Paraguay (GPS: 23 00 S, 58 00 W) located in Central South America, northeast of Argentina, southwest of Brazil. The country’s area measurements are total: 406,752 sq km; land: 397,302 sq km, water: 9,450 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly smaller than California. The total irrigated land is 1,362 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of Paraguay: Landlocked (enclosed or nearly enclosed by land). Lies between Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil. The population is concentrated in the eastern and southern parts of the country.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Asuncion’s GPS coordinates are 25 16 S 57 40 W. Asuncion’s local time is 1 hour ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC-4, note; Daylight saving time: +1hr begins first Sunday in October; ends fourth Sunday in March.
Paraguay achieved its independence from Spain in 1811. In the Triple Alliance (1865-70) – between Paraguay and 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. 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.
Paraguay’s names conventional long form: the Republic of Paraguay, conventional short form: Paraguay, local long form: Republica 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). Paraguay’s precise meaning 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).
Paraguay’s terrain is typically grassy plains and wooded hills east of Rio Paraguay; Gran Chaco region west of Rio Paraguay. A mostly low, marshy grassland near the river, and dry forest and thorny scrub elsewhere. The country’s mean elevation: 178 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: junction of Rio Paraguay and Rio Parana 46 m, highest point: Cerro Pero 842 m.
The country’s general climate is subtropical to temperate: substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, becoming semiarid in the far west.
The total number of border countries is 3, Argentina 2,531 km, Bolivia 753 km, Brazil 1,371 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Paraguay’s coastline is 0 km (landlocked country), while its marital claims are: none. Waterways: 3,100 km (primarily on the Paraguay and Paraná River systems) (2012). Land use: agricultural land: 53.8%; arable land 10.8%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 42.8%; forest: 43.8%; other: 2.4% (2011 estimate).
The population in Paraguay 7,025,763 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 59.7% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: ASUNCION (capital) 2.356 million (2015), while Paraguay has most of the population resides in the eastern half of the country; to the west lies the Gran Chaco, which accounts for 60% of the land territory, but only 2% of the overall population. Their spoken languages are Spanish (official language), Guarani (official language). Main religions in Paraguay are Roman Catholic 89.6%, Protestant 6.2%, other Christian 1.1%, other or unspecified 1.9%, none 1.1% (2002 census). The nation uses civil law system with influences from Argentine, Spanish, Roman, and French civil law models, judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court of Justice. It is a(n) presidential republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 14 May 1811 (observed 15 May).
Economic overview for the country: Landlocked Paraguay has a market economy distinguished by a large informal sector, featuring re-export of imported consumer goods to neighboring countries and the activities of thousands of microenterprises and urban street vendors.
A large percentage of the population, especially in rural areas, derives its living from agricultural activity, often subsistence. Because of the importance of the informal sector, accurate economic measures are difficult to obtain. On a per-capita basis, real income has grown steadily over the past five years as strong world demand for commodities, combined with high prices and favorable weather, supported Paraguay’s commodity-based export expansion. Paraguay is the fifth largest soy producer in the world. Drought-hit in 2008, reducing agricultural exports and slowing the economy even before the onset of the global recession.
The economy fell 3.8% in 2009, as lower world demand and commodity prices caused exports to contract. Severe drought and outbreaks of hoof-and-mouth disease in 2012 led to a brief drop in beef and other agricultural exports. Since 2014, however, Paraguay’s economy has grown at a 4% average annual rate due to healthy production and high global prices, at a time when other countries in the region have contracted.
The Paraguayan Government recognizes the need to diversify its economy and has taken steps in recent years. In addition to looking for new commodity markets in the Middle East and Europe, Paraguayan officials have promoted the country’s low labor costs, cheap energy from its massive Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam single-digit tax rate on foreign firms. As a result, the number of factories operating in the country, mostly transplants from Brazil – has tripled since 2014. Corruption, limited progress on structural reform, and deficient infrastructure are the main obstacles to long-term growth. Judicial corruption is endemic and is seen as the most significant barrier to attracting more foreign investment. Paraguay has been averse to public debt throughout its history but has recently sought to finance infrastructure improvements to attract foreign investment.
Natural resources of Paraguay: hydropower, timber, iron ore, manganese, limestone.
Main export partners for Paraguay, South America are Brazil 31.7%, Russia 9.1%, Chile 7.1%, Argentina 7% (2015) for soybeans, livestock feed, cotton, meat, edible oils, wood, leather, while the main import partners for the country are: Brazil 25.4%, China 23.7%, Argentina 14.8%, US 7.9% (2015) for road vehicles, consumer goods, tobacco, petroleum products, electrical machinery, tractors, chemicals, vehicle parts.
When you visit this country in South America, consider the natural hazards in Paraguay: Local flooding in the southeast (early September to June), poorly drained plains may become boggy (early October to June), while infectious diseases are a degree of risk: intermediate food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever vectorborne disease: dengue fever. Note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses a substantial risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016). Also, note that Paraguay faces the following environmental 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.
You may also be interested in the countries next to Paraguay around its total: 4,655 km border, like Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil.