South America :: Paraguay

Introduction ::Paraguay

    Paraguay achieved its independence from Spain in 1811. In the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70) - between Paraguay and Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay - Paraguay lost two-thirds of all its adult males and much of its territory. The country stagnated economically for the next half century. Following the Chaco War of 1932-35 with Bolivia, Paraguay gained a large part of the Chaco lowland region. The 35-year military dictatorship of Alfredo STROESSNER ended in 1989, and, despite a marked increase in political infighting in recent years, Paraguay has held relatively free and regular presidential elections since the country's return to democracy.

Geography ::Paraguay

People and Society ::Paraguay

    noun: Paraguayan(s)
    adjective: Paraguayan
    mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) 95%, other 5%
    Spanish (official), Guarani (official)
    Roman Catholic 89.6%, Protestant 6.2%, other Christian 1.1%, other or unspecified 1.9%, none 1.1% (2002 census)
    Paraguay falls below the Latin American average in several socioeconomic categories, including immunization rates, potable water, sanitation, and secondary school enrollment, and has greater rates of income inequality and child and maternal mortality. Paraguay's poverty rate has declined in recent years but remains high, especially in rural areas, with more than a third of the population below the poverty line. However, the well-being of the poor in many regions has improved in terms of housing quality and access to clean water, telephone service, and electricity. The fertility rate continues to drop, declining sharply from an average 4.3 births per woman in the late 1990s to about 2 in 2013, as a result of the greater educational attainment of women, increased use of contraception, and a desire for smaller families among young women.
    Paraguay is a country of emigration; it has not attracted large numbers of immigrants because of political instability, civil wars, years of dictatorship, and the greater appeal of neighboring countries. Paraguay first tried to encourage immigration in 1870 in order to rebound from the heavy death toll it suffered during the War of the Triple Alliance, but it received few European and Middle Eastern immigrants. In the 20th century, limited numbers of immigrants arrived from Lebanon, Japan, South Korea, and China, as well as Mennonites from Canada, Russia, and Mexico. Large flows of Brazilian immigrants have been arriving since the 1960s, mainly to work in agriculture. Paraguayans continue to emigrate to Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, the United States, Italy, Spain, and France.
    6,623,252 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    0-14 years: 26.8% (male 903,578/female 873,079)
    15-24 years: 20.8% (male 692,006/female 684,297)
    25-54 years: 39% (male 1,294,037/female 1,290,376)
    55-64 years: 6.9% (male 234,803/female 224,862)
    65 years and over: 6.4% (male 198,529/female 227,685) (2013 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 61 %
    youth dependency ratio: 52.2 %
    elderly dependency ratio: 8.8 %
    potential support ratio: 11.4 (2013)
    total: 26.3 years
    male: 26.1 years
    female: 26.5 years (2013 est.)
    1.23% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    16.95 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    4.61 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    -0.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    urban population: 61% of total population (2010)
    rate of urbanization: 2.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    ASUNCION (capital) 1.977 million (2009)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
    22.9
    note: Median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2008 est.)
    99 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    total: 21.48 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 86
    male: 25.21 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 17.57 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total population: 76.6 years
    country comparison to the world: 74
    male: 73.97 years
    female: 79.35 years (2013 est.)
    2.01 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    79.4%
    note: percent of women aged 15-44 (2008)
    5.9% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    1.11 physicians/1,000 population (2002)
    1.3 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    improved:
    urban: 99% of population
    rural: 66% of population
    total: 86% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 1% of population
    rural: 34% of population
    total: 14% of population (2010 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 90% of population
    rural: 40% of population
    total: 71% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 10% of population
    rural: 60% of population
    total: 29% of population (2010 est.)
    0.3% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    13,000 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    fewer than 500 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    degree of risk: intermediate
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne disease: dengue fever (2013)
    17.9% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    3.4% (2005)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    4.1% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 93.9%
    male: 94.8%
    female: 92.9% (2010 est.)
    total: 12 years
    male: 12 years
    female: 12 years (2010)
    total number: 205,297
    percentage: 15 % (2004 est.)
    total: 17.8%
    country comparison to the world: 71
    male: 9.7%
    female: 13% (2011)

Government ::Paraguay

    conventional long form: Republic of Paraguay
    conventional short form: Paraguay
    local long form: Republica del Paraguay
    local short form: Paraguay
    constitutional republic
    name: Asuncion
    geographic coordinates: 25 16 S, 57 40 W
    time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends fourth Sunday in March
    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
    14 May 1811 (from Spain)
    Independence Day, 14 May 1811 (observed 15 May)
    promulgated 20 June 1992
    civil law system with influences from Argentine, Spanish, Roman, and French civil law models; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court of Justice
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal and compulsory until the age of 75
    chief of state: President Horacio CARTES (since 15 August 2013); Vice President Juan AFARA (since 15 August 2013); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Horacio CARTES (since 15 August 2013); Vice President Juan AFARA (since 15 August 2013)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held on 21 April 2013 (next to be held in April 2018)
    election results: Horacio CARTES elected president; percent of vote - Horacio CARTES 45.8%, Efrain ALEGRE 36.94%, Mario FERREIRO 5.88%, Anibal CARRILLO 3.32%, other 8.06%
    bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (45 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (80 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: Chamber of Senators - last held on 21 April 2013 (next to be held in April 2018); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 21 April 2013 (next to be held in April 2018)
    election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ANR 19, PLRA 12, FG 5, PDP 3, Avanza Pais 2, UNACE 2, PEN 1, PPQ 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ANR 44, PLRA 27, Avanza Pais 2, PEN 2, UNACE 2, FG 1, PPQ 1, other 1
    highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of 9 justices divided 3 each into the Constitutional Court, Civil and Commercial Chamber, and Criminal Division
    judge selection and term of office: justices proposed by the Council of Magistrates or Consejo de la Magistratura, a 6-member independent body, and appointed by the Chamber of Senators with presidential concurrence; judges appointed until mandatory retirement at age 75
    subordinate courts: appellate courts; first instance courts; minor courts, including justices of the peace
    Alianza Patriotica por el Cambio (Patriotic Alliance for Change) or APC
    Asociacion Nacional Republicana - Colorado Party or ANR [Lilian SAMANIEGO]
    Avanza Pais coalition [Mario FERREIRO]
    Broad Front coalition (Frente Guazu) or FG [Fernando Armindo LUGO Mendez]
    Movimiento Popolar Tekojoja or Tekojoja [Sixto PEREIRA]
    Movimiento Union Nacional de Ciudadanos Eticos or UNACE
    Patria Querida (Beloved Fatherland Party) or PPQ [Sebastian ACHA]
    Partido del Movimiento al Socialismo or P-MAS [Camilo Ernesto SOARES Machado]
    Partido Democratica Progresista or PDP [Rafael Augusto FILIZZOLA Serra]
    Partido Encuentro Nacional or PEN [Fernando CAMACHO Paredes]
    Partido Liberal Radical Autentico or PLRA [Blas Antonio LLANO Ramos]
    Partido Pais Solidario or PPS [Carlos Alberto FILIZZOLA Pallares]
    Ahorristas Estafados or AE
    National Coordinating Board of Campesino Organizations or MCNOC [Luis AGUAYO]
    National Federation of Campesinos or FNC [Odilon ESPINOLA]
    National Workers Central or CNT [Secretary General Juan TORRALES]
    Paraguayan Workers Confederation or CPT
    Roman Catholic Church
    Unitary Workers Central or CUT [Jorge Guzman ALVARENGA Malgarejo]
    CAN (associate), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (suspended), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Fernando Antonio PFANNL Caballero
    chancery: 2400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 483-6960 through 6962
    FAX: [1] (202) 234-4508
    consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, Miami, New York
    Ambassador James H. THESSIN
    embassy: 1776 Avenida Mariscal Lopez, Casilla Postal 402, Asuncion
    mailing address: Unit 4711, DPO AA 34036-0001
    telephone: [595] (21) 213-715
    FAX: [595] (21) 213-728
    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 a circular seal of the treasury (a yellow lion below a red Cap of Liberty and the words PAZ Y JUSTICIA (Peace and Justice)); red symbolizes bravery and patriotism, white represents integrity and peace, and blue denotes liberty and generosity
    note: the three color bands resemble those on the flag of the Netherlands; one of only three national flags that differ on their obverse and reverse sides - the others are Moldova and Saudi Arabia
    lion
    name: "Paraguayos, Republica o muerte!" (Paraguayans, The Republic or Death!)

    lyrics/music: Francisco Esteban ACUNA de Figueroa/disputed
    note: adopted 1934, in use since 1846; the anthem was officially adopted following its re-arrangement in 1934

Economy ::Paraguay

    Landlocked Paraguay has a market economy distinguished by a large informal sector, featuring re-export of imported consumer goods to neighboring countries, as well as the activities of thousands of microenterprises and urban street vendors. A large percentage of the population, especially in rural areas, derives its living from agricultural activity, often on a subsistence basis. Because of the importance of the informal sector, accurate economic measures are difficult to obtain. On a per capita basis, real income has stagnated at 1980 levels. The economy grew rapidly between 2003 and 2008 as growing world demand for commodities combined with high prices and favorable weather to support Paraguay's commodity-based export expansion. Paraguay is the sixth largest soy producer in the world. Drought hit in 2008, reducing agricultural exports and slowing the economy even before the onset of the global recession. The economy fell 3.8% in 2009, as lower world demand and commodity prices caused exports to contract. The government reacted by introducing fiscal and monetary stimulus packages. Growth resumed at a 13% level in 2010, the highest in South America, but slowed to about 4% in 2011 as the stimulus subsided. In 2012, severe drought and outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease led to a drop in beef and other agricultural exports and the economy contracted about 0.5%. Political uncertainty, corruption, limited progress on structural reform, and deficient infrastructure are the main obstacles to long-term growth.
    $41.55 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    $42.05 billion (2011 est.)
    $40.3 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $26 billion (2012 est.)
    -1.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    4.3% (2011 est.)
    13.1% (2010 est.)
    $6,200 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    $6,400 (2011 est.)
    $6,300 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    household consumption: 72.8%
    government consumption: 12.2%
    investment in fixed capital: 14.6%
    investment in inventories: 0.3%
    exports of goods and services: 46.8%
    imports of goods and services: -46.7%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 15.9%
    industry: 17.3%
    services: 66.8% (2012 est.)
    cotton, sugarcane, soybeans, corn, wheat, tobacco, cassava (tapioca), fruits, vegetables; beef, pork, eggs, milk; timber
    sugar, cement, textiles, beverages, wood products, steel, metallurgic, electric power
    4.4% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    3.137 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    agriculture: 26.5%
    industry: 18.5%
    services: 55% (2008)
    6.9% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    6.6% (2011 est.)
    34.7% (2010 est.)
    lowest 10%: 1%
    highest 10%: 41.1% (2010 est.)
    53.2 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    57.7 (1998)
    revenues: $4.665 billion
    expenditures: $5.109 billion (2012 est.)
    17.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    -1.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    14.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    12.37% of GDP (2011 est.)
    calendar year
    3.7% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    8.3% (2011 est.)
    5.5% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    6% (31 December 2011 est.)
    29.1% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    28.94% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $4.135 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    $3.642 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $10.11 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    $8.452 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $9.747 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    $7.786 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $958.1 million (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    $42 million (31 December 2010)
    $409.1 million (31 December 2006)
    -$1.17 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    -$549.9 million (2011 est.)
    $9.743 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    $10.39 billion (2011 est.)
    soybeans, feed, cotton, meat, edible oils, wood, leather
    Uruguay 18.3%, Argentina 16.3%, Brazil 16.2%, Russia 11.8% (2012)
    $11.24 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    $12.07 billion (2011 est.)
    road vehicles, consumer goods, tobacco, petroleum products, electrical machinery, tractors, chemicals, vehicle parts
    Brazil 24.1%, China 19.4%, Argentina 19.2%, US 11.4% (2012)
    $4.995 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    $4.983 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $5.957 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    $6.013 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $4.425 million (31 December 2012)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    $3.86 million (31 December 2011)
    $NA
    guarani (PYG) per US dollar -
    4,424.9 (2012 est.)
    4,191.4 (2011 est.)
    4,735.5 (2010 est.)
    4,965.4 (2009)
    4,337.7 (2008)

Energy ::Paraguay

Communications ::Paraguay

    372,400 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    6.529 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    general assessment: the fixed-line market is a state monopoly and fixed-line telephone service is meager; principal switching center is in Asuncion
    domestic: deficiencies in provision of fixed-line service have resulted in a rapid expansion of mobile-cellular services fostered by competition among multiple providers
    international: country code - 595; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2010)
    6 privately owned TV stations; about 75 commercial and community radio stations; 1 state-owned radio network (2010)
    .py
    280,658 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    1.105 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 94

Transportation ::Paraguay

    799 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    total: 15
    over 3,047 m: 3
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
    914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2013)
    total: 784
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 23
    914 to 1,523 m: 290
    under 914 m:
    471 (2013)
    total: 36 km
    country comparison to the world: 132
    standard gauge: 36 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
    total: 29,500 km
    country comparison to the world: 97
    paved: 14,986 km
    unpaved: 14,514 km (2000)
    3,100 km (primarily on the Paraguay and ParanĂ¡ river systems) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    total: 19
    country comparison to the world: 96
    by type: cargo 13, container 3, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1
    foreign-owned: 6 (Argentina 5, Netherlands 1) (2010)
    Asuncion, Villeta, San Antonio, Encarnacion

Military ::Paraguay

Transnational Issues ::Paraguay

    unruly region at convergence of Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay borders is locus of money laundering, smuggling, arms and illegal narcotics trafficking, and fundraising for extremist organizations
    major illicit producer of cannabis, most or all of which is consumed in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile; transshipment country for Andean cocaine headed for Brazil, other Southern Cone markets, and Europe; weak border controls, extensive corruption and money-laundering activity, especially in the Tri-Border Area; weak anti-money-laundering laws and enforcement