Colombia – Municipios
Avg Population / Region
The Republic of Colombia is the fourth largest country in South America. It is bordered by Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Panama and has coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, and islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The capital city is Bogota.
Colombia was inhabited by various indigenous peoples, until colonisation by the Spanish in the 1500s. With independence from Spain in 1819, Colombia emerged as the United Provinces of New Granada, and the Republic of Colombia was declared in 1886. Since the 1960s, Colombia has suffered armed conflict and political violence. This increased markedly, but since 2005, there have been great improvements in stability and security. Colombia is run as a president participatory democratic republic, with thirty-two departments and the Capital District of Bogotá.
With one of the most prosperous economies in South America, Colombia is rich in natural resources, with substantial oil reserves, coal mines and emerald, gold, silver and platinum mines. Formerly a strongly agrarian economy, production of fruit, sugar and forest products now make up much of the agricultural sector. It is now a diversified economy. Industrial products for export include electronics, pharmaceuticals and glass. The financial sector is growing, along with tourism.
Colombia is heavily urbanised but has a very stratified society where the traditionally rich families of Spanish descent have gained from mining prosperity. This disparity has caused dissent among the majority mixed-race people. Colombia’s ethnically diverse population descended from original native inhabitants, Spanish, African slaves and European and Middle Eastern immigrants, constitutes the third highest in South America. Spanish is the main language, but a further seventy languages are spoken.
Situated at the crossroads of Central and South America, Colombia has the second highest level of bio-diversity in the world. Its lands encompass mountains, grasslands, desert and rainforest, and it is the only country in South American with coastline/islands in both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Its geography and diverse people have influenced the wealth and variety of Colombia’s cultural heritage, especially reflected in its cuisine. Home to a variety of artistic, literary and architectural styles, reflecting all influences, Colombia is also famed for its vibrant musical heritage. Soccer is very popular, although tejo is the national sport.
On the world stage it is a member of the United Nations, OECD and the Pacific Alliance.