Paraguay is a Country of South America. Located in the interior of the continent, it is bordered by Brazil, to the east, Argentina, to the southeast, to the south and west, and to Bolivia, to the north and northwest. It has an area of 406 752 km2. The most important cities are Asunción, the capital, with 539 200 residents (2004), Ciudad del Este (235 700 residents), San Lorenzo (214 000 residents), Lambaré (126 600 residents) And Fernando de la Mora ( 120 700 residents).
Paraguay is a country of predominantly flat terrain, except next to the southeast border with Brazil. It is crossed by the Paraná and Paraguay rivers.
The climate is humid subtropical, with the rainy season occurring between October and March.
Paraguay has an economy that is based on trade, industry and agriculture. The dominant crops are cassava, sugar cane, soy, cotton, tobacco, corn, orange, banana and sweet potato. The industry produces cotton fabrics, soft drinks, beer, canned meat, cigarettes and cement.
The Paraná and Paraguay rivers give it great hydroelectric potential. It holds half the capacity of the Itaipu dam, which it has shared with Brazil since 1982. After 1994, with the entry into operation of the Yacireta dam, Paraguay saw its electricity production increased, which is much higher than the country’s needs and , thus, it allows the sale to nearby cities, located in both Brazil and Argentina. The largest trading partners are Brazil, Argentina, the Netherlands and the United States of America. Imports include machinery and equipment for transport, fuels, lubricants and chemicals. The products exported are cotton fabrics, preserved meat and wood.
Environmental indicator: the value of carbon dioxide emissions,per capita (metric tons, 1999), is 0.8.
The population was, in 2006, 6 506 464 residents, which corresponded to a density of approximately 15.61 residents/km 2. The birth and death rates are respectively 29.1% and 4.49%. Average life expectancy is 75.1 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.751 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.739 (2001). It is estimated that, in 2025, the population will be 9 880 000 residents. The largest ethnic group is the mestizo, which resulted from the mixture of Spaniards and Guarani Indians. The religion with the greatest expression is Catholic (89%). The official languages are Spanish and Guarani.
In 1537 Asunción was founded, the first Spanish colony in Paraguay. Jesuit missionaries administered most of the territory between 1600 and 1767, the date on which they were expelled. From 1767, the country became a province of the Spanish viceroyalty of Peru and, in 1776, became part of the viceroyalty of Argentina. In 1810 Paraguay refused to accept the administration of Argentina and requested the help of the Portuguese to defend itself against successive attacks from the city of Buenos Aires. In 1811, the country declared independence and, in 1816, after a period of anarchy, José Gaspar Rodríguez Francia established a dictatorship. During the regime, a policy of isolationism was adopted, with the sole objective of increasing the country’s self-confidence. In the two dictatorships that followed, that of Carlos Antonio López and that of his son, Francisco Solano López, Francia’s isolationism was abandoned, education was developed and the country opened up to international trade. In 1865 Paraguay was involved in a war with Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Shortly thereafter, it was invaded by opposing armies. The war ended in 1870, leaving the country devastated and a population mostly made up of women and children. The following years were marked by political clashes, coups d’état and civil wars. leaving the country devastated and a population mostly made up of women and children. The following years were marked by political clashes, coups d’état and civil wars. leaving the country devastated and a population mostly made up of women and children. The following years were marked by political clashes, coups d’état and civil wars. For Paraguay democracy and rights, please check localbusinessexplorer.
During the First World War, Paraguay adopted a policy of neutrality and experienced some economic expansion. But, at the beginning of the 20th century, tensions on the border with Bolivia grew, and between 1932 and 1935, the Chaco war broke out between both countries. Thanks to the arbitration of the USA and five other South American countries, peace was achieved in 1938. Colonel Rafael Franco seized power in 1936, but was overthrown in 1939. That year, the hero of the Chaco war, General José Félix Estigarribia, was elected president, but died unexpectedly in 1940. Several dictatorial regimes followed, and in 1954, General Alfredo Stroessner Matiauda took power. During Jimmy Carter’s US presidency, the Stroessner regime was widely criticized for constantly violating human rights. In 1989 he was overthrown, after a military coup. General Andrés Rodríguez, Stroessner’s military commander and leader of the coup, won that year’s presidential election. With the promulgation of the new Constitution in 1992, the Government implemented several democratic reforms. In 1993 Juan Carlos Wasmosy was elected president and implemented a restructuring policy in the deficient sectors of education and health.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of Paraguay, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Paraguay. Listed by popularity.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of Paraguay
Browse a collection of city, country, shaded relief, political and historical maps of this central South American country. Check out the city map of Asuncion.
MSN Encarta Maps – Paraguay
Interactive map of this little-known country offers traveler’s information. Also, locate populated areas and physical characteristics.
Paraguay – National Geographic Map Machine
Features a relief map of this landlocked country in South America. Find a brief history and population statistics.
Paraguay – University of Texas Library
Collection features shaded-relief, historical and political maps. Includes a map of Asuncion.