Colombia

Map

Colombia Terrain : flat coastal lowlands, central highlands, high Andes Mountains, eastern lowland plains.

Resources : petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, copper, emeralds, hydropower.

Natural Hazards : highlands subject to volcanic eruptions; occasional earthquakes; periodic droughts.

Population : 44,379,598 (July 2007 est.).

Factbook

Quick Facts About Colombia

Population

44,205,293 (July 2010 est.)

Age Structure

0-14 years: 27.2% (male 6,150,834/female 5,876,697)
15-64 years: 66.8% (male 14,562,536/female 14,967,492)
65 years and over: 6% (male 1,125,184/female 1,522,550) (2010 est.)

Religions

Roman Catholic 90%, other 10%

Languages

Spanish

Internet Users

17.117 million (2008)

Country Name

conventional long form: Republic of Colombia
conventional short form: Colombia
local long form: Republica de Colombia
local short form: Colombia

Government Type

republic; executive branch dominates government structure

Capital

name: Bogota
geographic coordinates: 4 36 N, 74 05 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Military Branches

National Army (Ejercito Nacional), National Navy (Armada Nacional, includes Naval Aviation, Naval Infantry (Infanteria de Marina, IM), and Coast Guard), Colombian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea de Colombia, FAC) (2010)

Dependency Status

*

Background

Colombia was one of the three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others are Ecuador and Venezuela). A four-decade long conflict between government forces and anti-government insurgent groups, principally the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) heavily funded by the drug trade, escalated during the 1990s. The insurgents lack the military or popular support necessary to overthrow the government and violence has been decreasing since about 2002, but insurgents continue attacks against civilians and large areas of the countryside are under guerrilla influence or are contested by security forces. More than 31,000 former paramilitaries had demobilized by the end of 2006 and the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) as a formal organization had ceased to function. In the wake of the paramilitary demobilization, emerging criminal groups arose, whose members include some former paramilitaries. The Colombian Government has stepped up efforts to reassert government control throughout the country, and now has a presence in every one of its administrative departments. However, neighboring countries worry about the violence spilling over their borders.

Area – Comparative

slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Area

total: 1,138,914 sq km
land: 1,109,104 sq km
water: 100,210 sq km
note: includes Isla de Malpelo, Roncador Cay, and Serrana Bank

Terrain

flat coastal lowlands, central highlands, high Andes Mountains, eastern lowland plains

Climate

tropical along coast and eastern plains; cooler in highlands

Natural Hazards

highlands subject to volcanic eruptions; occasional earthquakes; periodic droughts