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Population, Principal Cities

Barquisimeto, Guaira, modern skyscrapers, major center, Caracas

Venezuela is highly urbanized. Caracas (population, 1998 estimate, 1,975,294) is the capital as well as the financial and commercial center of Venezuela. Located in a beautiful valley in the coastal highlands, Caracas is a city in which modern skyscrapers and apartment houses contrast sharply with elegant old colonial buildings and with the slum dwellings of recent migrants from the countryside who have come to the city seeking employment. The nearby town of La Guaira serves as the seaport for Caracas. Maracaibo (population, 1998 estimate, 1,706,547), the country’s second largest city, is located on the shores of Lake Maracaibo. Once a collection of crude huts built on stilts over water, Maracaibo developed into a modern city during the 20th century, largely because of its role as a major center of the petroleum industry. Valencia (population, 1998, 1,263,888) is one of the country’s main manufacturing centers. Barquisimeto (810,809) is the hub of several important highways as well as a major railroad terminal.

Article key phrases:

Barquisimeto, Guaira, modern skyscrapers, major center, Caracas, beautiful valley, stilts, modern city, seaport, apartment houses, Valencia, petroleum industry, largest city, population, countryside, hub, capital, century, estimate, water, employment


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