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 Central South America, northeast of Argentina, southwest of Brazil

Geographic Coordinates:

 23 00 S, 58 00 W


 Total: 406,752 sq km
Land: 397,302 sq km
Water: 9,450 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly smaller than California

Land Boundaries:

 Total: 3,995 km
Border countries: Argentina 1,880 km, Bolivia 750 km, Brazil 1,365 km


 0 km (landlocked) (Rank: 233)

Maritime Claims:

 None (landlocked)


 Subtropical to temperate; substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, becoming semiarid in the far west


 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 Pero 842 m

Natural Resources:

 Hydropower, timber, iron ore, manganese, limestone

Land Use:

 Arable land: 7.47%
Permanent crops: 0.24%
Other: 92.29% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 670 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 336 cu km (2000)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 0.49 cu km/yr (20%/8%/71%)
Per capita: 80 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural Hazards:

 Local flooding in southeast (early September to June); poorly drained plains may become boggy (early October to June)

Environment - Current Issues:

 Deforestation; water pollution; inadequate means for waste disposal pose health risks for many urban residents; loss of wetlands

Environment - International Agreements:

 Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - Note:

 Landlocked; lies between Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil; population concentrated in southern part of country

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 Noun: Paraguayan(s)
Adjective: Paraguayan

Ethnic Groups:

 Mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) 95%, other 5%


 Spanish (official), Guarani (official)


 Roman Catholic 89.6%, Protestant 6.2%, other Christian 1.1%, other or unspecified 1.9%, none 1.1% (2002 census)


 6,459,058 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 28.5% (male 936,298/female 905,285)
15-64 years: 65.4% (male 2,121,632/female 2,100,740)
65 years and over: 6.1% (male 183,440/female 211,663) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 25.4 years
Male: 25.1 years
Female: 25.6 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 1.284% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 17.48 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 4.57 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -0.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 61% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 2.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 ASUNCION (capital) 1.977 million (2009)

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
Total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 95 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 23.02 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 26.94 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 18.91 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 76.19 years
Male: 73.59 years
Female: 78.93 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 2.11 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 7.1% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 1.11 physicians/1,000 population (2002)

Hospital Bed Density:

 1.3 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 99% of population
Rural: 66% of population
Total: 86% of population
Urban: 1% of population
Rural: 34% of population
Total: 14% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 90% of population
Rural: 40% of population
Total: 70% of population
Urban: 10% of population
Rural: 60% of population
Total: 30% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 0.3% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 13,000 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 Fewer than 500 (2009 est.)

Major Infectious Diseases:

 Degree of risk: intermediate
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne disease: dengue fever and malaria (2009)

Education Expenditures:

 4% of GDP (2008)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 94%
Male: 94.9%
Female: 93% (2003 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 12 years
Male: 12 years
Female: 12 years (2007)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 11.8%
Male: 8.7%
Female: 16.8% (2008)

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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

Government Type:

 Constitutional republic


 Name: Asuncion
Geographic coordinates: 25 16 S, 57 40 W
Time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends second Sunday in April

Administrative Divisions:

 17 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital city*; Alto Paraguay, Alto Parana, Amambay, Asuncion*, Boqueron, Caaguazu, Caazapa, Canindeyu, Central, Concepcion, Cordillera, Guaira, Itapua, Misiones, Neembucu, Paraguari, Presidente Hayes, San Pedro


 14 May 1811 (from Spain)

National Holiday:

 Independence Day, 14 May 1811 (observed 15 May)


 Promulgated 20 June 1992

Legal System:

 Civil law system with influences from Argentine, Spanish, Roman, and French civil law models; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court of Justice

International Law Organization Participation:

 Accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


 18 years of age; universal and compulsory up to age 75

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: President Fernando Armindo LUGO Mendez (since 15 August 2008); Vice President Luis Federico FRANCO Gomez (since 15 August 2008); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

Head of government: President Fernando Armindo LUGO Mendez (since 15 August 2008); Vice President Luis Federico FRANCO Gomez (since 15 August 2008)

Cabinet: Council of Ministers 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 on 20 April 2008 (next to be held in April 2013)

Election results: Fernando Armindo LUGO Mendez elected president; percent of vote - Fernando Armindo LUGO Mendez 40.8%, Blanca OVELAR 30.6%, Lino OVIEDO 21.9%, Pedro FADUL 2.4%, other 4.3%

Legislative Branch:

 Bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (45 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (80 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

Elections: Chamber of Senators - last held on 20 April 2008 (next to be held in April 2013); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 20 April 2008 (next to be held in April 2013)

Election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ANR 15, PLRA 14, UNACE 9, PPQ 4, other 3; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ANR 30, PLRA 27, UNACE 15, PPQ 3, APC 2, other 3; note - as of 1 January 2010, the composition of the Chamber of Deputies is ANR 30, PLRA 29, UNACE 15, PPQ 4, other 2

Judicial Branch:

 Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (nine judges proposed by the Council of Magistrates or Consejo de la Magistratura, and approved by the Senate and president)

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Alianza Patriotica por el Cambio (Patriotic Alliance for Change) or APC [Fernando LUGO]; Asociacion Nacional Republicana - Colorado Party or ANR [Lilian SAMANIEGO]; Movimiento Popolar Tekojoja or Tekojoja [Sixto PEREIRA]; Movimiento Union Nacional de Ciudadanos Eticos or UNACE [Lino Cesar OVIEDO Silva]; Patria Querida (Beloved Fatherland Party) or PPQ [Pedro Nicolas Maraa FADUL Niella]; Partido del Movimiento al Socialismo or P-MAS [Camilo Ernesto SOARES Machado]; Partido Democratica Progresista or PDP [Rafael Augusto FILIZZOLA Serra]; Partido Encuentro Nacional or PEN [Fernando CAMACHO Paredes]; Partido Liberal Radical Autentico or PLRA [Amanda NUNEZ]; Partido Pais Solidario or PPS [Carlos Alberto FILIZZOLA Pallares]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 Ahorristas Estafados or AE; National Coordinating Board of Campesino Organizations or MCNOC [Luis AGUAYO]; National Federation of Campesinos or FNC [Odilon ESPINOLA]; National Workers Central or CNT [Secretary General Juan TORRALES]; Paraguayan Workers Confederation or CPT; Roman Catholic Church; Unitary Workers Central or CUT [Jorge Guzman ALVARENGA Malgarejo]

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Rigoberto GAUTO Vielman
Chancery: 2400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: [1] (202) 483-6960 through 6962
FAX: [1] (202) 234-4508
Consulate(s) general: Kansas City (Kansas), Los Angeles, Miami, New York

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Ambassador Liliana AYALDE
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) 228-603

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 a circular seal of the treasury (a yellow lion below a red Cap of Liberty and the words PAZ Y JUSTICIA (Peace and Justice)); red symbolizes bravery and patriotism, white represents integrity and peace, and blue denotes liberty and generosity

Note: the three color bands resemble those on the flag of the Netherlands; one of only three national flags that differ on their obverse and reverse sides - the others are Moldova and Saudi Arabia

National Symbols:


National Anthem:

 Name: "Paraguayos, Republica o muerte!" (Paraguayans, The Republic or Death!)
Lyrics/music: Francisco Esteban ACUNA de Figueroa/disputed

Note: adopted 1934, in use since 1846; the anthem was officially adopted following its re-arrangement in 1934

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Economy - Overview:

 Landlocked Paraguay has a market economy distinguished by a large informal sector, featuring re-export of imported consumer goods to neighboring countries, as well as the activities of thousands of microenterprises and urban street vendors. A large percentage of the population, especially in rural areas, derives its living from agricultural activity, often on a subsistence basis. Because of the importance of the informal sector, accurate economic measures are difficult to obtain. On a per capita basis, real income has stagnated at 1980 levels. The economy grew rapidly between 2003 and 2008 as growing world demand for commodities combined with high prices and favorable weather to support Paraguay's commodity-based export expansion. Paraguay is the sixth largest soy producer in the world. Drought hit in 2008, reducing agricultural exports and slowing the economy even before the onset of the global recession. The economy fell 3.8% in 2009, as lower world demand and commodity prices caused exports to contract. The government reacted by introducing fiscal and monetary stimulus packages. Growth resumed at a 14.5% level in 2010, the highest in South America. Political uncertainty, corruption, limited progress on structural reform, and deficient infrastructure are the main obstacles to growth.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $33.31 billion (2010 est.)
$28.89 billion (2009 est.)
$30.05 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $18.48 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 15.3% (2010 est.)
-3.8% (2009 est.)
5.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $5,200 (2010 est.)
$4,600 (2009 est.)
$4,800 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 24.9%
Industry: 21.2%
Services: 53.9% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 3.033 million (2010 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 26.5%
Industry: 18.5%
Services: 55% (2008)

Unemployment Rate:

 7% (2010 est.)
7.9% (2009 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 18.8% (2009 est.)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 1.4%
Highest 10%: 41% (2008)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 53.2 (2009)
57.7 (1998)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 15.8% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $3.386 billion
Expenditures: $3.22 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 18.3% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 0.9% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 19.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
22.6% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 4.7% (2010 est.)
2.6% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 6% (31 December 2010 est.)
20% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 26.04% (31 December 2010 est.)
28.26% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $2.062 billion (31 December 2008)
$1.943 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $1.599 billion (31 December 2008)
$1.368 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $3.169 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$2.774 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $7.633 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$6.377 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $5.207 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$3.909 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market Value of Publicly Traded Shares:

 $NA (31 December 2010)
$409.1 million
$409.1 million (31 December 2006)

Agriculture - Products:

 Cotton, sugarcane, soybeans, corn, wheat, tobacco, cassava (tapioca), fruits, vegetables; beef, pork, eggs, milk; timber


 Sugar, cement, textiles, beverages, wood products, steel, metallurgic, electric power

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 6.5% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 54.91 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 0%
Hydro: 99.9%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0.1% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 8.5 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 45.13 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 45.13 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 31,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 23,810 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$596.3 million (2010 est.)
$42.9 million (2009 est.)


 $8.312 billion (2010 est.)
$5.805 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Soybeans, feed, cotton, meat, edible oils, electricity, wood, leather

Exports - Partners:

 Uruguay 16.2%, Brazil 12.8%, Chile 10%, Argentina 8.1%, Italy 5%, Netherlands 4.4%, Spain 4.3%, Turkey 4.2%, Germany 4.2% (2010)


 $9.839 billion (2010 est.)
$6.837 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Road vehicles, consumer goods, tobacco, petroleum products, electrical machinery, tractors, chemicals, vehicle parts

Imports - Partners:

 Brazil 27.7%, China 17.6%, US 16.6%, Argentina 15.2% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $4.167 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$3.862 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $4.545 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$4.323 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - At Home:

 $3.393 million (31 December 2010)
$3.053 million (31 December 2009)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Paraguayan Guarani to Any Currency

Guarani (PYG) per US dollar -
4,767.6 (2010)
4,965.4 (2009)
4,337.7 (2008)
5,031 (2007)
5,672.8 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 405,000 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 5.915 million (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: the fixed-line market is a state monopoly and fixed-line telephone service is meager; principal switching center is in Asuncion

Domestic: deficiencies in provision of fixed-line service have resulted in a rapid expansion of mobile-cellular services fostered by competition among multiple providers

International: country code - 595; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2008)

Broadcast Media:

 6 privately-owned TV stations; about 75 commercial and community radio stations broadcasting; 1 state-owned radio network (2010)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 41, FM 121, shortwave 6 (2006)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 6 (2009)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 167,281 (2010)

Internet Users:

 1.105 million (2009)

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 800 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 15
Over 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 785
1,524 to 2,437 m: 25
914 to 1,523 m: 290
Under 914 m: 470 (2010)


 Total: 36 km
Standard gauge: 36 km 1.435-m gauge (2010)


 Total: 29,500 km
Paved: 14,986 km
Unpaved: 14,514 km (2001)


 3,100 km (primarily on the Paraguay and Paran? river systems) (2010)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 23
By type: cargo 15, carrier 1, container 2, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 1
Foreign-owned: 6 (Argentina 5, Netherlands 1) (2010)

Ports and Terminals:

 Asuncion, Villeta, San Antonio, Encarnacion

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Military Branches:

 Armed Forces Command (Commando de las Fuerzas Militares): Army, National Navy (Armada Nacional, includes Marine Corps, Naval Aviation), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Paraguay, FAP), Logistics Command, War Materiel Directorate (2011)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 12 months for Army, 24 months for Navy; volunteers for the Air Force must be younger than 22 years of age with a secondary school diploma (2010)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 1,678,335
Females age 16-49: 1,675,352 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 1,409,859
Females age 16-49: 1,433,037 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 73,367
Female: 71,801 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 1% of GDP (2006 est.)

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Disputes - International:

 Unruly region at convergence of Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay borders is locus of money laundering, smuggling, arms and illegal narcotics trafficking, and fundraising for extremist organizations

Illicit Drugs:

 Major illicit producer of cannabis, most or all of which is consumed in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile; transshipment country for Andean cocaine headed for Brazil, other Southern Cone markets, and Europe; weak border controls, extensive corruption and money-laundering activity, especially in the Tri-Border Area; weak anti-money-laundering laws and enforcement

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Last Updated: December 2011

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