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6 Colombia’s ­Economy


y most measures, Colombia falls with that group of countries labeled “less developed.” Many of the country’s statistics warrant this designation. As many as 100 different criteria must be considered in determining a country’s ranking among the world’s approximately 200 nations. Such figures as per-capita income ($6,520) and per-capita Gross Domestic ­ Product ($8,600) place Colombia approximately in the middle of the world’s countries; so do the number of physicians, literacy rates, and energy consumption. Perhaps the single most valid indicator of a country’s position among others is the Human Development Index (HDI). This ranking, which includes a number of important indices, places Colombia at a surprisingly high ­position—­seventieth among the 177 countries rated in 2006. Clearly, Colombia is in a transitional position. Were it to achieve political stability, the country has the potential to join the world’s developed ­nations.



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