General information

 

Official Name: Republic of Colombia
Capital: Bogota, 7 M inhabitants
Population (2013): 47,4 M inhabitants (77% urbano, 23% rural)
Economic growth (2013): 4.3%
Inflation (2013): 1.94%
Exports (2013): US$ 58.822 Million
Imports (2013): US$ 59.397 Million
IED (2013): US$ 16.772 Million
Literacy rate: 92,1%
Currency: Colombian peso (COP)
Minimum wage/month (2013): US$333

Source: President’s Office of Colombia, Banco de la República (Central Bank) and Proexport

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Territory

1,141,748 square kilometers (44,831 square miles) of continental geography and 2,070,408 square kilometers (799.389 square miles) including maritime sovereignties. Colombia is South America’s fourth largest territory after Argentina, Brazil and Peru. There are five main regions, each with its own geographic and cultural identity and very different from each other: the Caribbean, Pacific, Andean, Eastern Plains and Amazon regions.

Climate

Because it’s a tropical country, the four seasons don’t exist but any climate can be found at any time, depending on the region, whether you’re looking for extremely cold mountain weather or the steamy temperatures found in river valleys and along ocean coastlines. Consult maps of average rainfall in Colombia at IDEAM: www.ideam.gov.co

Daylight

Located in the tropics along the Equator, days in Colombia are almost the same length all year round: dawn breaks around 6:00 a.m. and the sun sets around 6:00 p.m.

Language

In Colombia Spanish is the official language.  English is taught in most schools as second language.

Principal cities

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Bogotá, the capital; Medellín, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Barranquilla, Cali, Manizales, Pereira, Armenia, Bucaramanga, Tunja, Leticia.

Government

Latin America’s oldest democracy with three branches: executive, legislative and judicial.  The President of the Republic, as well as senators and congressmen, are elected by popular vote every four years.

Population

Colombia is the third most populated country in Latin America after Brazil and Mexico.  77% of its 76.4 million inhabitants live in cities and 23% live in rural areas.

Race

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Colombia is multi-ethnic and a large portion of its population is mestizo.  White Colombians predominate in certain regions and Afro-Colombians in others.  There are more than eighty indigenous groups spread throughout the territory.  Immigrant groups such as Lebanese are concentrated in certain regions along the Caribbean coast.

Holidays

Colombia celebrates a great number of holidays when schools and offices close.  The law requires that those who work holidays receive special remuneration.

Day Celebration
January 01 New Year`s Day
January 06* Epiphany
March 19* Saint Joseph`s Day
April 09 Maundy Thursday
April 10 Good Friday
May 01 Labor Day
May 21 Ascension of Jesus
June 11* Corpus Christi
June 30* Day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
July 03* Saint Peter and Saint Paul
July 20 Independence Day
August 07 Battle of Boyacá
August 15* Assumption of Mary
October 12* Columbus Day
November 01 All Saints Day
November 11* Independence of Cartagena
December 08 Immaculate Conception
December 25 Christmas Day

Note: When the holiday is not on a Monday, it moves to the following Monday.