Form of Government: Presidential republic
Area: 1 141 748 sq km
Population: 48 258 494 inhab. (census 2018)
Density: 42.27 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 12° N - 4° S; long. 79° - 67° W
Capital: Bogotá (capital) 7 181 469 inhab. (2018); Bogotá 8 857 255 inhab. (2018), urban agglomeration
Currency: Colombian peso (100 centavos)
Human development index: 0.747 (rank: 90)
President and head of government: Iván Duque Márquez (CD), elected 17 June 2018, in office since 7 August 2018
House of Representatives: seats based on the elections of 11 May 2018: PLC (Liberal Party, centre-left), 35; CD (Democratic Centre, right-wing), 32; CR (Radical Change, right-wing), 30; PSUN (Social Party of National Unity, right-wing), 25; PCC (Conservative Party), 21; Green Alliance, 9; others, 13
Internet: www.dane.gov.co (Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística)
Member of CAN, Mercosur associated, OAS, UN, UNASUR, WTO

Colombia

Colombia, República de Colombia
Useful information

International license plate code CO
International dialling code 0057
Travel vaccinations requirement yellow fever (recommended for some areas); malaria prophylaxis (recommended for some areas)
Electricity (Voltage) 110
Driving side rigth
Internet code .co

GMT  -5
DST  not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) Bogotá 14; Barranquilla 28
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Bogotá 14/9; Barranquilla 26.5/28.5
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Bogotá 4/5; Barranquilla 6/8
Annual average precipitation (mm) Bogotá 940; Barranquilla 863
Days of rainfall (annual average) Bogotá 150; Barranquilla 59

Politics and current affairs

Despite the demobilization of FARC, the country is still plagued by violence, both in terms of attacks carried out by FARC dissidents and the ELN, with whom the government interrupted negotiations, and in the increase of crimes connected to drug trafficking.

Geography.
Colombia is bordered by Venezuela and Brazil to the east, by Peru and Ecuador to the south and by Panama to the north-west. The Caribbean Sea lies off its north coast and the Pacific Ocean lies off its west coast.
The country can be divided into two distinct parts: the mountainous area in the west, with the Andes, and the flat eastern part (known as the Oriente). The climate is affected by the tropical position of the country and altitude.
The small island of Malpelo (2 km²) off the Pacific coast belongs to Colombia. On 13 December 2007, the International Court of Justice confirmed the country’s sovereignty over the islands of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, to which Nicaragua laid claim. On 19 November 2012 the same verdict was delivered with regard to Bajo Nuevo, Cayos de Albuquerque, Cayos del Este Sudeste, Quitasueño, Roncador, Serrana and Serranilla in the Caribbean Sea.

Government


Colombia became independent from Spain in 1819. Until 1830, along with Panama, Ecuador and Venezuela, it was part of the Federation of Gran Colombia. It adopted its current form and name in 1886. For a long time, the political life of the country was dominated by two opposing political blocs (liberals and conservatives). Free elections were not held until 1974. Since 1965-70 a bloody civil war has been in progress, caused by Marxist-populist insurgent groups: the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the ELN (National Liberation Army). These are opposed by paramilitaries of the extreme right, AUC (United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia), who were demobilised after signing an agreement with the government (2005), together with government forces. In November 2012, meetings between the government and FARC began in Havana, which led in 2016 to a cease fire and peace deal; once the demobilization was complete, on 1 September 2017, FARC became a political party (Common Alternative Revolutionary Force); since 2016, intermittent peace negotiations have also been held with ELN. Dissidents of FARC, paramilitary and bands of drug traffickers are still active in various parts of the country.
According to the Constitution of 5 July 1991, Colombia is a presidential republic. The President, who is also the head of government, is elected by direct suffrage for four years and can not be re-elected. Legislative power lies in the hands of the national Congress, composed of two houses elected by direct suffrage for four years: the House of Representatives (165 members) and the Senate (102 members), with 5 additional seats in both houses reserved to FARC and one for the unelected presidential candidate.


Defence.
There are US military forces in Colombia.


Justice.
The judicial system, based on Spanish Law, was changed in 1992-93 with the introduction of a penal code based on the US model.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force4.6%2015
Army79.9%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Homicides25.5per 100 000 pop.2016
Police personnel311.8per 100 000 pop.2014
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Bogotá7 181 469inhab.2018
Medellín2 376 337inhab.2018
Urban agglomerations
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Bogotá8 857 255inhab.2018
Medellín3 725 682inhab.2018
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2018)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE

The country is home to over one million Venezuelan refugees.

Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate13.32017
Death rate4.62017
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mestizo58%2006
white20%2006


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Catholic79%2014
Protestant13%2014


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Spanish (official)
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years23.9%2018
15-29 years25.5%2018


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Economy


Economic situation.
The country’s economy depends on oil exports, particularly to the USA. The reduced growth recorded in 2015-17 owing to the drop in the price of hydrocarbons was followed by a recovery in 2018-19, thanks in part to a rise in the prices of materials, an increase in domestic consumption and more investments. The government approved tax cuts to favour businesses. In 2017-18, inflation reduced thanks to the deflationary financial policy and the fall in the price of foodstuffs and energy, which were raised as a consequence of climate hardships.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)115.2index2016
Balance of trade-9 401.4M US$2018
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population24 706 930units2018
Active population, Females43%2018
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate9.7%2018
Unemployment rate, Females56.3%2018
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses179 608 007M LCU2018
Revenues149 292 227M LCU2018
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture16.4%2018
industry19.4%2018
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture7.1%2017
industry32%2017
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation80 653.3BN LCU2018
International reserves47 887.6M US$2018
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Agriculture


Primary sector
Agriculture and forests.
Very large estates (fincas) cultivate plantation crops. The main product is coffee, which is grown in the departments of Antioquia, Quindío, Valle, Tolima, Risaralda and Caldas. There are extensive banana plantations in Magdalena and Chocó. Floriculture is very important. Other crops include sugar cane, palm oil, tobacco (in Santander), cotton, cocoa (in Cauca, Valle and Huila), soya and coconut palm. The most common food crops are maize and rice. Despite the contrast campaigns conducted by the government, the cultivation of coca, hashish and opium poppies is common on the plateaux and in the Amazon rainforest. There are 60 million hectares of forest. In addition to timber, these provide (tagua) nuts used for making buttons, rubber and Tolú balsam. At the village of Las Gaviotas, which is ecologically run and self-sufficient, situated in a reforested area of Orinoquia, they produce rosin from pine resin.
Livestock and fishing.
Large tracts of prime grazing land are perfect for cattle-farming. Fishing is not particularly important.

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land3.24%2015
forests52.73%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley11.1111000 t2017
cereals, total4 328.821000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava2 187.7571000 t2017
potatoes2 819.0261000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asparagus0.1061000 t2017
cabbages62.4621000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry117.4981000 t2017
broad beans, dry5.7641000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes30.7181000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts3.9621000 t2017
rapeseed01000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Oil palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
oil palm fruits5 738.0061000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Coconut palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coconuts128.9081000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cocoa56.8081000 t2017
coffee754.3761000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet26.3361000 t2017
sugar cane34 638.0191000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton72.111000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sisal14.9241000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples1.971000 t2017
figs2.3711000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cashew nuts701000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits1 244.6991000 t2017
citrus fruits, nes613.091000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados314.2751000 t2017
bananas3 786.6721000 t2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley4.9551000 ha2017
maize382.891000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava218.4541000 ha2017
potatoes149.061000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages2.2291000 ha2017
carrots and turnips9.6061000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry136.6781000 ha2017
broad beans, dry3.4121000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape2.5141000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts3.721000 ha2017
rapeseed01000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oil palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
oil palm fruit280.3441000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Coconut palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coconuts17.5481000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cocoa146.0111000 ha2017
coffee798.3581000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet1.0881000 ha2017
sugar cane397.3871000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton17.5141000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sisal17.5261000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples0.1861000 ha2017
figs0.0971000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cashew nuts301000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits80.3951000 ha2017
citrus fruits, nes36.0641000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados39.1721000 ha2017
bananas134.5181000 ha2017
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber9 788 6342017
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle22 461.1791000 heads2017
cattle and buffaloes22 461.1791000 heads2017
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs5 2001000 heads2017
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep1 026.341000 heads2017
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats829.5711000 heads2017
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses120.3941000 heads2017
asses and mules350.3941000 heads2017
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds164 1641000 heads2017
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey2.9581000 t2014
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter20.61000 t2014
cheese58.51000 t2014
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
crustaceans and molluscs4 383t2017
freshwater fishes117 880t2017
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Minerals


Secondary sector
Minerals.
The main oilfields are situated in the Magdalena Valley, in the departments of Casanare and Norte de Santander, and at Orito (Putumayo). There is an extensive oil pipeline network: from the Magdalena Valley to Puerto Boyaca, from Puerto Boyaca to Coveñas (481 km), from the deposits in Casanare to Coveñas (790 km), from Ecuador to the port of Tumaco (306 km).
There are considerable reserves of natural gas (at Guajira, El Difícil, Payoa, Chuchupa, Lisama and Jobo-Tablón) and coal (in the Cordillera Oriental and Valle del Cauca), of which the country is a major producer. A gas pipeline connects the gas fields of Guajira to the town of Barranquilla.
Other mineral resources include emeralds (mined at Muzo, Coscuez and Chivor), silver (in Antioquia), platinum (from the sands of the tributaries of the River San Juan and the River Atrato), iron (at Paz de Río, Medellín, Cerro Matoso and Uré-Magambo), rock salt (at Zipaquirá, Nemocón, Gachetá and Sesquilé in Cundinamarca; Barital and Upín in Meta), sea salt (saltpans at Manaure and Galerazamba), sulfur (at Puracé) and phosphates (at San Vicente de Chucurí and Turmequé).
Industry.
There are large oil refineries at Apiay (near Villavicencio), Barrancabermeja, Cartagena, Orito and Tibú. As for the basic industries, the most important are iron and steel (at Paz de Río, in Boyacá, Muña, Valle de Tenza, Corradine and Medellín), chemicals (at Betania, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Mamonal, Bogotá and Zipaquirá), cement (especially around Barranquilla, Cali/Yumbo, Medellín and Bogotá). Automotive components industry is also relevant (Bogotá, Bucaramanga, Cali, Medellín). Traditional industries include textiles, especially in the cotton and wool segments (with factories in Barranquilla, Medellín, Bogotá, Cali, Manizales, Samacá, San José de Suaita and Itagüí). Rubber is produced in Bogotá and Cali; paper at Arroyo Hondo, near Cali; beer in Bogotá, Medellín and Bucaramanga. A typical product of Colombia is hats (felt hats in Medellín and Bogotá, panama hats in Antioquia, Medellín, Aguadas, Bogotá and Bucaramanga). The cigars made in Ambalema and Bucaramanga and the cigarillos made in Medellín are particularly prized.
In the capital city there are ceramics and crockery factories; glazed tiles are typical of the area of Caldas. To attract new industrial facilities, tax-free zones have been created in many of the larger cities.

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coal84 3001000 t2018
coal, total84 3001000 t2018
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
copper5.51000 t2015
iron ore7161000 t2016
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bentonite91000 t2016
feldspar851000 t2011
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
limestone16.31000 t2015
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
emeralds2 1671000 ct2015
gold61 805kg2016
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro48 476M kWh2016
- thermal24 647.74M kWh2016
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro11 6101000 kW2016
- thermal4 9331000 kW2016
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation74 919.74M kWh2016
total installed capacity16 8861000 kW2016
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coke, metall.2 3691000 t2016
nickel37.11000 t2016
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cars69 000no.2018
commercial vehicles3 800no.2018
Industry - Electrical and electronics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fridges737 300no.2004
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
petrol5 441.51000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
nitrogen fertilizers167.31000 t2016
phosphate fertilizers44.61000 t2016
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley2 0201000 t2014
coconut oil0.091000 t2014
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigarettes28 744.3M units2004
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemical pulp234.0491000 t2017
chemi-mechanical pulp234.0491000 t2017
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement12 4951000 t2016
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production5 606.5M US$2016
food, beverages and tobacco production11 218M US$2016
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Trade


Tertiary sector
Foreign trade.
The USA is Colombia’s principal trading partner.


Main exports
(M US$ - 2017)
crude oil and petroleum products 13 007, coal and its products 7 393, coffee 2 583, gold and jewels 2 006, plants and flowers 1 417, plastics 1 361, bananas 918, chemicals 694, iron and steel 601, sugar and derived products 569, vehicles and parts thereof 539, machinery 470, palm and copra oil 466, cosmetics 445


Finance and banking
. The Banco de la República acts as Colombia’s central bank. There is a stock exchange in Bogotá.

Composition of goods exports
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fuels59.959% of goods exports2018
manufactures20.666% of goods exports2018
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
United States11 325M US$2018
China4 056M US$2018
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
United States13 096M US$2018
China10 545M US$2018
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201841 831M US$ -
201737 881M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201851 233M US$ -
201746 076M US$ -
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Tourism

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures5 136M US$2017
Number of arrivals4 113 000units2017
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Communications


Transport.
The backbone of the road network is the Pan-American highway which runs down the west side of the country. The railway network is restricted to the lines running between the ports and the inland towns.
In the eastern Amazon region, transport relies on small planes and boats on navigable rivers.

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown107 300 000km flown2009
Civil aviation, passengers carried32 506.91000 units2017
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers128.785per 1000 pop.2017
Computers112.5per 1000 pop.2008
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Social and welfare


Education.
Primary education is free and compulsory between the ages of 5 and 15. Secondary education last between four and six years.


Social security and health.
Social security is financed by the government, employers and employees. Large businesses provide life insurance plans for their employees.

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling14.6years2017
Gradautes, percentage22.5%2017
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Teachers, primary level184 384units2017
Teachers, secondary level183 952units2017
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending12.4% of total expenses1999
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds1.7per 1000 pop.2017
Physicians2.1per 1000 pop.2017
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV0.5% of adults2017
HIV, total0.3%2001
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending0.2% of GDP2017
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking91.79%2016
Access to electricity99.595%2017
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear5%2006-07
education3.5%2006-07
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