Map Uruguay
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of 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.
Location: Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil
Area land: 175,015 sq km
Area water: 1,200 sq km
Coastline: 660 km
Country name conventional long form: Oriental Republic of Uruguay
Country name conventional short form: Uruguay
Country name former: Banda Oriental, Cisplatine Province
Population: 3,308,535 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 22.2% (male 373,613/female 361,160); 15-64 years: 64.1% (male 1,042,163/female 1,078,357); 65 years and over: 13.7% (male 180,729/female 272,513) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 0.231% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 13.52 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 9.58 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 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 (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 9.69 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 10.73 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 8.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 76.21 years; male: 73.07 years; female: 79.46 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 1.89 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.5% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 9,900 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA;
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.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $48.43 billion (2010 est.); $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: 8.5% (2010 est.); 2.9% (2009 est.); 8.5% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $14,300 (2010 est.); $13,100 (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.);
Population below poverty line: 20.9% of households (2009);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.6%; highest 10%: 35.5% (2007);
Labor force: 1.637 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 13%; industry: 14%; services: 73% (2010 est.);
Unemployment rate: 6.8% (2010 est.); 7.3% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $17.5 billion; expenditures: $17.9 billion (2010);
Industries: food processing, electrical machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, textiles, chemicals, beverages;
Industrial production growth rate: 16.5% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 9.89 billion kWh (2010 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 7.57 billion kWh (2010 est.);
Electricity - exports: 711.4 million kWh (2010 est.);
Electricity - imports: 386.8 million kWh (2010 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.



(Left-wing weekly), Montevideo

El Observador

(Conservative, business-oriented), Montevideo

El País

(Conservative), Montevideo

Uruguay in the News

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Displaying 5 to 8 of 8 items.

Latin America Shifts to the Center-Left

Anti-Bush demonstrations in Santiago, Chile highlight a new political trend in Latin America - where many countries are moving to the center-left as the United States takes a sharp turn to the right

New Life for Mercosur

Latin American journalists greeted the ambitious reforms to the Mercosur trade bloc that Argentine President Néstor Kirchner proposed to Latin American leaders gathered in Asunción on June 18 with a mixture of hope and skepticism. We review comment from Quito, Asunción, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Caracas, and Tegucigalpa.

Argentina: The Epidemic Spreads in Latin America

After its marked failure in the Asian crisis of 1998, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is under scrutiny by the world financial community for not heeding the warnings about the possibility that the Argentine crisis would infect the economies of the region.

Fading Neoliberalism

Progressive presidential candidates who espouse activist government intervention in economic affairs are spearheading an electoral revolution in Latin American politics.