Flat coastal lowlands, central highlands, high Andes Mountains, eastern lowland plains (Lianos)
Tropical along coast and eastern plains; cooler in highlands
Population: 45,745,783 (July 2013 est.)
Languages: Spanish (official)
Roman Catholic 90%, other 10%
Colombia's consistently sound economic policies and aggressive promotion of free trade agreements in recent years have bolstered its ability to face external shocks. Real GDP has grown more than 4% per year for the past three years, continuing almost a decade of strong economic performance. All three major ratings agencies have upgraded Colombia's government debt to investment grade.
EXPORTS & TRADE AGREEMENTS (1:08)
Living conditions vary greatly according to social class. The wealthy suburbs have modern houses and apartment blocks. In poorer neighborhoods there are often large areas with poorly constructed or rundown shacks. These are called shantytowns. In mountain villages some houses have adobe walls and thatched roofs. Others have plaster walls and tiled roofs. In hotter climates along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, housing is built from local cane, reeds, and palm branches.
Republic, executive branch dominates government structure
US Military Presence/Support
The U.S. has strongly supported Colombian efforts to crackdown on drug trafficking and violence, primarily related to nearly half a century of insurgency and organized criminal activities. Assistance is provided to interdict and eradicate illegal drugs, enhance the effectiveness of the military and national police and develop optional economic opportunities for citizens. American dollars also assist vulnerable citizens and human rights efforts.