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Map of Paraguay


Location: Central South America, northeast of Argentina

Geographic coordinates: 23 00 S, 58 00 W

Map references: South America

total: 406,750 sq km
land: 397,300 sq km
water: 9,450 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than California

Land boundaries:
total: 3,920 km
border countries: Argentina 1,880 km, Bolivia 750 km, Brazil 1,290 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: subtropical; substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, becoming semiarid in the far west

Terrain: grassy plains and wooded hills east of Rio Paraguay; Gran Chaco region west of Rio Paraguay mostly low, marshy plain near the river, and dry forest and thorny scrub elsewhere

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: junction of Rio Paraguay and Rio Parana 46 m
highest point: Cerro San Rafael 850 m

Natural resources: hydropower, timber, iron ore, manganese, limestone

Land use:
arable land: 6%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 55%
forests and woodland: 32%
other: 7% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 670 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: local flooding in southeast (early September to June); poorly drained plains may become boggy (early October to June)

Environment—current issues: deforestation (an estimated 2 million hectares of forest land have been lost from 1958-85); water pollution; inadequate means for waste disposal present health risks for many urban residents

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Nuclear Test Ban

Geography—note: landlocked; lies between Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil


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Population: 5,291,020 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 39% (male 1,061,972; female 1,026,983)
15-64 years: 56% (male 1,483,089; female 1,473,372)
65 years and over: 5% (male 113,298; female 132,306) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.68% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 32.21 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 5.29 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 37.39 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.23 years
male: 70.27 years
female: 74.29 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.26 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Paraguayan(s)
adjective: Paraguayan

Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) 95%, white plus Amerindian 5%

Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, Mennonite and other Protestant denominations

Languages: Spanish (official), Guarani

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.1%
male: 93.5%
female: 90.6% (1995 est.)


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Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Paraguay
conventional short form: Paraguay
local long form: Republica del Paraguay
local short form: Paraguay

Data code: PA

Government type: republic

National capital: Asuncion

Administrative divisions: 18 departments (departamentos, singular—departamento); Alto Paraguay, Alto Parana, Amambay, Asuncion, Boqueron, Caaguazu, Caazapa, Canindeyu, Central, Concepcion, Cordillera, Guaira, Itapua, Misiones, Neembucu, Paraguari, Presidente Hayes, San Pedro

Independence: 14 May 1811 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Days, 14-15 May (1811)

Constitution: promulgated 20 June 1992

Legal system: based on Argentine codes, Roman law, and French codes; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court of Justice; does not accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory up to age 60

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Juan Carlos WASMOSY (since 15 August 1993) and Vice President Roberto Angel SEIFART (since 15 August 1993); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Juan Carlos WASMOSY (since 15 August 1993) and Vice President Roberto Angel SEIFART (since 15 August 1993); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms; election last held 9 May 1993 (next to be held 10 May 1998)
election results: Juan Carlos WASMOSY elected president; percent of vote—Juan Carlos WASMOSY 40.09%, Domingo LAINO 32.06%, Guillermo CABALLERO VARGAS 23.04%

Legislative branch: bicameral Congress or Congreso consists of the Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (45 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (80 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: Chamber of Senators—last held 9 May 1993 (next to be held 10 May 1998); Chamber of Deputies—last held 9 May 1993 (next to be held 10 May 1998)
election results: Chamber of Senators—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party - Colorado Party 20, PLRA 17, EN 8; Chamber of Deputies—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—Colorado Party 38, PLRA 33, EN 9

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice (Corte Suprema de Justicia), judges appointed on the proposal of the Counsel of Magistrates (Consejo de la Magistratura)

Political parties and leaders: Colorado Party, Luis Maria ARGANA, president; Authentic Radical Liberal Party (PLRA), Domingo LAINO; National Encounter (EN), Carlos FILIZZOLA; Christian Democratic Party (PDC), Miguel MONTANER; Febrerista Revolutionary Party (PRF), Victor SANCHEZ Villagra; Popular Democratic Party (PDP), Hugo Richer

Political pressure groups and leaders: Unitary Workers Central (CUT); Roman Catholic Church; National Workers Central (CNT); Paraguayan Workers Confederation (CPT)

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

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jorge G. Andres PRIETO CONTI
chancery: 2400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-6960 through 6962
FAX: [1] (202) 234-4508
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Maura A. HARTY
embassy: 1776 Avenida Mariscal Lopez, Casilla Postal 402, Asuncion
mailing address: Unit 4711, APO AA 34036-0001
telephone: [595] (21) 213-715
FAX: [595] (21) 213-728

Flag description: three equal, horizontal bands of red (top), white, and blue with an emblem centered in the white band; unusual flag in that the emblem is different on each side; the obverse (hoist side at the left) bears the national coat of arms (a yellow five-pointed star within a green wreath capped by the words REPUBLICA DEL PARAGUAY, all within two circles); the reverse (hoist side at the right) bears the seal of the treasury (a yellow lion below a red Cap of Liberty and the words Paz y Justicia (Peace and Justice) capped by the words REPUBLICA DEL PARAGUAY, all within two circles)


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Economy—overview: Paraguay has a market economy marked by a large informal sector. The informal sector features both reexport of imported consumer goods (electronics, whiskeys, perfumes, cigarettes, and office equipment) to neighboring countries as well as the activities of thousands of microenterprises and urban street vendors. The formal sector is largely oriented toward services. A large percentage of the population derive their living from agricultural activity, often on a subsistence basis. The formal economy has grown an average of about 3% over the past five years. However, population has increased at about the same rate over the same period, leaving per capita income nearly stagnant. The WASMOSY government has continued to pursue its economic reform agenda, albeit with limited success because of in-fighting in the ruling party and resistance from the opposition. Paraguay's ongoing integration into Mercosur (the Southern Cone Common Market) offers potential for investment and growth.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$21.9 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 2.6% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$3,900 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 26.4%
industry: 24.9%
services: 48.7% (1995)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 6.2% (1997)

Labor force:
total: 1.8 million (1995 est.)
by occupation: agriculture 45%

Unemployment rate: 8.2% (urban) (1996 est.)

revenues: $1.25 billion
expenditures: $1.66 billion, including capital expenditures of $357 million (1995 est.)

Industries: meat packing, oilseed crushing, milling, brewing, textiles, other light consumer goods, cement, construction

Industrial production growth rate: 5.1% (1995)

Electricity—capacity: 6.533 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 40.05 billion kWh (1995)
note: exported about 36.96 billion kWh of electricity to Brazil

Electricity—consumption per capita: 577 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: cotton, sugarcane, soybeans, corn, wheat, tobacco, cassava (tapioca), fruits, vegetables; beef, pork, eggs, milk; timber

total value: $1.1 billion (f.o.b., 1997 est.)
commodities: cotton, soybeans, timber, vegetable oils, meat products, coffee, tung oil
partners: Brazil 48%, Netherlands 22%, Argentina 9%, US 4%, Uruguay 3%, Chile 2% (1997)

total value: $2.5 billion (c.i.f., 1996 est.)
commodities: capital goods, consumer goods, foodstuffs, raw materials, fuels
partners: Brazil 29%, US 22%, Argentina 14%, Hong Kong 9% (1995)

Debt—external: $1.3 billion (1996)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $38 million (1993)

Currency: 1 guarani (G) = 100 centimos

Exchange rates: guaranies (G) per US$—2,528.8 (January 1998), 2,191.0 (1997), 2,062.8 (1996), 1,970.4 (1995), 1,911.5 (1994), 1,744.3 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones: 88,730 (1985 est.)

Telephone system: meager telephone service; principal switching center is Asuncion
domestic: fair microwave radio relay network
international: satellite earth station—1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 40, FM 0, shortwave 7

Radios: 775,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 5

Televisions: 370,000 (1992 est.)


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total: 971 km
standard gauge: 441 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 60 km 1.000-m gauge
other gauge: 470 km various gauges (privately owned)

total: 29,500 km
paved: 2,803 km
unpaved: 26,697 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 3,100 km

Ports and harbors: Asuncion, Villeta, San Antonio, Encarnacion

Merchant marine:
total: 19 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 26,442 GRT/32,510 DWT
ships by type: cargo 14, chemical tanker 1, oil tanker 3, roll-on/roll-off 1 (1997 est.)

Airports: 948 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 10
over 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 4 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 938
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 29
914 to 1,523 m: 353
under 914 m: 555 (1997 est.)





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