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.

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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 Afghanistan 2014

afghanistan-population-2014Population of Afghanistan

Based on the total number of births, total number of deaths, net migration rate, previous average growth rates, and the population of 2013, the population of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is estimated to be 31,281,859, which makes up about 0.43% of the total world population. Afghanistan is ranked 40th in population rankings among the countries in the world, behind Morocco, but ahead of Peru. Last year, on July 1, 2013, the population of Afghanistan was estimated to be 30,551,674. Thus, since last July, the population will have grown by 730,185 people or by a growth rate of 2.39%. The last census in Afghanistan was conducted in 1979, which indicated that the population was around 15,500,000. Thus, since this census, the population has grown by about 15,781,859 or by a growth rate of 101.82%. In 1983, the government published a Statistical Yearbook that indicated that the population from 1981 to 1982 was about 15,960,000. Since the publishing of the yearbook, the population has grown by 15,321,859 or by a growth rate of 96%. Based on the total land area and the total population of the country, the population density of Afghanistan is about 47.96 people per square kilometer or 124.22 people per square mile.

Afghanistan Population Projections

Based on the current very high birth rates and declining death rates in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the population is expected to skyrocket to 34.39 million people by the year 2015, which is an approximate increase of about 10.5% from the current population. Then, by 2020, the population should reach about 39.36 million people, which gives an increase of about 26.5%. Continuing this sharp increase of population, by 2025, the population will top 40 million as it reaches approximately 44.76 million people. This would prove to be a growth increase of about 43.9% from the current population. Then, by 2030, the population will top 50 million as it reaches 50.58 million people, an increase of about 62.6% from the current population. Then, in 2035, the population will hit 56.59 million people, which is an increase of about 81.2% from the current population. Lastly, by 2040, the population is expected to double to about 62.69 million people, an increase of about 101.5%.

Geography of Afghanistan 2014

Bordering Pakistan in the south and east, Iran in the west, and Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north, Afghanistan is a completely landlocked country. The total land area is 652,230 square kilometers or 251,830 square miles, making it the world’s 41st largest country. The country is made up of plains in the north and the southwest, but has mountains in the northeastern region. The two main mountain ranges are the Hindu Kush and the Pamir mountain ranges. The highest point in the country is Noshaq, which lies on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan in the Hindu Kush mountain range, reaches 7,492 meters or 24,580 feet. Also, the mountainous regions are also susceptible to dangerous earthquakes, which have resulted in the deaths of thousands. During the winter, snow falls on the mountains, which then melts and enters the rivers, lakes, and the vast majority of the country is dry. The Sistan Basin is considered to be one of the driest regions in the entire world.

Afghanistan’s Administrative Divisions 2014

Afghanistan is comprised of 34 provinces and each province has its own capital and its own administration. The 34 provinces are then divided into 398 provincial districts, each of which normally administers over a city or a few villages. The President of Afghanistan appoints each province a provincial governor and each provincial governor appoints the district governors.

Economy of Afghanistan 2014

Simply put, Afghanistan is considered impoverished and one of the least developed countries in the world. In fact, the Human Development Index rates Afghanistan as the 15th least developed country. According to the World Bank, in 2012, the Gross Domestic Product per capita was $687.20. While the country has experienced about 10% growth annually in its economy, the growth is as a result of the $50 billion in international aid given to Afghanistan. Agriculture is considered to be the backbone of the nation’s economy. It produces some of the world’s best pomegranates, grapes, apricots, and melons. The central bank of the country is the Da Afghanistan Bank and the national currency is the Afghani. Over the past decade or so, many national construction projects and new businesses have arisen in the country, which has resulted in a stimulus to the economy. However, as of January 2012, the most recent estimate for the country, the unemployment rate in Afghanistan is 15% of the working class population.

Health and Health Care in Afghanistan 2014

The World Health Organization rates Afghanistan’s health status as one of the worst in the world. The life expectancy is estimated to be about 60.5 years, where the women are expected to live slightly longer than the men. The infant mortality rate is 71 deaths of children under 1 year per 1,000 infants and the neonatal morality rate is 36 deaths per 1,000 children. However, the Ministry of Public Health is working to lower the infant mortality rate to 400 infant deaths per 100,000 live births. It also has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. As of 2010, 460 mothers died per 100,000 live births. Only 60.6% of the population uses improved drinking water sources and 28.5% of the population uses improved sanitation facilities. Overall, immunization coverage is fairly low across the board for various diseases, such as tetanus and polio. There is a very low prevalence of HIV and AIDS in the country. Less than 0.1% of the population is considered to have HIV or AIDS.

In terms of health facilities, the country has greatly improved in the availability of health care facilities. In 2002, only 9% of the population lived within a two-hour walk to the nearest hospital. Then, as of 2006, about 60% of the population lived within two-hours of a hospital. There are some advanced hospitals located in Kabul, such as the French Medical Institute for Children and the Jamhuriat Hospital. Also, non-profit organizations, such as Save the Children and Mahboba’s Promise, assist the governmental facilities with the health care. Overall, the highly populated areas, such as Kabul and other major cities, have sufficient health facilities. However, the rural areas are severely lacking, which causes many health issues for the country.

Education in Afghanistan 2014

The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education oversee the primary, secondary, and higher education in Afghanistan. Before the President Karzai’s administration, the country was plagued with decades of war. As a result, the education system in the country was essentially destroyed. However, once Karzai took office, the education system began to redevelop and over 5,000 schools were built and over 100,000 teachers were employed. As of 2013, Afghanistan had 16,000 schools throughout the region. However, there are still about 3 million children that are deprived of education and only 35% of current students are female. The low percentage of female students is due to cultural barriers that state that females belong in the home. However, organizations like UNICEF are working with local communities to help promote education for females. While there is no official literacy rate in the country, it had previously been quite low. But, due to the recent investment in improving education, the literacy rate has risen and will continue to rise as more students attend school. Lastly, more universities have opened since the collapse of the Taliban administration, including the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul and the National Military Academy of Afghanistan.

afghanistan-population-2013Afghanistan Demographics

About 42% of the population in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is part of the Pashtun ethnic group. This group is also known as ethnic Afghans, representing an Iranian ethnic group that lives in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The next largest ethnic group in the country is the Tajik ethnic group at about 27% of the country. This group is a group of Persian-speaking people with an origin of Iran. The rest of the ethnic groups consist of less than 10% of the population for each group. Some of these groups include Hazara, Uzbek, Aimak, Turkmen, and Baloch. The most widely spoken language throughout the country is Dari (or Persian). About 50% of the population of Afghanistan speaks Persian. About 35% of the population speaks Pashto. Another 11% of the population of the country speaks Uzbek and Turkmen. The rest of the population (4%) speaks one of approximately 30 minor languages.

Religion in Afghanistan

About 99% of the Afghani population identifies as a member of the Islamic faith. Out of this 99%, 84% identifies as Sunnite Muslims and the other 15% identifies as Shiite Muslims. Most of those that identify as Shiite Muslims are part of the Hazara and Tajik ethnic group. The other 1% of the population is made up of small portions of Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, and Parsis. One of the important people in the religious culture of Muslim Afghanistan is someone called a mullah. Mullahs memorize the Koran in Arabic by memory and help lead local groups of Muslims.

Sports in Afghanistan

The most popular sport throughout the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is Buzkashi. Buzkashi is considered to be the national sport of the country and involves trying to get control of a headless carcass while on horseback before the other team can get control of the carcass. The next most popular sport in the country is football (American soccer) and then cricket. Cricket received its popularity when refugees in Pakistan picked up the game.

Health Care in Afghanistan

As in the official name of the country, Afghanistan is an Islamic Republic, made up of three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial branch. The Executive Branch is lead by President Hamid Karzai. The President has two Vice Presidents and a Cabinet as well to help aide him. The legislative branch is called the National Assembly or Parliament. This Assembly is made up of the Wolsei Jirga (House of People) and the Meshrano Jirga (House of Elders). The leader of the Wolsei Jirga is Yunis Qanuni and the leader of the Meshrano Jirga is Sibghatullah Mojaddedi. Both leaders of the legislative branch are elected, along with the president. The judicial branch is made up of the Supreme Court, the High Courts, and the Appeal Courts. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is Abdul Salam Azimi. Lastly, the Loya Jirga is required by the Constitution for dire situations that call for extra help, like prosecuting the President or amending the Constitution.

Afghanistan’s Displaced Population