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 reelected President Rafael CORREA.



Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru

Geographic coordinates

2 00 S, 77 30 W

Map references

South America


total: 283,561 sq km
land: 276,841 sq km
water: 6,720 sq km
note: includes Galapagos Islands

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Nevada

Land boundaries

total: 2,237 km
border countries (2): Colombia 708 km, Peru 1,529 km


2,237 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 200 nm
continental shelf: 100 nm from 2,500-m isobath


tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands


coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)


mean elevation: 1,117 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Chimborazo 6,267 m
note: because the earth is not a perfect sphere and has an equatorial bulge, the highest point on the planet farthest from its center is Mount Chimborazo not Mount Everest, which is merely the highest peak above sea level

Natural resources

petroleum, fish, timber, hydropower

Land use

agricultural land: 29.7%
arable land 4.7%; permanent crops 5.6%; permanent pasture 19.4%
forest: 38.9%
other: 31.4% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

15,000 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards

frequent earthquakes; landslides; volcanic activity; floods; periodic droughts
volcanism: volcanic activity concentrated along the Andes Mountains; Sangay (elev. 5,230 m), which erupted in 2010, is mainland Ecuador's most active volcano; other historically active volcanoes in the Andes include Antisana, Cayambe, Chacana, Cotopaxi, Guagua Pichincha, Reventador, Sumaco, and Tungurahua; Fernandina (elev. 1,476 m), a shield volcano that last erupted in 2009, is the most active of the many Galapagos volcanoes; other historically active Galapagos volcanoes include Wolf, Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul, Pinta, Marchena, and Santiago

Environment - current issues

deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution; pollution from oil production wastes in ecologically sensitive areas of the Amazon Basin and Galapagos Islands

Environment - international agreements

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

Cotopaxi in Andes is highest active volcano in world

People and Society


16,080,778 (July 2016 est.)


noun: Ecuadorian(s)
adjective: Ecuadorian

Ethnic groups

mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 71.9%, Montubio 7.4%, Amerindian 7%, white 6.1%, Afroecuadorian 4.3%, mulato 1.9%, black 1%, other 0.4% (2010 est.)


Spanish (Castilian) 93% (official), Quechua 4.1%, other indigenous 0.7%, foreign 2.2%
note: (Quechua and Shuar are official languages of intercultural relations; other indigenous languages are in official use by indigenous peoples in the areas they inhabit) (2010 est.)


Roman Catholic 74%, Evangelical 10.4%, Jehovah's Witness 1.2%, other 6.4% (includes Mormon Buddhist, Jewish, Spiritualist, Muslim, Hindu, indigenous religions, African American religions, Pentecostal), atheist 7.9%, agnostic 0.1%
note: data represents persons at least 16 years of age from five Ecuadoran cities (2012 est.)

Demographic profile

Ecuador's high poverty and income inequality most affect indigenous, mixed race, and rural populations. The government has increased its social spending to ameliorate these problems, but critics question the efficiency and implementation of its national development plan. Nevertheless, the conditional cash transfer program, which requires participants' children to attend school and have medical check-ups, has helped improve educational attainment and healthcare among poor children. Ecuador is stalled at above replacement level fertility and the population most likely will keep growing rather than stabilize.
An estimated 2 to 3 million Ecuadorians live abroad, but increased unemployment in key receiving countries - Spain, the United States, and Italy - is slowing emigration and increasing the likelihood of returnees to Ecuador. The first large-scale emigration of Ecuadorians occurred between 1980 and 2000, when an economic crisis drove Ecuadorians from southern provinces to New York City, where they had trade contacts. A second, nationwide wave of emigration in the late 1990s was caused by another economic downturn, political instability, and a currency crisis. Spain was the logical destination because of its shared language and the wide availability of low-skilled, informal jobs at a time when increased border surveillance made illegal migration to the US difficult. Ecuador has a small but growing immigrant population and is Latin America's top recipient of refugees; 98% are neighboring Colombians fleeing violence in their country.

Age structure

0-14 years: 27.52% (male 2,257,535/female 2,168,198)
15-24 years: 18.47% (male 1,508,341/female 1,461,207)
25-54 years: 39.38% (male 3,086,599/female 3,245,266)
55-64 years: 7.39% (male 581,560/female 606,821)
65 years and over: 7.25% (male 554,371/female 610,880) (2016 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 55.6%
youth dependency ratio: 45.1%
elderly dependency ratio: 10.4%
potential support ratio: 9.6% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 27.4 years
male: 26.7 years
female: 28.1 years (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

1.31% (2016 est.)

Birth rate

18.2 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Death rate

5.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Population distribution

nearly half of the population is concentrated in the interior in the Andean intermontane basins and valleys, with large concentrations also found along the western coastal strip; the rainforests of the east remain sparsely populated


urban population: 63.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.9% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Health expenditures

9.2% of GDP (2014)

Major urban areas - population

Guayaquil 2.709 million; QUITO (capital) 1.726 million (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Child labor - children ages 5-14

total number: 227,599
percentage: 8% (2008 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

64 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 16.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 19.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 76.8 years
male: 73.8 years
female: 79.9 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.22 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Physicians density

1.72 physicians/1,000 population (2011)

Hospital bed density

1.6 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source

urban: 93.4% of population
rural: 75.5% of population
total: 86.9% of population
urban: 6.6% of population
rural: 24.5% of population
total: 13.1% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

urban: 87% of population
rural: 80.7% of population
total: 84.7% of population
urban: 13% of population
rural: 19.3% of population
total: 15.3% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.29% (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

29,100 (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

900 (2015 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

18% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

6.4% (2013)

Education expenditures

4.9% of GDP (2015)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.5%
male: 95.4%
female: 93.5% (2015 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 10.9%
male: 8.4%
female: 15.7% (2013 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Ecuador
conventional short form: Ecuador
local long form: Republica del Ecuador
local short form: Ecuador
etymology: the country's position on the globe, straddling the Equator, accounts for its Spanish name

Government type

presidential republic


name: Quito
geographic coordinates: 0 13 S, 78 30 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

24 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Azuay, Bolivar, Canar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Galapagos, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Rios, Manabi, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Santa Elena, Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, Sucumbios, Tungurahua, Zamora-Chinchipe


24 May 1822 (from Spain)

National holiday

Independence Day (independence of Quito), 10 August (1809)


many previous; latest approved 20 October 2008; amended 2011; note - a 2015 constitutional amendment lifting presidential term limits becomes effective in 2021 (2016)

Legal system

civil law based on the Chilean civil code with modifications; traditional law in indigenous communities

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 3 years


18-65 years of age, universal and compulsory; 16-18, over 65, and other eligible voters, voluntary

Executive branch

chief of state: President Rafael CORREA Delgado (since 15 January 2007); Vice President Jorge GLAS Espinel (since 24 May 2013); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Rafael CORREA Delgado (since 15 January 2007); Vice President Jorge GLAS Espinel (since 24 May 2013)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 17 February 2013 (next to be held in 2017)
election results: President Rafael CORREA Delgado reelected president; percent of vote - Rafael CORREA Delgado (Alianza PAIS Movement) 57.2%, Guillermo LASSO (CREO) 22.7%, Lucio GUTIERREZ (PSP) 6.8%, Mauricio RODAS (SUMA) 3.9%, other 9.4%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (137 seats; 116 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 15 members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote, and 6 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies for Ecuadorians living abroad by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 17 February 2013 (next to be held in 2017)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PAIS 100, CREO 11, PSC 6, AVANZA 5, MUPP 5, PSP 5, other 5; note - defections by members of National Assembly are commonplace, resulting in frequent changes in the numbers of seats held by the various parties

Judicial branch

highest court(s): National Court of Justice or Corte Nacional de Justicia (consists of 21 judges including the chief justice and organized into 5 specialized chambers); Constitutional Court or Corte Constitucional (consists of 9 judges)
judge selection and term of office: justices of National Court of Justice elected by the Judiciary Council, a 9-member independent body of law professionals; judges elected for 9-year, non-renewable terms, with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the executive, legislative, and Citizen Participation branches of government; judges appointed for 9-year non-renewable terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years
subordinate courts: Fiscal Tribunal; Election Dispute Settlement Courts, provincial courts (one for each province); cantonal courts

Political parties and leaders

Alianza PAIS movement [Rafael Vicente CORREA Delgado]
Avanza Party or AVANZA [Ramiro GONZALEZ]
Creating Opportunities Movement or CREO [Guillermo LASSO]
Institutional Renewal and National Action Party or PRIAN [Alvaro NOBOA]
Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement or MUPP [Rafael ANTUNI]
Patriotic Society Party or PSP [Lucio GUTIERREZ Borbua]
Popular Democracy Movement or MPD [Luis VILLACIS]
Roldosist Party or PRE
Social Christian Party or PSC [Pascual DEL CIOPPO]
Socialist Party [Fabian SOLANO]
Society United for More Action or SUMA [Mauricio RODAS]
Warrior's Spirit Movement [Jaime NEBOT]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador or CONAIE [Humberto CHOLANGO]
Federation of Indigenous Evangelists of Ecuador or FEINE [Manuel CHUGCHILAN, president]
National Federation of Indigenous Afro-Ecuatorianos and Peasants or FENOCIN
National Teacher's Union or UNE [Mariana PALLASCO]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Jose Francisco BORJA Cevallos (since 18 May 2015)
chancery: 2535 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 234-7200
FAX: [1] (202) 667-3482
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New Haven (CT), New Orleans, New York, Newark (NJ), Phoenix, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Todd CHAPMAN (since 14 April 2016)
embassy: Avenida Avigiras E12-170 y Avenida Eloy Alfaro, Quito
mailing address: Avenida Guayacanes N52-205 y Avenida Avigiras
telephone: [593] (2) 398-5000
FAX: [593] (2) 398-5100
consulate(s) general: Guayaquil

Flag description

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 Colombia, 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

National symbol(s)

Andean condor; national colors: yellow, blue, red

National anthem

name: "Salve, Oh Patria!" (We Salute You, Our Homeland)
lyrics/music: Juan Leon MERA/Antonio NEUMANE
note: adopted 1948; Juan Leon MERA wrote the lyrics in 1865; only the chorus and second verse are sung


Economy - overview

Ecuador is substantially dependent on its petroleum resources, which have accounted for more than half of the country's export earnings and approximately 25% of public sector revenues in recent years.

In 1999/2000, Ecuador's economy suffered from a banking crisis, with GDP contracting by 5.3% and poverty increasing significantly. In March 2000, the Congress approved a series of structural reforms that also provided for the adoption of the US dollar as

Economic policies under the CORREA administration - for example, an announcement in late 2009 of its intention to terminate 13 bilateral investment treaties, including one with the US - have generated economic uncertainty and discouraged private investmen

The level of foreign investment in Ecuador continues to be one of the lowest in the region as a result of an unstable regulatory environment, weak rule of law, and the crowding-out effect of public investments. Faced with a 2013 trade deficit of $1.1 bill

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$182.4 billion (2016 est.)
$186.6 billion (2015 est.)
$186.1 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$99.12 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

-2.3% (2016 est.)
0.3% (2015 est.)
3.7% (2014 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$11,000 (2016 est.)
$11,500 (2015 est.)
$11,600 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

Gross national saving

23.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
25.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
28.1% of GDP (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 62%
government consumption: 13.3%
investment in fixed capital: 25.5%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 19.8%
imports of goods and services: -20.7% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 6.2%
industry: 34%
services: 59.8% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products

bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, cassava (manioc, tapioca), plantains, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork, dairy products; fish, shrimp; balsa wood


petroleum, food processing, textiles, wood products, chemicals

Industrial production growth rate

note: excludes oil refining (2016 est.)

Labor force

4.848 million (2016 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 27.8%
industry: 17.8%
services: 54.4% (2012 est.)

Unemployment rate

5.5% (2016 est.)
4.3% (2015 est.)

Population below poverty line

25.6% (December 2013 est)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.4%
highest 10%: 35.4%
note: data for urban households only (2012 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

48.5 (December 2013)
50.5 (December 2010)
note: data are for urban households


revenues: $30.9 billion
expenditures: $34.9 billion (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

31.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-4% of GDP (2016 est.)

Public debt

33% of GDP (2016 est.)
30.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.1% (2016 est.)
4% (2015 est.)

Central bank discount rate

8.17% (31 December 2011)
8.68% (31 December 2010)

Commercial bank prime lending rate

9% (31 December 2016 est.)
8.33% (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$10.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$9.527 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of broad money

$34.53 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$28.44 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$33.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$33.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$5.911 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$5.779 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$5.263 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance

-$1.47 billion (2016 est.)
-$2.247 billion (2015 est.)


$16.77 billion (2016 est.)
$19.05 billion (2015 est.)

Exports - commodities

petroleum, bananas, cut flowers, shrimp, cacao, coffee, wood, fish

Exports - partners

US 39.5%, Chile 6.2%, Peru 5.1%, Vietnam 4.3%, Colombia 4.3% (2015)


$17.74 billion (2016 est.)
$20.7 billion (2015 est.)

Imports - commodities

industrial materials, fuels and lubricants, nondurable consumer goods

Imports - partners

US 27.1%, China 15.3%, Colombia 8.3%, Panama 4.9% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$2.163 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.496 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Debt - external

$33.22 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$30.79 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$17.83 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$15.63 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$6.33 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$6.33 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Exchange rates

the US dollar became Ecuador's currency in 2001, 1 (2016 est.), 1 (2015 est.)


Electricity - access

population without electricity: 500,000
electrification - total population: 97%
electrification - urban areas: 100%
electrification - rural areas: 92% (2013)

Electricity - production

23 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption

21 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports

47 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - imports

800 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity

6.3 million kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

57.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

41.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

1.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production

543,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports

378,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

8.832 billion bbl (1 January 2016 es)

Refined petroleum products - production

207,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

282,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

22,890 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

133,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production

578 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

578 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

10.99 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

38 million Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 2,512,657
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 16 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total: 12.888 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 81 (July 2015 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: elementary fixed-line service but increasingly sophisticated mobile-cellular network
domestic: fixed-line services provided by multiple telecommunications operators; fixed-line teledensity stands at about 15 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular use has surged and subscribership has reached 80 per 100 persons
international: country code - 593; landing points for the PAN-AM and South America-1 submarine cables that provide links to the west coast of South America, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and extending onward to Aruba and the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean; satellite (2015)

Broadcast media

multiple TV networks and many local channels, as well as more than 300 radio stations; many TV and radio stations are privately owned; the government owns or controls 5 national TV stations and multiple radio stations; broadcast media required by law to g (2007)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 7.766 million
percent of population: 48.9% (July 2015 est.)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 7
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 35
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 5,762,485
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 86,128,720 mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

HC (2016)


432 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 104
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 18
914 to 1,523 m: 26
under 914 m: 51 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 328
914 to 1,523 m: 37
under 914 m: 291 (2013)


2 (2013)


extra heavy crude 527 km; gas 71 km; oil 2,131 km; refined products 1,526 km (2013)


total: 965 km
narrow gauge: 965 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)


total: 43,670 km
paved: 6,472 km
unpaved: 37,198 km (2007)


1,500 km (most inaccessible) (2012)

Merchant marine

total: 44
by type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 4, liquefied gas 1, passenger 9, petroleum tanker 28, refrigerated cargo 1
registered in other countries: 4 (Panama 3, Peru 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Esmeraldas, Manta, Puerto Bolivar
river port(s): Guayaquil (Guayas)
container port(s) (TEUs): Guayaquil (1,405,762)

Transportation - note

the International Maritime Bureau continues to report the territorial and offshore waters as at risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; vessels, including commercial shipping and pleasure craft, have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen


Military branches

Ecuadorian Armed Forces: Ecuadorian Land Force (Fuerza Terrestre Ecuatoriana, FTE), Ecuadorian Navy (Fuerza Naval del Ecuador (FNE), includes Naval Infantry, Naval Aviation, Coast Guard), Ecuadorian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Ecuatoriana, FAE) (2012)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for selective conscript military service; conscription has been suspended; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; Air Force 18-22 years of age, Ecuadorian birth requirement; 1-year service obligation (2012)

Military expenditures

2.83% of GDP (2012)
3.2% of GDP (2011)
2.83% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

organized illegal narcotics operations in Colombia penetrate across Ecuador's shared border, which thousands of Colombians also cross to escape the violence in their home country

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 120,685 (Colombia) (2015)
IDPs: 28,775 (earthquake April 2016) (2016)

Illicit drugs

significant transit country for cocaine originating in Colombia and Peru, with much of the US-bound cocaine passing through Ecuadorian Pacific waters; importer of precursor chemicals used in production of illicit narcotics; attractive location for cash-placement by drug traffickers laundering money because of dollarization and weak anti-money-laundering regime; increased activity on the northern frontier by trafficking groups and Colombian insurgents (2008)