Photos of Paraguay

Introduction

Background

Several Indigenous groups, principally belonging to the Guarani language family, inhabited the area of modern Paraguay before the arrival of the Spanish in the early 16th century, when the territory was incorporated into the Viceroyalty of Peru. Paraguay achieved its independence from Spain in 1811 with the help of neighboring states. In the aftermath of independence, a series of military dictators ruled the country until 1870. During the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance (1864-70) - fought against Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay - Paraguay lost two thirds of its adult males and much of its territory. The country stagnated economically for the next half century and experienced a tumultuous series of political regimes. 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 Paraguay has held relatively free and regular presidential elections since the country's return to democracy.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Central South America, northeast of Argentina, southwest of Brazil

Geographic coordinates

23 00 S, 58 00 W

Map references

South America

Area

total: 406,752 sq km

land: 397,302 sq km

water: 9,450 sq km

comparison ranking: total 61

Area - comparative

about three times the size of New York state; slightly smaller than California

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 4,655 km

border countries (3): Argentina 2,531 km; Bolivia 753 km; Brazil 1,371 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

Climate

subtropical to temperate; 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

highest point: Cerro Pero 842 m

lowest point: junction of Río Paraguay and Río Paraná 46 m

mean elevation: 178 m

Natural resources

hydropower, timber, iron ore, manganese, limestone

Land use

agricultural land: 53.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 10.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.2% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 42.8% (2018 est.)

forest: 43.8% (2018 est.)

other: 2.4% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

1,362 sq km (2012)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Río de la Plata/Paraná (shared with Brazil [s], Argentina, and Uruguay [m]) - 4,880 km; Paraguay river mouth (shared with Brazil [s] and Argentina) - 2,549 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Paraná (2,582,704 sq km)

Major aquifers

Guarani Aquifer System

Population distribution

most of the population resides in the eastern half of the country; to the west lies the Gran Chaco (a semi-arid lowland plain), which accounts for 60% of the land territory, but only 2% of the overall population

Natural hazards

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

Geography - note

note 1: landlocked; lies between Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil; population concentrated in eastern and southern part of country

note 2: pineapples are probably indigenous to the southern Brazil-Paraguay region 

People and Society

Population

7,439,863 (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 104

Nationality

noun: Paraguayan(s)

adjective: Paraguayan

Ethnic groups

Mestizo (mixed Spanish and Indigenous ancestry) 95%, other 5%

Languages

Spanish (official) and Guarani (official) 46.3%, only Guarani 34%, only Spanish 15.2%, other (includes Portuguese, German, other Indigenous languages) 4.1%, no response 0.4%; note - data represent predominant household language (2012 est.)

major-language sample(s):
La Libreta Informativa del Mundo, la fuente indispensable de información básica. (Spanish)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Spanish audio sample:

Religions

Roman Catholic 80.4%, Protestant 7% (Evangelical (non-specific) 6.7%, Evangelical Pentecostal <0.1%, Adventist <0.1%, Protestant (non-specific) <0.1%), Believer (not belonging to the church) 5.7%, other 0.6%, agnostic <0.1%, none 0.2%, unspecified 6.2% (2023 est.)

Demographic profile

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.

Age structure

0-14 years: 22.4% (male 847,721/female 818,983)

15-64 years: 68.54% (male 2,560,031/female 2,539,378)

65 years and over: 9.06% (2023 est.) (male 320,958/female 352,792)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 54.4

youth dependency ratio: 44.8

elderly dependency ratio: 9.6

potential support ratio: 10.4 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 31.3 years (2023 est.)

male: 31.1 years

female: 31.5 years

comparison ranking: total 121

Population growth rate

1.12% (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 84

Birth rate

16.2 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 101

Death rate

4.9 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 199

Net migration rate

-0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 98

Population distribution

most of the population resides in the eastern half of the country; to the west lies the Gran Chaco (a semi-arid lowland plain), which accounts for 60% of the land territory, but only 2% of the overall population

Urbanization

urban population: 63.1% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.64% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

3.511 million ASUNCION (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

22.9 years (2008 est.)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 25-29

Maternal mortality ratio

71 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 87

Infant mortality rate

total: 22.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 26.8 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 18.2 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 72

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 78.6 years (2023 est.)

male: 76 years

female: 81.4 years

comparison ranking: total population 72

Total fertility rate

1.88 children born/woman (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 128

Gross reproduction rate

0.92 (2023 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

7.6% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

1.05 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

0.8 beds/1,000 population (2016)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 99.6% of population

rural: 90.6% of population

total: 96.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.4% of population

rural: 9.4% of population

total: 3.8% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: intermediate (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

20.3% (2016)

comparison ranking: 100

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 5.47 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 3.27 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.59 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 1.59 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.03 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 79

Tobacco use

total: 11.5% (2020 est.)

male: 18.6% (2020 est.)

female: 4.4% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 126

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 3.6%

women married by age 18: 21.6% (2016 est.)

Education expenditures

3.3% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 147

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 94.5%

male: 94.9%

female: 94.2% (2020)

Environment

Environment - current issues

deforestation; water pollution; rivers suffer from toxic dumping; tanneries release mercury and chromium into rivers and streams; loss of wetlands; inadequate means for waste disposal pose health risks for many urban residents

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Nuclear Test Ban, Tropical Timber 2006

Climate

subtropical to temperate; substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, becoming semiarid in the far west

Land use

agricultural land: 53.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 10.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.2% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 42.8% (2018 est.)

forest: 43.8% (2018 est.)

other: 2.4% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 63.1% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.64% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

1.21% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 50

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 109

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 12.31 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 7.41 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 27.65 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 1,818,501 tons (2015 est.)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Río de la Plata/Paraná (shared with Brazil [s], Argentina, and Uruguay [m]) - 4,880 km; Paraguay river mouth (shared with Brazil [s] and Argentina) - 2,549 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Paraná (2,582,704 sq km)

Major aquifers

Guarani Aquifer System

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 360 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 150 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 1.9 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

387.77 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Paraguay

conventional short form: Paraguay

local long form: República del Paraguay

local short form: Paraguay

etymology: the precise meaning of the name Paraguay is unclear, but it seems to derive from the river of the same name; one explanation has the name meaning "water of the Payagua" (an indigenous tribe that lived along the river)

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Asunción

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 last Sunday in March

etymology: the name means "assumption" and derives from the original name given to the city at its founding in 1537, Nuestra Senora Santa Maria de la Asuncion (Our Lady Saint Mary of the Assumption)

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

14-15 May 1811 (from Spain); note - the uprising against Spanish authorities took place during the night of 14-15 May 1811 and both days are celebrated in Paraguay

National holiday

Independence Day, 14-15 May (1811) (observed 15 May); 14 May is celebrated as Flag Day

Constitution

history: several previous; latest approved and promulgated 20 June 1992

amendments: proposed at the initiative of at least one quarter of either chamber of the National Congress, by the president of the republic, or by petition of at least 30,000 voters; passage requires a two-thirds majority vote by both chambers and approval in a referendum; amended 2011

Legal system

civil law system with influences from Argentine, Spanish, Roman, and French civil law models; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court of Justice

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a native-born citizen of Paraguay

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 3 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal and compulsory until the age of 75

Executive branch

chief of state: President Santiago PEÑA Palacios (since 15 August 2023); Vice President Pedro Lorenzo ALLIANA Rodríguez (since 15 August 2023); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Santiago PEÑA Palacios (since 15 August 2023); Vice President Pedro Lorenzo ALLIANA Rodríguez (since 15 August 2023)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by simple majority popular vote for a single 5-year term; election last held on 30 April 2023 (next to be held in April 2028)

election results:
2023: Santiago PEÑA Palacios elected president; percent of vote - Santiago PEÑA Palacios (ANR) 43.9%, Efraín ALEGRE (PLRA) 28.3%, Paraguayo "Payo" CUBAS Colomés (PCN) 23.6%, other 4.2%

2018:
Mario ABDO BENÍTEZ elected president; percent of vote - Mario ABDO BENÍTEZ (ANR) 49%, Efraín ALEGRE (PLRA) 45.1%, other 5.9%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of:
Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (45 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by closed-list proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (80 seats; members directly elected in 18 multi-seat constituencies - corresponding to the country's 17 departments and capital city - by closed-list proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections:
Chamber of Senators - last held on 30 April 2023 (next to be held in April 2028)
Chamber of Deputies - last held on 30 April 2023 (next to be held in April 2028)

election results:
Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party/coalition - ANR 45.7%, PLRA 24.4%, PCN 11.5%, PEN 5.2%, PPQ 2.5%, other 10.7%; seats by party/coalition - ANR 23, PLRA 12, PCN 5, PEN 2, PPQ 1, other 2; composition - men 34, women 11, percentage women 24.4%

Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party/coalition - ANR 44%, PLRA 30.9%, PCN 8.3%, PPQ 3.6%, PEN 2.9%; other 10.3%; seats by party/coalition - ANR 49, PLRA 21, PCN 4, PEN 2, PPQ 1, other 3; composition as of February 2024 - men 61, women 19, percentage women 23.8%; note - total National Congress percentage women NA%

Judicial branch

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 can serve until mandatory retirement at age 75

subordinate courts: appellate courts; first instance courts; minor courts, including justices of the peace

Political parties and leaders

Asociacion Nacional Republicana (National Republican Association) - Colorado Party or ANR [Mario ABDO BENITEZ]
Avanza Pais coalition or AP [Adolfo FERREIRO]
Frente Guasu (Broad Front coalition) or FG [Fernando Armindo LUGO Mendez]
GANAR Alliance (Great Renewed National Alliance) (alliance between PLRA and Guasú Front)
Movimiento Hagamos or MH [Antonio "Tony" APURIL]
Movimiento Union Nacional de Ciudadanos Eticos (National Union of Ethical Citizens) or UNACE [Jorge OVIEDO MATTO]
Partido Cruzada Nacional (National Crusade Party) or PCN [Paraguayo "Payo" CUBAS Colomés]; note - formerly Movimiento Cruzada Nacional
Partido del Movimiento al Socialismo or P-MAS [Camilo Ernesto SOARES Machado]
Partido Democratica Progresista (Progressive Democratic Party) or PDP [Rafael FILIZZOLA]
Partido Encuentro Nacional or PEN [Fernando CAMACHO]
Partido Liberal Radical Autentico (Authentic Radical Liberal Party) or PLRA [Efrain ALEGRE]
Partido Pais Solidario or PPS [Carlos Alberto FILIZZOLA Pallares]
Partido Popular Tekojoja or PPT [Sixto PEREIRA Galeano]
Patria Querida (Beloved Fatherland Party) or PPQ [Miguel CARRIZOSA]

International organization participation

CAN (associate), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, PROSUR, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHRC, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Jose Antonio DOS SANTOS BEDOYA (since 15 September 2021)

chancery: 2209 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC  20008

telephone: [1] (202) 483-6960

FAX: [1] (202) 234-4508

email address and website:
gabineteembaparusa@mre.gov.py; secretario@embaparusa.gov.py

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, Miami, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Marc OSTFIELD (since 9 March 2022)

embassy: 1776 Mariscal Lopez Avenue, Asuncion

mailing address: 3020 Asuncion Place, Washington DC  20521-3020

telephone: [595] (21) 248-3000

FAX: [595] (21) 213-728

email address and website:
ParaguayACS@state.gov

https://py.usembassy.gov/

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 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

National symbol(s)

lion; national colors: red, white, blue

National anthem

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; officially adopted following its re-arrangement in 1934

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 1 (cultural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Jesuit Missions of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue

Economy

Economic overview

upper middle-income South American economy; COVID-19 hit while still recovering from 2019 Argentina-driven recession; global hydroelectricity leader; major corruption and money-laundering locale; highly agrarian economy; significant income inequality

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$91.753 billion (2022 est.)
$91.684 billion (2021 est.)
$88.143 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 96

Real GDP growth rate

0.08% (2022 est.)
4.02% (2021 est.)
-0.82% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 194

Real GDP per capita

$13,500 (2022 est.)
$13,700 (2021 est.)
$13,300 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 120

GDP (official exchange rate)

$41.722 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

9.77% (2022 est.)
4.79% (2021 est.)
1.77% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 158

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BB+ (2018)

Moody's rating: Ba1 (2015)

Standard & Poors rating: BB (2014)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 17.9% (2017 est.)

industry: 27.7% (2017 est.)

services: 54.5% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 160; industry 97; agriculture 54

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 66.7% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 11.3% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 17.3% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.3% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 46.6% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -42.2% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

soybeans, sugar cane, maize, cassava, wheat, rice, beef, milk, oranges, oil palm fruit

Industries

sugar processing, cement, textiles, beverages, wood products, steel, base metals, electric power

Industrial production growth rate

0.3% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 158

Labor force

3.404 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 99

Unemployment rate

6.75% (2022 est.)
7.31% (2021 est.)
7.55% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 134

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 16.3% (2021 est.)

male: 12.7%

female: 21.9%

comparison ranking: total 106

Population below poverty line

24.7% (2022 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

45.1 (2022 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 25

Average household expenditures

on food: 31.7% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 4.2% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.8%

highest 10%: 35.4% (2022 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population

Remittances

1.42% of GDP (2022 est.)
1.47% of GDP (2021 est.)
1.65% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities

Budget

revenues: $7.272 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $8.714 billion (2019 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 82

Public debt

19.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
18.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 191

Taxes and other revenues

9.79% (of GDP) (2021 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 189

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$2.793 billion (2022 est.)
-$308.061 million (2021 est.)
$685.188 million (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 157

Exports

$14.971 billion (2022 est.)
$14.821 billion (2021 est.)
$12.339 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 97

Exports - partners

Brazil 32%, Argentina 22%, Chile 8%, Russia 8% (2019)

Exports - commodities

soybeans and soybean products, electricity, beef, corn, insulated wiring (2019)

Imports

$17.142 billion (2022 est.)
$14.316 billion (2021 est.)
$10.982 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 101

Imports - partners

Brazil 24%, United States 22%, China 17%, Argentina 10%, Chile 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

broadcasting equipment, cars, pesticides, refined petroleum, tires (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$9.519 billion (2022 est.)
$9.661 billion (2021 est.)
$9.202 billion (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 85

Debt - external

$16.622 billion (2019 est.)
$16.238 billion (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 102

Exchange rates

guarani (PYG) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
6,982.752 (2022 est.)
6,774.163 (2021 est.)
6,771.097 (2020 est.)
6,240.722 (2019 est.)
5,732.105 (2018 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 8.831 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 12,718,590,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 31.748 billion kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 4.47 billion kWh (2019 est.)

comparison rankings: installed generating capacity 70; transmission/distribution losses 164; imports 155; exports 6; consumption 90

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 100% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Coal

production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 2,000 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 56,900 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 210

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 131

Refined petroleum products - imports

40,760 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 89

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

7.896 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 3,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 7.893 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 116

Energy consumption per capita

62.775 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 89

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 168,517 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 123

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 7,975,074 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 119 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 100

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: limited progress on structural reform and deficient infrastructure of the landlocked country are obstacles to the telecom platform; effective competition in mobile market, serving 96% of population through LTE; deployment of fiber; operator enabled 109 free Internet points across the country and is looking to expand to 430 points in 2022; dependent on neighboring countries for access to submarine cables (2022)

domestic: fixed-line just over 3 per 100 and mobile-cellular is 119 per 100 of the population (2021)

international: country code - 595; Paraguay's landlocked position means they must depend on neighbors for interconnection with submarine cable networks, making it cost more for broadband services; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)

Broadcast media

6 privately owned TV stations; about 75 commercial and community radio stations; 1 state-owned radio network (2019)

Internet users

total: 5.159 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 77% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 91

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 562,369 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 89

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 8

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 560,631 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1.97 million (2018) mt-km

Airports

83 (2024)

comparison ranking: 62

Heliports

27 (2024)

Railways

total: 30 km (2014)

standard gauge: 30 km (2014) 1.435-m gauge

comparison ranking: total 134

Roadways

total: 78,811 km

paved: 8,573 km

unpaved: 70,238 km (2020)

comparison ranking: total 63

Waterways

3,100 km (2012) (primarily on the Paraguay and Paraná River systems)

comparison ranking: 34

Merchant marine

total: 108 (2023)

by type: container ship 2, general cargo 22, oil tanker 5, other 79

comparison ranking: total 87

Ports and terminals

river port(s): Asuncion, Villeta, San Antonio, Encarnacion (Parana)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Armed Forces of Paraguay (Fuerzas Armadas de Paraguay; aka Armed Forces of the Nation or Fuerzas Armadas de la Nación): Paraguayan Army (Ejército Paraguayo), Paraguayan Navy (Armada Paraguaya; includes marines), Paraguayan Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Paraguaya)

Ministry of Internal Affairs: National Police of Paraguay (Policía Nacional del Paraguay, PNP) (2024)

note: Paraguay also has a National Counterdrug Bureau (Secretaria Nacional Antidrogas or SENAD) that operates under the presidency

Military expenditures

0.8% of GDP (2022 est.)
1% of GDP (2021 est.)
1% of GDP (2020 est.)
1% of GDP (2019 est.)
1% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 140

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 20,000 active-duty personnel (13,500 Army; 4,000 Navy; 2,500 Air Force) (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the military's inventory is comprised of mostly older equipment from a variety of foreign suppliers, particularly Brazil and the US (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for compulsory (men) and voluntary (men and women) military service; conscript service obligation is 12 months for Army, 24 months for Navy; conscripts also serve in the National Police; volunteers for the Air Force must be younger than 22 years of age with a secondary school diploma (2023)

note: as of 2021, women made up about 6% of the active military

Military - note

the Paraguayan military is responsible for external defense but also has some domestic security duties; while the National Police are responsible for maintaining internal security, the military works with the police through a Joint Task Force (Fuerza de Tarea Conjunta or FTC) in combatting the Paraguayan People’s Army (Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo or EPP) and transnational criminal organizations; the military has an Internal Defense Operations Command (Comando de Defensa Interna or CODI), which includes the Army, Navy, and Air Force, to coordinate internal security support to the police and other security organizations, such as the National Anti-Drug Secretariat or SENAD

the EPP is a domestic criminal/guerrilla group initially dedicated to a Marxist-Leninist revolution in Paraguay that operates in the rural northern part of the country along the border with Brazil; the activities of the EPP and its offshoots—Marsical López’s Army (EML) and the Armed Peasant Association (ACA)—have consisted largely of isolated attacks on remote police and army posts, or against ranchers and peasants accused of aiding Paraguayan security forces

the military is a small force by regional standards, and its limited equipment inventory is largely obsolete, with some of it pre-dating World War II; it has deployed small numbers of troops on UN missions and cooperates with neighboring countries, such as Argentina and Brazil, on security issues, particularly organized crime and narco-trafficking in what is known as the Tri-Border Area; Paraguay has not fought a war against a neighboring country since the Chaco War with Bolivia in the 1930s; formally established in 1811, the Army has nine divisions of infantry and cavalry, but each division is reportedly about the size of a US battalion or 500-1,000 troops; there is also a presidential guard regiment; the Navy is a riverine force that has some of the oldest operational warships in the World, as well as a small marine infantry force; the Air Force has a single combat squadron with a handful of light ground attack/trainer aircraft (2023)

Space

Space agency/agencies

Special Agency of Paraguay (Agencia Especial del Paraguay, AEP; established 2014) (2023)

Space program overview

has a small, recently established space program focused on the acquisition of satellites, satellite data, and the technologies and capabilities to manufacture satellites, as well as promoting in-country expertise building and space industry; a priority is acquiring remote sensing (RS) capabilities to support socio-economic develop, including resource mapping, weather, and crop monitoring; has built a cube satellite with foreign assistance; operates satellites; cooperates with foreign space agencies and industries, including those of India, Japan, Taiwan, the US, and member states of the Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency (ALCE) (2023)

note: further details about the key activities, programs, and milestones of the country’s space program, as well as government spending estimates on the space sector, appear in Appendix S

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): Hizballah (2022)

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Paraguay-Argentina-Brazil: unruly region at convergence of Paraguay-Argentina-Brazil borders is locus of money laundering, smuggling, arms and illegal narcotics trafficking, and fundraising for violent extremist organizations

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 5,900 (Venezuela) (2022)

Illicit drugs



marijuana cultivation and the trafficking of Andean cocaine in the tri-border area shared with Argentina, and Brazil facilitates money laundering