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People and Society






Colombia was one of the three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others are Ecuador and Venezuela). A four-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. The insurgents lack the military or popular support necessary to overthrow the government, and violence has been decreasing since about 2002. However, insurgents continue attacks against civilians and large areas of the countryside are under guerrilla influence or are contested by security forces. More than 31,000 former paramilitaries had demobilized by the end of 2006 and the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) 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 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. However, neighboring countries worry about the violence spilling over their borders. In January 2011, Colombia assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011-12 term.


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People And Society

Noun Colombian(s)
Adjective Colombian

Ethnic groups
Mestizo 58%, white 20%, mulatto 14%, black 4%, mixed black-Amerindian 3%, Amerindian 1%

Spanish (official)

Roman Catholic 90%, other 10%

Population World Ranking: 29
45,239,079 (July 2012 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years
26.7% (male 6,109,495/female 5,834,273)
15-64 years
67.2% (male 14,826,008/female 15,208,799)
65 years and over
6.1% (male 1,159,691/female 1,587,277) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 28.3 years
Male 27.3 years
Female 29.2 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 105
1.128% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 116
17.23 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 179
5.29 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 144
-0.66 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 75% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
1.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
BOGOTA (capital) 8.262 million; Medellin 3.497 million; Cali 2.352 million; Barranquilla 1.836 million; Bucaramanga 1.065 million (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.06 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.72 male(s)/female
Total population
0.98 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 80
92 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 107
Total 15.92 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 19.34 deaths/1,000 live births
12.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 97
Total population 74.79 years
Male 71.55 years
Female 78.23 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 112
2.12 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 94
6.4% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
1.35 physicians/1,000 population (2002)

Hospital bed density
1 beds/1,000 population (2007)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 65
0.5% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 32
160,000 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 22
14,000 (2009 est.)

Major infectious diseases
Degree of risk High
Food or waterborne diseases Bacterial diarrhea
Vectorborne diseases
Dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever
Water contact disease Leptospirosis (2009)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 42
13.7% (2007)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight World Ranking: 84
5.1% (2005)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 67
4.8% of GDP (2009)

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 90.4%
Male 90.1%
Female 90.7% (2005 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 14 years
Male 13 years
Female 14 years (2009)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 37
Total 23%
Male 18.2%
Female 29.9% (2008)


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  Colombia (Bogota):

  GPS points from Colombia (Bogota)

El Milagro Departamento Del Cesar

La Villa Departamento De Santander

Quebrada Sabanetas Departamento De Caldas

El Rincon Departamento Del Huila

Quebrada Bejuguero Departamento De Tolima

Ilha Sao Jose Colombia (general)

Arroyo Mocha Departamento Del Magdalena

La Palma Bolivar
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