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Introduction - Bolivia:

BackgroundBolivia, named after independence fighter Simon BOLIVAR, broke away from Spanish rule in 1825; much of its subsequent history has consisted of a series of nearly 200 coups and countercoups. Democratic civilian rule was established in 1982, but leaders have faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and illegal drug production. In December 2005, Bolivians elected Movement Toward Socialism leader Evo MORALES president - by the widest margin of any leader since the restoration of civilian rule in 1982 - after he ran on a promise to change the countrys traditional political class and empower the nations poor majority. However, since taking office, his controversial strategies have exacerbated racial and economic tensions between the Amerindian populations of the Andean west and the non-indigenous communities of the eastern lowlands.

Location - Bolivia:
LocationCentral South America, southwest of Brazil

Geographic coordinates17 00 S, 65 00 W

Map referencesSouth America

Areatotal: 1,098,580 sq km
land: 1,084,390 sq km
water: 14,190 sq km

Area comparativeslightly less than three times the size of Montana

Land boundariestotal: 6,940 km
border countries: Argentina 832 km, Brazil 3,423 km, Chile 860 km, Paraguay 750 km, Peru 1,075 km

Coastline0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)

Climatevaries with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid

Terrainrugged Andes Mountains with a highland plateau (Altiplano), hills, lowland plains of the Amazon Basin

Elevation extremeslowest point: Rio Paraguay 90 m
highest point: Nevado Sajama 6,542 m

Natural resourcestin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, hydropower

Land usearable land: 2.78%
permanent crops: 0.19%
other: 97.03% (2005)

Irrigated land1,320 sq km (2003)

Natural hazardsflooding in the northeast (March-April)

Environment current issuesthe clearing of land for agricultural purposes and the international demand for tropical timber are contributing to deforestation; soil erosion from overgrazing and poor cultivation methods (including slash-and-burn agriculture); desertification; loss of biodiversity; industrial pollution of water supplies used for drinking and irrigation

Environment international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection

Geography notelandlocked; shares control of Lago Titicaca, worlds highest navigable lake (elevation 3,805 m), with Peru

People - Bolivia:
Population9,119,152 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure0-14 years: 34.3% (male 1,593,509/female 1,532,155)
15-64 years: 61.1% (male 2,730,359/female 2,841,872)
65 years and over: 4.6% (male 187,123/female 234,134) (2007 est.)

Median agetotal: 22.2 years
male: 21.5 years
female: 22.9 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate1.42% (2007 est.)

Birth rate22.82 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate7.44 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate-1.18 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.961 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.799 male(s)/female
total population: 0.979 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality ratetotal: 50.43 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 53.93 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 46.76 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 66.19 years
male: 63.53 years
female: 68.97 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate2.76 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate0.1% (2003 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids4,900 (2003 est.)

Hiv aids deathsless than 500 (2003 est.)

Nationalitynoun: Bolivian(s)
adjective: Bolivian

Ethnic groupsQuechua 30%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 30%, Aymara 25%, white 15%

ReligionsRoman Catholic 95%, Protestant (Evangelical Methodist) 5%

LanguagesSpanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara (official)

Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 86.7%
male: 93.1%
female: 80.7% (2001 census)

Government - Bolivia:
Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Bolivia
conventional short form: Bolivia
local long form: Republica de Bolivia
local short form: Bolivia

Government typerepublic

Capitalname: La Paz (administrative capital)
geographic coordinates: 16 30 S, 68 09 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: Sucre (constitutional capital)

Administrative divisions9 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Beni, Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz, Oruro, Pando, Potosi, Santa Cruz, Tarija

Independence6 August 1825 (from Spain)

National holidayIndependence Day, 6 August (1825)

Constitution2 February 1967; revised in August 1994; referendum on new constitution to be held 6 August 2007

Legal systembased on Spanish law and Napoleonic Code; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage18 years of age, universal and compulsory (married); 21 years of age, universal and compulsory (single)

Executive branchchief of state: President Juan Evo MORALES Ayma (since 22 January 2006); Vice President Alvaro GARCIA Linera (since 22 January 2006); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Juan Evo MORALES Ayma (since 22 January 2006); Vice President Alvaro GARCIA Linera (since 22 January 2006)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held 18 December 2005 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: Juan Evo MORALES Ayma elected president; percent of vote - Juan Evo MORALES Ayma 53.7%; Jorge Fernando QUIROGA Ramirez 28.6%; Samuel DORIA MEDINA Arana 7.8%; Michiaki NAGATANI Morishit 6.5%; Felipe QUISPE Huanca 2.2%; Guildo ANGULA Cabrera 0.7%

Legislative branchbicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (27 seats; members are elected by proportional representation from party lists to serve five-year terms) and Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (130 seats; 70 members are directly elected from their districts and 60 are elected by proportional representation from party lists to serve five-year terms)
elections: Chamber of Senators and Chamber of Deputies - last held 18 December 2005 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PODEMOS 13, MAS 12, UN 1, MNR 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MAS 73, PODEMOS 43, UN 8, MNR 6

Judicial branchSupreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges appointed for 10-year terms by National Congress); District Courts (one in each department); provincial and local courts (to try minor cases)

Political parties and leadersFree Bolivia Movement or MBL [Franz BARRIOS]; Movement Toward Socialism or MAS [Juan Evo MORALES Ayma]; Movement Without Fear or MSM [Juan DEL GRANADO]; National Revolutionary Movement or MNR [Mirta QUEVEDO]; National Unity [Samuel DORIA MEDINA Arana]; Poder Democratico Nacional or PODEMOS [Jorge Fernando QUIROGA Ramirez]; Social Alliance [Rene JOAQUINO]

Political pressure groups and leadersCocalero groups; indigenous organizations; labor unions; Sole Confederation of Campesino Workers of Bolivia or CSUTCB

International organization participationCAN, CSN, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUC, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMISET, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: Ambassador Gustavo GUZMAN Saldana
chancery: 3014 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-4410
FAX: [1] (202) 328-3712
consulate(s) general: Houston, Miami, New York, Oklahoma City, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC

Diplomatic representation from the uschief of mission: Ambassador Philip S. GOLDBERG
embassy: Avenida Arce 2780, La Paz
mailing address: P. O. Box 425, La Paz; APO AA 34032
telephone: [591] (2) 216-8000
FAX: [591] (2) 216-8111

Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green with the coat of arms centered on the yellow band; similar to the flag of Ghana, which has a large black five-pointed star centered in the yellow band

Economy - Bolivia:
Economy overviewBolivia, long one of the poorest and least developed Latin American countries, reformed its economy after suffering a disastrous economic crisis in the early 1980s. The reforms spurred real GDP growth, which averaged 4% in the 1990s, and poverty rates fell. Economic growth, however, lagged again beginning in 1999 because of a global slowdown and homegrown factors such as political turmoil, civil unrest, and soaring fiscal deficits, all of which hurt investor confidence. In 2003, violent protests against the pro-foreign investment economic policies of ex-President SANCHEZ DE LOZADA led to his resignation and the cancellation of plans to export Bolivias newly discovered natural gas reserves to large northern hemisphere markets. In 2005, the government passed a controversial natural gas law that imposed significantly higher taxes on the oil and gas firms and required production firms to sign new operating contracts, which were completed in October 2006. Bolivian officials are in the process of revamping the defunct state-owned oil company and acquiring majority ownership of five gas production, transportation, refining, and storage companies. The MORALES administration plans to increase state control over other sectors as well, including mining, electricity, telecommunications, transportation, and forestry. Real GDP growth in 2003-06 - helped by increased demand for natural gas in neighboring Brazil - was positive, but still below the levels seen during the 1990s. Bolivias fiscal position has improved in recent years, and the country had a record 6% fiscal surplus for 2006. In 2005, the G8 announced a $2 billion debt-forgiveness plan over the next few decades. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank forgave a total of approximately $1.8 billion of Bolivian debt in 2006 that has helped reduce fiscal pressures on the government.

Gdp purchasing power parity $27.87 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate $10.33 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate4.5% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp $3,100 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 12.8%
industry: 36.1%
services: 51.2% (2006 est.)

Labor force4.3 million (2006 est.)

Labor force by occupationagriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Unemployment rate7.8% in urban areas; widespread underemployment (2006 est.)

Population below poverty line64% (2004 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.3%
highest 10%: 32% (1999)

Distribution of family income gini index60.6 (2002)

Inflation rate consumer prices 4.3% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed 12.4% of GDP (2006 est.)

Budgetrevenues: $4.153 billion
expenditures: $3.619 billion; including capital expenditures of $741 million (2006 est.)

Agriculture productssoybeans, coffee, coca, cotton, corn, sugarcane, rice, potatoes; timber

Industriesmining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverages, tobacco, handicrafts, clothing

Industrial production growth rate5.7% (2004 est.)

Electricity production4.472 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption4.168 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports9 million kWh (2004)

Oil production42,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil consumption47,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exportsNA bbl/day

Oil importsNA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves440.5 million bbl (1 January 2005)

Natural gas production10.05 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption2.14 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas exports7.91 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas imports0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas proved reserves679.6 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)

Current account balance$688 million (2006 est.)

Exports$3.668 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commoditiesnatural gas, soybeans and soy products, crude petroleum, zinc ore, tin

Exports partnersBrazil 42.7%, US 12%, Argentina 10.6%, Colombia 7.5%, Japan 6.1%, Peru 4.7% (2006)

Imports$2.934 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commoditiespetroleum products, plastics, paper, aircraft and aircraft parts, prepared foods, automobiles, insecticides, soybeans

Imports partnersBrazil 24.6%, Argentina 18.8%, Chile 12.2%, US 9.2%, Peru 7.3% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$3.303 billion (2006 est.)

Debt external$5.916 billion (2006 est.)

Economic aid recipient$221 million (2005 est.)

Currency code boliviano (BOB)

Exchange ratesbolivianos per US dollar - 8.0159 (2006), 8.0661 (2005), 7.9363 (2004), 7.6592 (2003), 7.17 (2002)

Communications - Bolivia:
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Telephones main lines in use646,300 (2005)

Telephones mobile cellular2.421 million (2005)

Telephone systemgeneral assessment: new subscribers face bureaucratic difficulties; most telephones are concentrated in La Paz and other cities; mobile cellular telephone use expanding rapidly
domestic: primary trunk system, which is being expanded, employs digital microwave radio relay; some areas are served by fiber-optic cable; mobile cellular systems are being expanded
international: country code - 591; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stationsAM 171, FM 73, shortwave 77 (1999)

Television broadcast stations48 (1997)

Internet country code.bo

Internet hosts20,085 (2006)

Internet users580,000 (2006)

Transportation - Bolivia:
Airports1,084 (2006)

Airports with paved runwaystotal: 16
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 1,068
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 60
914 to 1,523 m: 207
under 914 m: 797 (2006)

Pipelinesgas 4,860 km; liquid petroleum gas 47 km; oil 2,475 km; refined products 1,589 km; unknown (oil/water) 247 km (2006)

Railwaystotal: 3,504 km
narrow gauge: 3,504 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)

Roadwaystotal: 62,479 km
paved: 3,749 km
unpaved: 58,730 km (2004)

Waterways10,000 km (commercially navigable) (2007)

Merchant marinetotal: 24 ships (1000 GRT or over) 127,297 GRT/198,525 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 8, chemical tanker 1, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 10
foreign-owned: 10 (Argentina 1, China 1, Egypt 2, Iran 1, Singapore 3, Taiwan 1, Yemen 1) (2006)

Ports and terminalsPuerto Aguirre (inland port on the Paraguay/Parana waterway at the Bolivia/Brazil border); Bolivia has free port privileges in maritime ports in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay

Military - Bolivia:
Military branchesBolivian Armed Forces: Bolivian Army (Ejercito Boliviano), Bolivian Navy (Armada Boliviana; includes marines), Bolivian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Boliviana, FAB) (2007)

Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary military service; when annual number of volunteers falls short of goal, compulsory recruitment is effected, including conscription of boys as young as 14; one estimate holds that 40% of the armed forces are under the age of 18, with 50% of those under the age of 16; conscript tour of duty - 12 months (2004)

Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 1,923,234
females age 18-49: 2,007,315 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 1,311,414
females age 18-49: 1,502,177 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 101,101
females age 18-49: 98,671 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp1.9% (2006)

Disputes internationalChile rebuffs Bolivias reactivated claim to restore the Atacama corridor, ceded to Chile in 1884, offering instead unrestricted but not sovereign maritime access through Chile for Bolivian natural gas and other commodities

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>