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Venezuela was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Ecuador and New Granada, which became Colombia). For most of the first half of the 20th century, Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen, who promoted the oil industry and allowed for some social reforms. Democratically elected governments have held sway since 1959. Hugo CHAVEZ, president since 1999, seeks to implement his "21st Century Socialism," which purports to alleviate social ills while at the same time attacking capitalist globalization and existing democratic institutions. Current concerns include: a weakening of democratic institutions, political polarization, a politicized military, drug-related violence along the Colombian border, overdependence on the petroleum industry with its price fluctuations, and irresponsible mining operations that are endangering the rain forest and indigenous peoples.


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People And Society

Nationality
Noun Venezuelan(s)
Adjective Venezuelan

Ethnic groups
Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, indigenous people

Languages
Spanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects

Religions
Nominally Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%

Population World Ranking: 45
28,047,938 (July 2012 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years
29.5% (male 4,149,781/female 4,002,931)
15-64 years
65.1% (male 8,846,945/female 9,130,561)
65 years and over
5.4% (male 665,436/female 840,089) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 26.3 years
Male 25.6 years
Female 27.1 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 82
1.468% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 89
19.88 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 180
5.2 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 110
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urbanization
Urban population 93% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
1.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
CARACAS (capital) 3.051 million; Maracaibo 2.153 million; Valencia 1.738 million; Barquisimeto 1.159 million; Maracay 1.04 million (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.79 male(s)/female
Total population
0.98 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 78
92 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 96
Total 20.18 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 23.65 deaths/1,000 live births
Female
16.54 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 110
Total population 74.08 years
Male 70.98 years
Female 77.34 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 90
2.4 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Physicians density
1.94 physicians/1,000 population (2001)

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

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate
NA; note - no country specific models provided

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids
NA

Hiv/aids - deaths
NA

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

Children under the age of 5 years underweight World Ranking: 96
3.7% (2007)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 112
3.7% of GDP (2007)

Literacy
Definition
Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 93%
Male 93.3%
Female 92.7% (2001 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 14 years
Male 13 years
Female 15 years (2008)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 84
Total 13.6%
Male 12.3%
Female 15.9% (2008)


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  Venezuela (Caracas):


  GPS points from Venezuela (Caracas)

Coral Estado Falcon

Rio Arabopo Estado Bolivar

El Blanquillo Estado Miranda


Cerro Agua Blanca Estado Anzoategui

Hato Santa Cecilia Estado Portuguesa

Santa Maria Falcon

Agua Dulce Anzoategui




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