Country Listing

Ecuador Table of Contents



Population: Estimates of total population in 1989 ranged from 10.8 to 11 million; annual growth rate estimated at 2.3 to 2.8 percent.

Ethnic Groups: Indians and mestizos, 40 percent each; whites, 10 to 15 percent; blacks, 5 percent.

Languages: Spanish (official) and Quichua (a Quechua dialect).

Religion: Approximately 94 percent Roman Catholic. Beginning in late 1960s, significant gains made by Protestant evangelical and Pentecostal churches.

Education and Literacy: School attendance theoretically compulsory for children between ages six and fourteen. Primary and secondary schools each offered six-year programs. Higher education consisted of twelve state and five private universities as well as various polytechnic schools and teachers' colleges. Estimated 85 percent literacy rate in mid-1980s.

Health: Infant mortality rate estimates in early 1980s ranged from 70 to 76 per 1,000 live births; the infant mortality rate was approximately 63 per 1,000 live births in 1985. Infant mortality varied significantly by region and socioeconomic status. Life expectancy at birth in mid-1980s sixty-four years. Ministry of Public Health operated four-tiered system of health care, but lack of trained professionals hampered public health care. Maternal mortality remained high, especially in rural areas. Some tropical diseases, including malaria, continued to be of concern to health officials.

Data as of 1989