Useful country information
Land area: 106,888 sq mi (276,840 sq km); total area: 109, 483 sq mi (283,560 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 15,654,411 (growth rate: 1.37%); birth rate: 18.87/1000; infant mortality rate: 17.93/1000; life expectancy: 76.36
Capital (2011 est.): Quito 1.622
Largest cities: Guayaquil, 2.287 million (2011)
Monetary unit: U.S. dollar
National name: Repblica del Ecuador
Languages: Spanish (Castillian) 93% (official), Quechua 4.1%, other indigenous 0.7%, foreign 2.2% note: (Quechua and Shuar are official languages of intercultural relations; other indigenous languages are in official use by indigenous peoples in the areas they inhabit) (2010 est.)
Ethnicity/race: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 71.9%, Montubio 7.4%, Afroecuadorian 7.2%, Amerindian 7%, white 6.1%, other 0.4% (2010 census)
National Holiday: Independence Day, August 10
Religion: Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%
Literacy rate: 91.6%
Advanced indigenous cultures flourished in Ecuador long before the area was conquered by the Inca empire in the 15th century. In 1534, the Spanish arrived and defeated the Inca armies.
The "Republic of the Equator" was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Colombia and Venezuela). Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999.
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