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Location: Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil

Geographic coordinates: 33 00 S, 56 00 W

Map references: South America

total: 176,220 sq km
land: 173,620 sq km
water: 2,600 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Washington State

Land boundaries:
total: 1,564 km
border countries: Argentina 579 km, Brazil 985 km

Coastline: 660 km

Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 200 nm; overflight and navigation guaranteed beyond 12 nm

Climate: warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown

Terrain: mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Cerro Catedral 514 m

Natural resources: fertile soil, hydropower, minor minerals, fisheries

Land use:
arable land: 7%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 77%
forests and woodland: 6%
other: 10% (1997 est.)

Irrigated land: 7,700 sq km (1997 est.)

Natural hazards: seasonally high winds (the pampero is a chilly and occasional violent wind which 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 in weather fronts

Environment—current issues: working with Brazil to monitor and minimize transboundary pollution caused by Brazilian power plant near border; water pollution from meat packing/tannery industry; inadequate solid/hazardous waste disposal

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation


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Population: 3,284,841 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 24% (male 405,894; female 386,479)
15-64 years: 63% (male 1,019,682; female 1,048,844)
65 years and over: 13% (male 176,467; female 247,475) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.71% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 16.92 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 8.89 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.91 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 14.11 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.53 years
male: 72.39 years
female: 78.84 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.29 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Uruguayan(s)
adjective: Uruguayan

Ethnic groups: white 88%, mestizo 8%, black 4%, Amerindian, practically nonexistent

Religions: Roman Catholic 66% (less than one-half of the adult population attends church regularly), Protestant 2%, Jewish 2%, nonprofessing or other 30%

Languages: Spanish, Portunol, or Brazilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.3%
male: 96.9%
female: 97.7% (1995 est.)


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

Data code: UY

Government type: republic

National capital: Montevideo

Administrative divisions: 19 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

Independence: 25 August 1825 (from Brazil)

National holiday: Independence Day, 25 August (1825)

Constitution: 27 November 1966, effective 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 system: based on Spanish civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Julio Maria SANGUINETTI (since 1 March 1995) and Vice President Hugo BATALLA (since 1 March 1995); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government; the vice-president is also the Senate president
head of government: President Julio Maria SANGUINETTI (since 1 March 1995) and Vice President Hugo BATALLA (since 1 March 1995); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government; the vice-president is also the Senate president
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; election last held 27 November 1994 (next to be held 31 October 1999 with run-off election if necessary on 28 November 1999)
election results: Julio Maria SANGUINETTI elected president; percent of vote—23%

Legislative branch: bicameral 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) 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 27 November 1994 (next to be held 31 October 1999); Chamber of Representatives—last held 27 November 1994 (next to be held 31 October 1999)
election results: Chamber of Senators—percent of vote by party—Colorado 36%, Blanco 34%, Encuentro Progresista 27%, New Sector 3%; seats by party—Colorado 11, Blanco 10, Encuentro Progresista 8, New Sector 1; Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party—Colorado 32%, Blanco 31%, Encuentro Progresista 31%, New Sector 5%; seats by party—Colorado 32, Blanco 31, Encuentro Progresista 31, New Sector 5

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are nominated by the president and elected for 10-year terms by the General Assembly

Political parties and leaders: National (Blanco) Party, Alberto VOLONTE Berro; Herrerista faction of the Blanco Party, Luis LACALLE; Colorado Party, Julio M. SANGUINETTI, Jorge BATLLE; Broad Front Coalition, Tabare VAZQUEZ (until 28 September 1997); New Sector Coalition, Rafael MICHELINI; Progressive Encounter (Encuentro Progresista), Tabare VAZQUEZ
note: Hugo BATALLA and host of People's Government Party (PGP) have rejoined the Colorado Party

International organization participation: AG (observer), CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MINUGUA, MINURSO, MONUA, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMOGIP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Alvaro DIEZ DE MEDINA SUAREZ
chancery: 2715 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 331-1313 through 1316
FAX: [1] (202) 331-8142
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, Miami, and New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Christopher A. ASHBY
embassy: Lauro Muller 1776, Montevideo
mailing address: APO AA 34035
telephone: [598] (2) 203 60 61, 408 77 77
FAX: [598] (2) 408 86 11

Flag description: nine 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 and 16 rays alternately triangular and wavy


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Economy—overview: Uruguay's small economy benefits from a favorable climate for agriculture and substantial hydropower potential. Economic development has been restrained in recent years by high—though declining—inflation and extensive government regulation. The SANGUINETTI government's conservative monetary and fiscal policies are aimed at continuing to reduce inflation; other priorities include extensive reform of the social security system and increased investment in education. Economic performance remains sensitive to conditions in Argentina and Brazil, largely because more than half of Uruguay's trade is conducted with its partners in Mercosur (the Southern Cone Common Market).

GDP: purchasing power parity—$29.1 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 5.1% (1997)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$8,900 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 10.8%
industry: 27.4%
services: 61.8% (1995)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 15.2% (1997)

Labor force:
total: 1.38 million (1997 est.)
by occupation: government 25%, manufacturing 19%, agriculture 11%, commerce 12%, utilities, construction, transport, and communications 12%, other services 21% (1988 est.)

Unemployment rate: 10.3% (December 1997)

revenues: $4 billion
expenditures: $4.3 billion, with capital expenditures of $385 million (1997 est.)

Industries: meat processing, wool and hides, sugar, textiles, footwear, leather apparel, tires, cement, petroleum refining, wine

Industrial production growth rate: 5.6% (1997)

Electricity—capacity: 2.055 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 7.6 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 1,852 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: wheat, rice, corn, sorghum; livestock; fishing

total value: $2.7 billion (f.o.b., 1997)
commodities: wool and textile manufactures, beef and other animal products, rice, fish and shellfish, chemicals
partners: Brazil, Argentina, US, Germany, Italy

total value: $3.7 billion (c.i.f., 1997)
commodities: machinery and equipment, vehicles, chemicals, minerals, plastics, oil
partners: Brazil, Argentina, US, Italy, Germany

Debt—external: $4.6 billion (1996 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $63 million (1994)

Currency: 1 Uruguayan peso ($Ur) = 100 centesimos

Exchange rates: Uruguayan pesos ($Ur) per US$1—9.98 (January 1998), 9.4448 (1997), 7.9718 (1996), 6.3491 (1995), 5.0529 (1994), 3.9484 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones: 767,333 (1997)

Telephone system: some modern facilities
domestic: most modern facilities concentrated in Montevideo; new nationwide microwave radio relay network
international: satellite earth stations—2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 72, FM 0, shortwave 28

Radios: 1.89 million (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 42

Televisions: 1,131,065 (1996)


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total: 2,998 km (918 km closed) (1997)
standard gauge: 2,075 km 1.435-m gauge

total: 8,420 km
paved: 7,578 km
unpaved: 842 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 1,600 km; used by coastal and shallow-draft river craft

Ports and harbors: Fray Bentos, Montevideo, Nueva Palmira, Paysandu, Punta del Este, Colonia, Piriapolis

Merchant marine:
total: 2 oil tanker ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 44,042 GRT/83,684 DWT (1997 est.)

Airports: 64 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 15
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 49
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 14
under 914 m: 33 (1997 est.)





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