The World Factbook (1982)/Colombia

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The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency


(See reference map IV)


1,139,600 km2; settled area 28% consisting of cropland and fallow 5%, pastures 14%, woodland, swamps, and water 6%,urban and other 3%; unsettled area 72%—mostly forest and savannah

Land boundaries: 6,035 km


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 12 nm (economic including fishing 200 nm)

Coastline: 2,414 km


Population: 26,631,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 1.6%

Nationality: noun—Colombian(s); adjective—Colombian

Ethnic divisions: 58% mestizo, 20% Caucasian, 14% mulatto, 4% Negro, 3% mixed Negro-Indian, 1% Indian

Religion: 95% Roman Catholic

Language: Spanish

Literacy: 72-75% of population over 15 years old

Labor force: 5.9 million (1973); 30% agriculture, 15% industry, 19% services, 13% commerce/hotels, 18% other (1973); 18.5% unemployment (1979)

Organized labor: 13% of labor force (1968)


Official name: Republic of Colombia

Type: republic; executive branch dominates government structure

Capital: Bogotá

Political subdivisions: 22 departments, 3 Intendants, 5 Commissariats, Bogota Special District

Legal system: based on Spanish law; religious courts regulate marriage and divorce; constitution decreed in 1886, amendments codified in 1946 and 1968; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

National holiday: Independence Day, 30 July

Branches: President, bicameral legislature, judiciary

Government leader: President Julio César TURBAY Ayala

Suffrage: age 18 and over

Elections: every fourth year; next presidential election scheduled for May 1982; last congressional election March 1982; municipal and departmental elections every two years, last held February 1980

Political parties and leaders: Liberal Party, President Julio César Turbay and former President Alfonso López Michelsen; Conservative Party, Alvaro Gómez Hurtado, Misael Pastrana Borrero, and Belisario Betancur head two principal factions

Voting strength: 1978 presidential election—Julio César Turbay 49%, Belisario Betancur 46%, Gen. Alvaro Valencia 1.3%; 1978 municipal election, 55% Liberal Party, 36% Conservative Party, 9% combined far left parties; 70% abstention of eligible voters

Communists: 10,000-12,000 members est.

Other political or pressure groups: Communist Party (PCC), Gilberto Vieira White; PCC/ML, Chinese Line Communist Party

Member of: FAO, G-77, GATT, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAC, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, IMCO, IMF, ISO, ITU, LAFTA and Andean Sub-Regional Group (created in May 1969 within LAFTA), OAS, SELA, UN, UNESCO, UPEB, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WSG, WTO


GNP: $30.58 million (1980 est.; in current dollars), $1,112 per capita (1980; in current dollars); 73% private consumption, 8% public consumption, 20% gross investment

Agriculture: main crops—coffee, rice, corn, sugarcane, plantains, bananas, cotton, tobacco; caloric intake, 2,140 calories per day per capita (1970)

Fishing: catch 63,965 metric tons 1977; exports $10.6 million (1973), imports $10.3 million (1973)

Major industries: textiles, food processing, clothing and footwear, beverages, chemicals, and metal products

Crude steel: 356,000 metric tons produced (1976), 14 kg per capita

Electric power: 5,000,000 kW capacity (1981); 22.0 billion kWh produced (1981), 808 kWh per capita

Exports: $4,113 million (f.o.b., 1980); coffee, fuel oil, cotton, tobacco, sugar, textiles, cattle and hides, bananas

Imports: $3,851 million (f.o.b., 1980); transportation equipment, machinery, industrial metals and raw materials, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, fuels, fertilizers, paper and paper products, foodstuffs and beverages

Major trade partners: exports—4% Japan, 29% US, Germany, 9% Venezuela, 5% Netherlands; imports—35% US, 8% Germany, 10% Japan, 3% Ecuador, 4% UK, 5% Venezuela, 4% France (1977)

Budget: (1980) revenues $2.9 billion; expenditures $2.8 billion

Monetary conversion rate: 56.39 pesos=US$1 (September 1981, changes frequently)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 3,436 km, all 0.914-meter gauge, single track

Highways: 65,125 km total; 8,655 km paved, 48,510 km gravel, 7,960 earth

Inland waterways: 14,300 km, navigable by river boats

Pipelines: crude oil, 3,585 km; refined products, 1,350 km; natural gas, 830 km; natural gas liquids, 125 km

Ports: 5 major, 5 minor

Civil air: 118 major transport aircraft, including 6 leased in

Airfields: 634 total, 633 usable; 50 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways over 3,660 m; 6 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 89 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: nationwide radio-relay system; 1 Atlantic Ocean satellite station and 3 domestic satellite stations; 1.52 million telephones (5.3 per 100 popl.); 325 AM, 130 FM, and 86 TV stations


Military manpower: males 15-49, 6,442,000; 4,570,000 fit for military service; about 326,000 reach military age (18) annually

Military budget: proposed for fiscal year ending 31 December 1981, $312.7 million; about 7.6% of central government budget