Form of Government: Presidential republic
Area: 1 141 748 sq km
Population: 50 372 424 inhab. (estimate 2020)
Density: 44.12 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: 0.767 (rank: 83)
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, OECD, PROSUR, UN, 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

A tax reform proposal that would have affected low-income families sparked protests (18 April 2021), which were violently repressed and continued even after the proposal was withdrawn.

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, then renamed to Comunes since 2020). 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 (% - 2020)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE

The country is home to around 1.8 million Venezuelan refugees.

Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate14.6552019
Death rate5.632019
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 years24.5%2020
15-29 years24.4%2020


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Economy


Economic situation.
The country’s economy depends on oil exports, particularly to the USA. The growth in 2018-19, helped by higher prices of raw materials and increases in domestic consumption and investments, was halted in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic and the country entered into a recession. The government approved a vast fiscal stimulus plan and the central bank lowered interest rates to facilitate loans; the country, however, entered a recession from which it came out in 2021 with the recovery of private consumption and investments.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)115.2index2016
Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)133.09index2019
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population23 491 470units2020
Active population, Females41.6%2020
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate16$%2020
Unemployment rate, Females53.3%2020
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses230 331 630M LCU2020
Revenues152 568 206M LCU2020
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture16.608%2020
industry20.067%2020
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture7.448%2019
industry29.013%2019
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation111 373.926BN LCU2020
International reserves58 499.478M US$2020
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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 mainly in the departments of Huila, Antioquia, Tolima and Cauca. There are extensive banana plantations in Magdalena and Chocó. Floriculture is very important. Other crops include sugar cane, palm oil (in Santander, Meta, Cesar, Magdalena), tobacco (in Santander), cotton, cocoa (in Cauca, Valle and Huila), soya (Meta) and coconut palm. The most common food crops are maize (in Córdoba, Valle del Cauca) and rice (in Meta and Casanare). 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 & fishing.
Large tracts of prime grazing land are perfect for cattle-farming. Fishing is not particularly important.

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land8.916%2018
forests53.664%2018
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley8.5271000 t2019
cereals, total4 434.0811000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava1 026.6431000 t2019
potatoes3 123.8041000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asparagus11.8551000 t2019
cabbages53.1811000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry54.1471000 t2019
broad beans, dry7.2891000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes67.6321000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts4.5021000 t2019
rapeseed0$1000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Oil palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
oil palm fruits8 390.3141000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Coconut palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coconuts145.5781000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cocoa102.1541000 t2019
coffee885.121000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet33.2041000 t2019
sugar cane32 662.9521000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton60.1551000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sisal13.9221000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples5.0531000 t2019
figs2.4131000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cashew nuts4.1121000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits1 454.4891000 t2019
citrus fruits, nes566.7651000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados535.0211000 t2019
bananas2 914.4191000 t2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley3.1491000 ha2019
maize372.7781000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava94.2471000 ha2019
potatoes133.571000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages1.9481000 ha2019
carrots and turnips10.21000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry86.7191000 ha2019
broad beans, dry1.1971000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape3.9931000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts2.6581000 ha2019
rapeseed0$1000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oil palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
oil palm fruit504.1171000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Coconut palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coconuts21.2321000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cocoa117.8181000 ha2019
coffee853.71000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet1.1731000 ha2019
sugar cane457.7831000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton18.3291000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sisal18.751000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples0.6131000 ha2019
figs0.1021000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cashew nuts1.7541000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits106.1481000 ha2019
citrus fruits, nes38.9541000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados63.5341000 ha2019
bananas105.6091000 ha2019
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
natural rubber13 107t2019
timber9 014 1042019
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle27 239.7671000 heads2019
cattle and buffaloes27 784.0051000 heads2019
Livestock - Buffaloes
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
buffaloes544.2381000 heads2019
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs4 080.7381000 heads2019
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep1 561.1971000 heads2019
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats1 035.3581000 heads2019
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses90.9781000 heads2019
asses and mules293.2781000 heads2019
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds187 4991000 heads2019
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey3.8381000 t2019
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter19.5031000 t2018
cheese55.3861000 t2018
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
crustaceans and molluscs10 864.637t2019
freshwater fishes161 467.571t2019
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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. A regasification plant is active in Cartagena. 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
coal50 605.71000 t2020
coal, total50 605.71000 t2020
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
copper9.91000 t2018
iron ore6501000 t2019
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bentonite144.41000 t2019
feldspar85$1000 t2011
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
limestone18 4871000 t2018
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
emeralds2 1281000 ct2018
gold35 560kg2018
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro53 986.68M kWh2019
- thermal19 544.48M kWh2019
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro11 9171000 kW2019
- thermal5 1591000 kW2018
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation75 040.16M kWh2019
total installed capacity17 426.381000 kW2018
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coke, metall.3 452.51000 t2019
nickel43.11000 t2018
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cars43 351no.2020
commercial vehicles3 800no.2018
Industry - Electrical and electronics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fridges737 300no.2004
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bitumen2631000 t2018
petrol5 441.51000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
nitrogen fertilizers92.41000 t2019
phosphate fertilizers70.91000 t2019
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley2 276.61000 t2018
coconut oil0.091000 t2014
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigarettes28 744.3M units2004
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemical pulp188.0391000 t2019
chemi-mechanical pulp243.1871000 t2019
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement12 4521000 t2018
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production6 443.267M US$2018
food, beverages and tobacco production13 413.87M US$2018
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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
fuels54.695% of goods exports2019
manufactures21.078% of goods exports2019
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
United States9 465M US$2020
China2 751M US$2020
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
United States10 634M US$2020
China10 399M US$2020
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
202031 008M US$ -
201939 489M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
202043 489M US$ -
201952 703M US$ -
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Tourism

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures5 770M US$2019
Number of arrivals4 154 000units2019
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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. A major road network modernization plan is underway. 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 carried37 031.81000 units2019
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers138.06per 1000 pop.2019
Computers112.5per 1000 pop.2008
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Social and welfare


Education and research.

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 schooling14.513years2019
Gradautes, percentage23.819%2019
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Students, primary level4 263 988units2019
Students, secondary level4 908 362units2019
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending12.4% of total expenses1999
Social protection spending13.076% of GDP2018
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds1.71per 1000 pop.2018
Physicians2.18per 1000 pop.2018
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV0.5% of adults2019
HIV, total0.3%2001
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending0.235% of GDP2018
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking94.3%2019
Access to electricity99.766%2019
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear5$%2006-07
education3.5%2006-07
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