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The climate, however, varies with the elevation. The low regions

along the coast and the deep Patía and Magdalena river valleys are

torrid, with mean annual temperatures of 75° to 80° F. From about

1500 to 7500 ft the climate is subtropical, and from about 7500 to

10,000 ft it is temperate. Above about 10,000 ft is the cold-climate

zone, where temperatures range from 0° to 55° F. The average

January and July temperatures in Bogotá are 58° F and 57° F,

respectively. The averages for the same months in Barranquilla are

80° F and 82° F. Throughout the year, three-month periods of rain

and dry weather alternate. Along the Pacific coast precipitation is

heavy. At Bogotá the annual rainfall averages about 40 in, and in

Barranquilla it averages about 32 in. Dry weather prevails on the

slopes of the Eastern Cordillera.


Colombia has a Republican form of government.

Colombia has a

president who is elected by popular vote. He is chosen by any

man or woman 18 years or older. The president can serve one four

year term. He appoints a cabinet which has to be approved by

congress. Congress is composed of a House of Representatives

(199 members) and a Senate (112 members).

Land Area

The total land area of the country is 440,831 sq. mi. The capital

and largest city is Bogota.

Population Characteristics, Religion, and


The population of Colombia (1993 estimate) was 34,942,767,

giving the country an overall population density of about 79 per

sq. mi. About 95 percent of the people are Roman Catholics.

Small Protestant and Jewish minorities exist. The official

language of Colombia is Spanish. The racial makeup of the

Colombian population is diversified. About half the people are

mestizo (of mixed Spanish and Native American ancestry), about

20 percent...