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Paraguay, See : Flags, Maps

La Guerre du Paraguay, Élisée Reclus

Journeys and Experiences in Argentina, Paraguay, and Chile, by Henry Stephens

Paraguay (South America)

Introduction ::Paraguay

Background:

Paraguay achieved its independence from Spain in 1811. In the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70) - between Paraguay and Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay - Paraguay lost two-thirds of all adult males and much of its territory. The country stagnated economically for the next half century. Following the Chaco War of 1932-35 with Bolivia, Paraguay gained a large part of the Chaco lowland region. The 35-year military dictatorship of Alfredo STROESSNER ended in 1989, and, despite a marked increase in political infighting in recent years, Paraguay has held relatively free and regular presidential elections since then.

Geography ::Paraguay


View Larger Map

Location:

Central South America, northeast of Argentina

Geographic coordinates:
23 00 S, 58 00 W

Map references:

South America

Area:

total: 406,752 sq km country comparison to the world: 59 land: 397,302 sq km

water: 9,450 sq km

Paraguay - Direct Swap

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than California

Land boundaries:

total: 3,995 km

border countries: Argentina 1,880 km, Bolivia 750 km, Brazil 1,365 km

Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)

Climate:

subtropical to temperate; substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, becoming semiarid in the far west

Terrain:

grassy plains and wooded hills east of Rio Paraguay; Gran Chaco region west of Rio Paraguay mostly low, marshy plain near the river, and dry forest and thorny scrub elsewhere

Aregua Church - Paraguay

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: junction of Rio Paraguay and Rio Parana 46 m

highest point: Cerro Pero 842 m

Natural resources:

hydropower, timber, iron ore, manganese, limestone

Land use:

arable land: 7.47%

permanent crops: 0.24%

other: 92.29% (2005)

Irrigated land:

670 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

336 cu km (2000)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.49 cu km/yr (20%/8%/71%)

per capita: 80 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

local flooding in southeast (early September to June); poorly drained plains may become boggy (early October to June)

Environment - current issues:

deforestation; water pollution; inadequate means for waste disposal pose health risks for many urban residents; loss of wetlands

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

landlocked; lies between Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil; population concentrated in southern part of country

People ::Paraguay

Population:

6,375,830 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 103

Age structure:

0-14 years: 36.7% (male 1,304,115/female 1,260,560)

15-64 years: 58.1% (male 2,043,509/female 2,023,317)

65 years and over: 5.2% (male 168,554/female 195,600) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 24.9 years

male: 24.7 years

female: 25.1 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.31% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 94

Birth rate:

17.73 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 115

Death rate:

4.55 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 199

Net migration rate:

-0.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 124

Urbanization:

urban population: 60% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 2.8% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 23.83 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 88 male: 27.84 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 19.62 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 75.99 years country comparison to the world: 72 male: 73.39 years

female: 78.71 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.16 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 118

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.6% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 67

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

21,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 78

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 1,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 74

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: intermediate

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne disease: dengue fever and malaria (2009)

Nationality:

noun: Paraguayan(s)

adjective: Paraguayan

Ethnic groups:

mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) 95%, other 5%

Religions:

Roman Catholic 89.6%, Protestant 6.2%, other Christian 1.1%, other or unspecified 1.9%, none 1.1% (2002 census)

Languages:

Spanish (official), Guarani (official)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 94%

male: 94.9%

female: 93% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 12 years

male: 12 years

female: 12 years (2007)

Education expenditures:

4% of GDP (2008) country comparison to the world: 106

Government ::Paraguay

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Paraguay

conventional short form: Paraguay

local long form: Republica del Paraguay

local short form: Paraguay

Government type:

constitutional republic

Capital:

name: Asuncion

geographic coordinates: 25 16 S, 57 40 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends second Sunday in April

Administrative divisions:

17 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital city*; Alto Paraguay, Alto Parana, Amambay, Asuncion*, Boqueron, Caaguazu, Caazapa, Canindeyu, Central, Concepcion, Cordillera, Guaira, Itapua, Misiones, Neembucu, Paraguari, Presidente Hayes, San Pedro

Independence:

14 May 1811 (from Spain)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 14 May 1811 (observed 15 May)

Constitution:

promulgated 20 June 1992

Legal system:

based on Argentine codes, Roman law, and French codes; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court of Justice; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal and compulsory up to age 75

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Fernando Armindo LUGO Mendez (since 15 August 2008); Vice President Federico FRANCO (since 15 August 2008); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Fernando Armindo LUGO Mendez (since 15 August 2008); Vice President Federico FRANCO (since 15 August 2008)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held on 20 April 2008 (next to be held in April 2013)

election results: Fernando Armindo LUGO Mendez elected president; percent of vote - Fernando Armindo LUGO Mendez 40.8%, Blanca OVELAR 30.6%, Lino OVIEDO 21.9%, Pedro FADUL 2.4%, other 4.3%

Legislative branch:

bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (45 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (80 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: Chamber of Senators - last held on 20 April 2008 (next to be held in April 2013); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 20 April 2008 (next to be held in April 2013)

election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party -
NA; seats by party - ANR 15, PLRA 14, UNACE 9, PPQ 4, other 3;
Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party
- ANR 30, PLRA 27, UNACE 15, PPQ 3, APC 2, other 3; note - as of 1
January 2010, the composition of the Chamber of Deputies is ANR 30,
PLRA 29, UNACE 15, PPQ 4, other 2

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (nine judges proposed by the Council of Magistrates or Consejo de la Magistratura, and approved by the Senate and president)

Political parties and leaders:

Alianza Patriotica por el Cambio (Patriotic Alliance for Change) or
APC [Fernando LUGO]; Asociacion Nacional Republicana - Colorado
Party or ANR [Lilian SAMANIEGO]; Movimiento Popolar Tekojoja or
Tekojoja [Sixto PEREIRA]; Movimiento Union Nacional de Ciudadanos
Eticos or UNACE [Lino Cesar OVIEDO Silva]; Patria Querida (Beloved
Fatherland Party) or PPQ [Pedro Nicolas Maraa FADUL Niella]; Partido
del Movimiento al Socialismo or P-MAS [Camilo Ernesto SOARES
Machado]; Partido Democratica Progresista or PDP [Rafael Augusto
FILIZZOLA Serra]; Partido Encuentro Nacional or PEN [Fernando
CAMACHO Paredes]; Partido Liberal Radical Autentico or PLRA [Amanda
NUNEZ]; Partido Pais Solidario or PPS [Carlos Alberto FILIZZOLA
Pallares]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Ahorristas Estafados or AE; National Coordinating Board of Campesino
Organizations or MCNOC [Luis AGUAYO]; National Federation of
Campesinos or FNC [Odilon ESPINOLA]; National Workers Central or CNT
[Secretary General Juan TORRALES]; Paraguayan Workers Confederation
or CPT; Roman Catholic Church; Unitary Workers Central or CUT [Jorge
Guzman ALVARENGA Malgarejo]

International organization participation:

CAN (associate), FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt,
ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU,
ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA,
MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA,
RG, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL,
UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Rigoberto GAUTO Vielman

chancery: 2400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 483-6960 through 6962
FAX: [1] (202) 234-4508

consulate(s) general: Kansas City (Kansas), Los Angeles, Miami, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

Ambassador Liliana AYALDE

embassy: 1776 Avenida Mariscal Lopez, Casilla Postal 402, Asuncion

mailing address: Unit 4711, APO AA 34036-0001

telephone: [595] (21) 213-715
FAX: [595] (21) 228-603

Flag description:

three equal, horizontal bands of red (top), white, and blue with an emblem centered in the white band; unusual flag in that the emblem is different on each side; the obverse (hoist side at the left) bears the national coat of arms (a yellow five-pointed star within a green wreath capped by the words REPUBLICA DEL PARAGUAY, all within two circles); the reverse (hoist side at the right) bears a circular seal of the treasury (a yellow lion below a red Cap of Liberty and the words PAZ Y JUSTICIA (Peace and Justice)); red symbolizes bravery and patriotism, white represents integrity and peace, and blue denotes liberty and generosity

note: the three color bands resemble those on the flag of the Netherlands; one of only three national flags that differ on their obverse and reverse sides - the others are Moldova and Saudi Arabia

National anthem:

name: "Paraguayos, Republica o muerte!" (Paraguayans, The Republic or Death!)

lyrics/music: Francisco Esteban ACUNA de Figueroa/disputed

note: adopted 1934, in use since 1846; the anthem was officially adopted following its re-arrangement in 1934

Economy ::Paraguay

Economy - overview:

Landlocked Paraguay has a market economy distinguished by a large informal sector, featuring re-export of imported consumer goods to neighboring countries, as well as the activities of thousands of microenterprises and urban street vendors. A large percentage of the population, especially in rural areas, derives its living from agricultural activity, often on a subsistence basis. Because of the importance of the informal sector, accurate economic measures are difficult to obtain. On a per capita basis, real income has stagnated at 1980 levels. The economy grew rapidly between 2003 and 2008 as growing world demand for commodities combined with high prices and favorable weather to support Paraguay's commodity-based export expansion. Paraguay is the sixth largest soy producer in the world. Drought hit in 2008, reducing agricultural exports and slowing the economy even before the onset of the global recession. The economy fell 3.8% in 2009, as lower world demand and commodity prices caused exports to contract. The government reacted by introducing fiscal and monetary stimulus packages. Growth resumed at a 6.5% level in 2010. Political uncertainty, corruption, limited progress on structural reform, and deficient infrastructure are the main obstacles to growth.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$30.94 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 106 $29.06 billion (2009 est.)

$30.2 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$17.17 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

6.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 31 -3.8% (2009 est.)

5.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$4,900 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 149 $4,600 (2009 est.)

$4,900 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 21.8%

industry: 18.2%

services: 60.1% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

3.038 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 103

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 26.5%

industry: 18.5%

services: 55% (2008)

Unemployment rate:

6.9% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 68 7.9% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line:

19.4% (2008 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.1%

highest 10%: 42.3% (2007)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

53.2 (2009) country comparison to the world: 17 57.7 (1998)

Investment (gross fixed):

17.8% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 112

Public debt:

22.8% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 105 24% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4.2% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 123 2.6% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

20% (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 10 20% (31 December 2007)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

28.26% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 7 25.81% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$2.6 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 115 $2.107 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$5.03 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 118 $4.057 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$4.395 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 112 $3.607 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA (31 December 2008)

$NA (31 December 2007)

$409.1 million (31 December 2006)

Agriculture - products:

cotton, sugarcane, soybeans, corn, wheat, tobacco, cassava (tapioca), fruits, vegetables; beef, pork, eggs, milk; timber

Industries:

sugar, cement, textiles, beverages, wood products, steel, metallurgic, electric power

Industrial production growth rate:

6.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 49

Electricity - production:

53.19 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 47

Electricity - consumption:

8.5 billion kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 92

Electricity - exports:

45.14 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

31 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 112

Oil - consumption:

27,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 115

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 156

Oil - imports:

25,100 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 105

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 136

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 142

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 116

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 143

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 103

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 111

Current account balance:

-$391 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 109 -$149.2 million (2009 est.)

Exports:

$7.606 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 95 $5.784 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

soybeans, feed, cotton, meat, edible oils, electricity, wood, leather

Exports - partners:

Brazil 21%, Uruguay 17%, Chile 12%, Argentina 11%, Russia 4% (2009)

Imports:

$9.242 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 92 $6.917 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

road vehicles, consumer goods, tobacco, petroleum products, electrical machinery, tractors, chemicals, vehicle parts

Imports - partners:

China 30%, Brazil 23%, Argentina 16%, US 5% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$4.082 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 73 $3.862 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$4.346 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 109 $3.883 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$2.153 million (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 87 $2.057 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$NA

Exchange rates:

guarani (PYG) per US dollar - 4,767.6 (2010), 4,965.4 (2009), 4,337.7 (2008), 5,031 (2007), 5,672.8 (2006)

Communications ::Paraguay

Telephones - main lines in use:

387,300 (2009) country comparison to the world: 102

Telephones - mobile cellular:

5.619 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 89

Telephone system:

general assessment: the fixed-line market is a state monopoly and fixed-line telephone service is meager; principal switching center is in Asuncion

domestic: deficiencies in provision of fixed-line service have resulted in a rapid expansion of mobile-cellular services fostered by competition among multiple providers

international: country code - 595; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2008)

Broadcast media:

5 privately-owned TV stations; about 75 commercial and community radio stations broadcasting; 1 state-owned radio network (2007)

Internet country code:

.py

Internet hosts:

167,281 (2010) country comparison to the world: 69

Internet users:

1.105 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 94

Transportation ::Paraguay

Airports:

800 (2010) country comparison to the world: 9

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 15

over 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 7

914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 785

1,524 to 2,437 m: 25

914 to 1,523 m: 290

under 914 m: 470 (2010)

Railways:

total: 36 km country comparison to the world: 132 standard gauge: 36 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:

total: 29,500 km country comparison to the world: 98 paved: 14,986 km

unpaved: 14,514 km (2000)

Waterways:

3,100 km (primarily on the Paraguay and Parana river systems) (2010) country comparison to the world: 33

Merchant marine:

total: 23 country comparison to the world: 96 by type: cargo 15, carrier 1, container 2, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 1

foreign-owned: 6 (Argentina 5, Netherlands 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Asuncion, Villeta, San Antonio, Encarnacion

Military ::Paraguay

Military branches:

Army, National Navy (Armada Nacional, includes Marine Corps, Naval
Aviation), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Paraguay, FAP) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 12 months for Army, 24 months for Navy; volunteers for the Air Force must be younger than 22 years of age with a secondary school diploma (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,640,761

females age 16-49: 1,637,460 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,375,610

females age 16-49: 1,400,597 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 72,455

female: 70,910 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

1% of GDP (2006 est.) country comparison to the world: 131

Transnational Issues ::Paraguay

Disputes - international:

unruly region at convergence of Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay borders is locus of money laundering, smuggling, arms and illegal narcotics trafficking, and fundraising for extremist organizations

Illicit drugs:

major illicit producer of cannabis, most or all of which is consumed in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile; transshipment country for Andean cocaine headed for Brazil, other Southern Cone markets, and Europe; weak border controls, extensive corruption and money-laundering activity, especially in the Tri-Border Area; weak anti-money-laundering laws and enforcement

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