[Country map of Bolivia]



Location: Central South America, southwest of Brazil

Map references: South America

total area: 1,098,580 sq km
land area: 1,084,390 sq km
comparative area: slightly less than three times the size of Montana

Land boundaries: total 6,743 km, Argentina 832 km, Brazil 3,400 km, Chile 861 km, Paraguay 750 km, Peru 900 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none; landlocked

International disputes: has wanted a sovereign corridor to the South Pacific Ocean since the Atacama area was lost to Chile in 1884; dispute with Chile over Rio Lauca water rights

Climate: varies with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid

Terrain: rugged Andes Mountains with a highland plateau (Altiplano), hills, lowland plains of the Amazon Basin

Natural resources: tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber

Land use:
arable land: 3%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 25%
forest and woodland: 52%
other: 20%

Irrigated land: 1,650 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: the clearing of land for agricultural purposes and the international demand for tropical timber are contributing to deforestation; soil erosion from overgrazing and poor cultivation methods (including slash-and-burn agriculture); desertification; loss of biodiversity; industrial pollution of water supplies used for drinking and irrigation
natural hazards: cold, thin air of high plateau is obstacle to efficient fuel combustion, as well as to physical activity by those unaccustomed to it from birth; flooding in the northeast (March to April)
international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection

Note: landlocked; shares control of Lago Titicaca, world's highest navigable lake (elevation 3,805 m), with Peru


Population: 7,896,254 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 39% (female 1,542,931; male 1,565,624)
15-64 years: 57% (female 2,276,308; male 2,188,100)
65 years and over: 4% (female 174,419; male 148,872) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.25% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 31.61 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 8.12 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.01 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 70.6 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 63.85 years
male: 61.39 years
female: 66.43 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.1 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Bolivian(s)
adjective: Bolivian

Ethnic divisions: Quechua 30%, Aymara 25%, mestizo (mixed European and Indian ancestry) 25%-30%, European 5%-15%

Religions: Roman Catholic 95%, Protestant (Evangelical Methodist)

Languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara (official)

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1992)
total population: 80%
male: 88%
female: 72%

Labor force: 3.54 million
by occupation: agriculture NA, services and utilities 20%, manufacturing, mining and construction 7% (1993)


conventional long form: Republic of Bolivia
conventional short form: Bolivia
local long form: Republica de Bolivia
local short form: Bolivia

Digraph: BL

Type: republic

Capital: La Paz (seat of government); Sucre (legal capital and seat of judiciary)

Administrative divisions: 9 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, Beni, La Paz, Oruro, Pando, Potosi, Santa Cruz, Tarija

Independence: 6 August 1825 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day, 6 August (1825)

Constitution: 2 February 1967

Legal system: based on Spanish law and Code Napoleon; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age, universal and compulsory (married); 21 years of age, universal and compulsory (single)

Executive branch:
chief of state and head of government: President Gonzalo SANCHEZ DE LOZADA Bustamente (since 6 August 1993); Vice President Victor Hugo CARDENAS Conde (since 6 August 1993); election last held 6 June 1993 (next to be held May 1997); results - Gonzalo SANCHEZ DE LOZADA (MNR) 34%, Hugo BANZER Suarez (ADN/MIR alliance) 20%, Carlos PALENQUE Aviles (CONDEPA) 14%, Max FERNANDEZ Rojas (UCS) 13%, Antonio ARANIBAR Quiroga (MBL) 5%; no candidate received a majority of the popular vote; Gonzalo SANCHEZ DE LOZADA won a congressional runoff election on 4 August 1993 after forming a coalition with Max FERNANDEZ and Antonio ARANIBAR; FERNANDEZ left the coalition in 1994
cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the president from panel proposed by the Senate

Legislative branch: bicameral National Congress (Congreso Nacional)
Chamber of Deputies (Camara de Diputados): elections last held 6 June 1993 (next to be held May 1997); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (130 total) MNR 52, UCS 20, ADN 17, MIR 17, CONDEPA 13, MBL 7, ARBOL 1, ASD 1, EJE 1, PCD 1
Chamber of Senators (Camara de Senadores): elections last held 6 June 1993 (next to be held May 1997); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (27 total) MNR 17, ADN 4, MIR 4, CONDEPA 1, UCS 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Corte Suprema)

Political parties and leaders:
Left parties: Free Bolivia Movement (MBL), Antonio ARANIBAR; April 9 Revolutionary Vanguard (VR-9), Carlos SERRATE; Alternative of Democratic Socialism (ASD), Jerjes JUSTIANO; Revolutionary Front of the Left (FRI), Oscar ZAMORA; Bolivian Socialist Falange (FSB); Socialist Unzaguista Movement (MAS); Socialist Party One (PS-1); Bolivian Communist Party (PCB)
Center-Left parties: Nationalist Revolutionary Movement (MNR), Gonzalo SANCHEZ DE LOZADA; Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR), Jaime PAZ Zamora, Oscar EID; Christian Democrat (PCD), Jorge AGREDA
Center-Right party: Nationalist Democratic Action (ADN), Jorge LANDIVAR, Hugo BANZER
populist parties: Civic Solidarity Union (UCS), Max FERNANDEZ Rojas; Conscience of the Fatherland (CONDEPA), Carlos PALENQUE Aviles; Popular Patriotic Movement (MPP), Julio MANTILLA; Unity and Progress Movement (MUP), Ivo KULJIS
Evangelical: Bolivian Renovating Alliance (ARBOL), Hugo VILLEGAS
indigenous: Tupac Katari Revolutionary Liberation Movement (MRTK-L), Victor Hugo CARDENAS Conde; Patriotic Axis of Convergence (EJE-P), Ramiro BARRANCHEA; National Katarista Movement (MKN), Fernando UNTOJA


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Andres PETRICEVIC Raznatovic
chancery: 3014 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-4410 through 4412
FAX: [1] (202) 328-3712
consulate(s) general: Miami, New York, and San Francisco

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Curt Warren KAMMAN
embassy: Avenida Arce 2780, San Jorge, La Paz
mailing address: P. O. Box 425, La Paz; APO AA 34032
telephone: [591] (2) 430251
FAX: [591] (2) 4339000

Flag: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green with the coat of arms centered on the yellow band; similar to the flag of Ghana, which has a large black five-pointed star centered in the yellow band


Overview: With its long history of semifeudal social controls, dependence on volatile prices for its mineral exports, and bouts of hyperinflation, Bolivia has remained one of the poorest and least developed Latin American countries. However, Bolivia has experienced generally improving economic conditions since the PAZ Estenssoro administration (1985-89) introduced market-oriented policies which reduced inflation from 11,700% in 1985 to about 20% in 1988. PAZ Estenssoro was followed as President by Jaime PAZ Zamora (1989-93) who continued the free-market policies of his predecessor, despite opposition from his own party and from Bolivia's once powerful labor movement. By maintaining fiscal discipline, PAZ Zamora helped reduce inflation to 9.3% in 1993, while GDP grew by an annual average of 3.25% during his tenure. Inaugurated in August 1993, President SANCHEZ DE LOZADA has vowed to advance the market-oriented economic reforms he helped launch as PAZ Estenssoro's planning minister. His successes so far have included an inflation rate that continues to decrease - the 1994 rate of 8.5% was the lowest in ten years - the signing of a free trade agreement with Mexico, and progress on his unique privatization plan. The main privatization bill was passed by the Bolivian legislature in late March 1994. Related laws - one that establishes SIRESE, the regulatory agency that will oversee the privatizations, and another that outlines the rules for privatization in the electricity sector - were approved later in the year.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $18.3 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 4.2% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $2,370 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8.5% (1994 est.)

Unemployment rate: 6.2% (1994 est.)

revenues: $3.75 billion
expenditures: $3.75 billion, including capital expenditures of $556.2 million (1995 est.)

Exports: $1.1 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: metals 39%, natural gas 9%, soybeans 11%, jewelry 11%, wood 8%
partners: US 26%, Argentina 15% (1993 est.)

Imports: $1.21 billion (c.i.f., 1994 est.)
commodities: capital goods 48%, chemicals 11%, petroleum 5%, food 5% (1993 est.)
partners: US 24%, Argentina 13%, Brazil 11%, Japan 11% (1993 est.)

External debt: $4.2 billion (January 1995)

Industrial production: growth rate 5% (1994 est.)

capacity: 756,200 kW
production: 2.116 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 367 kWh (1994)

Industries: mining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverage, tobacco, handicrafts, clothing; illicit drug industry reportedly produces 15% of its revenues

Agriculture: accounts for about 21% of GDP (including forestry and fisheries); principal commodities - coffee, coca, cotton, corn, sugarcane, rice, potatoes, timber; self-sufficient in food

Illicit drugs: world's second-largest producer of coca (after Peru) with an estimated 48,100 hectares under cultivation in 1994; voluntary and forced eradication programs unable to prevent production from rising to 89,800 metric tons in 1994 from 84,400 tons in 1993; government considers all but 12,000 hectares illicit; intermediate coca products and cocaine exported to or through Colombia and Brazil to the US and other international drug markets; alternative crop program aims to reduce illicit coca cultivation

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $990 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $2.025 billion; Communist countries (1970-89), $340 million

Currency: 1 boliviano ($B) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: bolivianos ($B) per US$1 - 4.72 (January 1995), 4.6205 (1994), 4.2651 (1993), 3.9005 (1992), 3.5806 (1991), 3.1727 (1990)

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 3,684 km (single track)
narrow gauge: 3,652 km 1.000-m gauge; 32 km 0.760-m gauge

total: 42,815 km
paved: 1,865 km
unpaved: gravel 12,000 km; improved/unimproved earth 28,950 km

Inland waterways: 10,000 km of commercially navigable waterways

Pipelines: crude oil 1,800 km; petroleum products 580 km; natural gas 1,495 km

Ports: none; however, Bolivia has free port privileges in the maritime ports of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay

Merchant marine:
total: 1 cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,214 GRT/6,390 DWT

total: 1,382
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 3
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
with paved runways under 914 m: 1,016
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 77
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 275


Telephone system: about 150,000 telephones; about 2.0 telephones/100 persons; new subscribers face bureaucratic difficulties; most telephones in La Paz and other cities; microwave radio relay system being expanded; improved international services
local: NA
intercity: microwave radio relay system
international: 1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth station

broadcast stations: AM 129, FM 0, shortwave 68
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 43
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army (Ejercito Boliviano), Navy (Fuerza Naval Boliviana, includes Marines), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Boliviana), National Police Force (Policia Nacional de Bolivia)

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 1,885,485; males fit for military service 1,226,218; males reach military age (19) annually 81,065 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $134 million; 1.9% of GDP (1994)