Quick Facts

  • Officially known as the Republic of Paraguay
  • Gained independence from Spain on May 14, 1811
  • Location:  Central South America, northeast of Argentina, southwest of Brazil
  • Area:  157,048 sq. miles, slightly smaller than the state of California
  • Population:  6,541,591
  • Capital:  Asuncion (approx. 2 million people)
  • 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
  • Nationaltiy:  Paraguayan
  • Ethnic groups:  mestizo (mixed Spanish and  Amerindian) 95%, others
  • Language:  Spanish (official), Guarani (official)
  • Religions:  Roman Catholic 89.6%, Protestant 6.2%, others
  • Literacy:  94% over the age of 15 can read and write
  • Economy:  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 micro-enterprises and urban street vendors.  A large percentage of the population depends on subsistence farming.
  • Current weather conditions –  www.weather.com
  • Tips for Travel in country – www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates –  www.xe.com

Government in Power

  • Paraguay’s government is a constitutional republic
  • Chief of State and Head of Government:  President Fernando Armindo Lugo Mendez – elected by popular vote

Healthcare Statistics

  • Life expectancy:  76.4 years
  • Health expenditures:  7.1% of GDP
  • Physicians density:  1.11 physicians/1000 population
  • Hospital bed density:  1.36 beds/1000 population
  • HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:  0.3%
  • Many preventable diseases such as Chagas disease run rampant in rural areas
  • Parasitic and respiratory iseases drag down the overall health of the country
  • Malnutrition, lack of proper health care and poor sanitation are the root of many health problems[
  • Infectious disease updates:  http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm

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