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Uruguay, See : Flags, Maps

Uruguay, by W. H. Koebel

Uruguay (South America)

Introduction ::Uruguay

Background:

Montevideo, founded by the Spanish in 1726 as a military stronghold, soon took advantage of its natural harbor to become an important commercial center. Claimed by Argentina but annexed by Brazil in 1821, Uruguay declared its independence four years later and secured its freedom in 1828 after a three-year struggle. The administrations of President Jose BATLLE in the early 20th century established widespread political, social, and economic reforms that established a statist tradition. A violent Marxist urban guerrilla movement named the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Uruguay's president to cede control of the government to the military in 1973. By yearend, the rebels had been crushed, but the military continued to expand its hold over the government. Civilian rule was not restored until 1985. In 2004, the left-of-center Frente Amplio Coalition won national elections that effectively ended 170 years of political control previously held by the Colorado and Blanco parties. Uruguay's political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent.

Geography ::Uruguay


View Larger Map

Location:

Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between
Argentina and Brazil

Geographic coordinates:
33 00 S, 56 00 W

Map references:

South America

Area:

total: 176,215 sq km country comparison to the world: 90 land: 175,015 sq km

water: 1,200 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than the state of Washington

Land boundaries:

total: 1,648 km

Uruguay

border countries: Argentina 580 km, Brazil 1,068 km

Coastline:

660 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or edge of continental margin

Climate:

warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown

Terrain:

mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Cerro Catedral 514 m

Punta del Este, Uruguay, a popular beach resort

Natural resources:

arable land, hydropower, minor minerals, fish

Land use:

arable land: 7.77%

permanent crops: 0.24%

other: 91.99% (2005)

Irrigated land:

2,100 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

139 cu km (2000)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 3.15 cu km/yr (2%/1%/96%)

per capita: 910 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

seasonally high winds (the pampero is a chilly and occasional violent wind that blows north from the Argentine pampas), droughts, floods; because of the absence of mountains, which act as weather barriers, all locations are particularly vulnerable to rapid changes from weather fronts

Environment - current issues:

water pollution from meat packing/tannery industry; inadequate solid/hazardous waste disposal

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living
Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate
Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species,
Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone
Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note:

second-smallest South American country (after Suriname); most of the low-lying landscape (three-quarters of the country) is grassland, ideal for cattle and sheep raising

People ::Uruguay

Population:

3,510,386 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 131

Age structure:

0-14 years: 22.4% (male 397,942/female 385,253)

15-64 years: 64.3% (male 1,115,963/female 1,129,478)

65 years and over: 13.3% (male 187,176/female 278,570) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 33.7 years

male: 32.3 years

female: 35.1 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.447% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 157

Birth rate:

13.67 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 152

Death rate:

9.06 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 72

Net migration rate:

-0.14 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 129

Urbanization:

urban population: 92% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.037 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 10.99 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 149 male: 12.37 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 9.57 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 76.55 years country comparison to the world: 69 male: 73.3 years

female: 79.92 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.89 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 146

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.6% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 69

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

10,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 102

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 500 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 89

Nationality:

noun: Uruguayan(s)

adjective: Uruguayan

Ethnic groups:

white 88%, mestizo 8%, black 4%, Amerindian (practically nonexistent)

Religions:

Roman Catholic 47.1%, non-Catholic Christians 11.1%, nondenominational 23.2%, Jewish 0.3%, atheist or agnostic 17.2%, other 1.1% (2006)

Languages:

Spanish (official), Portunol, Brazilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98%

male: 97.6%

female: 98.4% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 16 years

male: 15 years

female: 17 years (2007)

Education expenditures:

2.9% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 154

Government ::Uruguay

Country name:

conventional long form: Oriental Republic of Uruguay

conventional short form: Uruguay

local long form: Republica Oriental del Uruguay

local short form: Uruguay

former: Banda Oriental, Cisplatine Province

Government type:

constitutional republic

Capital:

name: Montevideo

geographic coordinates: 34 53 S, 56 11 W

time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

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

Administrative divisions:

19 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Artigas,
Canelones, Cerro Largo, Colonia, Durazno, Flores, Florida,
Lavalleja, Maldonado, Montevideo, Paysandu, Rio Negro, Rivera,
Rocha, Salto, San Jose, Soriano, Tacuarembo, Treinta y Tres

Independence:

25 August 1825 (from Brazil)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 25 August (1825)

Constitution:

27 November 1966; effective 15 February 1967; suspended 27 June 1973; revised 26 November 1989 and 7 January 1997

Legal system:

based on Spanish civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Jose "Pepe" MUJICA Cordano (since 1 March 2010); Vice President Danilo ASTORI Saragoza (since 1 March 2010); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Jose "Pepe" MUJICA Cordano (since 1 March 2010); Vice President Danilo ASTORI Saragoza (since 1 March 2010)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president with parliamentary approval (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms (may not serve consecutive terms); election last held on 29 November 2009 (next to be held in October 2014)

election results: Jose "Pepe" MUJICA elected president; percent of vote - Jose "Pepe" MUJICA 54.8%, Luis Alberto LACALLE 45.2%

Legislative branch:

bicameral General Assembly or Asamblea General consists of Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (30 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms; vice president has one vote in the Senate) and Chamber of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (99 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: Chamber of Senators - last held on 25 October 2009 (next to be held in October 2014); Chamber of Representatives - last held on 25 October 2009 (next to be held in October 2014)

election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Frente Amplio 16, Blanco 9, Colorado Party 5; Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Frente Amplio 50, Blanco 30, Colorado Party 17, Independent Party 2

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court (judges are nominated by the president and elected for 10-year terms by the General Assembly)

Political parties and leaders:

Broad Front (Frente Amplio) - formerly known as the Progressive
Encounter/Broad Front Coalition or EP-FA [Jorge BROVETTO] (a broad
governing coalition that includes Movement of the Popular
Participation or MPP, New Space Party (Nuevo Espacio) [Rafael
MICHELINI], Progressive Alliance (Alianza Progresista) [Rodolfo NIN
NOVOA], Socialist Party [Eduardo FERNANDEZ and Reinaldo GARGANO],
Communist Party [Eduardo LORIER], Uruguayan Assembly (Asamblea
Uruguay) [Danilo ASTORI], and Vertiente Artiguista [Mariano ARANA]);
Colorado Party (Foro Batllista) [Pedro BORDABERRY and Julio Maria
SANGUINETTI]; National Party or Blanco [Luis Alberto LACALLE and
Jorge LARRANAGA]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Architect's Society of Uruguay (professional organization); Chamber of Uruguayan Industries (manufacturer's association); Chemist and Pharmaceutical Association (professional organization); PIT/CNT (powerful federation of Uruguayan Unions - umbrella labor organization); Rural Association of Uruguay (rancher's association); Uruguayan Construction League; Uruguayan Network of Political Women

other: Catholic Church; students

International organization participation:

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

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Carlos Alberto GIANELLI Derois

chancery: 1913 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20006

telephone: [1] (202) 331-1313 through 1316
FAX: [1] (202) 331-8142

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

consulate(s): San Juan (Puerto Rico)

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador David NELSON

embassy: Lauro Muller 1776, Montevideo 11200

mailing address: APO AA 34035

telephone: [598] (2) 418-7777
FAX: [598] (2) 418-8611

Flag description:

nine equal horizontal stripes of white (top and bottom) alternating with blue; a white square in the upper hoist-side corner with a yellow sun bearing a human face known as the Sun of May with 16 rays that alternate between triangular and wavy; the stripes represent the nine original departments of Uruguay; the sun symbol evokes the legend of the sun breaking through the clouds on 25 May 1810 as independence was first declared from Spain (Uruguay subsequently won its independence from Brazil)

note: the banner was inspired by the national colors of Argentina and by the design of the US flag

National anthem:

name: "Himno Nacional" (National Anthem of Uruguay)

lyrics/music: Francisco Esteban ACUNA de Figueroa/Francisco Jose DEBALI

note: adopted 1848; the anthem is also known as "Orientales, la Patria o la tumba!" ("Uruguayans, the Fatherland or Death!"); it is the world's longest national anthem in terms of music (105 bars; almost five minutes); generally only the first verse and chorus are sung

Economy ::Uruguay

Economy - overview:

Uruguay's economy is characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector, a well-educated work force, and high levels of social spending. After averaging growth of 5% annually during 1996-98, in 1999-2002 the economy suffered a major downturn, stemming largely from the spillover effects of the economic problems of its large neighbors, Argentina and Brazil. In 2001-02, Argentine citizens made massive withdrawals of dollars deposited in Uruguayan banks after bank deposits in Argentina were frozen, which led to a plunge in the Uruguayan peso, a banking crisis, and a sharp economic contraction. Real GDP fell in four years by nearly 20%, with 2002 the worst year. The unemployment rate rose, inflation surged, and the burden of external debt doubled. Financial assistance from the IMF helped stem the damage. Uruguay restructured its external debt in 2003 without asking creditors to accept a reduction on the principal. Economic growth for Uruguay resumed, and averaged 8% annually during the period 2004-08. The 2008-09 global financial crisis put a brake on Uruguay's vigorous growth, which decelerated to 2.9% in 2009. Nevertheless, the country managed to avoid a recession and keep positive growth rates, mainly through higher public expenditure and investment, and GDP growth exceeded 7% in 2010.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$47.8 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 92 $44.63 billion (2009 est.)

$43.38 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$40.71 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

7.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 19 2.9% (2009 est.)

8.5% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$13,600 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 85 $12,800 (2009 est.)

$12,500 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 9.3%

industry: 22.8%

services: 67.9% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

1.637 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 127

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 9%

industry: 15%

services: 76% (2007 est.)

Unemployment rate:

7.4% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 76 7.6% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line:

27.4% of households (2006)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.7%

highest 10%: 34.8% (2006)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

45.2 (2006) country comparison to the world: 41 44.8 (1999)

Investment (gross fixed):

19.4% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 95

Public debt:

52.7% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 47 60% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

6.8% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 174 7.1% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

20% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 11 20% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

15.28% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 68 12.45% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$3.706 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 103 $2.74 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$14.22 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 91 $11.78 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:

$10.49 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 91 $8.888 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 111 $159 million (31 December 2007)

$125.1 million (31 December 2006)

Agriculture - products:

rice, wheat, soybeans, barley; livestock, beef; fish; forestry

Industries:

food processing, electrical machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, textiles, chemicals, beverages

Industrial production growth rate:

16.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 3

Electricity - production:

9.265 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 94

Electricity - consumption:

7.14 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 97

Electricity - exports:

996 million kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports:

789 million kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production:

997 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 104

Oil - consumption:

40,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 103

Oil - exports:

7,100 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 99

Oil - imports:

52,730 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 83

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 109

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 115

Natural gas - consumption:

70 million cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 106

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 104

Natural gas - imports:

70 million cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 68

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 123

Current account balance:

-$377 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 108 $258.8 million (2009 est.)

Exports:

$7.413 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 97 $6.389 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

meat, rice, leather products, wool, fish, dairy products

Exports - partners:

Brazil 21.05%, China 9.45%, Argentina 7.36%, Germany 5.16%, Mexico 4.88%, Netherlands 4.13%, US 3.96% (2009)

Imports:

$8.519 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 95 $6.664 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

crude petroleum and petroleum products, machinery, chemicals, road vehicles, paper, plastics

Imports - partners:

Argentina 20.77%, Brazil 17.53%, China 10.23%, US 9.82%, Paraguay 6.87% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$7.407 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 59 $8.038 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$13.39 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 81 $13.23 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$NA (31 December 2010)

$4.19 billion (2007)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$156 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 79

Exchange rates:

Uruguayan pesos (UYU) per US dollar - 20.276 (2010), 22.568 (2009), 20.936 (2008), 23.947 (2007), 24.048 (2006)

Communications ::Uruguay

Telephones - main lines in use:

953,400 (2009) country comparison to the world: 81

Telephones - mobile cellular:

3.802 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 106

Telephone system:

general assessment: fully digitalized

domestic: most modern facilities concentrated in Montevideo; new nationwide microwave radio relay network; overall fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is 135 telephones per 100 persons

international: country code - 598; the UNISOR submarine cable system provides direct connectivity to Brazil and Argentina; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2009)

Broadcast media:

mixture of privately-owned and state-run broadcast media; more than 100 commercial radio stations and about 20 television channels broadcasting; cable TV is available; large number of community radio and TV stations (2007)

Internet country code:

.uy

Internet hosts:

765,525 (2010) country comparison to the world: 47

Internet users:

1.405 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 86

Transportation ::Uruguay

Airports:

58 (2010) country comparison to the world: 82

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 9

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 2 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 49

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 20

under 914 m: 26 (2010)

Pipelines:

gas 226 km; oil 155 km (2009)

Railways:

total: 1,641 km (1,200 km operational) country comparison to the world: 79 standard gauge: 1,641 km 1.435-m gauge (2010)

Roadways:

total: 77,732 km country comparison to the world: 63 paved: 7,743 km

unpaved: 69,989 km (2010)

Waterways:

1,600 km (2010) country comparison to the world: 52

Merchant marine:

total: 18 country comparison to the world: 101 by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 2, chemical tanker 4, passenger/cargo 7, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 1

foreign-owned: 9 (Argentina 2, Denmark 1, Greece 1, Spain 5)

registered in other countries: 1 (Liberia 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Montevideo

Military ::Uruguay

Military branches:

Uruguayan Armed Forces: Uruguayan National Army (Ejercito Nacional
Uruguaya, ENU), Uruguayan National Navy (Armada Nacional del
Uruguay; includes naval air arm, Naval Rifle Corps (Cuerpo de
Fusileros Navales, Fusna), Maritime Prefecture in wartime),
Uruguayan Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Uruguaya, FAU) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; up to 40 years of age for specialists; enlistment is voluntary in peacetime, but the government has the authority to conscript in emergencies; minimum 6-year education (2009)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 849,358

females age 16-49: 832,774 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 713,223

females age 16-49: 697,197 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 27,631

female: 26,703 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

1.6% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 95

Transnational Issues ::Uruguay

Disputes - international:

in Jan 2007, ICJ provisionally ruled Uruguay may begin construction of two paper mills on the Uruguay River, which forms the border with Argentina, while the court examines further whether Argentina has the legal right to stop such construction with potential environmental implications to both countries; two uncontested boundary disputes with Brazil over Isla Brasilera at the tripoint with Argentina at the confluence of the Quarai/Cuareim and Uruguay rivers, and, in the 235 square kilometer Invernada River region, over which tributary represents the legitimate source of the Quarai/Cuareim River

Illicit drugs:

small-scale transit country for drugs mainly bound for Europe, often through sea-borne containers; law enforcement corruption; money laundering because of strict banking secrecy laws; weak border control along Brazilian frontier; increasing consumption of cocaine base and synthetic drugs

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