[Country map of Uruguay]



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

Map references: South America

total area: 176,220 sq km
land area: 173,620 sq km
comparative area: slightly smaller than Washington State

Land boundaries: total 1,564 km, 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

International disputes: short section of boundary with Argentina is in dispute; two short sections of the boundary with Brazil are in dispute - Arroyo de la Invernada (Arroio Invernada) area of the Rio Cuareim (Rio Quarai) and the islands at the confluence of the Rio Cuareim (Rio Quarai) and the Uruguay River

Climate: warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown

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

Natural resources: soil, hydropower potential, minor minerals

Land use:
arable land: 8%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 78%
forest and woodland: 4%
other: 10%

Irrigated land: 1,100 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: substantial pollution from Brazilian industry along border; one-fifth of country affected by acid rain generated by Brazil; water pollution from meat packing/tannery industry; inadequate solid/hazardous waste disposal
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
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


Population: 3,222,716 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 25% (female 392,262; male 409,580)
15-64 years: 63% (female 1,026,314; male 995,492)
65 years and over: 12% (female 233,377; male 165,691) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.74% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 17.57 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 9.27 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.93 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 16.3 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.46 years
male: 71.24 years
female: 77.83 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.41 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Uruguayan(s)
adjective: Uruguayan

Ethnic divisions: white 88%, mestizo 8%, black 4%

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

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

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1990 est.)
total population: 96%
male: 97%
female: 96%

Labor force: 1.355 million (1991 est.)
by occupation: government 25%, manufacturing 19%, agriculture 11%, commerce 12%, utilities, construction, transport, and communications 12%, other services 21% (1988 est.)


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

Digraph: UY

Type: republic

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 1828 (from Brazil)

National holiday: Independence Day, 25 August (1828)

Constitution: 27 November 1966, effective February 1967, suspended 27 June 1973, new constitution rejected by referendum 30 November 1980

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 and head of government: President Julio Maria SANGUINETTI (since 1 March 1995); Vice President Hugo BATALLA (since 1 March 1995); election last held 27 November 1994 (next to be held NA November 1999)
cabinet: Council of Ministers; appointed by the president

Legislative branch: bicameral General Assembly (Asamblea General)
Chamber of Senators (Camara de Senadores): elections last held 27 November 1994 (next to be held NA November 1999); results - Colorado 36%, Blanco 34 %, Encuentro Progresista 27%, New Sector 3%; seats - (30 total) Colorado 11, Blanco 10, Encuentro Progresista 8, New Sector 1
Chamber of Representatives (Camera de Representantes): elections last held 27 November 1994 (next to be held NA November 1999); results - Colorado 32%, Blanco 31%, Encuentro Progresista 31%, New Sector 5%; seats - (99 total) Colorado 32, Blanco 31, Encuentro Progresista 31, New Sector 5

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: National (Blanco) Party; Colorado Party, Jorge BATLLE; Broad Front Coalition, Gen. Liber SEREGNI Mosquera; New Sector Coalition, Hugo BATALLA; Encuentro Progresista


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Eduardo MACGILLYCUDDY
chancery: 1918 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
telephone: [1] (202) 331-1313 through 1316
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, Miami, and New York
consulate(s): New Orleans

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas J. DODD
embassy: Lauro Muller 1776, Montevideo
mailing address: APO AA 34035
telephone: [598] (2) 23 60 61, 48 77 77
FAX: [598] (2) 48 86 11

Flag: 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


Overview: Uruguay's economy is a small one with favorable climate, good soils, and substantial hydropower potential. Economic development has been restrained in recent years by excessive government regulation of economic detail and 40% to 130% inflation. Although the GDP growth rate slowed in 1993 to 1.7%, following a healthy expansion to 7.5% in 1992, it rebounded in 1994 to an estimated 4%, spurred mostly by increasing agricultural and other exports and a surprise reversal of the downward trend in industrial production. In a major step toward regional economic cooperation, Uruguay confirmed its commitment to the Southern Cone Common Market (MERCOSUR) customs union by implementing MERCOSUR's common external tariff on most tradables on 1 January 1995. Inflation in 1994 declined for the third consecutive year, yet, at 44%, it remains the highest in the region; analysts predict that the expanding fiscal deficit and wage indexation will force the inflation rate back toward the 50% mark in 1995.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $23 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 4% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $7,200 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 44% (1994 est.)

Unemployment rate: 9% (1994 est.)

revenues: $2.9 billion
expenditures: $3 billion, including capital expenditures of $388 million (1991 est.)

Exports: $1.78 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: wool and textile manufactures, beef and other animal products, leather, rice
partners: Brazil, Argentina, US, China, Italy

Imports: $2.461 billion (c.i.f., 1994 est.)
commodities: machinery and equipment, vehicles, chemicals, minerals, plastics
partners: Brazil, Argentina, US, Nigeria

External debt: $4.2 billion (1993)

Industrial production: growth rate 3.9% (1992); accounts for 28% of GDP

capacity: 2,070,000 kW
production: 9 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 1,575 kWh (1993)

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

Agriculture: accounts for 12% of GDP; large areas devoted to livestock grazing; wheat, rice, corn, sorghum; fishing; self-sufficient in most basic foodstuffs

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $105 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $420 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $69 million

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

Exchange rates: Uruguayan pesos ($Ur) per US$1 - 5.6 (January 1995), 4.4710 (January 1994), 3.9484 (1993), 3.0270 (1992), 2.0188 (1991), 1.1710 (1990)
note: on 1 March 1993 the former New Peso (N$Ur) was replaced as Uruguay's unit of currency by the Peso which is equal to 1,000 of the New Pesos

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 3,000 km
standard gauge: 3,000 km 1.435-m gauge

total: 49,900 km
paved: 6,700 km
unpaved: gravel 3,000 km; earth 40,200 km

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

Ports: Fray Bentos, Montevideo, Nueva Palmira, Paysandu, Punta del Este

Merchant marine:
total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 71,405 GRT/110,939 DWT
ships by type: cargo 1, container 1, oil tanker 1

total: 85
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 8
with paved runways under 914 m: 54
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 2
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 14


Telephone system: 337,000 telephones; telephone density 10/100 persons; some modern facilities
local: most modern facilities concentrated in Montevideo
intercity: new nationwide microwave network
international: 2 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth stations

broadcast stations: AM 99, FM 0, shortwave 9
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 26
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy (includes Naval Air Arm, Coast Guard, Marines), Air Force, Grenadier Guards, Coracero Guard, Police

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 775,060; males fit for military service 629,385 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $216 million, 2.3% of GDP (1991 est.)