Paraguay Population: 6,623,252


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Paraguay achieved its independence from Spain in 1811. In the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70) - between Paraguay and Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay - Paraguay lost two-thirds of all its adult males and much of its territory. The country stagnated economically for the next half century. Following the Chaco War of 1932-35 with Bolivia, Paraguay gained a large part of the Chaco lowland region. The 35-year military dictatorship of Alfredo STROESSNER ended in 1989, and, despite a marked increase in political infighting in recent years, Paraguay has held relatively free and regular presidential elections since the country's return to democracy.

Landlocked; lies between Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil; population concentrated in southern part of country
Location: Central South America, northeast of Argentina, southwest of Brazil
Geographic coordinates: 23 00 S, 58 00 W
Area: total: 406,752 sq km
land: 397,302 sq km
water: 9,450 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than California
Land Boundaries: total: 3,995 km
border countries: Argentina 1,880 km, Bolivia 750 km, Brazil 1,365 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: subtropical to temperate; 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 Pero 842 m
Natural resources: hydropower, timber, iron ore, manganese, limestone
Land use: arable land: 9.59%
permanent crops: 0.22%
other: 90.19% (2011)
Irrigated land: 670 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: local flooding in southeast (early September to June); poorly drained plains may become boggy (early October to June)
Current Environment Issues: deforestation; water pollution; inadequate means for waste disposal pose health risks for many urban residents; loss of wetlands
International Environment 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
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Nationality: noun: Paraguayan(s)
adjective: Paraguayan
Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) 95%, other 5%
Languages: Spanish (official), Guarani (official)
Religions: Roman Catholic 89.6%, Protestant 6.2%, other Christian 1.1%, other or unspecified 1.9%, none 1.1% (2002 census)
Population: 6,623,252 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 26.8% (male 903,578/female 873,079)
15-24 years: 20.8% (male 692,006/female 684,297)
25-54 years: 39% (male 1,294,037/female 1,290,376)
55-64 years: 6.9% (male 234,803/female 224,862)
65 years and over: 6.4% (male 198,529/female 227,685) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 61 %
youth dependency ratio: 52.2 %
elderly dependency ratio: 8.8 %
potential support ratio: 11.4 (2013)
Median age: total: 26.3 years
male: 26.1 years
female: 26.5 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.23% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 16.95 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 4.61 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 61% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 2.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: ASUNCION (capital) 1.977 million (2009)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 22.9 note: Median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2008 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 99 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Infant mortality rate: total: 21.48 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 25.21 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 17.57 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 76.6 years
male: 73.97 years
female: 79.35 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.01 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 79.4% note: percent of women aged 15-44 (2008)
Health expenditures: 5.9% of GDP (2010)
Physicians density: 1.11 physicians/1,000 population (2002)
Hospital bed density: 1.3 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 66% of population
total: 86% of population

urban: 1% of population
rural: 34% of population
total: 14% of population (2010 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 90% of population
rural: 40% of population
total: 71% of population

urban: 10% of population
rural: 60% of population
total: 29% of population (2010 est.)
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.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 17.9% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 3.4% (2005)
Education expenditures: 4.1% of GDP (2010)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.9%
male: 94.8%
female: 92.9% (2010 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 12 years (2010)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 17.8%
male: 9.7%
female: 13% (2011)
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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
Capital: 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 fourth Sunday in March
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
Independence: 14 May 1811 (from Spain)
National holiday: Independence Day, 14 May 1811 (observed 15 May)
Constitution: 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
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory until the age of 75
Executive branch: chief of state: President Horacio CARTES (since 15 August 2013); Vice President Juan AFARA (since 15 August 2013); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Horacio CARTES (since 15 August 2013); Vice President Juan AFARA (since 15 August 2013)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president (For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held on 21 April 2013 (next to be held in April 2018)

election results: Horacio CARTES elected president; percent of vote - Horacio CARTES 45.8%, Efrain ALEGRE 36.94%, Mario FERREIRO 5.88%, Anibal CARRILLO 3.32%, other 8.06%
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 21 April 2013 (next to be held in April 2018); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 21 April 2013 (next to be held in April 2018)

election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ANR 19, PLRA 12, FG 5, PDP 3, Avanza Pais 2, UNACE 2, PEN 1, PPQ 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ANR 44, PLRA 27, Avanza Pais 2, PEN 2, UNACE 2, FG 1, PPQ 1, other 1
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of 9 justices divided 3 each into the Constitutional Court, Civil and Commercial Chamber, and Criminal Division judge selection and term of office: justices proposed by the Council of Magistrates or Consejo de la Magistratura, a 6-member independent body, and appointed by the Chamber of Senators with presidential concurrence; judges appointed until mandatory retirement at age 75

subordinate courts: appellate courts; first instance courts; minor courts, including justices of the peace
Political parties and leaders: Alianza Patriotica por el Cambio (Patriotic Alliance for Change) or APC Asociacion Nacional Republicana - Colorado Party or ANR [Lilian SAMANIEGO] Avanza Pais coalition [Mario FERREIRO] Broad Front coalition (Frente Guazu) or FG [Fernando Armindo LUGO Mendez] Movimiento Popolar Tekojoja or Tekojoja [Sixto PEREIRA] Movimiento Union Nacional de Ciudadanos Eticos or UNACE Patria Querida (Beloved Fatherland Party) or PPQ [Sebastian ACHA] 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 [Blas Antonio LLANO Ramos] 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: CAN (associate), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (suspended), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): lion
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
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Fernando Antonio PFANNL Caballero
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 York
Diplomatic representation from the US: Ambassador James H. THESSIN
embassy: 1776 Avenida Mariscal Lopez, Casilla Postal 402, Asuncion
mailing address: Unit 4711, DPO AA 34036-0001
telephone: [595] (21) 213-715
FAX: [595] (21) 213-728
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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 13% level in 2010, the highest in South America, but slowed to about 4% in 2011 as the stimulus subsided. In 2012, severe drought and outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease led to a drop in beef and other agricultural exports and the economy contracted about 0.5%. Political uncertainty, corruption, limited progress on structural reform, and deficient infrastructure are the main obstacles to long-term growth.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $41.55 billion (2012 est.) $42.05 billion (2011 est.) $40.3 billion (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $26 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: -1.2% (2012 est.) 4.3% (2011 est.) 13.1% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $6,200 (2012 est.) $6,400 (2011 est.) $6,300 (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 72.8%
government consumption: 12.2%
investment in fixed capital: 14.6%
investment in inventories: 0.3%
exports of goods and services: 46.8%
imports of goods and services: -46.7% (2012 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 72.8%
government consumption: 12.2%
investment in fixed capital: 14.6%
investment in inventories: 0.3%
exports of goods and services: 46.8%
imports of goods and services: -46.7% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - products: cotton, sugarcane, soybeans, corn, wheat, tobacco, cassava (tapioca), fruits, vegetables; beef, pork, eggs, milk; timber
Industries: sugar, cement, textiles, beverages, wood products, steel, metallurgic, electric power
Industrial production growth rate: 4.4% (2012 est.)
Labor force: 3.137 million (2012 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 26.5%
industry: 18.5%
services: 55% (2008)
Unemployment rate: 6.9% (2012 est.) 6.6% (2011 est.)
Population below poverty line: 34.7% (2010 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1%
highest 10%: 41.1% (2010 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 53.2 (2009) 57.7 (1998)
Budget: revenues: $4.665 billion
expenditures: $5.109 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 17.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
Public debt: 14.1% of GDP (2012 est.) 12.37% of GDP (2011 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.7% (2012 est.) 8.3% (2011 est.)
Current account balance: -$1.17 billion (2012 est.) -$549.9 million (2011 est.)
Exports: $9.743 billion (2012 est.) $10.39 billion (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: soybeans, feed, cotton, meat, edible oils, wood, leather
Exports - partners: Uruguay 18.3%, Argentina 16.3%, Brazil 16.2%, Russia 11.8% (2012)
Imports: $11.24 billion (2012 est.) $12.07 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commodities: road vehicles, consumer goods, tobacco, petroleum products, electrical machinery, tractors, chemicals, vehicle parts
Imports - partners: Brazil 24.1%, China 19.4%, Argentina 19.2%, US 11.4% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $4.995 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $4.983 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Debt - external: $5.957 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $6.013 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $4.425 million (31 December 2012) $3.86 million (31 December 2011)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $NA
Market value of publicly traded shares: $958.1 million (31 December 2011) $42 million (31 December 2010) $409.1 million (31 December 2006)
Exchange rates: guarani (PYG) per US dollar - 4,424.9 (2012 est.) 4,191.4 (2011 est.) 4,735.5 (2010 est.) 4,965.4 (2009) 4,337.7 (2008)
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Electricity - production: 54.41 billion kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 47
Electricity - consumption: 6.237 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - exports: 43.38 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 8.816 million kW (2009 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 0.1% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 99.9% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0.01 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 26,820 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 23,810 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 4.394 million Mt (2010 est.)
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Telephones in use: 372,400 (2011)
country comparison to the world: 108
Cellular Phones in use: 6.529 million (2011)
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) (2010)
Broadcast media: 6 privately owned TV stations; about 75 commercial and community radio stations; 1 state-owned radio network (2010)
Internet country code: .py
Internet hosts: 280,658 (2012)
Internet users: 1.105 million (2009)
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Airports: 799 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 9
Airports (paved runways): total 15
over 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 784

1,524 to 2,437 m: 23
914 to 1,523 m: 290
under 914 m: 471 (2013)
Railways: total 36 km
standard gauge: 36 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
Roadways: total 29,500 km
paved: 14,986 km
unpaved: 14,514 km (2000)
Waterways: 3,100 km (primarily on the Paraguay and ParanĂ¡ river systems) (2012)
Merchant marine: total 19

by type: cargo 13, container 3, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 1, 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, and Coast Guard), Paraguayan Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Paraguay, FAP), Logistics Command, War Materiel Directorate (2012)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation is 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 (2012)
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: 1.5% of GDP (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
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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   Source: CIA - The World Factbook

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