Paraguay

 

In the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70) – between Paraguay and Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay – 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, Paraguay won large, economically important areas from Bolivia. The 35-year military dictatorship of Alfredo STROESSNER ended in 1989, and, despite a marked increase in political infighting in recent years, Paraguay has held relatively free and regular presidential elections since then.

 

Geography:
Location: Central South America, northeast of Argentina
Geographic coordinates: 23 00 S, 58 00 W
People:
Population: 6,541,591 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 28.5% (male 936,298/female 905,285)

15-64 years:  65.4% (male 2,121,632/female 2,100,740)

65 years and over: 6.1% (male 183,440/female 211,663) (2011 est.)

Government:
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Paraguay

conventional short form: Paraguay

local long form: Republica del Paraguay

local short form: Paraguay

Government type: constitutional republic
Communications:
Telephones – main lines in use: 405,000 (2009)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 5.915 million (2009)
Transportation:
Airports: 800 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 15

over 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 7

914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2012)

Military:
Military branches: Armed Forces Command (Commando de las Fuerzas Militares): Army, National Navy (Armada Nacional, includes Marine Corps, Naval Aviation, and Coast Guard), Paraguayan Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Paraguay, FAP), Logistics Command, War Materiel Directorate (2012)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation – 12 months for Army, 24 months for Navy; volunteers for the Air Force must be younger than 22 years of age with a secondary school diploma (2010)

Economy:

Landlocked Paraguay has a market economy marked by a large informal sector. This sector features both reexport of imported consumer goods to neighbouring 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, especially in rural areas, derives its living from agricultural activity, often on a subsistence basis.

 

On a per capita basis, real income has stagnated at 1980 levels. Most observers attribute Paraguay’s poor economic performance to political uncertainty, corruption, limited progress on structural reform, and deficient infrastructure. The economy rebounded between 2003 and 2007, posting modest growth each year. Growing world demand for commodities combined with high prices and favourable weather to support Paraguay’s commodity-based export expansion.

Transnational Issues:

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