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South America :: Uruguay Print
Page last updated on September 10, 2019
  • Introduction :: Uruguay
  • Background field listing

    Montevideo, founded by the Spanish in 1726 as a military stronghold, soon took advantage of its natural harbor to become an important commercial center. Claimed by Argentina but annexed by Brazil in 1821, Uruguay declared its independence four years later and secured its freedom in 1828 after a three-year struggle. The administrations of President Jose BATLLE in the early 20th century launched widespread political, social, and economic reforms that established a statist tradition. A violent Marxist urban guerrilla movement named the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Uruguay's president to cede control of the government to the military in 1973. By yearend, the rebels had been crushed, but the military continued to expand its hold over the government. Civilian rule was restored in 1985. In 2004, the left-of-center Frente Amplio Coalition won national elections that effectively ended 170 years of political control previously held by the Colorado and National (Blanco) parties. Uruguay's political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent.

  • Geography :: Uruguay
  • Location field listing
    Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    33 00 S, 56 00 W
    Map references field listing
    South America
    Area field listing
    total: 176,215 sq km
    land: 175,015 sq km
    water: 1,200 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 92
    Area - comparative field listing
    about the size of Virginia and West Virginia combined; slightly smaller than the state of Washington
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 1,591 km
    border countries (2): Argentina 541 km, Brazil 1050 km
    Coastline field listing
    660 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm or the edge of continental margin
    Climate field listing
    warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown
    Terrain field listing
    mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 109 m
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Cerro Catedral 514 m
    Natural resources field listing
    arable land, hydropower, minor minerals, fish
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 87.2% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 10.1% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.2% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 76.9% (2011 est.)
    forest: 10.2% (2011 est.)
    other: 2.6% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    2,380 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    most of the country's population resides in the southern half of the country; approximately 80% of the populace is urban, living in towns or cities; nearly half of the population lives in and around the capital of Montevideo
    Natural hazards field listing
    seasonally high winds (the pampero is a chilly and occasional violent wind that 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 from weather fronts
    Environment - current issues field listing
    water pollution from meat packing/tannery industry; heavy metal pollution; inadequate solid/hazardous waste disposal; deforestation
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation
    Geography - note field listing
    second-smallest South American country (after Suriname); most of the low-lying landscape (three-quarters of the country) is grassland, ideal for cattle and sheep raising
  • People and Society :: Uruguay
  • Population field listing
    3,369,299 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Uruguayan(s)
    adjective: Uruguayan
    Ethnic groups field listing
    white 87.7%, black 4.6%, indigenous 2.4%, other 0.3%, none or unspecified 5% (2011 est.)

    note: data represent primary ethnic identity

    Languages field listing
    Spanish (official)
    Religions field listing
    Roman Catholic 47.1%, non-Catholic Christians 11.1%, nondenominational 23.2%, Jewish 0.3%, atheist or agnostic 17.2%, other 1.1% (2006 est.)
    Demographic profile field listing

    Uruguay rates high for most development indicators and is known for its secularism, liberal social laws, and well-developed social security, health, and educational systems. It is one of the few countries in Latin America and the Caribbean where the entire population has access to clean water. Uruguay's provision of free primary through university education has contributed to the country's high levels of literacy and educational attainment. However, the emigration of human capital has diminished the state's return on its investment in education. Remittances from the roughly 18% of Uruguayans abroad amount to less than 1 percent of national GDP. The emigration of young adults and a low birth rate are causing Uruguay's population to age rapidly.

    In the 1960s, Uruguayans for the first time emigrated en masse - primarily to Argentina and Brazil - because of economic decline and the onset of more than a decade of military dictatorship. Economic crises in the early 1980s and 2002 also triggered waves of emigration, but since 2002 more than 70% of Uruguayan emigrants have selected the US and Spain as destinations because of better job prospects. Uruguay had a tiny population upon its independence in 1828 and welcomed thousands of predominantly Italian and Spanish immigrants, but the country has not experienced large influxes of new arrivals since the aftermath of World War II. More recent immigrants include Peruvians and Arabs.

    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 19.91% (male 341,402 /female 329,474)
    15-24 years: 15.56% (male 265,486 /female 258,611)
    25-54 years: 39.48% (male 658,871 /female 671,172)
    55-64 years: 10.68% (male 169,385 /female 190,392)
    65 years and over: 14.38% (male 194,269 /female 290,237) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 55.9 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 33.4 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 22.5 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 4.4 (2015 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 35.1 years
    male: 33.3 years
    female: 36.9 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Population growth rate field listing
    0.27% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Birth rate field listing
    13 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Death rate field listing
    9.4 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    Net migration rate field listing
    -0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Population distribution field listing
    most of the country's population resides in the southern half of the country; approximately 80% of the populace is urban, living in towns or cities; nearly half of the population lives in and around the capital of Montevideo
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 95.3% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 0.46% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    1.737 million MONTEVIDEO (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    15 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 8.1 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 9 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 7.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 77.6 years
    male: 74.4 years
    female: 80.8 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.79 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    79.6% (2015)

    note: percent of women aged 15-44

    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 100% of population
    rural: 93.9% of population
    total: 99.7% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population
    rural: 6.1% of population
    total: 0.3% of population (2015 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    9.2% (2015)
    Physicians density field listing
    5.05 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    2.8 beds/1,000 population (2014)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 96.6% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 92.6% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 96.4% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 3.4% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 7.4% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 3.6% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    0.6% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    13,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    <500 (2017 est.)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    27.9% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    4% (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    Education expenditures field listing
    4.4% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2017 est.)
    total population: 98.6%
    male: 98.2%
    female: 99% (2017 est.)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    16 years
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 24.8%
    male: 20.7%
    female: 30.4% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
  • Government :: Uruguay
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Oriental Republic of Uruguay
    conventional short form: Uruguay
    local long form: Republica Oriental del Uruguay
    local short form: Uruguay
    former: Banda Oriental, Cisplatine Province
    etymology: name derives from the Spanish pronunciation of the Guarani Indian designation of the Uruguay River, which makes up the western border of the country and whose name later came to be applied to the entire country
    Government type field listing
    presidential republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Montevideo
    geographic coordinates: 34 51 S, 56 10 W
    time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    Administrative divisions field listing
    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 field listing
    25 August 1825 (from Brazil)
    National holiday field listing
    Independence Day, 25 August (1825)
    Constitution field listing
    history: several previous; latest approved by plebiscite 27 November 1966, effective 15 February 1967
    amendments: initiated by public petition of at least 10% of qualified voters, proposed by agreement of at least two-fifths of the General Assembly membership, or by existing "constitutional laws" sanctioned by at least two-thirds of the membership in both houses of the Assembly; proposals can also be submitted by senators, representatives, or by the executive power and require the formation of and approval in a national constituent convention; final passage by either method requires approval by absolute majority of votes cast in a referendum; amended many times, last in 2004 (2018)
    International law organization participation field listing
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: yes
    citizenship by descent only: yes
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 3-5 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal and compulsory
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Tabare VAZQUEZ (since 1 March 2015); Vice President Lucia TOPOLANSKY (since 13 September 2017); note - Vice President Raul Fernando SENDIC Rodriguez (since 1 March 2015) stepped down on 9 September 2017 amid accusations of misuse of public funds; the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Tabare VAZQUEZ (since 1 March 2015); Vice President Lucia TOPOLANSKY (since 13 September 2017)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president with approval of the General Assembly
    elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for nonconsecutive terms); election last held on 26 October 2014 with a runoff election on 30 November 2014 (next to be held on 27 October 2019, and a runoff if needed on 24 November 2019)
    election results: Tabare VAZQUEZ elected president in second round; percent of vote - Tabare VAZQUEZ (Socialist Party) 56.5%, Luis Alberto LACALLE Pou (Blanco) 43.4%
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: bicameral General Assembly or Asamblea General consists of:
    Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (31 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; the vice-president serves as the presiding ex-officio member; elected members serve 5-year terms)
    Chamber of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (99 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
    elections:
    Chamber of Senators - last held on 26 October 2014 (next to be held in October 2019)
    Chamber of Representatives - last held on 26 October 2014 (next to be held on 27 October 2019)
    election results:
    Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by coalition/party - Frente Amplio 49.5%, National Party 31.9%, Colorado Party 13.3%, Independent Party 3.2%, other 2.1%; seats by coalition/party - Frente Amplio 15, National Party 10, Colorado Party 4, Independent Party 1; composition -men 22, women 9, percent of women 29%

    Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by coalition/party - Frente Amplio 49.5%, National Party 31.9%, Colorado Party 13.3%, Independent Party 3.2%, AP 1.2%, other 0.9%; seats by coalition/party - Frente Amplio 50, National Party 32, Colorado Party 13, Independent Party 3, AP 1; composition - men 83, women 16, percent of women 16.2%; note - total General Assembly percent of women 19.2%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court of Justice (consists of 5 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the president and appointed in joint conference of the General Assembly; judges serve 10-year terms, with reelection possible after a lapse of 5 years following the previous term
    subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; District Courts (Juzgados Letrados); Peace Courts (Juzgados de Paz); Rural Courts (Juzgados Rurales)
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Broad Front or FA (Frente Amplio) [Javier MIRANDA] - (a broad governing coalition that includes Uruguay Assembly [Danilo ASTORI], Progressive Alliance [Rodolfo NIN NOVOA], New Space [Rafael MICHELINI], Socialist Party [Monica XAVIER], Vertiente Artiguista [Enrique RUBIO], Christian Democratic Party [Jorge RODRIGUEZ], For the People’s Victory [Luis PUIG], Popular Participation Movement (MPP) [Jose MUJICA], Broad Front Commitment [Raul SENDIC], Big House [Constanza MOREIRA], Communist Party [Marcos CARAMBULA], The Federal League [Dario PEREZ]
    Colorado Party (including Vamos Uruguay (or Let's Go Uruguay), Open Space [Tabare VIERA], and Open Batllism [Ope PASQUET])
    Independent Party [Pablo MIERES]
    National Party or Blanco (including Everyone [Luis LACALLE POU] and National Alliance [Jorge LARRANAGA])
    Popular Unity [Gonzalo ABELLA]
    International organization participation field listing
    CAN (associate), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), OAS, OIF (observer), OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, SICA (observer), UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMOGIP, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    Ambassador Carlos Alberto GIANELLI Derois (since 3 August 2015)
    chancery: 1913 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
    telephone: [1] (202) 331-1313
    FAX: [1] (202) 331-8142
    consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Jennifer SAVAGE (since 6 August 2019)
    embassy: Lauro Muller 1776, Montevideo 11200
    Flag description field listing
    nine equal horizontal stripes of white (top and bottom) alternating with blue; a white square in the upper hoist-side corner with a yellow sun bearing a human face (delineated in black) known as the Sun of May with 16 rays that alternate between triangular and wavy; the stripes represent the nine original departments of Uruguay; the sun symbol evokes the legend of the sun breaking through the clouds on 25 May 1810 as independence was first declared from Spain (Uruguay subsequently won its independence from Brazil); the sun features are said to represent those of Inti, the Inca god of the sun

    note: the banner was inspired by the national colors of Argentina and by the design of the US flag

    National symbol(s) field listing
    Sun of May (a sun-with-face symbol); national colors: blue, white, yellow
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Himno Nacional" (National Anthem of Uruguay)
    lyrics/music: Francisco Esteban ACUNA de Figueroa/Francisco Jose DEBALI

    note: adopted 1848; the anthem is also known as "Orientales, la Patria o la tumba!" ("Uruguayans, the Fatherland or Death!"); it is the world's longest national anthem in terms of music (105 bars; almost five minutes); generally only the first verse and chorus are sung

  • Economy :: Uruguay
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Uruguay has a free market economy characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector, a well-educated workforce, and high levels of social spending. Uruguay has sought to expand trade within the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) and with non-Mercosur members, and President VAZQUEZ has maintained his predecessor's mix of pro-market policies and a strong social safety net. 

    Following financial difficulties in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Uruguay's economic growth averaged 8% annually during the 2004-08 period. The 2008-09 global financial crisis put a brake on Uruguay's vigorous growth, which decelerated to 2.6% in 2009. Nevertheless, the country avoided a recession and kept growth rates positive, mainly through higher public expenditure and investment; GDP growth reached 8.9% in 2010 but slowed markedly in the 2012-16 period as a result of a renewed slowdown in the global economy and in Uruguay's main trade partners and Mercosur counterparts, Argentina and Brazil. Reforms in those countries should give Uruguay an economic boost. Growth picked up in 2017.
    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $78.16 billion (2017 est.)
    $76.14 billion (2016 est.)
    $74.87 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 96
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $59.18 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    2.7% (2017 est.)
    1.7% (2016 est.)
    0.4% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $22,400 (2017 est.)
    $21,900 (2016 est.)
    $21,600 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 85
    Gross national saving field listing
    17.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
    18.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
    18.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 66.8% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 14.3% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 16.7% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: -1% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 21.6% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -18.4% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 6.2% (2017 est.)
    industry: 24.1% (2017 est.)
    services: 69.7% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    Cellulose, beef, soybeans, rice, wheat; dairy products; fish; lumber, tobacco, wine
    Industries field listing
    food processing, electrical machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, textiles, chemicals, beverages
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    -3.6% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    Labor force field listing
    1.748 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 13%
    industry: 14%
    services: 73% (2010 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    7.6% (2017 est.)
    7.9% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Population below poverty line field listing
    9.7% (2015 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 1.9%
    highest 10%: 30.8% (2014 est.)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index field listing
    41.6 (2014)
    41.9 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 17.66 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 19.72 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    29.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -3.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    Public debt field listing
    65.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
    61.6% of GDP (2016 est.)

    note: data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions.

    country comparison to the world: 57
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    6.2% (2017 est.)
    9.6% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    Central bank discount rate field listing
    9% (31 December 2012)
    8.75% (31 December 2011)

    note: Uruguay's central bank uses the benchmark interest rate, rather than the discount rate, to conduct monetary policy; the rates shown here are the benchmark rates

    country comparison to the world: 35
    Commercial bank prime lending rate field listing
    13.83% (31 December 2017 est.)
    16.17% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Stock of narrow money field listing
    $5.068 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $4.516 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    Stock of broad money field listing
    $5.068 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $4.516 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Stock of domestic credit field listing
    $20.84 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $19.03 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    Market value of publicly traded shares field listing
    $175.4 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    $174.6 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    $156.9 million (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    Current account balance field listing
    $879 million (2017 est.)
    $410 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Exports field listing
    $11.41 billion (2017 est.)
    $8.387 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    Exports - partners field listing
    China 19%, Brazil 16.1%, US 5.7%, Argentina 5.4% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    beef, soybeans, cellulose, rice, wheat, wood, dairy products, wool
    Imports field listing
    $8.607 billion (2017 est.)
    $8.463 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Imports - commodities field listing
    refined oil, crude oil, passenger and other transportation vehicles, vehicle parts, cellular phones
    Imports - partners field listing
    China 20%, Brazil 19.5%, Argentina 12.6%, US 10.9% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $15.96 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $13.47 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    Debt - external field listing
    $28.37 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $27.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home field listing
    $44.84 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $22.81 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad field listing
    $19.97 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $136.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    Exchange rates field listing
    Uruguayan pesos (UYU) per US dollar -
    28.77 (2017 est.)
    30.16 (2016 est.)
    30.16 (2015 est.)
    27.52 (2014 est.)
    23.25 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Uruguay
  • Electricity access field listing
    electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
    Electricity - production field listing
    13.13 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    10.77 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Electricity - exports field listing
    1.321 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    Electricity - imports field listing
    24 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    4.808 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    29% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    29% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    42% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    40,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    42,220 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    53,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 214
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    9,591 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Natural gas - production field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    70.79 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    70.79 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    7.554 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
  • Communications :: Uruguay
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 1,136,977
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 34 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 5,097,569
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 152 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    Telephone system field listing
    general assessment: fully digitalized; one of the highest broadband penetrations in Latin America; high fixed-line and mobile penetrations as well; FttP coverage by 2022; nationwide 3G coverage (2018)
    domestic: most modern facilities concentrated in Montevideo; nationwide microwave radio relay network; overall fixed-line 34 per 100 and mobile-cellular teledensity 152 per 100 persons (2018)
    international: country code - 598; the UNISOR submarine cable system provides direct connectivity to Brazil and Argentina; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); Bicentenario 2012 and Tannat 2017 cables helped end-users with Internet bandwidth
    Broadcast media field listing
    mixture of privately owned and state-run broadcast media; more than 100 commercial radio stations and about 20 TV channels; cable TV is available; many community radio and TV stations; adopted the hybrid Japanese/Brazilian HDTV standard (ISDB-T) in December 2010 (2019)
    Internet country code field listing
    .uy
    Internet users field listing
    total: 2,225,075
    percent of population: 66.4% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 949,974
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 28 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
  • Transportation :: Uruguay
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 2 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 3 (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    CX (2016)
    Airports field listing
    133 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 11 (2013)
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2013)
    under 914 m: 2 (2013)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 122 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 40 (2013)
    under 914 m: 79 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    257 km gas, 160 km oil (2013)
    Railways field listing
    total: 1,673 km (operational; government claims overall length is 2,961 km) (2016)
    standard gauge: 1,673 km 1.435-m gauge (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    Roadways field listing
    total: 77,732 km (2010)
    paved: 7,743 km (2010)
    unpaved: 69,989 km (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Waterways field listing
    1,600 km (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 57
    by type: container ship 1, general cargo 6, oil tanker 3, other 47 (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Montevideo
  • Military and Security :: Uruguay
  • Military expenditures field listing
    1.95% of GDP (2018)
    1.98% of GDP (2017)
    1.88% of GDP (2016)
    1.82% of GDP (2015)
    1.81% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    Military branches field listing
    Uruguayan Armed Forces: Uruguayan National Army (Ejercito Nacional Uruguaya, ENU), Uruguayan National Navy (Armada Nacional del Uruguay, includes naval air arm, Naval Rifle Corps (Cuerpo de Fusileros Navales, Fusna), Maritime Prefecture in wartime), Uruguayan Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Uruguaya, FAU) (2012)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18-30 years of age (18-22 years of age for navy) for male or female voluntary military service; up to 40 years of age for specialists; enlistment is voluntary in peacetime, but the government has the authority to conscript in emergencies; minimum 6-year education (2013)
  • Transnational Issues :: Uruguay
  • Disputes - international field listing

    in 2010, the ICJ ruled in favor of Uruguay's operation of two paper mills on the Uruguay River, which forms the border with Argentina; the two countries formed a joint pollution monitoring regime; uncontested boundary dispute between Brazil and Uruguay over Braziliera/Brasiliera Island in the Quarai/Cuareim River leaves the tripoint with Argentina in question; smuggling of firearms and narcotics continues to be an issue along the Uruguay-Brazil border

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 13,097 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum or have received alternative legal stay) (2019)
    Illicit drugs field listing
    small-scale transit country for drugs mainly bound for Europe, often through sea-borne containers; law enforcement corruption; money laundering because of strict banking secrecy laws; weak border control along Brazilian frontier; increasing consumption of cocaine base and synthetic drugs