The World Factbook (1982)/Venezuela

The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency


World Factbook (1982) Venezuela.jpg
(See reference map IV)


911,680 km2; 4% cropland, 18% pasture, 21% forest, 57% urban, waste, and other

Land boundaries: 4,181 km


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 12 nm plus 3 nm contiguous zone for customs and sanitation (economic, including fishing, 200 nm)

Coastline: 2,800 km


Population: 18,427,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 2.8%

Nationality: noun—Venezuelan(s); adjective—Venezuelan

Ethnic divisions: 67% mestizo, 21% white, 10% Negro, 2% Indian

Religion: 96% nominally Roman Catholic, 2% Protestant

Language: Spanish (official); "Indian" dialects spoken by about 200,000 aborigines in the interior

Literacy: 74% (claimed, 1970 est.)

Labor force: 4.4 million (1980); 24% agriculture, 6% construction, 17% manufacturing, 6% transportation, 18% commerce, 25% services, 4% petroleum, utilities, and other

Organized labor: 27% of labor force


Official name: Republic of Venezuela

Type: republic

Capital: Caracas

Political subdivisions: 20 states, 1 federal district, 2 federal territories, and 72 island dependencies in the Caribbean

Legal system: based on Napoleonic code; constitution promulgated 1961; judicial review of legislative acts in Cassation Court only; dual court system, state and federal; legal education at Central University of Venezuela; has not accepted compulsory OCJ jurisdiction

National holiday: Independence Day, 5 July

Branches: executive (President), bicameral legislature, judiciary

Government leader: President Luis HERRERA CAMPINS

Suffrage: universal and compulsory over age 18, though rarely enforced

Elections: every five years by secret ballot; last held December 1978; next national election for President and bicameral legislature to be held 4 December 1983 Political parties and leaders: Social Christian Party (COPEI), Rafael Caldera; Acción Democrática (AD), Carlos Andres Pérez, Gonzalo Barrios; Movement to Socialism (MAS), Teodoro Petkoff, Pompeyo Márquez

Voting strength (1978 election): 46% COPEI, 43% AD, 5% MAS, 6% others

Communists: 3,000-5,000 members (est.)

Other political or pressure groups: Fedecamaras (a conservative business group); Pro- Venezuela (PRO-VEN; a leftist, nationalist economic group)

Member of: Andean Pact, AIOEC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICO, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, IMCO, IMF, IPU, ITU, IWC—International Wheat Council, LAFTA, NAMUCAR (Caribbean Multinational Shipping Line—Naviera Multinational del Caribe), OAS, OPEC, SELA, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTO


GNP: $60 billion (1980, in 1980 dollars), $4,000 per capita; 52% private consumption, 14% public consumption, 34% gross investment (1979); real growth rate −0.1% (1980)

Agriculture: main crops—sugarcane, corn, coffee, rice; imports wheat (US), corn (South Africa), sorghum (Argentina, US); caloric intake 2,435 calories per day per capita (1977)

Fishing: catch 178,000 metric tons (1980); exports $1.6 million (1979), imports $19.7 million (1980)

Major industries: petroleum, iron-ore mining, construction, food processing, textiles

Crude steel: 848,000 metric tons produced (1978), 60 kg per capita

Electric power: 10,000,000 kW capacity (1981); 43.0 billion kWh produced (1981), 2,500 kWh per capita

Exports: $19.3 billion (f.o.b., 1980); petroleum (95%), iron ore, coffee

Imports: $11.3 billion (f.o.b., 1980); industrial machinery and equipment, chemicals, manufactures, wheat

Major trade partners: imports—45% US, 8% Japan, 6% West Germany; exports—30% US, 11% Canada (1980)

Budget: 1980—revenues $14.6 billion; expenditures, $12.0 billion, capital $2.2 billion

Monetary conversion rate: 4.2925 bolivares=US$1 (January 1982)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 403 km standard gauge (1.435 m) all single track; 173 km government owned, 230 km privately owned

Highways: 77,785 km total; 22,780 km paved, 24,720 km gravel, 14,450 km earth roads, and 15,835 km unimproved earth

Inland waterways: 7,100 km; Orinoco River and Lake Maracaibo accept oceangoing vessels

Pipelines: 6,110 km crude oil; 400 km refined products; 2,495 km natural gas

Ports: 6 major, 17 minor

Civil air: 68 major transport aircraft, including 4 leased in and 1 leased out

Airfields: 268 total, 267 usable; 115 with permanent-surface runways; 7 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 82 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: modern expanding telecom system; satellite ground station; 1,165,000 telephones (8.5 per 100 popl.); 215 AM, 50 FM, and 48 TV stations; 3 submarine coaxial cables; 1 Atlantic Ocean satellite station with 2 antennas


Military manpower: males 15-49, 4,373,000; 3,322,000 fit for military service; 185,000 reach military age (18) annually

Military budget: proposed for fiscal year ending 31 December 1980, $861.2 million; about 6.5% of central government budget