Form of Government: Federal republic
Area: 916 445 sq km
Population: 31 431 164 inhab. (estimate 2017)
Density: 34.30 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 12° - 1° N; long. 73° - 60° W
Capital: Caracas (capital) 1 942 652 inhab. (2011); Caracas 3 242 000 inhab. (2011), urban agglomeration
Currency: bolívar soberano (100 céntimos), since 20 August 2018
Human development index: 0.767 (rank: 71)
President and head of government: Nicolás Maduro (PSUV), in office since 5 March 2013, elected on 14 April 2013
National Assembly: seats based on the elections of 6 December 2015: MUD (Coalition for Democratic Unity), 112; PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela), 55
Internet: www.ine.gov.ve (Instituto Nacional de Estadística)
Member of Mercosur, OAS, OPEC, UN, UNASUR, WTO

Venezuela

Venezuela, República Bolivariana de Venezuela
Useful information

International license plate code YV
International dialling code 0058
Travel vaccinations requirement yellow fever (recommended for some areas); malaria prophylaxis (recommended for some areas)
Electricity (Voltage) 120
Driving side rigth
Internet code .ve

GMT  -4.30
DST  not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) Caracas 20.6
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Caracas 18.5/21
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Caracas 7/7
Annual average precipitation (mm) Caracas 833
Days of rainfall (annual average) Caracas 100

Politics and current affairs

The country, suffering from scarce basic necessities and lacking essential services, is increasingly oppressed by the deep economic and political crisis. President Maduro compromised the institutional structure of the country, using the Constituent Assembly (elected on 30 July 2017) as a governing tool, able to side step Parliament, which is controlled by the opposition and whose decisions were nullified by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, loyal to the government. Tensions increased following a failed assassination of the president on 4 August 2018.

Geography.
Venezuela is bordered by Guyana to the east, Brazil to the south and Colombia to the west, while the northern coastline is on the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The territory includes many diverse regions: the foothills of the Andes in the north-west split into the Sierra de Perijá and the Cordillera de Mérida (Pico Bolívar, 5007 m), enclosing the lowlands of the Maracaibo region and the lake of the same name. In the centre there is a region of vast plains (llanos), while in the south there are highlands. The most important river is the Orinoco. The climate is hot and humid throughout the country.

Government


A former Spanish colony, Venezuela achieved independence in 1821, after a ten-year war of independence led by Simón Bolívar. The country has been governed by authoritarian regimes for much of the time. In 1958 a period of democracy began, which was however interrupted by coups d’état and military rule. In 1999, Hugo Chávez became President, a former military figure with a turbulent past (including an attempted coup), he initiated populist reforms with the aim of a wider redistribution of the wealth coming from the exports of crude oil. The reforms have met with hostility from the business community, the right wing and the USA, culminating in an attempted coup in 2002 and a referendum to force him to resign in 2004.
After Chávez’s death (5 March 2013), the office of Head of State was taken over by Vice President Nicolás Maduro.
Following the new ‘Bolivarian’ Constitution adopted on 15 December 1999, the President of the Republic, who is also head of the government, is elected by direct suffrage for a six-year term. The National Assembly, which is the unicameral legislative body, consists of a variable number (currently 167, of which three seats are reserved for the indigenous community), elected for five years.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force10%2015
Army54.8%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Homicides57.1per 100 000 pop.2015
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Caracas1 942 652inhab.2011
Maracaibo1 898 770inhab.2011
Urban agglomerations
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Caracas3 242 000inhab.2011
Maracaibo2 310 000inhab.2011
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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 rate192016
Death rate5.62016
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mestizo63.7%2000
white20%2000


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Catholic77.6%2010
Protestant10.1%2010


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Spanish
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years27.4%2017
15-29 years25.4%2017


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Economy


Economic situation.
The fall in oil production, which continued also in 2017-18, further worsened the deep economic crisis in the country, which has been in recession since 2014. Being highly reliant on hydrocarbon exports, the country is also dealing with elevated inflation, which has been further fostered by the state’s strict control of prices and by a dual exchange rate system, that is, a fixed rate for priority imports and a floating rate, which has fed corruption and the black market. The lack of investments caused a slump in oil prices, contributing to the huge public deficit. The fact that electrical energy production is insufficient also has a negative effect on the industrial sector.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)108.54index2016
Balance of trade21 100M US$2017
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population14 732 948units2017
Active population, Females40.1%2017
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate8.1%2017
Unemployment rate, Females44.9%2017
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses74 184.4M LCU2005
Revenues83 731.6M LCU2005
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture10.2%2017
industry23.3%2017
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture5.6%2016
industry39.2%2016
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation3 932.1BN LCU2015
International reserves9 494.1M US$2017
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Agriculture


Primary sector
Agriculture.
The main food crops (rice, potatoes, cassava, sorghum) are unable to meet the domestic demand. Coffee is widely planted on the slopes of the Andes; on the lower slopes on the Caribbean Sea where it is warm and humid, cocoa is also grown.
Other important crops are sugar cane and fruit (coconuts, watermelons, citrus fruits), which fuels exports.
Forests and livestock.
The forests contain many types of wood: cedar, mahogany, saman, mulberry and apama. There are also other natural forestry resources including: balata, chicle, copaiba (resin) and dividivi (tree bark used for tanning). Livestock mostly consists of cattle and poultry.

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land3.85%2015
forests52.93%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cereals, total1 782.3261000 t2016
maize1 465.3791000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava306.3951000 t2016
potatoes391.4331000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages101.3311000 t2016
carrots and turnips214.0021000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry23.2431000 t2016
peas, dry0.2021000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes18.8851000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts1.4711000 t2016
sesame seed18.6711000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Oil palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
oil palm fruits441.3621000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Coconut palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coconuts157.3911000 t2016
copra201000 t2006
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cocoa23.2541000 t2016
coffee43.0121000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet23.0421000 t2016
sugar cane3 331.2521000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton3.641000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sisal1.3881000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
figs01000 t2016
fruits, total2 645.4861000 t2014
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits548.3941000 t2016
grapefruits8.1611000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados90.1961000 t2016
bananas470.5941000 t2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
maize430.0011000 ha2016
rice72.0091000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava24.9981000 ha2016
potatoes20.2021000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages3.1071000 ha2016
carrots and turnips7.4031000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry29.5711000 ha2016
peas, dry0.121000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape1.161000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts0.4831000 ha2016
sesame seed57.8291000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oil palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
oil palm fruit35.061000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Coconut palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coconuts13.8151000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cocoa64.4621000 ha2016
coffee130.7951000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet1.0821000 ha2016
sugar cane52.231000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton3.1711000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sisal0.6521000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
figs01000 ha2016
peaches1.9811000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits38.4971000 ha2016
grapefruits0.9511000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados7.991000 ha2016
bananas32.0911000 ha2016
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber5 574 4372016
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle16 574.3681000 heads2016
cattle and buffaloes16 574.3681000 heads2016
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs3 546.9871000 heads2016
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep602.3281000 heads2016
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats1 433.2741000 heads2016
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses4401000 heads2016
asses and mules5121000 heads2016
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds122 5401000 heads2016
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey0.5261000 t2014
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter1.351000 t2014
cheese172.8631000 t2014
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
crustaceans and molluscs60 783t2016
freshwater fishes31 859t2016
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Minerals


Secondary sector
Minerals.
The main natural resource is crude oil, the extraction of which is managed by the state-owned company PDSVA and the main reserves are found in the Maracaibo, Barinas, Anzoátegui, Monagas, Delta Amacuro (Pedernales), Falcón and Guárico fields. Natural gas production is also important (reserves in Amana, Maraven, Lechoso, Placer).
The county also has other important mineral resources: iron ore (deposits in Cerro Bolívar, El Pao and San Isidro), gold (from the streams which flow into the right bank of the Orinoco), diamonds (Upper Icabarú); asphalt, asbestos, magnesite, coal (Naricual and Capiricual), bauxite and phosphates. Sea salt is also produced (Araya salt deposits, La Redonda, Las Cumaraguas and Coche).
Energy and industry.
Hydro-electric schemes (including the power plants on the River Caroní and others on the Guri and the Macagua) provide 70% of the national electricity requirement, but their output is entirely dependent on the amount of rainfall.
The most developed industrial sectors are the primary ones, particularly the petrochemical industry. The main refineries are in Amuay, Bajo Grande, Barcelona, Barinas, Cardón, El Palito, Puerto La Cruz and San Lorenzo. At Morón there is an important plant producing nitrogen fertilizers. Iron and steel works and other metal-working plants are based at Matanzas and Ciudad Guayana.
Vehicles production is carried out in Caracas, Valencia, and La Victoria. Textile plants produce cotton and artificial fibres. Tobacco and leather products are also worthy of mention. There are areas of cement production (Caracas, Pertigalete and Barquisimeto), and factories for producing glass, paper, beer and sugar.

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coal1 0791000 t2015
coal, total1 0791000 t2015
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
alumina4651000 t2015
bauxite1 2001000 t2016
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
feldspar5001000 t2017
gypsum71000 t2011
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
granite7501000 t2011
kaolin2.41000 t2015
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
diamonds61000 ct2012
diamonds, industrial - ct91000 ct2012
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro74 150M kWh2015
- thermal40 129.54M kWh2015
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal17 0001000 kW2015
- hydro15 1401000 kW2015
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation114 369.54M kWh2015
total installed capacity32 1731000 kW2015
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
alumina5001000 t2017
aluminium1401000 t2016
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cars852no.2017
commercial vehicles922no.2017
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bitumen5991000 t2015
petrol16 873.11000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ammonia1 0001000 t2017
fertilizers1 9831000 t2010
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley2 0651000 t2014
coconut oil151000 t2014
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemical pulp17.9281000 t2016
chemi-mechanical pulp39.3961000 t2016
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement7 3001000 t2015
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production1 287M US$2003
food, beverages and tobacco production3 629M US$2003
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Trade


Tertiary sector
Foreign trade.

The balance of trade is positive thanks to routine exports of hydrocarbons.


Finance and banking.
The banking system is regulated by the Central Bank of Venezuela.
There is a stock exchange in Caracas.

Composition of goods exports
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fuels97.667% of goods exports2013
manufactures1.819% of goods exports2013
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
United States550M US$2013
China248M US$2013
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
United States10 767M US$2013
China7 758M US$2013
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201731 600M US$ -
201626 700M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201710 500M US$ -
201615 550M US$ -
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Tourism

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures2 920M US$2016
Number of arrivals601 000units2016
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Communications


Transport and telecommunication.
In 2007 the leading telecommunications company, which had been privatized in 1991, was re-nationalized.

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown300 000km flown2008
Civil aviation, passengers carried4 155.91000 units2017
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers81.624per 1000 pop.2017
Computers93.1per 1000 pop.2005
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Social and welfare


Education and research.
Primary education is compulsory and lasts from the age of 6 to 15 years old; secondary education lasts two more years.

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling14.2years2009
Graduates138 557units2006
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Teachers, primary level238 633units2009
Teachers, secondary level267 762units2009
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending7.6% of total expenses2005
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds0.9per 1000 pop.2011
Physicians1.9per 1000 pop.2013
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV0.6% of adults2016
Malaria242 561cases2016
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending0.25% of GDP2015
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking96.16%2016
Access to electricity99.603%2016
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear9.6%2005
education3%2005
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