Located at the northernmost end of South America, Venezuela has a total area of 912,050 square kilometers and a land area of 882,050 square kilometers, about twice the size of California. Shaped roughly like an inverted triangle, the country has a 2,800-kilometer coastline and is bounded on the north by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, on the east by Guyana, on the south by Brazil, and on the west by Colombia.
Population (2007 est.): 26,084,662 (growth rate: 1.4%); birth rate: 18.5/1000; infant mortality rate: 20.9/1000; life expectancy: 74.8; density per sq mile: 77
Capital (2003 est.): Caracas, 3,517,300 (metro. area), 1,741,400 (city proper)
Largest cities: Maracaibo, 1,889,000 (metro. area), 1,854,300 (city proper); Valencia, 1,515,400; Barquisimeto, 948,900
Monetary unit: Bolivar
Languages: Spanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects
Ethnicity/race: Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, indigenous people
Religions: Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%
Literacy rate: 93% (2003 est.)
The country falls into four horizontal temperature zones based primarily on elevation. In the tropical zone--below 800 meters--temperatures are hot, with yearly averages ranging between 26° C and 28° C. The temperate zone ranges between 800 and 2,000 meters with averages from 12° C to 25° C; many of Venezuela's cities, including the capital, lie in this region. Colder conditions with temperatures from 9° C to 11° C are found in the cool zone between 2,000 and 3,000 meters. Pastureland and permanent snowfield with yearly averages below 8° C cover land above 3,000 in the high mountain areas known as the páramos.
Juan Felipe Villegas, Code: 200710557