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: 0.761 (rank: 78)
President and head of government: Nicolás Maduro (PSUV), in office since 5 March 2013, elected on 14 April 2013, reconfirmed 20 May 2018
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

On 23 January 2019, the President of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, (Popular Will) declared himself president, replacing N. Maduro, who was re-elected on 20 May 2018 in contested elections. Guaidó was recognized by the USA and a majority of European and South American countries, while Maduro was backed in particular by Russia and China. Meanwhile, the country, where staple goods are scarce and essential services are lacking, is increasingly oppressed by the deep economic crisis.

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, who compromised the institutional structure of the country by using the Constituent Assembly (elected on 30 July 2017) as a governing tool, using it to bypass Parliament, which is controlled by the opposition. 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
Homicides56.3per 100 000 pop.2016
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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 (% - 2018)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE

Due to the economic and political crisis, more than 4 million people have left the country since 2016.

Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate18.72017
Death rate5.72017
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mestizo63.7%2000
white20%2000


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Catholic71%2011
Protestant17%2011


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Spanish
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years27%2018
15-29 years25.1%2018


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Economy


Economic situation.
A drop in oil production and the dismal manufacturing industry in an economy strongly dependent on hydrocarbon exports have sunk the country into a deep recession that has lasted since 2014; in 2019, this was exacerbated by heavy sanctions imposed by the United States and a serious political crisis. The growth of the country’s public debt is out of control, as is inflation, making it extremely difficult to supply essential goods.
The manufacturing industry has been negatively affected by insufficient production of electrical energy, which has caused repeated interruptions to its supply.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)108.54index2016
Balance of trade22 750M US$2018
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population14 643 191units2018
Active population, Females39%2018
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate8.4%2018
Unemployment rate, Females41.8%2018
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses74 184.4M LCU2005
Revenues83 731.6M LCU2005
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture7.2%2018
industry21.1%2018
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture5.7%2017
industry36.5%2017
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation3 932.1BN LCU2015
International reserves8 840M US$2018
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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 475.141000 t2017
maize1 0501000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava249.3951000 t2017
potatoes2001000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages110.7191000 t2017
carrots and turnips2001000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry24.0981000 t2017
peas, dry0.171000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes19.421000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts21000 t2017
sesame seed12.0381000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Oil palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
oil palm fruits452.3791000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Coconut palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coconuts150.7621000 t2017
copra201000 t2006
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cocoa23.3491000 t2017
coffee46.651000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet23.3431000 t2017
sugar cane3 6001000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton2.591000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sisal1.9111000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
figs01000 t2016
fruits, total2 645.4861000 t2014
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits504.1041000 t2017
grapefruits8.1631000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados133.9221000 t2017
bananas424.6491000 t2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
maize3501000 ha2017
rice1101000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava20.4061000 ha2017
potatoes111000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages3.4431000 ha2017
carrots and turnips71000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry30.5131000 ha2017
peas, dry0.1011000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape1.191000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts11000 ha2017
sesame seed31.5991000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oil palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
oil palm fruit37.1911000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Coconut palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coconuts13.0821000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cocoa62.1191000 ha2017
coffee1351000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet1.1051000 ha2017
sugar cane581000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton2.3871000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sisal0.8811000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
figs01000 ha2016
peaches1.9271000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits35.4441000 ha2017
grapefruits0.9571000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados11.81000 ha2017
bananas30.5441000 ha2017
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber5 597 7022017
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle16 482.7421000 heads2017
cattle and buffaloes16 482.7421000 heads2017
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs3 424.841000 heads2017
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep6031000 heads2017
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats1 418.7831000 heads2017
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses4401000 heads2017
asses and mules5121000 heads2017
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds120 5951000 heads2017
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey0.5261000 t2014
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter1.351000 t2014
cheese172.8631000 t2014
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
crustaceans and molluscs65 023t2017
freshwater fishes26 154t2017
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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 and the obsolescence of the structures.
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
coal7491000 t2016
coal, total7491000 t2016
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bauxite9001000 t2016
iron ore5 0001000 t2016
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
feldspar5001000 t2017
gypsum71000 t2011
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
granite7501000 t2011
kaolin2.31000 t2016
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
diamonds61000 ct2012
diamonds, industrial - ct91000 ct2012
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro66 957M kWh2016
- thermal42 247.36M kWh2016
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal15 8001000 kW2016
- hydro15 1401000 kW2016
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation109 301.36M kWh2016
total installed capacity30 9951000 kW2016
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
alumina5001000 t2017
aluminium1751000 t2017
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cars852no.2017
commercial vehicles922no.2017
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bitumen4881000 t2016
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 t2017
chemi-mechanical pulp39.3961000 t2017
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement8 0001000 t2016
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.


Main exports (M US$ - 2017) crude oil 24 689, petroleum products 3 415, chemicals 677, iron and steel 363, aluminium 332, iron ores 332, fish and crustaceans 188, fertilizers 187, coal products 71


Finance & 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$2013
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201833 660M US$ -
201732 540M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201810 910M US$ -
201710 510M US$ -
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Tourism

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures2 920M US$2016
Number of arrivals427 000units2017
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Communications

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 beds0.8per 1000 pop.2014
Physicians1.9per 1000 pop.2013
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV0.6% of adults2016
Malaria411 586cases2017
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending0.1% of GDP2016
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking96.16%2016
Access to electricity100%2017
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear9.6%2005
education3%2005
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