Introduction

About Ecuador

Ecuador is situated along the northwest coast of South America. It straddles part of the Andes mountains and occupies part of the Amazon basin. Situated on the equator, from which its name derives, it borders Colombia to the north, Peru to the east and the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Ecuador covers an area of 283,561 km². It is somewhat larger than the state of Victoria (227,444km2) in Australia, somewhat smaller than Italy, or slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Nevada.

Ecuador has a population of 17.6 million people (2020). The capital city is Quito and the largest city by population is Guayaquil (2.7 million). Approximately 63% of the population is urban. The median age is 28. Spoken languages are Spanish and Quechua (both official). The main religion is Roman Catholic (80%).

Ecuador is divided into 24 provinces. Its three largest cities are Guayaquil, Quito, and Cuenca. The national currency is the US dollar.

Ecuador is a republic and maintains a presidential, unicameral representative democracy with the usual three branches of power: executive (government), legislative (national assembly), and judicial (judiciary). The President is both head of state and head of government. The national assembly has the power to pass laws. The supreme court is independent of the executive and legislative branches.