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Colombia country facts

Republic of Colombia South America Bogota 46,245,297 inhabitants 1,138,910 sq km 40.60 inhabitants/sq km Colombian pesos (COP) population evolution



Colombia was one of the three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others are Ecuador and Venezuela). A nearly five-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. More than 31,000 former paramilitaries had demobilized by the end of 2006 and the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia 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 insurgents lack the military or popular support necessary to overthrow the government, but continue attacks against civilians. Large areas of the countryside are under guerrilla influence or are contested by security forces. In November 2012, the Colombian Government started formal peace negotiations with the FARC aimed at reaching a definitive bilateral ceasefire and incorporating demobilized FARC members into mainstream society and politics. 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. Despite decades of internal conflict and drug related security challenges, Colombia maintains relatively strong democratic institutions characterized by peaceful, transparent elections and the protection of civil liberties.



Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama

Geographic coordinates

4 00 N, 72 00 W

Area (sq km)

total: 1,138,910 sq km
land: 1,038,700 sq km
water: 100,210 sq km
note: includes Isla de Malpelo, Roncador Cay, and Serrana Bank

Area - comparative (sq km)

slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Land boundaries (km)

total: 6,672 km
border countries: Brazil 1,790 km, Ecuador 708 km, Panama 339 km, Peru 1,494 km, Venezuela 2,341 km

Coastline (km)

3,208 km (Caribbean Sea 1,760 km, North Pacific Ocean 1,448 km)

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation


tropical along coast and eastern plains; cooler in highlands


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

Elevation extremes (m)

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico Cristobal Colon 5,775 m
note: nearby Pico Simon Bolivar also has the same elevation

Natural resources

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

Land use (%)

arable land: 1.84%
permanent crops: 1.66%
other: 96.5% (2011)

Irrigated land (sq km)

10,870 sq km (2011)

Total renewable water resources (cu km)

2,132 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) ()

total: 12.65 cu km/yr (55%/4%/41%)
per capita: 308 cu m/yr (2010)

Natural hazards

highlands subject to volcanic eruptions; occasional earthquakes; periodic droughts
volcanism: Galeras (elev. 4,276 m) is one of Colombia's most active volcanoes, having erupted in 2009 and 2010 causing major evacuations; it has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Nevado del Ruiz (elev. 5,321 m), 129 km (80 mi) west of Bogota, erupted in 1985 producing lahars that killed 23,000 people; the volcano last erupted in 1991; additionally, after 500 years of dormancy, Nevado del Huila reawakened in 2007 and has experienced frequent eruptions since then; other historically active volcanoes include Cumbal, Dona Juana, Nevado del Tolima, and Purace

Environment - current issues

deforestation; soil and water quality damage from overuse of pesticides; air pollution, especially in Bogota, from vehicle emissions

Environment - international agreements

party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - note

only South American country with coastlines on both the North Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea

People and Society


noun: Colombian(s)
adjective: Colombian

Ethnic groups (%)

mestizo 58%, white 20%, mulatto 14%, black 4%, mixed black-Amerindian 3%, Amerindian 1%

Languages (%)

Spanish (official)

Religions (%)

Roman Catholic 90%, other 10%

Demographic profile

Colombia is in the midst of a demographic transition resulting from steady declines in its fertility, mortality, and population growth rates. The birth rate has fallen from more than 6 children per woman in the 1960s to just above replacement level today as a result of increased literacy, family planning services, and urbanization. However, income inequality is among the worst in the world, and more than a third of the population lives below the poverty line.
Colombia experiences significant legal and illegal economic emigration and refugee flows. Large-scale labor emigration dates to the 1960s; Venezuela and the United States continue to be the main host countries. Colombia is the largest source of Latin American refugees in Latin America, nearly 400,000 of whom live primarily in Venezuela and Ecuador. Forced displacement remains prevalent because of violence among guerrillas, paramilitary groups, and Colombian security forces. Afro-Colombian and indigenous populations are disproportionately affected. A leading NGO estimates that 5.2 million people have been displaced since 1985, while the Colombian Government estimates 3.6 million since 2000. These estimates may undercount actual numbers because not all internally displaced persons are registered. Historically, Colombia also has one of the world's highest levels of forced disappearances. About 30,000 cases have been recorded over the last four decades - although the number is likely to be much higher - including human rights activists, trade unionists, Afro-Colombians, indigenous people, and farmers in rural conflict zones.


46,245,297 (July 2014 est.)   evolution and prospects (1950-2100)

Age structure (%)

0-14 years: 25.3% (male 5,998,645/female 5,720,229)
15-24 years: 18% (male 4,243,251/female 4,099,299)
25-54 years: 41.6% (male 9,515,723/female 9,720,894)
55-64 years: 8.3% (male 1,796,050/female 2,051,948)
65 years and over: 6.5% (male 1,293,258/female 1,806,000) (2014 est.)

Age structure in Colombia

Median age (years)

total: 28.9 years
male: 27.9 years
female: 29.9 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate (%)

1.07% (2014 est.)

Birth rate (births/1,000 population)

16.73 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)

5.36 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Net migration rate (migrant(s)/1,000 population)

-0.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Urbanization (%)

urban population: 75.3% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 1.65% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

BOGOTA (capital) 8.743 million; Medellin 3.694 million; Cali 2.453 million; Barranquilla 1.9 million; Bucaramanga 1.12 million; Cartagena 988,000 (2011)

Sex ratio (male(s)/female)

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Maternal mortality rate (deaths/100,000 live births)

92 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate (deaths/1,000 live births)

total: 15.02 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 18.22 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.62 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth (years)

total population: 75.25 years
male: 72.08 years
female: 78.61 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate (children born/woman)

2.07 children born/woman (2014 est.)

Health expenditures (% of GDP)

6.1% of GDP (2011)

Physicians density (physicians/1,000 population)

1.47 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital bed density (beds/1,000 population)

1.4 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source (% of population)

improved: urban: 96.9% of population
rural: 73.6% of population
total: 91.2% of population
unimproved: urban: 3.1% of population
rural: 26.4% of population
total: 8.8% of population (2012 est.)

Sanitation facility access (% of population)

improved: urban: 84.9% of population
rural: 65.7% of population
total: 80.2% of population
unimproved: urban: 15.1% of population
rural: 34.3% of population
total: 19.8% of population (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)

0.5% (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

146,500 (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

6,500 (2012 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate (%)

17.3% (2008)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight (%)

3.4% (2010)

Education expenditures (% of GDP)

4.4% of GDP (2012)

Literacy (%)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.6%
male: 93.5%
female: 93.7% (2011 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) (years)

total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 (%)

total: 21.9%
male: 17%
female: 28.9% (2011)


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


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

Administrative divisions

32 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital district* (distrito capital); Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlantico, Bogota*, Bolivar, Boyaca, Caldas, Caqueta, Casanare, Cauca, Cesar, Choco, Cordoba, Cundinamarca, Guainia, Guaviare, Huila, La Guajira, Magdalena, Meta, Narino, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Quindio, Risaralda, Archipielago de San Andres, Providencia y Santa Catalina (colloquially San Andres y Providencia), Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupes, Vichada


20 July 1810 (from Spain)

National holiday

Independence Day, 20 July (1810)


several previous; latest promulgated 5 July 1991; amended many times, last in 2011 (2013)

Legal system

civil law system influenced by the Spanish and French civil codes

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Juan Manuel SANTOS Calderon (since 7 August 2010); Vice President Angelino GARZON (since 7 August 2010); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Juan Manuel SANTOS Calderon (since 7 August 2010); Vice President Angelino GARZON (since 7 August 2010)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president and vice president elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 30 May 2010 with a runoff election 20 June 2010 (next to be held on 25 May 2014)
election results: Juan Manuel SANTOS Calderon elected president in runoff election; percent of vote - Juan Manuel SANTOS Calderon 69.06%, Antanas MOCKUS 27.52%

Legislative branch

bicameral Congress or Congreso consists of the Senate or Senado (102 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (166 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 9 March 2014 (next to be held in March 2018); Chamber of Representatives - last held on 9 March 2014 (next to be held in March 2018)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - U Party 21, PC 19, CD 19, PL 17, CR 9, PDA 5, Green Party 5, other parties 7; Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - U Party 39, PL 37, PC 27, CR 16, CD 12, Green Party 6, PDA 3, other parties 26

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of the Civil-Agrarian and Labor Chambers each with 7 judges, and the Penal Chamber with 9 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 magistrates); Council of State (consists of 27 magistrates)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the Congress from candidates submitted by the president; judges appointed for life; Constitutional Court magistrates - 3 nominated by the president, 3 by the Supreme Court, and 3 elected by the Senate; judges elected for individual 2-8 year terms
subordinate courts: Superior Tribunals (appellate courts for each of the judicial districts); regional courts; civil municipal courts; Superior Military Tribunal; first instance administrative courts

Political parties and leaders

Alternative Democratic Pole or PDA [Clara LOPEZ]
Conservative Party or PC [Omar YEPES Alzate]
Democratic Center Party or CD [Alvaro URIBE Velez]
Green Party [Alfonso PRADA]
Liberal Party or PL [Simon GAVIRIA Munoz]
National Integration Party or PIN [Angel ALIRIO Moreno]
Radical Change or CR [Carlos Fernando GALAN]
Social National Unity Party or U Party [Sergio Diaz GANADOS]
note: Colombia has seven major political parties, and numerous smaller movements

Political pressure groups and leaders

Central Union of Workers or CUT
Colombian Confederation of Workers or CTC
General Confederation of Workers or CGT
National Liberation Army or ELN
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC
note: FARC and ELN are the two largest insurgent groups active in Colombia

International organization participation

BCIE, BIS, CAN, Caricom (observer), CD, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-3, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance, PCA, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNSC (temporary), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Luis Carlos VILLEGAS Echeverri (since 3 December 2013)
chancery: 2118 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-8338
FAX: [1] (202) 232-8643
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Beverly Hills (CA), Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
consulate(s): Newark (NJ)

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Benjamin ZIFF
embassy: Calle 24 Bis No. 48-50, Bogota, D.C.
mailing address: Carrera 45 No. 24B-27, Bogota, D.C.
telephone: [57] (1) 275-2000
FAX: [57] (1) 275-4600

Flag description

three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double-width), blue, and red; the flag retains the three main colors of the banner of Gran Colombia, the short-lived South American republic that broke up in 1830; various interpretations of the colors exist and include: yellow for the gold in Colombia's land, blue for the seas on its shores, and red for the blood spilled in attaining freedom; alternatively, the colors have been described as representing more elemental concepts such as sovereignty and justice (yellow), loyalty and vigilance (blue), and valor and generosity (red); or simply the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity
note: similar to the flag of Ecuador, which is longer and bears the Ecuadorian coat of arms superimposed in the center

National symbol(s)

Andean condor

National anthem

name: "Himno Nacional de la Republica de Colombia" (National Anthem of the Republic of Colombia)
lyrics/music: Rafael NUNEZ/Oreste SINDICI
note: adopted 1920; the anthem was created from an inspirational poem written by President Rafael NUNEZ


Economy - overview

Colombia's consistently sound economic policies and aggressive promotion of free trade agreements in recent years have bolstered its ability to weather external shocks. Real GDP has grown more than 4% per year for the past three years, continuing almost a decade of strong economic performance. All three major ratings agencies have upgraded Colombia's government debt to investment grade. Nevertheless, Colombia depends heavily on energy and mining exports, making it vulnerable to a drop in commodity prices. Colombia is the world's fourth largest coal exporter and Latin America’s fourth largest oil producer. Economic development is stymied by inadequate infrastructure and an uncertain security situation. Moreover, the unemployment rate of 9.7% in 2013 is still one of Latin America's highest. The SANTOS Administration's foreign policy has focused on bolstering Colombia's commercial ties and boosting investment at home. Colombia has signed or is negotiating Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with more than a dozen countries; the US-Colombia FTA went into force on May 2012. Colombia is also a founding member of the Pacific Alliance - a regional grouping formed in 2012 by Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru to promote regional trade and economic integration. In 2013, Colombia began its ascension process to the OECD. The annual level of foreign direct investment - notably in the oil and gas sectors - reached a record high of $16.8 billion in 2013, an increase of 7% over 2012. Inequality, poverty, and narcotrafficking remain significant challenges, and Colombia's infrastructure requires major improvements to sustain economic expansion.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$526.5 billion (2013 est.)
$505.2 billion (2012 est.)
$484.9 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$369.2 billion (2013 est.)

GDP - real growth rate (%)

4.2% (2013 est.)
4.2% (2012 est.)
6.6% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$11,100 (2013 est.)
$10,800 (2012 est.)
$10,500 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP - composition, by sector of origin (%)

agriculture: 6.6%
industry: 37.8%
services: 55.6% (2013 est.)

Labor force

23.75 million (2013 est.)

Labor force - by occupation (%)

agriculture: 17%
industry: 21%
services: 62% (2011 est.)

Unemployment rate (%)

9.7% (2013 est.)
10.4% (2012 est.)

Population below poverty line (%)

32.7% (2012 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share (%)

lowest 10%: 0.9%
highest 10%: 44.4% (2010 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

55.9 (2010)
56.9 (1996)


revenues: $107.4 billion
expenditures: $106 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues (% of GDP)

29.1% of GDP (2012 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) (% of GDP)

0.4% of GDP (2012 est.)

Public debt (% of GDP)

39.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
40.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities

Inflation rate (consumer prices) (%)

2.2% (2013 est.)
3.4% (2011 est.)

Central bank discount rate (%)

4.75% (31 December 2011)
5% (31 December 2010)

Commercial bank prime lending rate (%)

11% (31 December 2013 est.)
$NA (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$42.28 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$41.7 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of broad money

$163.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$153.1 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$192.6 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$180.7 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$262.1 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$NA (31 December 2011)
$208.5 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Agriculture - products

coffee, cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, cocoa beans, oilseed, vegetables; shrimp; forest products


textiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear, beverages, chemicals, cement; gold, coal, emeralds

Industrial production growth rate (%)

2.5% (2013 est.)

Current account balance

-$11.02 billion (2013 est.)
-$12.17 billion (2012 est.)


$58.7 billion (2013 est.)
$59.85 billion (2012 est.)

Exports - commodities (%)

petroleum, coal, emeralds, coffee, nickel, cut flowers, bananas, apparel

Exports - partners (%)

US 36.6%, China 5.5%, Spain 4.8%, Panama 4.7%, Venezuela 4.4%, Netherlands 4.1% (2012)


$53.5 billion (2013 est.)
$54.64 billion (2012 est.)

Imports - commodities (%)

industrial equipment, transportation equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, paper products, fuels, electricity

Imports - partners (%)

US 24.2%, China 16.3%, Mexico 10.9%, Brazil 4.8% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$43.74 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$37 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

External debt ($)

$85.83 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$80.72 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$128.1 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$111.7 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$33.7 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$31.65 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Exchange rates

Currency converter
Colombian pesos (COP) per US dollar -
1,865.8 (2013 est.)
1,798 (2012 est.)
1,898.6 (2010 est.)
2,157.6 (2009)
2,243.6 (2008)

Fiscal year

calendar year


Electricity - production (kWh)

61.82 billion kWh (2011 est.)

Electricity - consumption (kWh)

45.35 billion kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - exports (kWh)

1.294 billion kWh (2011 est.)

Electricity - imports (kWh)

8.22 billion kWh (2011 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity (kW)

13.54 million kW (2010 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels (% of total installed capacity)

32.9% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants (% of total installed capacity)

66.6% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources (% of total installed capacity)

0.4% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Crude oil - production (bbl/day)

969,100 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - exports (bbl/day)

777,900 bbl/day (2009)

Crude oil - imports (bbl/day)

10 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves (bbl)

2.2 billion bbl (1 January 2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production (bbl/day)

313,100 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption (bbl/day)

287,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports (bbl/day)

92,410 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports (bbl/day)

49,790 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Natural gas - production (cu m)

10.95 billion cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - consumption (cu m)

9.08 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - exports (cu m)

2.11 billion cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - imports (cu m)

40,290 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves (cu m)

169.9 billion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy (Mt)

71.15 million Mt (2011 est.)


Telephones - main lines in use

6.291 million (2012)

Telephones - mobile cellular

49.066 million (2012)

Telephone system

general assessment: modern system in many respects with a nationwide microwave radio relay system, a domestic satellite system with 41 earth stations, and a fiber-optic network linking 50 cities; telecommunications sector liberalized during the 1990s; multiple providers of both fixed-line and mobile-cellular services
domestic: fixed-line connections stand at about 15 per 100 persons; mobile cellular telephone subscribership is about 100 per 100 persons; competition among cellular service providers is resulting in falling local and international calling rates and contributing to the steep decline in the market share of fixed line services
international: country code - 57; multiple submarine cable systems provide links to the US, parts of the Caribbean, and Central and South America; satellite earth stations - 10 (6 Intelsat, 1 Inmarsat, 3 fully digitalized international switching centers) (2011)

Broadcast media

combination of state-owned and privately owned broadcast media provide service; more than 500 radio stations and many national, regional, and local TV stations (2007)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

4.41 million (2012)

Internet users

22.538 million (2009)



836 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 121
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 39
914 to 1,523 m: 53
under 914 m: 18 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 715
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 25
914 to 1,523 m: 201
under 914 m: 488 (2013)


3 (2013)

Pipelines (km)

gas 4,991 km; oil 6,796 km; refined products 3,429 km (2013)

Railways (km)

total: 874 km
standard gauge: 150 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 498 km 0.950-m gauge; 226 km 0.914-m gauge (2008)

Roadways (km)

total: 141,374 km (2010)

Waterways (km)

24,725 km (18,300 km navigable; the most important waterway, the River Magdalena, of which 1,488 km is navigable, is dredged regularly to ensure the safe passage of cargo vessels and container barges) (2012)

Merchant marine

total: 12
by type: cargo 9, chemical tanker 1, petroleum tanker 2
registered in other countries: 4 (Antigua and Barbuda 1, Panama 2, Portugal 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean) - Cartagena, Santa Marta, Turbo; Pacific Ocean - Buenaventura
river port(s): Barranquilla (Rio Magdalena)
oil/gas terminal(s): Covenas offshore terminal
dry bulk cargo port(s): Puerto Bolivar (coal)
container port(s) (TEUs): Cartagena (1,853,342)


Military branches

National Army (Ejercito Nacional), Republic of Colombia Navy (Armada Republica de Colombia, ARC, includes Naval Aviation, Naval Infantry (Infanteria de Marina, IM), and Coast Guard), Colombian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea de Colombia, FAC) (2012)

Military service age and obligation (years of age)

18-24 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; service obligation is 18 months (2012)

Manpower available for military service

males age 16-49: 11,692,647
females age 16-49: 11,727,625 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 16-49: 9,150,400
females age 16-49: 9,861,760 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually

male: 430,634
female: 413,974 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures (% of GDP)

3.28% of GDP (2012)
3.06% of GDP (2011)
3.28% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

in December 2007, ICJ allocated San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina islands to Colombia under 1928 Treaty but did not rule on 82 degrees W meridian as maritime boundary with Nicaragua; managed dispute with Venezuela over maritime boundary and Venezuelan-administered Los Monjes Islands near the Gulf of Venezuela; Colombian-organized illegal narcotics, guerrilla, and paramilitary activities penetrate all neighboring borders and have caused Colombian citizens to flee mostly into neighboring countries; Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Jamaica, and the US assert various claims to Bajo Nuevo and Serranilla Bank

Refugees and internally displaced persons

IDPs: 5.5 - 5.7 million (conflict between government and illegal armed groups and drug traffickers since 1985; about 300,000 new IDPs each year since 2000) (2013)
stateless persons: 12 (2012)

Illicit drugs

illicit producer of coca, opium poppy, and cannabis; world's leading coca cultivator with 83,000 hectares in coca cultivation in 2011, a 17% decrease over 2010, producing a potential of 195 mt of pure cocaine; the world's largest producer of coca derivatives; supplies cocaine to nearly all of the US market and the great majority of other international drug markets; in 2012, aerial eradication dispensed herbicide to treat over 100,549 hectares combined with manual eradication of 30,486 hectares; a significant portion of narcotics proceeds are either laundered or invested in Colombia through the black market peso exchange; important supplier of heroin to the US market; opium poppy cultivation is estimated to have fallen to 1,100 hectares in 2009 while pure heroin production declined to 2.1 mt; most Colombian heroin is destined for the US market (2013)

Largest cities of Colombia

These are the 50 largest cities of Colombia ordered based on their number of inhabitants.

# City Population
1 Bogotá 7,102,602
2 Cali 2,392,897
3 Medellín 2,000,001
4 Barranquilla 1,380,437
5 Cartagena 952,036
6 Cúcuta 721,406
7 Bucaramanga 571,827
8 Pereira 440,123
9 Santa Marta 431,788
10 Ibagué 421,689
11 Bello 392,945
12 Pasto 382,242
13 Manizales 357,819
14 Neiva 352,859
15 Soledad 342,562
16 Villavicencio 321,721
17 Armenia 315,332
18 Soacha 313,950
19 Valledupar 308,242
20 Itagüí 281,858
21 Montería 272,424
22 Sincelejo 261,190
23 Floridablanca 252,271
24 Palmira 247,991
25 Buenaventura 240,391
26 Barrancabermeja 191,406
27 Dos Quebradas 179,586
28 Tuluá 165,504
29 Envigado 163,010
30 Cartago 134,829
31 Maicao 130,351
32 Florencia 130,339
33 Girardot 130,292
34 Sogamoso 126,553
35 Buga 118,006
36 Tunja 117,480
37 Girón 108,468
38 Malambo 101,536
39 Magangué 100,315
40 Facatativá 94,613
41 Ríohacha 92,433
42 Duitama 92,041
43 Zipaquirá 91,237
44 Fusagasuga 88,822
45 Ciénaga 88,313
46 Tumaco 86,714
47 Apartadó 86,439
48 Piedecuesta 86,388
49 Ocaña 83,513
50 La Dorada 81,951