Form of Government: Presidential republic
Area: 1 141 748 sq km
Population: 49 291 609 inhab. (estimate 2017)
Density: 43.17 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 12° N - 4° S; long. 79° - 67° W
Capital: Bogotá (capital) 8 063 991 inhab. (2017); Bogotá 9 546 824 inhab. (2017), urban agglomeration
Currency: Colombian peso (100 centavos)
Human development index: 0.727 (rank: 95)
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

As established in the 2016 agreement, the FARC concluded their demobilization, and on 1 September 2017, they became a party (Common Alternative Revolutionary Force), participating in legislative elections on 11 May 2018; despite modest results, the agreement guaranteed them 5 seats in the both the house and senate. During the second round of voting for the presidential elections (17 June), Iván Duque was elected, a candidate for the Democratic Centre Party close to former president Álvaro Uribe.

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; 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
Homicides26.5per 100 000 pop.2015
Police personnel311.8per 100 000 pop.2014
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Bogotá8 063 991inhab.2017
Medellín2 479 990inhab.2017
Urban agglomerations
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Bogotá9 546 824inhab.2017
Medellín3 866 165inhab.2017
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2017)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE
Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate13.32016
Death rate4.62016
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 years24.2%2017
15-29 years25.8%2017


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Economy


Economic situation.
The country is dependent on oil exports, particularly to the US; in 2015-17, the fall in coal prices sharply reduced growth, which was also impacted by a drop in foreign investments and industrial production in 2017. Domestic consumptions diminished the slowdown of the economy, even if they experienced a decline due to the effects of the economic reform, which increased the tax burden; together with an uptick in the price of raw materials, consumptions contributed to a gradual growth in 2018. 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-8 276M US$2017
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population26 421 872units2017
Active population, Females42.9%2017
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate9.4%2017
Unemployment rate, Females56.6%2017
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses153 589 700M LCU2015
Revenues129 321 100M LCU2015
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture16.1%2017
industry19.4%2017
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture7.1%2016
industry32.6%2016
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation74 057.6BN LCU2017
International reserves47 131.1M US$2017
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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
barley7.4491000 t2016
cereals, total3 817.1471000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava2 105.4361000 t2016
potatoes2 354.8621000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asparagus0.0421000 t2016
cabbages63.3811000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry146.7371000 t2016
broad beans, dry4.9831000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes24.991000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts1.9891000 t2016
rapeseed01000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Oil palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
oil palm fruits6 762.4161000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Coconut palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coconuts123.261000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cocoa56.1631000 t2016
coffee745.0841000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet24.5181000 t2016
sugar cane36 951.2131000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton77.7611000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sisal15.3441000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples2.3021000 t2016
figs2.3131000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits1 260.3081000 t2016
citrus fruits, nes711.8941000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados309.4311000 t2016
bananas2 043.6681000 t2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley3.7491000 ha2016
maize375.7421000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava210.251000 ha2016
potatoes121.921000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages2.2351000 ha2016
carrots and turnips8.2561000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry120.991000 ha2016
broad beans, dry1.0811000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape2.1851000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts1.7661000 ha2016
rapeseed01000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oil palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
oil palm fruit331.5061000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Coconut palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coconuts16.8861000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cocoa165.8441000 ha2016
coffee865.8891000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet0.9841000 ha2016
sugar cane416.6261000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton22.231000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sisal17.4991000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples0.2161000 ha2016
figs0.0951000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits84.7511000 ha2016
citrus fruits, nes46.9711000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados35.1141000 ha2016
bananas84.6371000 ha2016
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber6 072 4292016
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle22 610.1011000 heads2016
cattle and buffaloes22 610.1011000 heads2016
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs6 372.231000 heads2016
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep727.2281000 heads2016
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats1 139.2161000 heads2016
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses691000 heads2016
asses and mules234.2431000 heads2016
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds161 1221000 heads2016
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey2.9581000 t2014
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter20.61000 t2014
cheese58.51000 t2014
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
crustaceans and molluscs4 294t2016
freshwater fishes105 805t2016
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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 (at Barranquilla, Cali-Yumbo, Medellín, La Calera, Montebello, Tolú and Nobsa). 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
coal89 4391000 t2017
coal, total89 4391000 t2017
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
copper5.51000 t2015
iron ore9021000 t2015
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barite0.61000 t2008
bentonite8.51000 t2007
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
kaolin25 8111000 t2007
limestone16.31000 t2015
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
emeralds2 1671000 ct2015
gold59 202kg2015
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro44 385M kWh2015
- thermal20 606.68M kWh2015
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro11 5001000 kW2015
- thermal4 9001000 kW2015
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation67 255.68M kWh2015
total installed capacity16 6601000 kW2015
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coke, metall.2 4311000 t2015
lead101000 t2009
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cars73 904no.2017
commercial vehicles1 090no.2017
Industry - Electrical and electronics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fridges737 300no.2004
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
petrol5 441.51000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ammonia1001000 t2008
nitrogen fertilizers167.31000 t2016
Industry - Textiles
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cotton yarn12.71000 t2004
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 pulp237.9161000 t2016
chemi-mechanical pulp237.9161000 t2016
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement13 1531000 t2015
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production6 508.5M US$2012
food, beverages and tobacco production13 945.1M US$2012
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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
fuels49.959% of goods exports2016
manufactures25.508% of goods exports2016
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
United States11 012M US$2017
Panama2 584M US$2017
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
United States12 096M US$2017
China8 754M US$2017
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201737 800.104M US$ -
201631 756.807M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201746 075.789M US$ -
201644 889.867M US$ -
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Tourism

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures4 732M US$2016
Number of arrivals3 317 000units2016
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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 schooling14.6years2015
Gradautes, percentage22.2%2016
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Teachers, primary level183 599units2016
Teachers, secondary level183 910units2016
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
HIV0.4% of adults2016
HIV, total0.3%2001
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending0.27% of GDP2016
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking91.79%2016
Access to electricity99.004%2016
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear5%2006-07
education3.5%2006-07
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