Population of Colombia 2014

population-of-columbia-2014Population of Colombia

Based on the total number of births, total number of deaths, net migration rate, and the population of 2013, the population of the Republic of Colombia for 2014 is estimated at 47,527,060, which makes up about 0.66% of the world’s total population. Colombia is ranked 27th in the world population rankings, behind South Korea, but ahead of Spain. As of February 2012, the population of Colombia was estimated at 47,072,915. Thus, since 2012, the population has grown by 454,145 people or by a growth rate of 0.96%. The last census in Colombia was conducted in 2005. The results of the census indicated that the population was 42,888,592. Thus, since the last census was conducted, the population has grown by 4,638,468 or by a growth rate of 10.82%. Based on the total land area and the population of the country, the population density of Colombia is estimated at 45.64 people per square kilometer or 118.22 people per square mile.

Government of Colombia

The 1991 Constitution of Colombia establishes the government of Colombia as a presidential representative democratic republic and is divided into the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The executive branch consists of the president, vice president, and the Council of Ministers. The president serves as the head of government and the head of state. The current president is Juan Manuel Santos, a member of the Social Party of National Unity. The current vice president is Angelino Garzon, also a member of the Social Party of National Unity. The legislative branch is a bicameral legislation, made up of the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate. The Chamber consists of 166 members and the Senate consists of 102 members. While the Senate members are elected nationally, the Chamber members are elected based on electoral districts. The current President of the Chamber is Hernan Penagos, a member of the Social Party of National Unity, and the current President of the Senate is Juan Fernando Cristo Bustos, a member of the Colombian Liberal Party. The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court of Colombia, the Council of State, the Constitutional Court, and the Superior Council of Judicature. The Supreme Court consists of 23 justices, which are split up into the Penal, Civil and Agrarian, and Labor chambers. The current president of the Supreme Court is Ruth Marina Diaz Rueda. Lastly, the major political parties are the Liberal Party, Conservative Party, and the Social Party of National Unity.

Poverty in Colombia

In 2012, Colombia scored 0.719 in the Human Development Index, which ranks 91st out of 187 countries. The score is higher than the world average of 0.694, but below the average score for Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2010, 8.2% of Colombians were believed to live in absolute poverty, which means that the people live on less than $1.25 per day. However, 15.8% of people live on less than $2 per day and 34% live below the national poverty line. As of January 2014, the unemployment rate in Colombia is 11.1% of the labor force. Lastly, around 150,000 – 200,000 people are internally displaced every year and 83% of the internally displaced people are thought to live in extreme poverty.

Education in Colombia

While it is not mandatory, many Colombian children begin their educational career with preschool until age 5. After preschool or starting at age 5, students begin what is known as basic education. Basic education is split up into primary basic education and secondary basic education. According to administration data, 87.4% of students that begin basic education complete the basic education. Following basic education is middle vocational education, which consists of tenth and eleventh grade. Depending on the school that a student attends, a student may be able to focus on academics, business, or some specific vocation that he or she wishes to pursue. If a student wishes to enter into higher education following the middle vocational education, he or she must take and pass the Saber 11 examination. Once he or she graduates from the middle education, he or she will receive a high school diploma. Higher education consists of undergraduate professional studies, technical, technological and intermediate professional education, and post-graduate studies. Thus, there are options for those students who wish to pursue a specific career instead of continuing in academics.

In 2011, Colombia spent 4.4% of its Gross Domestic Product on education, which is one of the highest rates in all of the Latin America. The total adult literacy rate is 93.6% of the adult population. 97.8% of male youths are literate and 98.7% of female youths are literate. Lastly, the school-life expectancy is 13.6 years from start to finish.

colombia-population-2014-rockGeography of Colombia

Out of the total land area of 1,141,748 square kilometers or 440,831 square miles, there are six main natural regions in Colombia: Andes Mountains, Pacific coastal region, Caribbean coastal region, the plains region, the Amazon Rainforest, and the insular area. Colombia borders Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Panama, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the Caribbean Sea. It is also a part of the geographic region known as the Ring of Fire, which consists of 91% of the world’s total earthquakes and 80% of the world’s largest earthquakes. Lastly, over 11% of the land area of Colombia is protected area as a part of the National Park System.

Health and Health Care in Colombia

The 1991 Colombian Constitution stated that every Colombian citizen has a right to social security. Then, in 1993, Law 100 created a National Obligatory Health Insurance, which consists of contributive and subsidized regiments. In the contributive regimen, both employers and employees contribute 12.5% of his or her paycheck to health insurance companies similar to HMOs. These organizations then contract for services with the health facilities throughout the country. The subsidized regimen covers about 51% of Colombians and covers the poor, unemployed, and indigent that cannot contribute to the health care system themselves. Other than taxes, this portion is paid for through a 1.5% contribution out of the 12.5% taken out of checks, so that everyone may be in solidarity together. Overall, about 96% of Colombians are covered in one way or the other. However, while in theory the system was supposed to work well, there have been many issues in regards to waiting times, denial of treatment, and denial of certain services.

As of 2010, there were 1.5 physicians, 10 hospital beds, and 6.2 nurses or midwives per 10,000 residents. The per capita health expenditure is $518 and the total expenditure on health as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product is 7.6%, of which, the government contributes 72.7%. While 92.9% of Colombia uses improved drinking water sources, only 72.5% of those in rural areas use such sources. Overall, 78.1% use improved sanitation facilities, but only 65.4% of those in rural areas use such facilities. The under-five mortality rate is 18 deaths per 1,000 children and the infant mortality rate is 15 deaths per 1,000 infants. The overall life expectancy is 73.8 years and women are expected to live much longer than men. Lastly, about 0.5% of the population has been diagnosed with HIV.

Colombia Profile

Population of Chile 2014

population-of-chile-2014Chile Population 2014

Based on the total number of births, total number of deaths, net migration rate, and the population of 2013, the population of the Republic of Chile for 2014 is estimated at 17,666,068, which makes up about 0.25% of the population. Chile is ranked 60th in terms of population rankings, behind Niger, but ahead of Burkina Faso. As of July 1, 2013, the population was recorded at 17,619,708. Thus, since last July, the population has grown by 46,360 people or by a growth rate of 0.26%. The last official census in Chile was taken in 2002. The census recorded the population at about 15,116,435. Thus, since the last census, the population has grown by 2,549,633 people or by a growth rate of 16.87%. Based on the total land area and the total population of the country, the population density of Chile is about 23.77 people per square kilometer or 61.56 people per square mile.

Demographics of Chile

The majority of the population identifies as either white or mestizo, which is a mixed ethnic group. However, the majority of the population seems to be of Caucasian origin. There is also an Amerindian population that makes up the country. The main language of the Republic of Chile is Spanish; however, the Chilean dialect of Spanish is a slightly different variation of the standard Spanish language. There are also some indigenous languages throughout the country.

Government of Chile

The Constitution of Chile establishes the country as a representative democratic republic made up of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. However, the 1988 plebiscite really opened up the government to be what it is today, allowing for constitutional amendments in the future. The president of Chile is the head of the executive branch, head of government, and head of state. The president serves four-year terms and cannot be reelected sequentially. However, there is no limit in the number of terms that a person can be president, as long as the terms are not sequential. As of March 11, 2014, the President of Chile is Michelle Bachelet, a member of the Chilean Socialist Party. In fact, she is the first person to win the presidency twice since 1932. The legislative branch is known as the National Congress, which is made up of two chambers: the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Senators serve eight-year terms, while deputies only serve four-year terms. The Senate consists of 38 seats and the Chamber of Deputies consists of 120 seats. The current President of the Senate is Guido Girardi, a member of the Party for Democracy, and the current President of the Chamber of Deputies is Edmundo Eluchans Urenda, a member of the Independent Democratic Union Party. The judicial branch is independent of the other branches of the government. It consists of a Court of Appeals, a system of military courts, Constitutional Tribunal, and the Supreme Court of Chile, which does not contain the power of judicial review like the United States Supreme Court has. The Supreme Court has twenty-one justices, otherwise known as ministros, including one president that serves for two years. As of January 6, 2014, the President of the Supreme Court of Chile is Sergio Munoz. Lastly, Chilean citizens have a right to vote for the presidential elections, which are judged fairly and freely.

Geography of Chile

Chile makes up 756,950 square kilometers or 292,260 square miles of area on the western border of South America. The country stretches 4,300 kilometers or 2,670 miles from north to south and 350 kilometers or 217 miles from east to west. It is located within the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is the geographic location in the world where 90% of the world’s earthquakes and 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur. On the eastern border of the country lies the Andes Mountains, separating Chile from Argentina. The Atacama Desert lies in the northern portion of the country and contains high concentrations of cooper and nitrates. The Central Valley is the dominating agricultural and population region since it contains Santiago, which is the largest metropolis in the country. Lastly, southern Chile is made up of forests, large areas of land perfect for grazing, and even a string of volcanoes.

chile-populationEducation in Chile

The Chilean Constitution mandates that students must attend primary and secondary school. Primary school typically lasts from ages 6 to 13 and secondary school lasts from ages 14 to 17 or 18. Secondary school is broken up into three different categories after the first two years. There is a Scientific-Humanist option, Technical-Professional option, or an Artistic option based on the goals and desires of the student. If the students choose the Technical-Professional route, they can attend industrial, commercial, technical, or polyvalent schools. After secondary school, students can choose to attend a university or a professional/technical training center. In order to obtain admission into a university, a student must take and pass the University Selection Test, managed by the Ministry of Education. In terms of tuition coverage, about 93% of students in the primary and secondary systems are covered by governmental education vouchers and thus do not need to pay tuition. The other 7% of students attend non-subsidized private schools throughout the country. The total adult literacy rate in Chile is 98.6% of the adult population. The male and female youth literacy rate is 98.9% of the youth population. 93.4% of relevant males attend primary schools and 93.3% of relevant females attend primary schools.

Since 2011, there have been a series of student protests based on the treatment of education in Chile. Students from both the university and secondary levels have been occupying schools and picketing, demanding better education legislation in the country. Many demands from the university level include increased state support for the public universities, free public education, a better accreditation process to ensure quality of schools, and prohibiting for-profit institutions. The high school students are demanding central government control over the lower school systems, increased spending and higher pay for teachers, and better development of the vocational schools. Some progress is thought to be underway as some of the main members of the protests have been elected to the parliament. Lastly, these protests were thought to stem from the 2006 student protests during President Bachelet’s first term.

Health and Health Care in Chile

Chile has two different insurance forms for health care: FONASA and ISAPRE. About 73.5% of the population participates in FONASA, while 15.9% participates in ISAPRE. The remaining population is uninsured. FONASA is the government health insurance and every worker, other than the poorest working class, pays 7% of his or her income towards the health insurance. This health insurance will cover the dependents of a worker’s family, along with pregnant women until the sixth month after the baby’s birth. ISAPRE also involves paying 7% of a worker’s income, but since it is the private option, many people opt to pay more in order to have more options and coverage. While there are two different types of insurance, there are also two types of care: modality of institutional care and free choice modality. The modality of institutional care involves simply using public health care facilities. Free choice modality involves using professional and private health care facilities, along with the ability to use some public hospitals as well. In order to qualify for free choice modality, an employee must pay more than the standard 7% known as the Health Care Bonus.

The life expectancy for Chilean citizens is 79.7 years. The under-five mortality rate is 9 deaths per 1,000 children under five, while the infant morality rate is 8 infant deaths per 1,000 births. Also, 5.9% of births are considered to be low birth weight. 98.5% of the population uses improved drinking water sources and 98.7% of the population uses improved sanitation facilities. About 90% of the population has immunizations for the major illnesses and diseases. Lastly, about 0.4% of the population is considered to have HIV.

Religion in Chile

The majority of the population identifies as members of the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, 89% of the population is considered to be Roman Catholic. The other 11% of the population identifies as some denomination of Protestantism. Also, there is a very small Jewish population in the country.

Sports in Chile

The three major sports in the Republic of Chile are football (American soccer), tennis, and traditional rodeo. There are even some indigenous sports, which all originate from a sport called “palin”, which is similar to hockey. Chile was also the only Latin American country at the first Olympic Games in 1896. Sports are hardly sponsored in Chile. Therefore there are only a few public sport centers, while private sport clubs are often exclusive and very expensive. The national sport is soccer, every weekend you will see people playing on any suitable field.

Food in Chile

Dishes in Chile frequently consist of seafood and high-end red wine. It is nothing like Mexican food, which frequently uses the chili pepper. Its dishes combine influences from both Europe and its indigenous populations. The country also makes a lot of different types of beef dishes. Traditional Chilean food gets its diverse flavors from the diversity in the products that are naturally available due to the varying landscape. But naturally people from different regions also have different eating habits. Then you have the influences of various cultures with the European, Native American and Spanish culture being foremost in exerting their sense of taste.

Visit Chile

Historical Population of Chile

The population of the Republic of Chile has continually increased over the last half a century.  However, there have been times throughout this time where the population slowed its increase down and sped its increase up.  Over the last few decades, the population has seemed to slow down its increase.

Year Population (millions)
1960 7.652
1965 8.656
1970 9.578
1975 10.42
1980 11.18
1985 12.11
1990 13.19
1995 14.41
2000 15.42
2005 16.3
2010 17.11
2011 17.27

Projected Population of Chile

The population of the Republic of Chile is expected to continue its trend of population increasing up until 2045.  Then, the population is expected to decrease.  The birth rates are expected to decrease from about 14 births per 1000 people to about 10.2 births per 1000 people.  However, the death rates are expected to increase from about 6.3 deaths per 1000 people to about 11.4 deaths per 1000 people.

Year Population (Millions) Percent Increase
2015 17.816 2.4%
2020 18.448 3.5%
2025 18.970 2.8%
2030 19.360 2.1%
2035 19.613 1.3%
2040 19.726 0.58%
2045 19.719 -0.04%
2050 19.639 -0.41%

Other Resources

Lear more about Chile population statistics in 2013 here.

Population of Egypt 2014

population-of-egypt-2014Egypt Population 2014

Based on the total number of births, total number of deaths, net migration rate, and the population of 2013, the current population of the Arab Republic of Egypt is estimated to be about 82,933,091. The Egyptian population makes up about 1.15% of the world’s total population. It ranks 15th in the population rankings, behind Vietnam, but ahead of Germany. Egypt is the third-most populous country in Africa and the most populated country in the area considered the Middle East. At the end of 2013, the Egyptian population was recorded to be an estimated 82,056,378. Therefore, since the beginning of 2014, there has been an approximate growth of 876,713 people or an approximate growth rate of 1.07%. Based on the total population and the total land area, the population density of the Egypt is estimated to be about 82.73 people per square kilometer or 214.27 people per square mile.

Demographics of Egypt

The major ethnic group in the Arabic Republic of Egypt is native Egyptians and also Arabs. In certain parts of the country, there is a community of those that identify as Nubian and those that identify as Berber. However, the mix of the Arab and Egyptian cultures characterizes the current population and culture. The official language of the country is Modern Standard Arabic. 68% of the population speaks Egyptian Arabic, while 29% of the population speaks Sa’idi Arabic.

Geography of Egypt

The land area of Egypt totals 1,001,450 square kilometers or 386,660 square miles, making it the 30th largest country in the world. Because Egypt’s climate is so arid, the majority of people live in the regions surrounding the Nile Valley and the Delta. So, 99% of the Egyptian population lives on 5.5% of the total land area and 98% of the population lives on 3% of the total land. Egypt’s borders include Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, the Gaza Strip to the east, and Israel to the east. The Isthmus of Suez connects the African continent to the Asian continent. The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Indian Ocean through the Red Sea. The major geographic features of the country are the deserts and oases. Parts of the Sahara and Libyan Deserts are located within Egypt. Lastly, as a result of the strong winds in the deserts, many sand dunes exist, reaching about 100 feet in height.

Government of Egypt

The Egyptian form of government is based on republicanism and has a semi-presidential system. A referendum in 2011 limited the president to two four-year terms. Currently, the Supreme Justice is acting as President after the Egyptian Constitution was suspended in July of 2013 and former-President Morsi was forced to leave. The Egyptian Parliament was formerly a bicameral legislature made up of the People’s Assembly and the Consultative Council. However, after the drafting of the 2014 Egyptian Constitution, the Egyptian government decided to abolish the Consultative Council. The People’s Assembly, made up of 454 deputies, 444 of which are elected and up to 10 are appointed by the President. The Assembly has the power to impeach the president.

Human Rights Issues in Egypt

There have been many issues throughout the last century that have caused many human rights organizations to view the situation in Egypt. The PewResearchCenter conducted a poll in 2010, which indicated that 84% of Egyptian Muslims, which is also 75% of the Egyptian population, felt that it was necessary to impose the death penalty on any person that wished to leave the Islamic faith. A ruling by the Supreme Administrative Council of Egypt on December 16, 2006 left the members of the Baha’i faith unable to identify with their faith by law. As a result, they cannot receive any sort of official government documents unless they lie about their faith, which is a contrary principle to the Baha’I faith. Thus, there have been issues in regards to freedom of expression and freedom of religion. Another human rights issue is the practice of female circumcision. Even though there is a ban of the circumcision, the practice remains prevalent throughout the country. There has also been an increased stance against homosexuality, as Egyptians cite religious and cultural reasons for this stance. In response to the criticism that human rights groups directs towards Egypt, government officials accuse these groups of simply trying to impart Western idea and values on the Egyptian culture. However, the new constitution that was adopted in early January calls for the equality between the sexes and a freedom of belief, even though Islam is declared the official religion of Egypt. Political parties are also unable to form based on religion, race, or years.

Education in Egypt

In 2011, UNICEF reported that the literacy rate of Egyptian adults was only 72%. The literacy rate is much higher for men than women, showing the gender disparity in education that exists in Egypt. There is also the wealth gap in Egypt, where the rich receive a much higher quality education than the poor. Despite these facts, Egypt has the largest education system in the Middle East and North Africa. It is made up of three main stages: basic education, secondary education, and post-secondary education. The Basic Education is compulsory for the primary and preparatory levels. The primary stage lasts for six years, while the preparatory stage lasts three years. The preparatory stage had not been compulsory for awhile. However, in order to decrease the illiteracy and drop out rates among the youth, the Egyptian government made the preparatory stage compulsory. There are three different tracks for secondary education: general, vocational and technical, or the dual system. The general track lasts three years and its objective is to prepare the students for university (post-secondary studies). A student’s next destination after secondary school depends on the results of the exit exam, the Thanaweya Amma. The vocational and technical track lasts either three years or five years and exists in order to help train the students in either the industrial, commercial, or agricultural sectors. Lastly, the top universities in Egypt are American University in Cairo and Cairo University.

egypt-populationHealth Care in Egypt

The Ministry of Health and Population is the one responsible for overall health and population policy and is responsible for the provision of public health services in Egypt. Egypt is currently working towards achieving universal coverage, but, at this point, about half of health expenditures must come out of pocket. They are striving to create a much more sturdy infrastructure and to extend the primary care network. One challenge of Egyptian health care is that there is not a strong enough regulatory body that oversees the health system to make sure that it is in check. One positive aspect of the Egyptian health care system is that it has one of the biggest health care facilities in the world specializing in children’s cancer, 57357 Hospital, located in Cairo, Egypt. Similar to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Hospital is completely free and no patient is allowed to pay anything. About 25% of children under the age of five are considered to have chronic malnutrition. The major prevalent communicable diseases in Egypt are Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. As of 2008, the World Health Organization reported that 91% of women ages 15-49 had been circumcised. Lastly, 99% of the population has sustainable access to a water source and 95% of the population has sustainable access to improved sanitation.

Religion in Egypt

The government in the Arabic Republic of Egypt is known to have the highest restrictions on religion in the world. The government is known to give favoritism to the Islamic faith and even persecutes those who practice something other than Islam. Egyptians seem to favor having the Islamic Shariah law as the governing law of the country. About 90% of the country practices Islam; of the remaining 10%, 9% practices Coptic Christianity.

Sports in Egypt

Most of the sports played in Egypt today were also played in Ancient Egypt. There are sketches and drawings on stone of Ancient Egyptians participating in such sports. Some popular sports include wrestling, weightlifting, swimming, rowing, and some other games that involve balls. The scenes depicted on the walls of pyramids and temples excavated in Egypt bear a testimony to the fact that ancient Egyptian people were very much involved in sports activities. With Egypt’s active participation in the Summer Olympics since 1912, weightlifting, boxing, wrestling, and swimming have received considerable encouragement. Sport has always enjoyed a special position in the history of Egypt and Egyptians have always shown a deep interest in Olympic Games. Egypt has won the maximum number of gold, silver and bronze medals in weightlifting, diving, boxing, diving, and Taekwondo. Egypt has, however, boycotted the Olympics for political reasons, on several occasions.

egypt-population-2013-pyramidsEgyptian Pyramids

There are no more famous ancient sites within Egypt, or for that matter elsewhere in the world, than the Great Pyramids at Giza. The pyramids of Egypt, some of which are among the largest man-made constructions ever conceived, constitute one of the most potent and enduring symbols of Ancient Egyptian civilization. They are the icon most associated with the Egypt. They have been both the main destination for tourists, and a source of imaginative thought to the world for over three thousand years. Their massive scale reflects the unique role that the pharaoh, or king, played in ancient Egyptian society. Egyptian pyramids were originally built to serve as tombs for kings and queens. After a ruler died, his or her body was carefully treated and wrapped to preserve it as a mummy.

Egypt’s Population Growth

Historical Population of Egypt

The population of Egypt has historically increased over the last half of a century.  The population growth has not wavered or slowed down at any point, but continued to show a patter of exponential increase over the years.

Year Population (millions)
1960 27.90
1965 31.77
1970 35.92
1975 40.13
1980 44.95
1985 50.66
1990 56.84
1995 62.06
2000 67.65
2005 74.2
2010 81.12
2011 82.54

Projected Population of Egypt

The population of the Arabic Republic of Egypt is expected to continue the trend that it has historically exhibited.  The birth rates start off high at about 22.3 births per 1000 people and decrease to about 13.1 births per 1000 people.  However, the death rates only range from about 5.2 deaths per 1000 people to 7.3 deaths per 1000 people.  But also, the net migration rate remains negative throughout the next 37 years.

Year Population (millions) Percent Increase
2015 88.148 4.3%
2020 94.785 7.5%
2025 100.899 6.5%
2030 106.459 5.5%
2035 111.556 4.8%
2040 116.132 4.1%
2045 120.096 3.4%
2050 123.361 2.7%

Population of Cuba 2014

population-of-cuba-2014Population of Cuba

Based on the total number of births, total number of deaths, net migration rate, and the population of 2013, the current population of the Republic of Cuba is estimated to be about 11,222,261. The Cuban population makes up about 0.16% of the total world population. Its population is 77th in the rankings among all the countries in the world, behind Greece, but ahead of Belgium. It is the fourth-most populous country in North America, behind the United States, Mexico, and Canada. At the end of 2013, the population of Cuba was estimated to be about 11,265,629. Thus, since the start of 2013, the population has decreased by a total of 43,368 people or a population decay rate of 0.38%. Based on the total land area and the total population, the population density of Cuba is estimated to be about 102.13 people per square kilometer or 264.51 people per square mile.

Cuba Population Projection

Based on the birth, death, and migration rates of the Republic of Cuba, by the year 2020, the population is projected to reach 11.097 million people, which is a 0.6% decrease in the population. Then, by 2025, the population will reach 10.989 million people, a decrease of 1.6% from the current population. Continuing this trend, by 2030, the population will sink to 10.84 million people, a decrease of about 2.9% from the current population. Then in 2035, the population will reach about 10.618 million people, decreasing by about 4.9% from the current population. By 2040, the population will have decreased by about 7.4% to 10.336 million people. Lastly, by 2045, the population will have sunk below 10 million people as it reaches 9.956 million people, a total decrease of 10.8% over the next 32 years.

Cuba Demographics

Of the approximate 11.2 million people in the Republic of Cuba, about 51% of the country identifies as mulatto, which is a race of mixed ancestry. About 37% of the population identifies as white, and 11% identifies as black. The last 1% of the population is Chinese. Also, the main language spoken in Cuba is Spanish.

cuba-populationGeography of Cuba

The total land area of Cuba is 109,884 square kilometers or 42,426 square miles, making it (mainland Cuba) the largest island in the Caribbean and the seventeenth-largest island in the world. It is considered to be an archipelago of islands to the south of Florida in the Caribbean. Most of the geographic features are flat to rolling plains. However, in the southeastern portion of the country, there are the Sierra Maestra Mountains. The highest point in this range is Pico Turquino, which reaches 1,974 meters or 6,476 feet. Lastly, the second-largest island in the Cuban archipelago is the Isle of Youth, which is in the smaller Canarreos archipelago.

Government in Cuba

Cuba is considered to have one of the few remaining socialist states in the world. The Constitution of 1992 cites the influence and guidance by the political and social ideas of people like Lenin and Marx. The Communist Party of Cuba is considered to be the major force of both the government and society. Whoever serves as the First Secretary of the Communist Party serves as the President of the Council of State and the President of the Council of Ministers (or the Premier of Cuba). The President of Cuba is considered to be this First Secretary of the Communist Party and does not have any limits on the number of terms that he can serve. The current President of Cuba is Raul Castro. The legislative body, the National Assembly of People’s Power, elects the President. The National Assembly of People’s Power is also considered to be the major law-making force and source of power. It consists of 609 members that serve five-year terms. Any candidate for the Assembly must be approved through a public referendum. Voting in Cuba is stated to be free, equal, and secret based on the Constitution. Lastly, the People’s Supreme Court is the highest judicial branch in Cuban government. It is considered to be the last resort of any appealed decision from a lower court.

Economy of Cuba

Based on the political structure of the country as a socialist state, the economy also follows socialist principles, mainly through the control of the economy by the state. The majority of the labor force in Cuba is employed by the state. However, there have been major improvements in the number of private employers. Private firms employ about 20% of the Cuban workforce. However, these firms must pay the government the wages or salaries and then the government pays the worker. Also, unemployment stands at only 3.8% of the population. Until August of 2013, Cuba had a dual currency system, where the wages and prices of goods were priced in Cuban pesos, but the tourist economy would depend on Convertible pesos for currency. But, Raul Castro declared the end to that system in 2013. Cuba used to be a dominant power in terms of exports, especially sugar. It used to control 35% of the world’s exports for sugar. However, due to the larger global supply of sugar throughout the world, Cuba is no longer as competitive on the market for sugar and only competes for about 10% of the exports. Lastly, Cuba ranks 177th in the standings of Economic Freedom, just ahead of North Korea.

Religion in Cuba

Originally, the Castro era declared the Republic of Cuba an atheist state in 1962. Because of this, the large Roman Catholic influence on the island was diminished as over 400 schools were shut down. However, in 1992, the state was declared as secular instead of atheist, which allowed people to practice their faiths. The estimates for the actual percentage of the population participates in each faith are a little unclear. However, there did become a large decrease in the Roman Catholic population from before the Castro era to present day Cuba. There is a minor portion of the population that practices Afro-Cuban religions, which combines elements from African religions and Roman Catholicism.

Human Rights in Cuba

Cuba is the only Latin American country to still be on the Human Rights Watch list. The Cuban government, now run by Raul Castro, does not respect the rights of humans as it forces people to conform and accept the unfavorable government. People are beaten, placed in short-term detention center, forced exile, and even given travel restrictions solely as punishment for not conforming to the government. Some prisoners have been released only if they leave the country, however.

Healthcare in Cuba

Every healthcare service in the Republic of Cuba is public and run by the government. There are no privately owned practices or hospitals of any sort. Despite the public healthcare system, the staff of all the facilities is very well trained and has much experience. Historically, Cuba has been known to have one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Despite some hardships down the road due to lack of medical equipment, the Cuban government has been conducting projects to help secure the high status of the healthcare network.

Throughout the years, there has been mixed opinion on the quality of the health care system in Cuba. Along with the economy and education, the health care is completely run by the state and they are financially responsible for the health care of every citizen. Again, similar to education, there are no private health care institutions. One positive aspect of the Cuban health system is the fact that there is one doctor for every 175 people. In Great Britain, there is only one doctor for every 600 people. However, due to the high number of doctors, doctors are not paid as well as they are in other countries. Doctors also have to work in poorly kept facilities and use poorly maintained equipment. If doctors had access to essential drugs, the health care would be better. However, the way that the doctors treat the patients is quite praised. Doctors show a care for the person as a whole and abide by the idea of a triple diagnosis: physical, psychological, and social diagnosis. As of 2011, about 93.8% of the total population uses improved drinking water sources and 92.1% of the population uses improved sanitation facilities. Unfortunately, only 69.9% of the population receives antibiotic treatment for suspected pneumonia. The life expectancy is about 79.1 years with females having a higher life expectancy than males. Lastly, the under-five mortality rate is six deaths per 1,000 children and the infant mortality rate is only four deaths per 1,000 infants.

cuba-population-2013-educationEducation in Cuba

Following the Cuban Revolution, the Cuban government decided to engage in a yearlong campaign effort in order to permanently abolish illiteracy. Before the Revolution, the literacy rate was estimated to be about 60-76% of the population. However, as a result of this campaign, the literacy rate is now 100% of the entire population. Currently, education, school meals, and school uniforms, are considered free for students, regardless of income. It is also compulsory for students from primary schooling until the end of basic secondary education. In order to prevent overcrowding classrooms, there is a maximum of twenty-five students in the primary-school classrooms. There has been an attempt to maximize the number of students in secondary schools to fifteen students. After students complete basic secondary schooling, if they choose to continue school, they attend pre-University education. Education is such a prized and valued asset, especially towards the education of the goals of Cuba. Lastly, the influence of the Communist Party and Fidel Castro resulted in the abolition of private institutions and thus all schools are solely run by the state.

Cuba Census

Population of Greece 2014

greece-population-2014Population of Greece

The most recent official estimate for the population of the Hellenic Republic, colloquially known as Greece, is the 2011 Census conducted by the Greek government. The census indicated that the population was 10,815,197 people in 2011. According to statistics provided by the European Union, in 2012, as a result of decreasing birth rates and migration rates, the population decreased by 60,500 people. So, based on these estimates and the census conducted in 2011, the population in 2012 was 10,754,697. Between the years 2011 and 2012, the population experienced a decrease of 0.56%. Under the assumption that the population continued such a pattern, the population in 2013 can be estimated at 10,694,535. Again, if this same population decline continues in 2014, the population of Greece in 2014 can be estimated at 10,634,710. Based on this estimate for the population in 2014 and the total land area of the country, the population density can be estimated at 81.3 people per square kilometer or 210.56 people per square mile. Assuming that the populations of other countries are held constant, Greece would still remain 79th in the world population rankings, behind Guinea, but ahead of Rwanda. So, depending on the type of population growth that Rwanda experienced over the past couple of years, Rwanda may have jumped Greece in the rankings.

Geography of Greece

Greece occupies 131,957 square kilometers or 50,949 square miles at the southern end of the Balkans, west of the Aegean Sea. Its mainland is a peninsula, which is connected to the Peloponnese peninsula by the Isthmus of Corinth. The mainland is mainly mountainous and, in fact, 80% of the country consists of mountains or hills. Mount Olympus is the tallest mountain in the country and its highest point, Mytikas peak, reaches 2,917 meters or 9,570 feet. One of the major mountain ranges in Greece is the Pindus range, whose highest point is at Mount Smolikas, reaching 2,637 meters or 8,652 feet. Another important geographic feature of the Pindus range is the Vikos Gorge in the Vikos-Aoos National Park. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Vikos Gorge is the deepest gorge in the world, reaching 400 to 1,600 feet or 120 to 490 meters deep. In areas such as Thessaly, Central Macedonia, and Thrace, the main geographic features are the extensive plains throughout these regions. Because they are some of the only arable lands in Greece, they make up an essential part of Greece’s economy. Lastly, depending on the definition of an island, Greece contains between 1,200 to 6,000 different islands. 227 of these islands are occupied. Crete is not only the largest in geographic area, but also in terms of population.

Government of Greece

The current Constitution went into effect in 1975. However, revisions were made to the Constitution in 1986, 2001, and 2008. Greece is considered to be a parliamentary republic, made up of three separate branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. The executive branch consists of the president, prime minister, and the cabinet. The president serves as the head of state, but after the revisions to the Constitution in 1986, his or her duties are mainly ceremonial. The Parliament chooses the president for a five-year term with no limits on the number of terms. The president has the power to appoint or dismiss any member of the cabinet. The current head of state is Karolos Papoulias, a member of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement. The prime minister is the head of government and thus contains most of the political power. The prime minister is the leader of the political party that can obtain a vote of confidence from the Parliament and is thus appointed by the president. The current head of government is Antonis Samaras, a member of the New Democracy Party. The legislative body of Greece is a unicameral Parliament, made up of 300 elected members. The president of the Parliament is also the prime minister. Lastly, the judicial branch is split up into civil and administrative courts and has three Supreme Courts: Court of Cassation, Council of State, and the Chamber of Accounts. Each Supreme Court has a president, along with a various number of other members. In order to serve as a judge, one must graduate from the National School of Judges. In special circumstances, the Supreme Special Court may preside over a case. Each president from the other three Supreme Courts and two other members from both the Court of Cassation and the Council of State serve on the Supreme Special Court.

Education in Greece

Education in Greece is compulsory from ages 4 to 15, beginning with kindergarten and ending with gymnasia. After kindergarten, students enter primary school, which lasts for six years. Then students attend gymnasia for three years. After these mandatory portions of education, students have the option to attend an upper secondary school or a technical-vocational educational school, which allows for students to pursue something other than an academic career. After the post-compulsory secondary education, students can attend higher educational institutions in the university sector or the technological sector, depending on a student’s desires. The state also offers non-university tertiary institutes for those students that simply wish to focus on a specific vocation or trade. Lastly, 97.3% of the adult population is literate, while 99.4% of male youths and 99.3% of female youths are literate.

Health and Health Care in Greece

Before the economic crisis that hit Europe and the world, Greece was considered to have one of the finest and best health care systems in all of Europe. With universal health care, Greek citizens would pay a certain amount into the system and would pay little or nothing at all to receive health care. Along with this, those unable to afford health insurance and the unemployed were never turned away. They had an option even if they could not pay for it. However, because of the economic crisis and the unemployment rate soaring over 25%, the reality of health care in Greece is that they can no longer afford to offer care at little or no cost like the used to. Not only this, but there is a hiring freeze in both doctors and nurses because the facilities simply cannot afford new personnel. The facilities also cannot afford to repair or replace broken technology, which creates a decrease in the quality of the health care that the Greeks are obtaining. Specifically, the number of HIV and tuberculosis cases is exponentially increasing due to the lack of treatment of those already infected. Another problem that has caused a strain on the system is the high cost of prescription drugs in Greece, the burden of which is placed on the doctors and pharmacies.
According to UNICEF, as of 2012, the under-five mortality rate is 5 deaths per 1,000 children. The infant mortality rate, considered to be one of the lowest in the world, is 4 deaths per 1,000 infants. The life expectancy, which has been one of the highest in the world, is 80.6 years, with females expected to live longer than males. However, the island of Ithaca is considered to have the highest percentage in the world of those over the age of 90 years. About 33% of those living on the island will reach the age of 90. 99.8% of the population uses improved drinking water sources, while 98.6% of the population uses improved sanitation facilities. Lastly, as of 2013, Save the Children ranked Greece 19th out of 176 countries in terms of the state and safety of mothers and their newborn children.

greece-population-2013Greece Population Projections

By the year 2015, the population is estimated to grow to about 11.4 million people, which is an estimated growth of 0.88%. Then, by the year 2020, the population is projected to reach 11.45 million people, a growth of about 1.3% from the current population. Then, in 2025, the population will reach 11.49 million people, an increase of about 1.7%. Continuing this slow increase in population in 2030, the population will top 11.5 million to 11.505 million people, an increase of 1.8%. By 2035, the population is projected to reach 11.515 million people as it increases by 1.9% from the current size of the population. Lastly, by the year 2040, the population is projected to be 11.526 million people, which is an increase of about 2% from the current population.

Greece Demographics

The largest ethnic group in the Hellenic Republic, or Greece, is the native Greek population. Over 97% of the population considers themselves to be native Greek. The rest of the population is made up of other groups, such as Turks, Aromanian, Macedonians, and others from Southern Asia. There are many other ethnicities throughout the country, but these are the major groups. The main spoken language of the country is Greek. Two other major languages in the country are English and Bulgarian.

Religion in Greece

Over 97% of the population of Greece practices the Greek Orthodox religion. Besides Russia, Greece is the only other country to officially adopt an Orthodox religion. The Orthodox religion is the largest sect of Christianity, besides Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. Besides the Greek Orthodox religion, some people practice Islam, Roman Catholicism, and Judaism.

Economy of Greece

Over the last few years, the economy of Greece has been enduring a bit of turmoil and struggles. The unemployment rate in Greece is currently at an approximate 24% of the labor force. Out of the 43 countries of Europe, the economy of Greece is ranked 40th. However, the GDP growth is sitting at 6.9% annually. However, the GDP per capita is only $26,294 since the total GDP is $294.3 billion. In fact, due to the country’s debt, it needed a bailout in 2011. However, this bailout was unsuccessful and therefore a second bail out was granted in 2012. This was intended to decrease the debt of the country by about 53%.

Education in Greece

As of 1997, 56% of adults had gone without completing their upper secondary education level in school; and only 16% had completed the tertiary education level in the country. However, significant progress has been made over the last 16 years. Now, only about 39% of adults go without completing their upper secondary education level, and 24% have completed the tertiary education. While this is not perfect, it is progress that will surely continue as time goes on. The numbers prove how important completing a tertiary degree is: about 82% of those with tertiary degrees have jobs, compared to the 59% of those who don’t.

Sports in Greece

Due to the fact that Greece is the home of the ancient Olympic games, sports are a large part of the country’s culture. In fact, Greece is one of only two countries that have participated in every single Olympic event. The modern day Olympics have been held in Athens three times: 1896, 1906, and 2004. The most loved and played sport is football (American soccer). The Greek team won the 2004 UEFA Championship even. Some other important sports in the country are basketball, water polo, weight lifting, and wrestling.

Visit Crete Greece

Other Resources

Learn More about Greece