Venezuela Term Paper

This essay has a total of 811 words and 4 pages.


Since the 1970s, Venezuela has gone from being South America's richest nation into a
nouveau-poor society in search of an identity. Once known as the Saudis of the West,
Venezuelans have seen their economic fortunes decline in exact proportion to the general
fall in world oil prices. Even so, Venezuela's many problems were hidden from view until
relatively recently, when severity measures heralded the sort of economic crises so
painfully familiar to other Latin American countries. Runaway inflation, currency
devaluations and even food riots have marked this new phase in Venezuelan history, to
which the country is still trying to adjust.

The projected population for 2010 is estimated at approximately 28,809 million, with a
birth rate of 29.9 per thousand and a low mortality rate of 4.7 per thousand. Today the
estimated population is 23,542,649 with a growth rate of 1.6%. Caracas, the capital, and
the state of Miranda, which are the areas with the greatest commercial and financial
activity, have a population of 7.7 million people. The industrial and agricultural
centers, which are the states of Aragua, Carabobo, and Lara, have a population total of
about 5 million people. The state of Zulia, which is the major cattle rising and oil
producing state, has a population of over 3 million people. Guyana, which is in the state
of Bolivar, has the most important mineral reserves, has a population of 1,300,000. The
mortality rate is at 26.17 per thousand and a birth rate of 21.09 per thousand. In spite
of its growth, there is still a low population density. With only nine inhabitants per
square kilometer, Venezuela is one of the least densely populated countries in the Western
Hemisphere. The Venezuelan population is very young. About 70% is under the age of 40. 33%
of the population is between the ages of 0-14. Followed by 63% being between the ages of
15-64 and only 4% of the population is 65 years and over. There is a male domination over
female with a total population ratio 1.02 male(s)/female. Venezuela has a total area of
912,050 square kilometers, 882,050 square kilometers being land and 30,000 square
kilometers water. It is slightly more than twice the size of California. Venezuela is the
most urbanized country in Latin America. The urban population is about 87% of the total,
but is unevenly distributed throughout the country. The migration ratio as of July of 2000
was -0.19 migrants per thousand. The Venezuelan ethnicity is spread out among Spanish,
Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, and indigenous people. 69% of the population
is mestizo, 20% white, 9% black, and 2% Indian. With the oil boom, there was an estimated
one million immigrants from Spain, Italy and Portugal. There was also a great number of
Columbians that migrated over into Venezuela. Later, there was the great professional
immigration, which there were migrants that came from Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Ecuador
and Peru.

The total GDP for Venezuela is $194.5 billion with a growth rate of -0.9%. The personal
income per capita is $8,500. 67% of the population live below the poverty line. Roads
(1997): 96,500 km of which 32% are paved. Vehicles (1993): Passengers 1,507,309. Trucks
and buses 474,466. Marine (1992): Ships (over 100 tons) 271; Total tones 1,355,419. Air
Transportation (1993): Passengers-km 6,708,000,000; Tones-km cargo 149,000,000. Airports
with scheduled trips: 24 (1996). Railroads (1997): 584 km. Newspapers (1992): total number
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