2004), 2,877.65 (2003)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Colombia Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.865 million (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
33.941 million (2007)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: modern system in many respects; telecommunications sector liberalized during the 1990s; multiple providers of both fixed-line and mobile-cellular services; fixed-line connections stand at about 18 per 100 persons; mobile cellular usage is about 70 per 100 persons
domestic: nationwide microwave radio relay system; domestic satellite system with 41 earth stations; fiber-optic network linking 50 cities
international: country code - 57; submarine cables provide links to the US, parts of the Caribbean, and Central and South America; satellite earth stations - 10 (6 Intelsat, 1 Inmarsat, 3 fully digitalized international switching centers) (2007)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 454, FM 34, shortwave 27 (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
60 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.co
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.014 million (2007)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.705 million (2006)
   Transportation    Colombia Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
934 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 103
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 39
914 to 1,523 m: 42
under 914 m: 12 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 831
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 34
914 to 1,523 m: 216
under 914 m: 580 (2007)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
2 (2007)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
gas 4,329 km; oil 6,140 km; refined products 3,145 km (2007)
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 (2006)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 164,257 km (2005)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18,000 km (2006)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 16 ships (1000 GRT or over) 37,186 GRT/51,432 DWT
by type: cargo 13, petroleum tanker 3
registered in other countries: 5 (Antigua and Barbuda 1, Panama 4) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Barranquilla, Buenaventura, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Turbo
   Military    Colombia Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
National Army (Ejercito Nacional), National Navy (Armada Nacional, includes Naval Aviation, Naval Infantry (Infanteria de Marina, Colmar), and Coast Guard), Colombian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea de Colombia, FAC) (2008)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18-24 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; service obligation - 18 months (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 16-49: 11,478,109
females age 16-49: 11,809,279 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 16-49: 8,056,336
females age 16-49: 9,919,952 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 16-49: 442,403
females age 16-49: 433,192 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.4% (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Colombia Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
in December 2007, ICJ allocates San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina islands to Colombia under 1928 Treaty but does not rule on 82W meridian as maritime boundary with Nicaragua; managed dispute with Venezuela over maritime boundary and Venezuelan-administered Los Monjes Islands near the Gulf of Venezuela; Colombian-organized illegal narcotics, guerrilla, and paramilitary activities penetrate all neighboring borders and have caused Colombian citizens to flee mostly into neighboring countries; Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Jamaica, and the US assert various claims to Bajo Nuevo and Serranilla Bank
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Definition Field Listing
IDPs: 1.8-3.5 million (conflict between government and illegal armed groups and drug traffickers) (2007)
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
illicit producer of coca, opium poppy, and cannabis; world's leading coca cultivator with 144,000 hectares in coca cultivation in 2005, a 26% increase over 2004, producing a potential of 545 mt of pure cocaine; the world's largest producer of coca derivatives; supplies cocaine to most of the US market and the great majority of other international drug markets; in 2005, aerial eradication dispensed herbicide to treat over 130,000 hectares but aggressive replanting on the part of coca 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; 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; no poppy estimate was conducted in 2005

This page was last updated on 4 September 2008


 

Source : The World Factbook