title
macrohistory & world report

Ecuador

Map of Ecuador

Ecuador (capital Quito) minus the Galapagos Islands, which are 1,175 kilometers or 730 miles straight west across the Pacific.

World Factbook as of November 2014: " Ecuador is substantially dependent on its petroleum resources, which have accounted for more than half of the country's export earnings and approximately two-fifths of public sector revenues in recent years... In March 2000, the Congress approved a series of structural reforms that also provided for the adoption of the US dollar as legal tender. Dollarization stabilized the economy, and positive growth returned in the years that followed, helped by high oil prices, remittances, and increased non-traditional exports... China has become Ecuador's largest foreign lender since Quito defaulted in 2008, allowing the government to maintain a high rate of social spending... Foreign investment levels in Ecuador continue to be 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. In 2013, oil output marginally reversed a declining trend and production is expected to increase slightly in 2014... Ecuador also decriminalized intellectual property rights violations in February 2014."

Economic growth
2013: 4.0%
2012: 5.1%
2011: 7.8%

Labor force in agriculture
2012: 27.8%

Unemployment rate
2013: 4.2%
2012: 3.3%
2011: 4.2%

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 23rd among 1410 countries (lower rank number is less equal).

People

Living in an urban area
2011: 67.5%

Births / deaths
2014: 18.87 / 5.04

Population growth rate:
2014: 1.37%, 88th of 233 countries

Net migration rate
2012: net loss of 0.39 persons per 1,000 population per year

Ethnic groups

Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65 percent, Amerindian 25 percent, Spanish. and others 7 percent, blacks 3 percent.

Religions
Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%

Amerindian Women
Traditionally, Amerindian women have been tied to household chores, working land and looking after children. Recently more have been disturbing their husbands by seeking opportunities in education. 

Geography

South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Peru.

Government

President and vice president election on the same ticket for four-year terms. Legislators are elected to serve for four years in the National Assembly, which has 124 seats.

Capital: Quito.

Recent History

With a banking collapse and the government taking austerity measures, military men decide to transcend electoral politics and take power in a coup, overthrowing an elected president, Jamil Mahuad in January 2000. The military man leading the coup was Lucio Gutierrez, who won the presidential election of 2002 with the support of Bolivia's many impoverished Indians. In 2004 President Gutierrez replaced the Supreme Court, claiming it was biased against him. (Imagine if President Clinton had replaced the Supreme in December 2000 when it voted in favor of Bush over Gore.)

2005: Ecuador's Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, but defamation is a criminal offense and a fearful media remains timid regarding sensitive issues, including stories about the military.

On April 20, 2005, Ecuador's Congress replaced Gutierrez, and immediately the new president, Alfredo Palacheo, ordered the arrest 's embassy.

SOURCES:
The World Factbook

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.