Paraguay 2002Paraguay

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Sightseeing Pass

Paraguay - Introduction 2002
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Background: In the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70) Paraguay lost two-thirds of all adult males and much of its territory. It stagnated economically for the next half century. In the Chaco War of 1932-35 large economically important areas were won from Bolivia. The 35-year military dictatorship of Alfredo STROESSNER was overthrown in 1989 and despite a marked increase in political infighting in recent years relatively free and regular presidential elections have been held since then.

Paraguay - Geography 2002
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Location: Central South America northeast of Argentina

Geographic coordinates: 23 00 S 58 00 W

Map referenceSouth America

Total: 406,750 km²
Water: 9,450 km²
Land: 397,300 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than California

Land boundaries
Total: 3,920 km
Border countries: (3) Argentina 1,880 km; , Bolivia 750 km; , Brazil 1,290 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

Extremes lowest point: junction of Rio Paraguay and Rio Parana 46 m
Extremes highest point: Cerro Pero (Cerro Tres Kandu) 842 m

Natural resources: hydropower timber iron ore manganese limestone
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 5.54%
Permanent crops: 0.21%
Other: 94.25% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 670 km² (1998 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

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

Note: landlocked; lies between Argentina Bolivia and Brazil; population concentrated in southern part of country

Paraguay - People 2002
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Population: 5,884,491 (July 2002 est.)
Growth rate: 2.57% (2002 est.)
Below poverty line: 36% (2001 est.)

Noun: Paraguayan
Adjective: Paraguayan

Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) 95%

Languages: Spanish (official) Guarani (official)

Religions: Roman Catholic 90% Mennonite and other Protestant

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 38.7% (male 1,156,366; female 1,119,558)
15-64 years: 56.6% (male 1,671,721; female 1,658,683)
65 years and over: 4.7% (male 128,137; female 150,026) (2002 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 2.57% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 30.5 births/1000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 4.69 deaths/1000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.09 migrant(s)/1000 population (2002 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation; water pollution; inadequate means for waste disposal present health risks for many urban residents; loss of wetlands
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
International agreements signed but not ratified: Nuclear Test Ban

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.03 male/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male/female
Total population: 1.01 male/female (2002 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 28.75 deaths/1000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 74.16 years
Female: 76.77 years (2002 est.)
Male: 71.67 years

Total fertility rate: 4.07 children born/woman (2002 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: 0.11% (1999 est.)
People living with hivaids: 3,000 (1999 est.)
Deaths: 220 (1999 est.)

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 92.1%
Male: 93.5%
Female: 90.6% (1995 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Paraguay - Government 2002
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Paraguay
Conventional short form: Paraguay
Local short form: Paraguay
Local long form: Republica del Paraguay

Government type: constitutional republic

Capital: Asuncion

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

Dependent areas

Independence: 14 May 1811 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day 14 May (1811)

Constitution: promulgated 20 June 1992

Legal system: based on Argentine codes Roman law and French codes; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court of Justice

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory up to age 75

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Luis Angel GONZALEZ MACCHI (since 28 March 1999); Vice President Julio Cesar FRANCO (since NA August 2000) resigned 16 October 2002; position now vacant; note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President Luis Angel GONZALEZ MACCHI (since 28 March 1999); Vice President Julio Cesar FRANCO (since NA August 2000) resigned 16 October 2002; position now vacant; note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the president
Elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms; election last held 10 May 1998 (next to be held NA May 2003)
Note: President Luis Angel GONZALEZ MACCHI, formerly president of the Chamber of Senators, constitutionally succeeded President Raul CUBAS Grau, who resigned after being impeached soon after the assassination of Vice President Luis Maria ARGANA; the successor to ARGANA was decided in an election held in August 2000
Election results: Raul CUBAS Grau elected president; percent of vote - 55.3%; resigned 28 March 1999

Legislative branch
Election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Colorado Party 25, PLRA 13, PEN 7; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Colorado Party 45, PLRA 26, PEN 9
Elections: Chamber of Senators - last held 10 May 1998 (next to be held NA May 2003); Chamber of Deputies - last held 10 May 1998 (next to be held NA May 2003)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (judges appointed on the proposal of the Counsel of Magistrates or Consejo de la Magistratura)

Political parties and leaders: Authentic Radical Liberal Party or PLRA [Miguel Abdon SAGUIER]; Christian Democratic Party or PDC [Luis Miguel ANDRADA Nogues]; Febrerista Revolutionary Party or PRF [Oscar ACUNA TORRES]; National Encounter Party or PEN [Mario PAZ CASTAING]; National Republican Association - Colorado Party [Nicanor DUARTE FRUTOS]


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Leila Teresa RACHID COWLES
In the us chancery: 2,400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,008
In the us consulates general: Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York
In the us fax: [1] (202) 234-4,508
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 483-6,960 through 6,962
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador John F. KEANE
From the us embassy: 1776 Avenida Mariscal Lopez, Casilla Postal 402, Asuncion
From the us mailing address: Unit 4,711, APO AA 34,036-0001
From the us telephone: [595] (21) 213-715
From the us fax: [595] (21) 213-728

Flag descriptionflag of Paraguay: 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 the seal of the treasury (a yellow lion below a red Cap of Liberty and the words Paz y Justicia (Peace and Justice) capped by the words REPUBLICA DEL PARAGUAY all within two circles)

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Paraguay - Economy 2002
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Economy overview: Paraguay has a market economy marked by a large informal sector. The informal sector features both reexport of imported consumer goods to neighboring countries as well as the activities of thousands of microenterprises and urban street vendors. Because of the importance of the informal sector accurate economic measures are difficult to obtain. A large percentage of the population derives their living from agricultural activity often on a subsistence basis. The formal economy grew by an average of about 3% annually in 1995-97 but GDP declined slightly in 1998 1999 and 2000. On a per capita basis real income has stagnated at 1980 levels. Most observers attribute Paraguay's poor economic performance to political uncertainty corruption lack of progress on structural reform substantial internal and external debt and deficient infrastructure.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 0% (2001 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 29%
Industry: 26%
Services: 45% (2000 est.)

Agriculture products: cotton sugarcane soybeans corn wheat tobacco cassava (tapioca) fruits vegetables; beef pork eggs milk; timber

Industries: sugar cement textiles beverages wood products

Industrial production growth rate: 0% (2000 est.)

Labor force: 2 million (2000 est.)
By occupation: agriculture 45%
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 17.8% (2001 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 36% (2001 est.)

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: 1%
Highest 10: 44% (1998) (1998)

Distribution of family income gini index: 58 (1998)

Revenues: $1.3 billion
Expenditures: $2 billion, including capital expenditures of $700 million (1999 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 7.2% (2001 est.)

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $2.2 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Commodities: electricity soybeans feed cotton meat edible oils
Partners: Brazil 39% Uruguay 14% Argentina 11% (2000)

Imports: $2.7 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Commodities: road vehicles consumer goods tobacco petroleum products electrical machinery
Partners: Argentina 25.4% Brazil 24.5% Uruguay 3.8% (2000)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $2.9 billion (2001 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: guarani per US dollar - 4,783 (January 2002) 4,108 (2001) 3,486 (2000) 3,119 (1999) 2,727 (1998) 2,178 (1997); note - since early 1998 the exchange rate has operated as a managed float; prior to that the exchange rate was determined freely in the market

Paraguay - Energy 2002
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 53.056 billion kWh (2000)
By source fossil fuel: 0%
By source hydro: 100%
By source other: 0% (2000)
By source nuclear: 0%

Electricity consumption: 1.95 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity exports: 47.392 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (2000)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Paraguay - Communication 2002
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 510,000 (2001)

Telephone system
General assessment: meager telephone service; principal switching center is Asuncion
Domestic: fair microwave radio relay network
International: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .py

Internet users: 20,000 (2000)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Paraguay - Military 2002
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $125 million (FY98)
Percent of gdp: 1.4% (FY98)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Paraguay - Transportation 2002
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 899 (2001)
With paved runways total: 11
With paved runways over 3047 m: 3
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 4
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 4 (2002)
With unpaved runways total: 868
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 27
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 323
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 518 (2002)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 11
Over 3047 m: 3
15-24 to 2437 m: 4
914 to 1523 m: 4 (2002)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 868
15-24 to 2437 m: 27
914 to 1523 m: 323
Under 914 m: 518 (2002)



Total: 971 km
Standard gauge: 441 km 1.435-m gauge
Note: there are 470 km of various gauges that are privately owned
Narrow gauge: 60 km 1.000-m gauge


Waterways: 3,100 km

Merchant marine
Total: 21 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 34,623 GRT/36,821 DWT
Ships by type: cargo 14, chemical tanker 1, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 3
Note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Argentina 2, Japan 1 (2002 est.)

Ports and terminals

Paraguay - Transnational issues 2002
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: major illicit producer of cannabis most or all of which is consumed in South America; transshipment country for Andean cocaine headed for Brazil other Southern Cone markets Europe and US; corruption and some money-laundering activity especially in the Tri-Border Area


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