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Introduction - Uruguay:
BackgroundMontevideo, 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 Uruguays 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. Uruguays political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent.
Location - Uruguay:
LocationSouthern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil
Geographic coordinates33 00 S, 56 00 W
Map referencesSouth America
Areatotal: 176,220 sq km
land: 173,620 sq km
water: 2,600 sq km
Area comparativeslightly smaller than the state of Washington
Land boundariestotal: 1,648 km
border countries: Argentina 580 km, Brazil 1,068 km
Coastline660 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or edge of continental margin
Climatewarm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown
Terrainmostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland
Elevation extremeslowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Cerro Catedral 514 m
Natural resourcesarable land, hydropower, minor minerals, fisheries
Land usearable land: 7.77%
permanent crops: 0.24%
other: 91.99% (2005)
Irrigated land2,100 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardsseasonally 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 issueswater pollution from meat packing/tannery industry; inadequate solid/hazardous waste disposal
Environment international agreementsparty 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, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation
Geography notesecond-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:
Population3,460,607 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 23% (male 403,745/female 390,623)
15-64 years: 63.8% (male 1,096,225/female 1,112,568)
65 years and over: 13.2% (male 184,303/female 273,143) (2007 est.)
Median agetotal: 32.9 years
male: 31.5 years
female: 34.4 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate0.504% (2007 est.)
Birth rate14.41 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate9.16 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate-0.21 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.034 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.985 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.675 male(s)/female
total population: 0.948 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 12.02 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 13.49 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 75.93 years
male: 72.68 years
female: 79.3 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate1.97 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rate0.3% (2001 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aids6,000 (2001 est.)
Hiv aids deathsless than 500 (2003 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Uruguayan(s)
adjective: Uruguayan
Ethnic groupswhite 88%, mestizo 8%, black 4%, Amerindian (practically nonexistent)
ReligionsRoman Catholic 66% (less than half of the adult population attends church regularly), Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, nonprofessing or other 31%
LanguagesSpanish, Portunol, or Brazilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 97.6%
female: 98.4% (2003 est.)
Government - Uruguay:
Country nameconventional 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 typeconstitutional republic
Capitalname: 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 second Sunday in October; ends second Sunday in March
Administrative divisions19 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
Independence25 August 1825 (from Brazil)
National holidayIndependence Day, 25 August (1825)
Constitution27 November 1966, effective 15 February 1967; suspended 27 June 1973, new constitution rejected by referendum 30 November 1980; two constitutional reforms approved by plebiscite 26 November 1989 and 7 January 1997
Legal systembased on Spanish civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branchchief of state: President Tabare VAZQUEZ Rosas (since 1 March 2005); Vice President Rodolfo NIN NOVOA (since 1 March 2005); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Tabare VAZQUEZ Rosas (since 1 March 2005); Vice President Rodolfo NIN NOVOA (since 1 March 2005)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president with parliamentary approval
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 31 October 2004 (next to be held in October 2009)
election results: Tabare VAZQUEZ elected president; percent of vote - Tabare VAZQUEZ 50.5%, Jorge LARRANAGA 35.1%, Guillermo STIRLING 10.3%; other 4.1%
Legislative branchbicameral General Assembly or Asamblea General consists of Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (30 seats; members are 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 are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: Chamber of Senators - last held 31 October 2004 (next to be held October 2009); Chamber of Representatives - last held 31 October 2004 (next to be held October 2009)
election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - EP-FA 16, Blanco 11, Colorado Party 3; Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - EP-FA 52, Blanco 36, Colorado Party 10, Independent Party 1
Judicial branchSupreme Court (judges are nominated by the president and elected for 10-year terms by the General Assembly)
Political parties and leadersBroad Front Coalition (Frente Amplio) [Jorge BROVETTO] (formerly known as the Progressive Encounter/Broad Front Coalition or EP-FA); Colorado Party [Julio Maria SANGUINETTI]; Independent Party (Partido Independiente) [Pablo MIERES]; Movement of Popular Participation or MPP [Jose MUJICA]; National Party or Blanco [Jorge LARRANAGA]; New Sector/Space Coalition (Nuevo Espacio) [Rafael MICHELINI]; Broad Front Coalition (Frente Amplio) [Jorge BROVETTO] (formerly known as the Progressive Encounter/Broad Front Coalition or EP-FA); Uruguayan Assembly or Asamblea Uruguay [Danilo ASTORI]
Political pressure groups and leadersArchitects Society of Uruguay (professional organization); Catholic Church; Chamber of Uruguayan Industries (manufacturers association); Chemist and Pharmaceutical Association (professional organization); PIT-CNT (powerful federation of Uruguayan unions); Rural Association of Uruguay (ranchers association); students; Uruguayan Construction League
Diplomatic representation in the uschief 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 uschief of mission: Ambassador Frank BAXTER
embassy: Lauro Muller 1776, Montevideo 11200
mailing address: APO AA 34035
telephone: [598] (2) 418-7777
FAX: [598] (2) 418-8611
Flag descriptionnine equal horizontal stripes of white (top and bottom) alternating with blue; there is 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
Economy - Uruguay:
Economy overviewUruguays well-to-do 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. For instance, in 2001-02 Argentina made massive withdrawals of dollars deposited in Uruguayan banks, which led to a plunge in the Uruguayan peso and a massive rise in unemployment. Total GDP in these four years dropped by nearly 20%, with 2002 the worst year due to the banking crisis. The unemployment rate rose to nearly 20% in 2002, inflation surged, and the burden of external debt doubled. Cooperation with the IMF helped stem the damage. A debt swap with private-sector creditors in 2003 extended the maturity dates on nearly half of Uruguays then $11.3 billion of public debt and helped restore public confidence. The economy grew about 12% in 2004 as a result of high commodity prices for Uruguayan exports, a competitive peso, growth in the region, and low international interest rates, and it continued to grow nearly 7% annually in 2005 and 2006.
Gdp purchasing power parity $37.54 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp official exchange rate $14.5 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp real growth rate7% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $10,900 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 9.3%
industry: 33.7%
services: 57% (2006 est.)
Labor force1.27 million (2006 est.)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: 14%
industry: 16%
services: 70%
Unemployment rate10.8% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line27.37% of households (2006)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.7%
highest 10%: 25.8% (1997)
Distribution of family income gini index45.2 (2006)
Inflation rate consumer prices 6.5% (2006 est.)
Investment gross fixed 13.6% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $5.203 billion
expenditures: $5.449 billion; including capital expenditures of $193 million (2006 est.)
Public debt70.6% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture productsrice, wheat, corn, barley; livestock; fish
Industriesfood processing, electrical machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, textiles, chemicals, beverages
Industrial production growth rate12.6% (2006 est.)
Electricity production8.183 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity consumption9.939 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity exports19 million kWh (2004)
Electricity imports2.348 billion kWh (2004)
Oil production513.5 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil consumption38,100 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil exportsNA bbl/day
Oil importsNA bbl/day
Oil proved reserves0 bbl
Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption120 million cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas exports0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas imports120 million cu m (2004 est.)
Current account balance-$600 million (2006 est.)
Exports$3.993 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports commoditiesmeat, rice, leather products, wool, fish, dairy products
Exports partnersBrazil 14%, US 12.3%, Argentina 8.2%, China 6.1%, Germany 5%, Russia 5%, Mexico 4.3% (2006)
Imports$4.532 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports commoditiesmachinery, chemicals, road vehicles, crude petroleum
Imports partnersBrazil 17.2%, Argentina 16.4%, US 8.9%, Paraguay 7.8%, China 7.5%, Venezuela 5.2%, Nigeria 4.8% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$5.518 billion (October 2006 est.)
Debt external$11.4 billion (30 September 2006 est.)
Economic aid recipient$NA
Currency code Uruguayan peso (UYU)
Exchange ratesUruguayan pesos per US dollar - 24.048 (2006), 24.479 (2005), 28.704 (2004), 28.209 (2003), 21.257 (2002)
Communications - Uruguay:
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Telephones main lines in use987,000 (2006)
Telephones mobile cellular2.333 million (2006)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: fully digitalized
domestic: most modern facilities concentrated in Montevideo; new nationwide microwave radio relay network
international: country code - 598; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2002)
Radio broadcast stationsAM 93, FM 191, shortwave 7 (2005)
Television broadcast stations62 (2005)
Internet country code.uy
Internet hosts145,774 (2006)
Internet users756,000 (2006)
Transportation - Uruguay:
Airports64 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 8
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2006)
Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 56
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 22
under 914 m: 31 (2006)
Pipelinesgas 257 km; oil 160 km (2006)
Railwaystotal: 2,073 km
standard gauge: 2,073 km 1.435-m gauge
note: 461 km have been taken out of service and 460 km are in partial use (2006)
Roadwaystotal: 77,732 km
paved: 7,743 km
unpaved: 69,989 km (2004)
Waterways1,600 km (2005)
Merchant marinetotal: 13 ships (1000 GRT or over) 34,259 GRT/19,725 DWT
by type: cargo 2, chemical tanker 1, passenger/cargo 7, petroleum tanker 2, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 4 (Argentina 3, Greece 1)
registered in other countries: 8 (Argentina 1, Bahamas 2, Liberia 3, Spain 2) (2006)
Ports and terminalsMontevideo, Nueva Palmira, Fray Bentos, Colonia, Juan Lacaze
Military - Uruguay:
Military branchesArmy, Navy (includes naval air arm, Marines, Maritime Prefecture in wartime), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Uruguaya, FAU) (2006)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary and compulsory military service; enlistment is voluntary in peacetime, but the government has the authority to conscript in emergencies (2007)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 764,408
females age 18-49: 760,341 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 637,445
females age 18-49: 631,046 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp1.6% (2006)
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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