This article describes the vital statistics and population growth in Ecuador as of mid-1997. Mid-1997 population numbered about 12 million. Fertility was 3.6 births/woman; deaths were 6/1000 population; and births were 29/1000 population. Ecuador was primarily an agricultural country, until oil was discovered in the early 1970s. The country has worked to increase per capita income and confront environmental consequences. The capital city of Quito is situated in a valley between two mountains and has very high air pollution levels due to cars and factories. In contrast, indigenous populations live in the Andean mountains and farm small plots. Land shortages have pushed these farmers onto higher slopes and more marginal land that is becoming eroded. 22% of Ecuador's forests were cleared for farming during 1980-90. The city of Guayaquil, on the Pacific coast, has serious water pollution problems, sewage problems, and industrial pollution. Shrimp farming relies on high levels of fertilizer, which is damaging coastlines. Oil exploration in the interior of Ecuador, has resulted in disruption of indigenous population, loss of forests, and pollution of rivers. Texaco Oil is accused of spilling about 17 million gallons of crude oil, or 50 times more than the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. Texaco argues that it met government environmental standards and agreed to a cleanup, which only partially meets the standards of its critics. Oil resources have funded improvements in education and health. About 90% of Ecuador's adult population is literate. Fertility has declined, but the population is still largely young and will be entering their reproductive years by 2025.