Location, Location, Location: Colombia is located in the northernmost part of South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. The terrain includes lowlands along the coasts in addition to mountainous highlands including the Andes.
Government: Colombia is governed as a republic, although the executive branch maintains significant power over all other sectors of the government.
Size Matters: The total land area of Colombia is 1,138,914 sq km, which is approximately twice the size of the U.S. state of Texas and ranks as the 4th largest country in South America.
Cities: The national capital and largest city is Bogota. Colombia’s next five largest cities are Medellin, Santiago de Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena and Cucuta, respectively.
Did You Know? Colombia has the third largest Spanish-speaking population in the world. Do you know which two countries have larger Spanish-speaking populations? Answer: Mexico (of course) and … the United States.
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Population: As of July 2009, Colombia’s population was estimated at 45,644,023, the second most populous country in South America and the 28th most populous nation in the world.
Business Environment: Colombia was ranked the 53rd best country in the world for business in a 2009 Doingbusiness.com ranking.
Top Industries: In terms of paid jobs, the labor force in 2005 was divided between services (58.8%), agriculture (22.4%) and industry (18.8%).
Taxes: Colombia sanctions a 28.5% Individual Income Tax and a Value Added Tax of 16%.
Weather: Colombia enjoys a predominantly tropical climate, although cooler in the highlands than along the coasts.
Education: Although scarce amounts of public resources are devoted to education, Columbia maintains a combined system of formal and informal education. The education goal for citizens is 11th grade and over 90% of the population was deemed literate as of 2005.
In General: Columbia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ranks 28th in the world, although a great proportion of this wealth results from Colombia’s significant dependence on the United States.
Services: A majority of Colombia’s labor force is employed in the services sector, which also makes up a majority of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Industry: Colombia hosts a valuable supply of natural resources. The petroleum and natural gas industries along with the mining and manufacturing sectors attract the greatest proportion of U.S. investments. Colombia also boasts significant textiles and clothing industries.
Agriculture: Agricultural products in Colombia remain protected form international investments. Leading agricultural products include coffee, sugarcane and tobacco along with fruits and flowers.
Did you know? Start the morning right: Colombia is one of the leading international coffee exporters; its coffee has been recognized worldwide as having a high quality and distinctive taste.
Sources: In addition to specific citations noted in this “Career Information” section, supplementary source materials include: the CIA World Factbook, Worldwidetax.com and Wikipedia.com.