Bolivia

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

Bolivia, named after independence fighter Simon BOLIVAR, broke away from Spanish rule in 1825. Much of its subsequent history has consisted of a series of coups and countercoups, with the last coup occurring in 1978. Democratic civilian rule was established in 1982.

Geography

Area

total: 1,098,581 sq km

land: 1,083,301 sq km

water: 15,280 sq km

Climate

varies with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid

Natural resources

tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, hydropower

People and Society

Population

12,054,379 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Mestizo (mixed White and Amerindian ancestry) 68%, Indigenous 20%, White 5%, Cholo/Chola 2%, African descent 1%, other 1%, unspecified 3%; 44% of respondents indicated feeling part of some indigenous group, predominantly Quechua or Aymara (2009 est.)

Languages

Spanish (official) 60.7%, Quechua (official) 21.2%, Aymara (official) 14.6%, Guarani (official) 0.6%, other native languages 0.4%, foreign languages 2.4%, none 0.1%; note - Bolivia's 2009 constitution designates Spanish and all indigenous languages as official; 36 indigenous languages are specified, including a few that are extinct (2001 est.)

Religions

Roman Catholic 70%, Evangelical 14.5%, Adventist 2.5%, Church of Jesus Christ 1.2%, agnostic 0.3%, atheist 0.8%, other 3.5%, none 6.6%, unspecified 0.6% (2018 est.)

Population growth rate

1.12% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: La Paz (administrative capital); Sucre (constitutional [legislative and judicial] capital)

Executive branch

chief of state: President Luis Alberto ARCE Catacora (since 8 November 2020); Vice President David CHOQUEHUANCA Cespedes (since 8 November 2020); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Luis Alberto ARCE Catacora (since 8 November 2020); Vice President David CHOQUEHUANCA Cespedes (since 8 November 2020)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Plurinational Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional consists of:
Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (36 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by party-list proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (130 seats; 70 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 53 directly elected in single-seat constituencies by closed party-list proportional representation vote, and 7 (apportioned to non-contiguous, rural areas in 7 of the 9 states) directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

resource-rich economy benefits during commodity booms; has bestowed juridical rights to Mother Earth, impacting extraction industries; increasing Chinese lithium mining trade relations; hard hit by COVID-19; increased fiscal spending amid poverty increases; rampant banking and finance corruption

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$92.59 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$7,900 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, soybeans, potatoes, maize, sorghum, rice, milk, plantains, poultry, bananas

Industries

mining, smelting, electricity, petroleum, food and beverages, handicrafts, clothing, jewelry

Exports

$7.55 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

Argentina 16%, Brazil 15%, United Arab Emirates 12%, India 10%, United States 6%, South Korea 5%, Peru 5%, Colombia 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

natural gas, gold, zinc, soybean oil and soy products, tin, silver, lead (2019)

Imports

$8.27 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

Brazil 22%, Chile 15%, China 13%, Peru 11%, Argentina 8%, United States 7% (2017)

Imports - commodities

cars, refined petroleum, delivery trucks, iron, buses (2019)


Page last updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022