Venezuela is originally known as the Republic of Venezuela. The countries estimated population is about 20,562,000, covering 352,143 sq mi. It is bordered by Brazil (S), Colombia (W and SW), Guyana (E), and the Caribbean Sea (N). Principal cities include Carcas, the capital. Venezuela has four major geographical regions: the oil-rich coastal lowlands; the Orionco River basin, whose vast plains support a great cattle industry; the Guiana Highlands, a largely unexplored wilderness occupying more than half the
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a conservation pioneer in Latin America. Only 2 percent of the land is cultivated, and the nation must import much of its food.
Most Venezuelansóa blend of American Indian and Europeanólive in cities. Close to 40 percent of the population is under the age of 15, and yet, despite the burden of a population that has been growing by 2.6 percent a year, Venezuelans enjoy one of the highest per capita incomes in South America.