Ecuador is in Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru. The climate is tropical along the coast and in the Amazonian jungle lowlands but cooler inland at higher elevations. The official languages are Spanish and Quechua. Quechua is spoken by Amerindians. English is spoken in some business circles, but a knowledge of Spanish is recommended and appreciated. Spanish is a necessity outside the main cities. The main religion is Christianity. The economy of Ecuador is dominated by natural resources which include petroleum, fish, shrimp, timber and gold. In addition, it has rich agriculture: bananas, flowers, coffee, cacao, sugar, tropical fruits, palm oil, palm hearts, rice, roses, and corn. The country´s greatest national export is crude oil. Conversations take place at a much closer physical distance and often involve more physical contact than expats may be accustomed to at home. Expatriates are generally expected to dress conservatively at work, although more casual business dress may be seen in coastal cities due to the hot and humid climate. Expatriate business dress for women is typically standard Western clothing, although short skirts are not recommended. The security risk for expatriates in Ecuador is low, but medium in Quito and Guayaquil, and high near the Colombian border. Risks include petty / street crime such as bag snatching, abductions / kidnapping for ransom, protests and demonstrations, as well as high levels of corruption. Other risks include active volcanoes. The currency of Ecuador is the US Dollar (USD). Credit cards are generally accepted. Medical facilities are good but expensive in the main cities. Private hospitals require up front payment or a credit card guarantee for admission. Cases of Zika and the Chikungunya virus have been reported. Dengue fever occurs. The population of Ecuador is 16.3 Million (2017 est.), while the inflation rate is -0.22% (Nov 2017).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Ecuador, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Ecuador as at 1 January 2018 is very low in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: High 2) Clothing: High 3) Communication: Low 4) Education: Low 5) Furniture & Appliances: Average 6) Groceries: Very Low 7) Healthcare: Low 8) Household Accommodation: Very Low 9) Miscellaneous: High 10) Personal Care: Low 11) Recreation & Culture: Low 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very Low 13) Transport: Very Low Ecuador is for example -26.5% cheaper than USA for groceries, -35% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 29.5% more expensive for transport costs than India. The hardship premium for Ecuador for an expat from Australia, is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Ecuador) premium of 30% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%. Ecuador is ranked as a high degree of hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Ecuador? Register subscribe to your home location and Ecuador and run your personalised reports.