Area: 406,752 sq. km. (157,047 sq. mi.); about the size of
Cities: Capital--Asuncion (pop. 539,000). Other cities--Ciudad
del Este, Concepción, Encarnación, Pedro Juan Caballero, Coronel
Terrain: East of the Paraguay River--grassy plains, wooded hills,
tropical forests; west of the Paraguay River (Chaco region)--low,
flat, marshy plain.
Climate: Temperate east of the Paraguay River, semiarid to the west.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Paraguayan(s).
Population (2004 est.): 6,191,368.
Annual population growth rate: 2.3% (projected 1999-2015, UNDP).
Ethnic groups: Mixed Spanish and Indian descent (mestizo) 95%.
Religions: Roman Catholic 90%; Mennonite and other Protestant
Languages: Spanish(language of business and government), Guarani
(spoken and understood by 90% of the population).
Education: Years compulsory--9. Attendance--92%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--27/1,000. Life expectancy--72
years male; 77 years female.
Work force (2002, 2.5 million): Agriculture--45%; industry
and commerce--31%; services--19%; government--4%.
Type: Constitutional Republic.
Independence: May 1811.
Constitution: June 1992.
Branches: Executive--President. Legislative--Senate
and Chamber of Deputies. Judicial--Supreme Court of Justice.
Administrative subdivisions: 17 departments, 1 capital city.
Political parties: National Republican Association/Colorado Party (ANR),
Authentic Radical Liberal Party (PLRA), Beloved Fatherland (PQ),
National Union of Ethical Citizens (UNACE), National Encounter Party
(PEN), The Country in Solidarity Party (PPS), and numerous small
parties not represented in Congress.
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory by law up to age
Economy (2003 Central Bank data.)
GDP: $5.87 billion.
Annual growth rate: 2.6% (2003).
Per capita GDP: $1,019.
Natural resources: Hydroelectric sites, forests.
Agriculture (21.1% of GDP): Products--soybeans, cotton, beef,
Arable land: 9 million hectares, of which 30% is in production.
Manufacturing (13.5% of GDP): Types--sugar, cement, textiles,
beverages, wood products.
Trade (2003): Exports--$1.24 billion: soybeans, cotton,
meat and meat products, wood, animal hides, and vegetable oil.
Major markets--Brazil (34.2%), Uruguay (19.6%). Imports--$1.86
billion: fuels and lubricants, machinery, electric materials,
transportation and accessories, industrial chemicals, fertilizers,
plastics and manufactures, paper and manufactures. Major
suppliers--Brazil (32.5%), Argentina (21.6%).