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BOLIVIA
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Geography

Location: Central South America, southwest of Brazil

Geographic coordinates: 17 00 S, 65 00 W

Map references: South America

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

Area—comparative: slightly less than three times the size of Montana

Land boundaries:
total: 6,743 km
border countries: Argentina 832 km, Brazil 3,400 km, Chile 861 km, Paraguay 750 km, Peru 900 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: varies with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid

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

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Rio Paraguay 90 m
highest point: Cerro Illimani 6,882 m

Natural resources: tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber

Land use:
arable land: 2%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 24%
forests and woodland: 53%
other: 21% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 1,750 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: cold, thin air of high plateau is obstacle to efficient fuel combustion, as well as to physical activity by those unaccustomed to it from birth; flooding in the northeast (March-April)

Environment—current issues: the 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 agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection

Geography—note: landlocked; shares control of Lago Titicaca, world's highest navigable lake (elevation 3,805 m), with Peru

 
People

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Population: 7,826,352 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 39% (male 1,559,149; female 1,526,646)
15-64 years: 56% (male 2,139,680; female 2,245,268)
65 years and over: 5% (male 161,431; female 194,178) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 2% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 31.43 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 9.89 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.53 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 63.86 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 60.89 years
male: 57.98 years
female: 63.94 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.05 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Bolivian(s)
adjective: Bolivian

Ethnic groups: Quechua 30%, Aymara 25%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 25%-30%, white 5%-15%

Religions: Roman Catholic 95%, Protestant (Evangelical Methodist)

Languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara (official)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.1%
male: 90.5%
female: 76% (1995 est.)

 
Government

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Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Bolivia
conventional short form: Bolivia
local long form: Republica de Bolivia
local short form: Bolivia

Data code: BL

Government type: republic

National capital: La Paz (seat of government); Sucre (legal capital and seat of judiciary)

Administrative divisions: 9 departments (departamentos, singular—departamento); Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, Beni, La Paz, Oruro, Pando, Potosi, Santa Cruz, Tarija

Independence: 6 August 1825 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day, 6 August (1825)

Constitution: 2 February 1967; revised in August 1994

Legal system: based on Spanish law and Napoleonic Code; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age, universal and compulsory (married); 21 years of age, universal and compulsory (single)

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Hugo BANZER Suarez (since 6 August 1997); Vice President Jorge Fernando QUIROGA Ramirez (since 6 August 1997); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Hugo BANZER Suarez (since 6 August 1997); Vice President Jorge Fernando QUIROGA Ramirez (since 6 August 1997); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from a panel of candidates proposed by the Senate
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms; election last held 1 June 1997 (next to be held June 2002)
election results: Hugo BANZER Suarez elected president; percent of vote—Hugo BANZER Suarez (ADN) 22%; Jaime PAZ Zamora (MIR) 17%, Juan Carlos DURAN (MNR) 18%, Ivo KULJIS (UCS) 16%, Remedios LOZA (CONDEPA) 17%; no candidate received a majority of the popular vote; Hugo BANZER Suarez won a congressional runoff election on 5 August 1997 after forming a "megacoalition" with MIR, UCS, CONDEPA, NFR and PCD

Legislative branch: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (27 seats; members are directly elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (130 seats; members are directly elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: Chamber of Senators and Chamber of Deputies—last held 1 June 1997 (next to be held June 2002)
election results: Chamber of Senators—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party - ADN 11, MIR 7, MNR 4, CONDEPA 3, UCS 2; Chamber of Deputies—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—ADN 32, MNR 26, MIR 23, UCS 21, CONDEPA 19, MBL 5, IU 4

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Corte Suprema), judges appointed for a 10-year term by National Congress

Political parties and leaders:
Left Parties: Free Bolivia Movement or MBL [Antonio ARANIBAR]; Patriotic Axis of Convergence or EJE-P [Ramiro BARRANECHEA]; April 9 Revolutionary Vanguard or VR-9 [Carlos SERRATE]; Alternative of Democratic Socialism or ASD [Jerjes JUSTINIANO]; Revolutionary Front of the Left or FRI [Oscar ZAMORA]; Bolivian Communist Party or PCB [Marcos DOMIC]; United Left or IU [Marcos DOMIC]; Front of National Salvation or FSN [Manual MORALES Davila]; Socialist Party One or PS-1; Bolivian Socialist Falange or FSB; Socialist Unzaguista Movement or MAS
Center-Left Parties: Movement of the Revolutionary Left or MIR [Oscar EID]; Christian Democrat or PDC [Benjamin MIGUEL]; New Youth Force [Alfonso SAAVEDRA Bruno]
Center Party: Nationalist Revolutionary Movement or MNR [Gonzalo SANCHEZ DE LOZADA]
Center-Right Parties: Nationalist Democratic Action or ADN [Enrique TORO]; New Republican Force or NFR [Manfred REYES VILLA]
Populist Parties: Civic Solidarity Union or UCS [Johnny FERNANDEZ]; Conscience of the Fatherland or CONDEPA [Remedios LOZA Alvarado]; Solidarity and Democracy or SYD; Unity and Progress Movement or MUP [Ivo KULJIS]; Popular Patriotic Movement or MPP [Julio MANTILLA]
Evangelical Party: Bolivian Renovating Alliance or ARBOL [Marcelo FERNANDEZ, Hugo VILLEGAS]
Indigenous Parties: Tupac Katari Revolutionary Liberation Movement or MRTK-L [Victor Hugo CARDENAS Conde]; Nationalist Katarista Movement or MKN [Fernando UNTOJA]; Front of Katarista Unity or FULKA [Genaro FLORES]; Katarismo National Unity or KND [Filepe KITTELSON]

International organization participation: AG, ECLAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (subscriber), ITU, LAES, LAIA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Marcelo PEREZ Monasterios
chancery: 3014 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-4410 through 4412
FAX: [1] (202) 328-3712
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Donna Jean HRINAK
embassy: Avenida Arce 2780, San Jorge, La Paz
mailing address: P. O. Box 425, La Paz; APO AA 34032
telephone: [591] (2) 430251
FAX: [591] (2) 433900

Flag description: three 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

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Economy—overview: With its long history of semifeudal social controls, dependence on volatile prices for its mineral exports, and bouts of hyperinflation, Bolivia has remained one of the poorest and least developed Latin American countries. However, Bolivia has experienced generally improving economic conditions since the PAZ Estenssoro administration (1985-89) introduced market-oriented policies which reduced inflation from 11,700% in 1985 to about 20% in 1988. PAZ Estenssoro was followed as president by Jaime PAZ Zamora (1989-93) who continued the free-market policies of his predecessor, despite opposition from his own party and from Bolivia's once powerful labor movement. By maintaining fiscal discipline, PAZ Zamora helped reduce inflation to 9.3% in 1993, while GDP grew by an annual average of 3.25% during his tenure. President SANCHEZ DE LOZADA (1993-1997) vowed to advance the market-oriented economic reforms he helped launch as PAZ Estenssoro's planning minister. His successes included the signing of a free trade agreement with Mexico and the Southern Cone Common Market (Mercosur) as well as the privatization of the state airline, phone company, railroad, electric power company, and oil company. Furthermore, SANCHEZ DE LOZADA sponsored legislation creating private social security accounts for all adult Bolivians and capitalized these new accounts with the state's remaining 50% share in the privatized companies. Hugo BANZER Suarez took office in August 1997 and has proclaimed his commitment to the economic reforms of the previous administration.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$23.1 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 4.4% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$3,000 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 17%
industry: 26%
services: 57% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 7% (1997)

Labor force:
total: 2.5 million
by occupation: agriculture NA%, services and utilities NA%, manufacturing, mining and construction NA%

Unemployment rate: 10%

Budget:
revenues: $3.75 billion
expenditures: $3.75 billion, including capital expenditures of $556.2 million (1995 est.)

Industries: mining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverages, tobacco, handicrafts, clothing

Industrial production growth rate: 4% (1995 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 786,000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 2.9 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 370 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: coffee, coca, cotton, corn, sugarcane, rice, potatoes; timber

Exports:
total value: $1.4 billion (f.o.b., 1997)
commodities: metals 34%, natural gas 9.4%, soybeans 8.4%, jewelry 11%, wood 6.9%
partners: US 22%, UK 9.3%, Colombia 8.7%, Peru 7.4%, Argentina 7.2%

Imports:
total value: $1.7 billion (c.i.f. 1997)
commodities: capital goods 48%, chemicals 11%, petroleum 5%, food 5% (1993 est.)
partners: US 20%, Japan 13%, Brazil 12, Chile 7.5% (1996)

Debt—external: $4.2 billion (1997)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $588 million (1997)

Currency: 1 boliviano ($B) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: bolivianos ($B) per US$1—5.3724 (January 1998), 5.2543 (1997), 5.0746 (1996), 4.8003 (1995), 4.6205 (1994), 4.2651 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year

 
Communications

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Telephones: 144,300 (1987 est.)

Telephone system: new subscribers face bureaucratic difficulties; most telephones are concentrated in La Paz and other cities
domestic: microwave radio relay system being expanded
international: satellite earth station—1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 129, FM 0, shortwave 68

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 43

Televisions: 500,000 (1993 est.)

 
Transportation

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Railways:
total: 3,691 km (single track)
narrow gauge: 3,652 km 1.000-m gauge; 39 km 0.760-m gauge (13 km electrified) (1995)

Highways:
total: 52,216 km
paved: 2,872 km (including 27 km of expressways)
unpaved: 49,344 km (1995 est.)

Waterways: 10,000 km of commercially navigable waterways

Pipelines: crude oil 1,800 km; petroleum products 580 km; natural gas 1,495 km

Ports and harbors: none; however, Bolivia has free port privileges in the maritime ports of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay

Merchant marine:
total: 1 cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,214 GRT/6,390 DWT (1997 est.)

Airports: 1,153 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 11
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 1,142
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 73
914 to 1,523 m: 229
under 914 m: 837 (1997 est.)

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