Paraguay Population: 6,862,812


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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 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: 4,655 km border countries (3): Argentina 2,531 km, Bolivia 753 km, Brazil 1,371 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:
Natural resources: hydropower, timber, iron ore, manganese, limestone
Land use: agricultural land: 53.8% arable land 10.8%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 42.8% forest: 43.8%
other: 2.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 1,362 sq km (2012)
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: 6,862,812 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 25.04% (male 874,541/female 844,212)
15-24 years: 19.74% (male 680,998/female 673,534)
25-54 years: 40.56% (male 1,392,814/female 1,390,655)
55-64 years: 7.74% (male 270,769/female 260,300)
65 years and over: 6.92% (male 222,435/female 252,554) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 56.6%
youth dependency ratio: 47.2%
elderly dependency ratio: 9.4%
potential support ratio: 10.6% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 27.8 years
male: 27.5 years
female: 28 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.17% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 16.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 4.7 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 59.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: ASUNCION (capital) 2.356 million (2015)
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: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 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: 132 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 19.4 deaths/1,000 live births male: 22.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.2 years male: 74.5 years
female: 80 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.91 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 79.4% note: percent of women aged 15-44 (2008)
Health expenditures: 9.8% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 1.23 physicians/1,000 population (2012)
Hospital bed density: 1.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 94.9% of population
total: 98% of population

urban: 0% of population
rural: 5.1% of population
total: 2% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 95.5% of population
rural: 78.4% of population
total: 88.6% of population

urban: 4.5% of population
rural: 21.6% of population
total: 11.4% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.43% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 17,500 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 800 (2015 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 15.1% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 2.6% (2012)
Education expenditures: 5% of GDP (2012)
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: 13 years (2010)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 13% male: 10%
female: 17.8% (2014 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
etymology: the precise meaning of the name Paraguay is unclear, but it seems to derive from the river of the same name; one explanation has the name meaning "water of the Payagua" (an indigenous tribe that lived along the river)
Government type: presidential 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: several previous; latest approved and promulgated 20 June 1992; amended 2011, 2014 (2016)
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 Jara (since 15 August 2013); Vice President Juan AFARA Maciel (since 15 August 2013); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

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

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by simple majority popular vote for a single 5-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 (ANR) 45.8%, Efrain ALEGRE (PLRA) 36.9%, Mario FERREIRO (AP) 5.9%, Anibal CARRILLO (FG) 3.3%, other 8%
Legislative branch: description: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (45 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (80 seats; members directly elected in 18 multi-seat constituencies - corresponding to the country's 17 departments and capital city - by proportional representation vote to serve 5-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: Asociacion Nacional Republicana - Colorado Party or ANR [Pedro ALLIANA] Avanza Pais coalition [Adolfo FERREIRO] Broad Front coalition (Frente Guasu) or FG [Fernando Armindo LUGO Mendez] Movimiento Union Nacional de Ciudadanos Eticos or UNACE [Jorge OVIEDO MATTO] Partido del Movimiento al Socialismo or P-MAS [Camilo Ernesto SOARES Machado] Partido Democratica Progresista or PDP [Desiree MASI] Partido Encuentro Nacional or PEN [Fernando CAMACHO Paredes] Partido Liberal Radical Autentico or PLRA [Miguel ABDON SAGUIER] Partido Pais Solidario or PPS [Carlos Alberto FILIZZOLA Pallares] Partido Popular Tekojoja [Sixto PEREIRA] Patria Querida (Beloved Fatherland Party) or PPQ [Sebastian ACHA]
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, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), 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 colors: red, white, blue
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; officially adopted following its re-arrangement in 1934
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador German Hugo ROJAS Irigoyen (since 28 December 2016)
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: chief of mission: Ambassador Leslie A. BASSETT (since 15 January 2015)
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 in 2010, and has been erratic, although positive, ever since. Severe drought and outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease led to a drop in beef and other agricultural exports. In addition to the agricultural challenges, 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): $64.12 billion (2016 est.) $61.94 billion (2015 est.) $60.09 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $27.32 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.5% (2016 est.) 3.1% (2015 est.) 4.7% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $9,400 (2016 est.) $9,200 (2015 est.) $9,000 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 16.5% of GDP (2016 est.) 15% of GDP (2015 est.) 15.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 67.4%
government consumption: 12.9%
investment in fixed capital: 15.3%
investment in inventories: 0.3%
exports of goods and services: 43.3%
imports of goods and services: -39.2% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 67.4%
government consumption: 12.9%
investment in fixed capital: 15.3%
investment in inventories: 0.3%
exports of goods and services: 43.3%
imports of goods and services: -39.2% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: cotton, sugarcane, soybeans, corn, wheat, tobacco, cassava (manioc, tapioca), fruits, vegetables; beef, pork, eggs, milk; timber
Industries: sugar, cement, textiles, beverages, wood products, steel, base metals, electric power
Industrial production growth rate: 6.5% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 3.291 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 26.5%
industry: 18.5%
services: 55% (2008)
Unemployment rate: 6.2% (2016 est.) 5.8% (2015 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: $5.231 billion
expenditures: $5.687 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 19.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 22.4% of GDP (2016 est.) 21.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.3% (2016 est.) 3.1% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: $172 million (2016 est.) -$462 million (2015 est.)
Exports: $11.91 billion (2016 est.) $11.17 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: soybeans, livestock feed, cotton, meat, edible oils, wood, leather
Exports - partners: Brazil 31.7%, Russia 9.1%, Chile 7.1%, Argentina 7% (2015)
Imports: $10.2 billion (2016 est.) $10.07 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: road vehicles, consumer goods, tobacco, petroleum products, electrical machinery, tractors, chemicals, vehicle parts
Imports - partners: Brazil 25.4%, China 23.7%, Argentina 14.8%, US 7.9% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $6.059 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $5.939 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $15.42 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $14.41 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $7.114 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $6.41 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $309 million (31 December 2016 est.) $259 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $962.3 million (31 December 2012 est.) $958.1 million (31 December 2011 est.) $42 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Exchange rates: guarani (PYG) per US dollar - 5,689.1 (2016 est.) 5,160.4 (2015 est.) 5,160.4 (2014 est.) 4,462.2 (2013 est.) 4,424.9 (2012 est.)
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Electricity - production: 55 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 9.7 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 41 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 8.8 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 0.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 99.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 36,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 33,270 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 3.9 million Mt (2013 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total: 7.412 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 109 (July 2015 est.)
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) (2015)
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 users: total: 3.011 million percent of population: 44.4% (July 2015 est.)
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Airports: 799 (2013)
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 30 km
standard gauge: 30 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Roadways: total 32,059 km
paved: 4,860 km
unpaved: 27,199 km (2010)
Waterways: 3,100 km (primarily on the Paraguay and Paraná 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:
river port(s): Asuncion, Villeta, San Antonio, Encarnacion (Parana)
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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)
Military expenditures: 1.66% of GDP (2012) 1.16% of GDP (2011) 1.66% of GDP (2010)
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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 violent 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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