Ecuador facts tell us much about this small South American country. Officially known as the Republic of Ecuador, or Republic of the Equator, the country boasts cloud forests, the Andes, vast plains, lush jungles to the south west and the Galapagos not far off shore.
- Population – The CIA World Fact Book estimates the population of Ecuador to be 15,007,343 in July of 2011. This makes it the 65th most populous country in the world. There are more female Ecuadorians than male in the fifteen and older age group, though more males the females in the fourteen and younger group. The age of the average Ecuadorian male is 25, and the age of the average Ecuadorian female is 26. In short, it’s a country with more women than men and an average age in the mid-20’s.
- City Life – The majority of Ecuadorians – 67 percent of the population – live in urban areas. The two largest cities the country are Guayaquil and Quito. Quito is the capital and has a population of 1.801 million. Guayaquil is a port city. About 70 percent of Ecuadorians work in the service industry, which is centered in these two metropolitan areas. From dance clubs to hotels, restaurants, shops, cafes and a number of illicit and unmentionable activities, you can find it all in Ecuador.
- Peoples and Beliefs – Thanks to colonialism, 65 percent of Ecuadorians are mestizo, or of mixed European and Indian blood. Of the remaining 35 percent, 25 percent are indigenous Ecuadorians, seven percent are Spanish or otherwise European and three percent are black. Also thanks to colonialism, a full 95 percent of Ecuadorians are catholic; the remaining five percent are enigmatically listed as “other.” Though Spanish is the official language of Ecuador, a number of indigenous languages are common, especially Quechua.
- Money – Makes the world go round, right? The official currency of Ecuador is the American dollar, though the dollar goes a lot further in Ecuador than it does in the United States. The average Ecuadorian lived on $8000 in 2010. The national economy experienced severed upheaval in the first decade of the 21st Century and is built largely on the nation’s oil resources. The government of Ecuador claimed a national economic growth of three and seven tenths percent in 2010.
- Disease – Ecuador has a very low instance of HIV—about four tenths of a percent of the population is afflicted. This makes Ecuador the 78th most HIV-affected nation in the world. The United States is 64th. Despite the relative rarity of AIDS, Ecuador boasts a high instance of a number of other diseases, including bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, dengue fever, malaria and leptospirosis. Such diseases generally affect visitors to the country in much higher percentages than they do indigenous inhabitants.