Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
David G. Casagrande
Located on the north coast of South America, Venezuela is a country of stunning scenery and extreme cultural diversity, including the forest-dwelling Yanomamo and modern Caracas with its economy fueled by petroleum. The climate is generally tropical, but diverse habitats from Amazon rain forest to tall, cold mountains support high biological diversity, including at least 21,000 species of higher plants and 323 mammals. With more than 40 living languages, Venezuela provides the stage for some of the most contentious debates in anthropology. Collaborative international research efforts have included Venezuelan, French, German, American, and other anthropologists. Venezuela includes an area of 912,050 square kilometers—roughly the size of Texas and Oklahoma or France and Italy combined. The total population is 25 million, with an annual growth rate of 1.4%. Most people (85%) live in cities in the north, with more than four million in Caracas, the capital city. The literacy rate is ...