Ecuador is a country in South America which, along with some of its neighboring countries, forms a part of the huge and advanced Inca Empire. When the Spanish Conquistadors came, the Inca civilization slowly began to crumble, and the former rapidly expanded inwards. Spain completed the colonization of Ecuador, then known as Quinto, in 1533.
In the 18th century, Quinto formed an alliance with the other Spanish colonies in the continent and fought against the Spaniards to gain independence. The war was won, and Gran Colombia was formed (composed of present-day Colombia, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela). However, the supposedly mighty union of countries fell apart in less than a decade, and Quinto became an independent state. However, the country adopted a new name: Republica del Ecuador, which literally means Republic of the Equator.
The size of the modern-day Ecuador has been significantly reduced from its original size mainly due to conflicts with its neighbors. The country experiences some form of political instability in the last several decades, resulting in the mid-term ouster of three of its presidents. However, significant reforms have been made and the poverty rate of the country was alleviated.
Ecuador is an oil-exporting country, although its global contribution is dwarfed by other oil exporters. Nonetheless, the oil revenues form a large part of the country’s total GDP. Economic growth is uneven and unstable, but an upward trend is perceived by major banks.
Population. Ranked 67th in 2013.
GDP per capita. Ranked 88th in 2012.
276,840 sq km
Sq. km. Ranked 71st in 2008.