Uruguay

 
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Uruguay is an interesting place to learn Spanish.

Total immersion is the best way to learn a language, especially if combined with:

  a good grammar learning system,(see on the Grammar pages on this site...

  vocabulary learning system (if you are not learning 200 words a day you are using an outdated system)

. . .take a few days to bone up on the vocab before you launch off!

  . . . and an onsite course with a good teacher.

For more information on how to learn Spanish in Uruguay click on the link: Learn Spanish in Uruguay!

Uruguay

Background: A Marxist urban guerrilla movement, the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Uruguay's president to agree to military control of his administration in 1973. By yearend, the rebels had been crushed, but the military continued to expand its hold throughout the government. Civilian rule was not restored until 1985. Uruguay's political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent.

Geography Uruguay

Location: Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil

Geographic coordinates: 33 00 S, 56 00 W

Map references: South America

Area - Uruguay: total: 176,220 sq km land: 173,620 sq km water: 2,600 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than the state of Washington

Land boundaries: total: 1,564 km border countries: Argentina 579 km, Brazil 985 km

Coastline: 660 km

Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 NM territorial sea: 12 NM continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

Climate: warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown

Terrain: mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: Cerro Catedral 514 m

Natural resources: arable land, hydropower, minor minerals, fisheries

Land use: arable land: 7.21% permanent crops: 0.27% other: 92.52% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 1,800 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards: seasonally high winds (the pampero is a chilly and occasional violent wind which 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: water pollution from meat packing/tannery industry; inadequate solid/hazardous waste disposal

Environment - international agreements:

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, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban

Geography - note: 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 Uruguay

Population - Uruguay: 3,413,329 (July 2003 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 24.3% (male 425,642; female 404,987) 15-64 years: 62.6% (male 1,057,187; female 1,079,549) 65 years and over: 13.1% (male 182,696; female 263,268) (2003 est.)

Median age: total: 31.8 years male: 30.2 years female: 33.4 years (2002)

Population growth rate: 0.79% (2003 est.)

Birth rate - Uruguay: 17.19 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)

Death rate - Uruguay: 8.97 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2003 est.)

Infant mortality rate - Uruguay: total: 13.8 deaths/1,000 live births female: 11.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.) male: 15.61 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth - Uruguay: total population: 75.87 years male: 72.54 years female: 79.38 years (2003 est.)

Total fertility rate - Uruguay: 2.35 children born/woman (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate - Uruguay: 0.3% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS - Uruguay: 6,300 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths - Uruguay: less than 500 (2001 est.)

Nationality: noun: Uruguayan(s) adjective: Uruguayan

Ethnic groups: white 88%, mestizo 8%, black 4%, Amerindian, practically nonexistent

Religions: Roman Catholic 66% (less than half of the adult population attends church regularly), Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, nonprofessing or other 31%

Languages: Spanish, Portunol, or Brazilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier)

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 98% male: 97.6% female: 98.4% (2003 est.)

Government Uruguay

Country name: conventional long form: Oriental Republic of Uruguay conventional short form: Uruguay local short form: Uruguay former: Banda Oriental, Cisplatine Province local long form: Republica Oriental del Uruguay

Government type: constitutional republic

Capital: Montevideo

Administrative divisions: 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: 25 August 1825 (from Brazil)

National holiday: Independence Day, 25 August (1825)

Constitution: 27 November 1966, effective February 1967, suspended 27 June 1973, new constitution rejected by referendum 30 November 1980; two constitutional reforms approved by plebiscite 26 November 1989 and 7 January 1997

Legal system: based on Spanish civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch: chief of state: - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president with parliamentary approval

Legislative branch: bicameral General Assembly or Asamblea General consists of Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (30 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and Chamber of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (99 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges are nominated by the president and elected for 10-year terms by the General Assembly)

International organization participation: ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMEE, UNMISET, UNMOGIP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassadorconsulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York FAX: [1] (202) 331-8142 telephone: [1] (202) 331-1313 through 1316 chancery: 1913 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20006 Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassadorembassy: Lauro Muller 1776, Montevideo 11200 mailing address: APO AA 34035 telephone: [598] (2) 418-7777 FAX: [598] (2) 418-8611

Flag description: nine equal horizontal stripes of white (top and bottom) alternating with blue; there is a white square in the upper hoist-side corner with a yellow sun bearing a human face known as the Sun of May and 16 rays alternately triangular and wavy

Economy Uruguay

Economy - overview: Uruguay's economy is characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector, a well-educated workforce, and high levels of social spending. After averaging growth of 5% annually during 1996-98, in 1999-2002 the economy suffered a major downturn, stemming largely from lower demand in Argentina and Brazil, which together account for nearly half of Uruguay's exports.

Total GDP in these four years dropped by nearly 20%, with 2002 the worst year. Unemployment rose to nearly 20% in 2002, inflation surged, and the burden of external debt doubled.

Cooperation with the IMF and the US has limited the damage, which is still extensive. Moves to reschedule debt and promote economic recovery may help limit a further decline in output in 2003.

GDP - Uruguay: purchasing power parity - $26.5 billion (2002 est.)

GDP - real growth rate - Uruguay: -10.5% (2002 est.)

GDP - per capita - Uruguay: purchasing power parity - $7,800 (2002 est.)

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 6% industry: 27% services: 67% (2001)

Population below poverty line: 6% (1997)

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.7% highest 10%: 25.8% (1997)

Distribution of family income - Gini index: 42.3 (1989)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) - Uruguay: 14.1% (2002)

Labor force - Uruguay: 1.2 million (2001)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 14%, industry 16%, services 70%

Unemployment rate - Uruguay: 19.4% (2002)

Budget: revenues: $3.7 billion expenditures: $4.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $500 million (2000)

Industries: food processing, electrical machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, textiles, chemicals, beverages

Industrial production growth rate - Uruguay: -12% (2002 est.)

Electricity - production - Uruguay: 7.963 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 0.7% hydro: 99.1% other: 0.2% (2001) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption - Uruguay: 6.152 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity - exports: 1.377 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity - imports: 123 million kWh (2001)

Oil - production - Uruguay: 0 bbl/day (2001 est.)

Oil - consumption - Uruguay: 41,500 bbl/day (2001 est.)

Oil - exports - Uruguay: NA (2001) Oil - imports - Uruguay: NA (2001)

Agriculture - products: rice, wheat, corn, barley; livestock; fish

Exports - Uruguay: $2.1 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)

Exports - commodities: meat, rice, leather products, wool, vehicles, dairy products

Exports - partners: Brazil 23.8%, Argentina 18.4%, US 8.9%, Germany 3.7%, Paraguay 3.6% (2001)

Imports - Uruguay: $1.87 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery, chemicals, road vehicles, crude petroleum

Imports - partners: Argentina 23.0%, Brazil 19.1%, US 11.4%, Italy 4.4%, UK 4.1% (2001)

Debt - external - Uruguay: $11.8 billion (2002 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $NA

Currency: Uruguayan peso (UYU)

Currency code: UYU

Exchange rates: Uruguayan pesos per US dollar - 21.257 (2002), 13.3191 (2001), 12.0996 (2000), 11.3393 (1999), 10.4719 (1998)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications Uruguay

Telephones - main lines in use - Uruguay: 929,141 (2001)

Telephones - mobile cellular - Uruguay: 350,000 (2001)

Telephone system: general assessment: fully digitalized domestic: most modern facilities concentrated in Montevideo; new nationwide microwave radio relay network international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2002)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 91, FM 149, shortwave 7 (2001)

Television broadcast stations: 20 (2001)

Internet country code: .uy

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 14 (2001)

Internet users - Uruguay: 400,000 (2002)

Transportation Uruguay

Railways - Uruguay: total: 2,073 km standard gauge: 2,073 km 1.435-m gauge note: 461 km have been taken out of service and 460 km are in partial use (2002)

Highways: total: 8,764 km paved: 7,800 km unpaved: 964 km (2001)

Waterways: 1,600 km (used by coastal and shallow-draft river craft)

Ports and harbors: Colonia, Fray Bentos, Juan La Caze, La Paloma, Montevideo, Nueva Palmira, Paysandu, Punta del Este, Piriapolis

Merchant marine: total: 4 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 10,918 GRT/9,775 DWT note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Argentina 4, Greece 1 (2002 est.) ships by type: chemical tanker 1, container 1, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1

Airports: 64 (2002) Airports - with paved runways: total: 15 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 914 to 1,523 m: 7 under 914 m: 2 (2002)

Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 49 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 914 to 1,523 m: 16 under 914 m: 31 (2002)

Military Uruguay

Military branches: Army, Navy (including Naval Air Arm, Coast Guard, Marines), Air Force, Police (Coracero Guard, Grenadier Guard)

Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 831,297 (2003 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 672,030 (2003 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure - Uruguay: $250 million (1999)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP - Uruguay: 1.1% (2000)

Transnational Issues Uruguay

Disputes - international: uncontested dispute with Brazil over certain islands in the Quarai/Cuareim and Invernada streams and the resulting tripoint with Argentina

This info was last updated on 1 August, 2003

Source: Cia Factbook

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