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Countries > Paraguay Paraguay Flag

Languages   2 languages are spoken in Paraguay. We have 2626 products available for those languages.

Capital: Asuncion
Population: 5,700,000
Click to Listen Play the National Anthem
Paraguay Map


Location: Central South America, northeast of Argentina

Geographic coordinates: 23 00 S, 58 00 W

Map references: South America

total: 406,750 sq km
land: 397,300 sq km
water: 9,450 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than California

Land boundaries:
total: 3,920 km
border countries: Argentina 1,880 km, Bolivia 750 km, Brazil 1,290 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: subtropical; 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 San Rafael 850 m

Natural resources: hydropower, timber, iron ore, manganese, limestone

Land use:
arable land: 6%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 55%
forests and woodland : 32%
other: 7% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 670 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards: local flooding in southeast (early September to June); poorly drained plains may become boggy (early October to June)

Environment - current issues: deforestation (an estimated 2 million hectares of forest land have been lost from 1958-85); water pollution; inadequate means for waste disposal present health risks for many urban residents

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Desertification, Nuclear Test Ban

Geography - note: landlocked; lies between Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil


Population: 5,884,491 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 38.7% (male 1,156,366; female 1,119,558)
15-64 years:56.6% (male 1,671,721; female 1,658,683)
65 years and over: 4.7% (male 128,137; female 150,026) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.57% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 30.5 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 4.69 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.09 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years:1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population : 1.01 male(s)/female(2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 28.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.16 years
male:71.67 years
female: 76.77 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.07 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun: Paraguayan(s)
adjective: Paraguayan

Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) 95%, white plus Amerindian 5%

Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, Mennonite and other Protestant denominations

Languages: Spanish (official), Guarani

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.1%
male: 93.5%
female : 90.6% (1995 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Paraguay
conventional short form: Paraguay
local long form: Republica del Paraguay
local short form: Paraguay

Data code: PA

Government type: republic

National capital: Asuncion

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 Days, 14-15 May (1811)

Constitution: promulgated 20 June 1992

Legal system: based on Argentine codes, Roman law, and French codes; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court of Justice; does not accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory up to age 60

Executive branch:
chief of state:President Luis Angel GONZALEZ MACCHI (since 28 March 1999); Vice President Julio Cesar FRANCO (since NA August 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Luis Angel GONZALEZ MACCHI (since 28 March 1999); Vice President Julio Cesar FRANCO (since NA August 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet : Council of Ministers nominated by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms; election last held 10 May 1998 (next to be held NA May 2003)
election results: Raul CUBAS Grau elected president; percent of vote - 55.3%; resigned 28 March 1999

Legislative branch: bicameral Congress or Congreso consists of the Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (45 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (80 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: Chamber of Senators - last held 10 May 1998 (next to be held NA May 2003); Chamber of Deputies - last held 10 May 1998 (next to be held NA May 2003)
election results : Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Colorado Party 25, PLRA 13, PEN 7; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Colorado Party 45, PLRA 26, PEN 9

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice (Corte Suprema de Justicia), judges appointed on the proposal of the Counsel of Magistrates (Consejo de la Magistratura)

Political parties and leaders:Authentic Radical Liberal Party or PLRA [Miguel Abdon SAGUIER]; Christian Democratic Party or PDC [Luis Miguel ANDRADA Nogues]; Febrerista Revolutionary Party or PRF [Oscar ACUNA TORRES]; National Encounter Party or PEN [Mario PAZ CASTAING]; National Republican Association - Colorado Party [Nicanor DUARTE FRUTOS]

Political pressure groups and leaders:Ahorristas Estafados or AE; National Workers Central or CNT; Paraguayan Workers Confederation or CPT; Roman Catholic Church; Unitary Workers Central or CUT

International organization participation: AG (observer), CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, OAS, OPANAL, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador Leila Teresa RACHID COWLES
chancery: 2400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-6960 through 6962
FAX: [1] (202) 234-4508
consulate(s) general : Miami and New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador David N. GREENLEE
embassy: 1776 Avenida Mariscal Lopez, Casilla Postal 402, Asuncion
mailing address: Unit 4711, APO AA 34036-0001
telephone: [595] (21) 213-715
FAX: [595] (21) 213-728

Flag description: three equal, horizontal bands of red (top), white, and blue with an emblem centered in the white band; unusual flag in that the emblem is different on each side; the obverse (hoist side at the left) bears the national coat of arms (a yellow five-pointed star within a green wreath capped by the words REPUBLICA DEL PARAGUAY, all within two circles); the reverse (hoist side at the right) bears the seal of the treasury (a yellow lion below a red Cap of Liberty and the words Paz y Justicia (Peace and Justice) capped by the words REPUBLICA DEL PARAGUAY, all within two circles)


Economy - overview: Paraguay has a market economy marked by a large informal sector. The informal sector features both reexport of imported consumer goods to neighboring countries as well as the activities of thousands of microenterprises and urban street vendors. Because of the importance of the informal sector, accurate economic measures are difficult to obtain. A large percentage of the population derives their living from agricultural activity, often on a subsistence basis. The formal economy grew by an average of about 3% annually in 1995-97, but GDP declined slightly in 1998, 1999, and 2000. On a per capita basis, real income has stagnated at 1980 levels. Most observers attribute Paraguay's poor economic performance to political uncertainty, corruption, lack of progress on structural reform, substantial internal and external debt, and deficient infrastructure

GDP: purchasing power parity - $26.2 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: $4,600 (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,600 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 29%
services:45% (2000 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 7.2% (2001 est.)

Labor force:
total: 2 million (2000 est.)
by occupation: agriculture 45%

Unemployment rate: 17.8% (2001 est.)

revenues : $1.3 billion
expenditures: $2 billion, including capital expenditures of $700 million (1999 est.)

Industries: meat packing, oilseed crushing, milling, brewing, textiles, other light consumer goods, cement, construction

Industrial production growth rate: 0% (2000 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 6,927,500 kW (1995)

Electricity - production: 53.056 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 1.95 billion kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products: cotton, sugarcane, soybeans, corn, wheat, tobacco, cassava (tapioca), fruits, vegetables; beef, pork, eggs, milk; timber

total value: $2.2 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities: cotton, soybeans, timber, vegetable oils, meat products, coffee, tung oil
partners: Brazil 39%, Uruguay 14%, Argentina 11% (2000)

total value: $2.7 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities: capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, raw materials, fuels
partners :Argentina 25.4%, Brazil 24.5%, Uruguay 3.8% (2000)

Debt - external: $2.9 billion (2001 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: $NA

Currency: 1 guarani (PYG) = 100 centimos

Exchange rates: guaranies (PYG) per US$ -4,783.0 (January 2002), 4,107.7 (2001), 3,486.4 (2000), 3,119.1 (1999), 2,726.5 (1998), 2,177.9 (1997); note - since early 1998, the exchange rate has operated as a managed float; prior to that, the exchange rate was determined freely in the market

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones: 290,475 (2001)

Telephone system: meager telephone service; principal switching center is Asuncion
domestic: fair microwave radio relay network
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 46, FM 27, shortwave 6 (three inactive) (1998)

Radios: 925,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 4 (2001)

Televisions: 990,000 (2001)


total: 971 km
standard gauge: 441 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge : 60 km 1.000-m gauge
other gauge: 470 km various gauges (privately owned)

total : 25,901 km
paved: 3,067 km
unpaved: 22,834 km (2001)

Waterways: 3,100 km

Ports and harbors: Asuncion, Villeta, San Antonio, Encarnacion

Merchant marine:
total : 21 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 34,623 GRT/36,821 DWT
ships by type: cargo 14, chemical tanker 1, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 3

Airports: 899 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 11
over 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m : 2
914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 888
1,524 to 2,437 m :28
914 to 1,523 m: 332
under 914 m:528 (2001)


Military branches: Army, Navy (includes Naval Air and Marines), Air Force

Military manpower - military age: 17 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 1,427,160 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males : 1,028,935 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 58,359 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $125 million (FY98)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.4% (FY98)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: short section of the boundary with Brazil, just west of Salto del Guaira (Guaira Falls) on the Rio Parana, has not been precisely delimited

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis for the international drug trade; transshipment country for Bolivian cocaine headed for Europe and the US