Introduction

South America :: Uruguay

Background:
Montevideo, founded by the Spanish in 1726 as a military stronghold, soon took advantage of its natural harbor to become an important commercial center. Claimed by Argentina but annexed by Brazil in 1821, Uruguay declared its independence four years later and secured its freedom in 1828 after a three-year struggle. The administrations of President Jose BATLLE in the early 20th century established widespread political, social, and economic reforms that established a statist tradition. A violent Marxist urban guerrilla movement named the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Uruguay's president to cede control of the government to the military in 1973. By yearend, the rebels had been crushed, but the military continued to expand its hold over the government. Civilian rule was not restored until 1985. In 2004, the left-of-center Frente Amplio Coalition won national elections that effectively ended 170 years of political control previously held by the Colorado and Blanco parties. Uruguay's political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent.

Geography

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:
Total: 176,215 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 91
Land: 175,015 sq km
Water: 1,200 sq km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than the state of Washington

Land boundaries:
Total: 1,648 km
Border countries: Argentina 580 km, Brazil 1,068 km

Coastline:
660 km

Maritime claims:
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Continental shelf: 200 nm or edge of continental margin

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, fish

Land use:
Arable land: 10.25%
Permanent crops: 0.22%
Other: 89.52% (2011)

Irrigated land:
1,810 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:
139 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 3.66 cu km/yr (11%/2%/87%)
Per capita: 1,101 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:
seasonally high winds (the pampero is a chilly and occasional violent wind that 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, Wetlands
Signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation

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 and Society

Nationality:
Noun: Uruguayan(s)
Adjective: Uruguayan

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

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

Religions:
Roman Catholic 47.1%, non-Catholic Christians 11.1%, nondenominational 23.2%, Jewish 0.3%, atheist or agnostic 17.2%, other 1.1% (2006)

Demographic profile:
Uruguay rates high for most development indicators and is known for its secularism, liberal social laws, and well-developed social security, health, and educational systems. It is one of the few countries in Latin America and the Caribbean where the entire population has access to clean water. Uruguay's provision of free primary through university education has contributed to the country's high levels of literacy and educational attainment. However, the emigration of human capital has diminished the state's return on its investment in education. Remittances from the roughly 18% of Uruguayans abroad amount to less than 1 percent of national GDP. The emigration of young adults and a low birth rate are causing Uruguay's population to age rapidly.
In the 1960s, Uruguayans for the first time emigrated en masse - primarily to Argentina and Brazil - because of economic decline and the onset of more than a decade of military dictatorship. Economic crises in the early 1980s and 2002 also triggered waves of emigration, but since 2002 more than 70% of Uruguayan emigrants have selected the US and Spain as destinations because of better job prospects. Uruguay had a tiny population upon its independence in 1828 and welcomed thousands of predominantly Italian and Spanish immigrants, but the country has not experienced large influxes of new arrivals since the aftermath of World War II. More recent immigrants include Peruvians and Arabs.

Population:
3,324,460 (July 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 134

Age structure:
0-14 years: 21.4% (male 361,589/female 349,257)
15-24 years: 16% (male 269,649/female 262,582)
25-54 years: 38.8% (male 635,252/female 655,518)
55-64 years: 9.9% (male 155,192/female 174,976)
65 years and over: 13.9% (male 183,450/female 276,995) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 56.2 %
Youth dependency ratio: 34.1 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 22 %
Potential support ratio: 4.5 (2013)

Median age:
Total: 34.1 years
Male: 32.4 years
Female: 35.7 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
0.25% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 173

Birth rate:
13.28 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 151

Death rate:
9.52 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 57

Net migration rate:
-1.26 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 154

Urbanization:
Urban population: 92% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 0.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
MONTEVIDEO (capital) 1.633 million (2009)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
29 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 125

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 9.2 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 149
Male: 10.2 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 8.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 76.61 years
Country comparison to the world: 73
Male: 73.47 years
Female: 79.86 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.86 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 145

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
77%
note: percent of women aged 15-50 (2004)

Health expenditures:
8.4% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 54

Physicians density:
3.74 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital bed density:
1.2 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source:
Improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2010 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
Improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 100% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 0% of population (2010 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.5% (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 67

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
9,900 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 96

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
24.8% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 64

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
6% (2004)
Country comparison to the world: 82

Education expenditures:
2.9% of GDP (2006)
Country comparison to the world: 144

Literacy:
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 98.1%
Male: 97.6%
Female: 98.5% (2010 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Total: 16 years
Male: 14 years
Female: 17 years (2010)

Child labor - children ages 5-14:
Total number: 51,879
Percentage: 7 % (2006 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Total: 17.4%
Country comparison to the world: 75
Male: 14.4%
Female: 21.7% (2011)

Government

Country name:
Conventional long form: Oriental Republic of Uruguay
Conventional short form: Uruguay
Local long form: Republica Oriental del Uruguay
Local short form: Uruguay
Former: Banda Oriental, Cisplatine Province

Government type:
constitutional republic

Capital:
Name: Montevideo
Geographic coordinates: 34 51 S, 56 10 W
Time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends second Sunday in March

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 15 February 1967; suspended 27 June 1973; revised 26 November 1989 and 7 January 1997

Legal system:
civil law system based on the Spanish civil code

International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:
Chief of state: President Jose "Pepe" MUJICA Cordano (since 1 March 2010); Vice President Danilo ASTORI Saragoza (since 1 March 2010); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President Jose "Pepe" MUJICA Cordano (since 1 March 2010); Vice President Danilo ASTORI Saragoza (since 1 March 2010)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president with parliamentary approval
Elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms (may not serve consecutive terms); election last held on 29 November 2009 (next to be held in October 2014)
Election results: Jose "Pepe" MUJICA Cordano elected president; percent of vote - Jose "Pepe" MUJICA Cordano 54.8%, Luis Alberto LACALLE 45.2%

Legislative branch:
bicameral General Assembly or Asamblea General consists of Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (30 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms; vice president has one vote in the Senate) and Chamber of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (99 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
Elections: Chamber of Senators - last held on 25 October 2009 (next to be held in October 2014); Chamber of Representatives - last held on 25 October 2009 (next to be held in October 2014)
Election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Frente Amplio 16, Blanco 9, Colorado Party 5; Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Frente Amplio 50, Blanco 30, Colorado Party 17, Independent Party 2

Judicial branch:
Highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (consists of 5 judges)
Judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the president and appointed in joint conference of the General Assembly; judges appointed for 10-year terms, with re-election after a lapse of 5 years following the previous term
Subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; District Courts (Juzagados Letrados); Peace Courts (Juzagados de Paz); Rural Courts (Juzgados Rurales)

Political parties and leaders:
Broad Front (Frente Amplio) - formerly known as the Progressive Encounter/Broad Front Coalition or EP-FA [Monica XAVIER] (a broad governing coalition that includes Popular Participation Movement (MPP), New Space Party (Nuevo Espacio) [Rafael MICHELINI], Progressive Alliance (Alianza Progresista) [Rodolfo NIN NOVOA], Socialist Party [vacant], Communist Party [Eduardo LORIER], Uruguayan Assembly (Asamblea Uruguay) [Danilo ASTORI Saragoza], and Vertiente Artiguista [Enrique RUBIO])
Colorado Party (Vamos Uruguay) [Martha MONTANER]
Independent Party [Pablo MIERES]
National Party or Blanco [Luis Alberto HEBER]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Chamber of Commerce and Export of Agriproducts
Chamber of Industries (manufacturer's association)
Exporters Union of Uruguay
National Chamber of Commerce and Services
PIT/CNT (powerful federation of Uruguayan Unions - umbrella labor organization)
Rural Association of Uruguay (rancher's association)
Uruguayan Network of Political Women

Other: B'nai Brith; Catholic Church; students

International organization participation:
CAN (associate), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNMOGIP, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Carlos Alberto GIANELLI Derois
Chancery: 1913 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone: [1] (202) 331-1313 through 1316
FAX: [1] (202) 331-8142
Consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Thomas H. LLOYD
Embassy: Lauro Muller 1776, Montevideo 11200
Mailing address: APO AA 34035
Telephone: [598] (2) 1770-2000
FAX: [598] (2) 1770-2128

National symbol(s):
Sun of May (a sun-with-face symbol)

National anthem:
Name: "Himno Nacional" (National Anthem of Uruguay)

Lyrics/music: Francisco Esteban ACUNA de Figueroa/Francisco Jose DEBALI
note: adopted 1848; the anthem is also known as "Orientales, la Patria o la tumba!" ("Uruguayans, the Fatherland or Death!"); it is the world's longest national anthem in terms of music (105 bars; almost five minutes); generally only the first verse and chorus are sung

Economy

Economy - overview:
Uruguay has a free market economy characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector, a well-educated work force, and high levels of social spending. Following financial difficulties in the late 1990s and early 2000s, economic growth for Uruguay averaged 8% annually during the period 2004-08. The 2008-09 global financial crisis put a brake on Uruguay's vigorous growth, which decelerated to 2.6% in 2009. Nevertheless, the country managed to avoid a recession and keep positive growth rates, mainly through higher public expenditure and investment, and GDP growth reached 8.9% in 2010 but fell to about 3.5% in 2012, the result of a renewed slowdown in the global economy and in Uruguay's main trade partners and Common Market of the South (Mercosur) counterparts, Argentina and Brazil. Uruguay has sought to expand trade within Mercosur and with non-Mercosur members. Uruguay''s total merchandise trade with Mercosur since 2006 has increased by nearly 70% to more than $5 billion while its total trade with the world has almost doubled to roughly $20 billion.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$54.67 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 94
$52.67 billion (2011 est.)
$49.83 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$49.4 billion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
3.8% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 90
5.7% (2011 est.)
8.9% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$16,200 (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 83
$15,600 (2011 est.)
$14,800 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

Gross national saving:
16.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 93
16.3% of GDP (2011 est.)
16.4% of GDP (2010 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:
Household consumption: 68.5%
Government consumption: 12.9%
Investment in fixed capital: 21.4%
Investment in inventories: 0.4%
Exports of goods and services: 26.1%
Imports of goods and services: -29.4%
(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 8.2%
Industry: 21.6%
Services: 70.3% (2012 est.)

Agriculture - products:
soybeans, rice, wheat; beef, dairy products; fish; lumber, cellulose

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

Industrial production growth rate:
3.5% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 79

Labor force:
1.691 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 128

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: 13%
Industry: 14%
Services: 73% (2010 est.)

Unemployment rate:
6.1% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 63
6% (2011 est.)

Population below poverty line:
18.6% (2010 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: 1.9%
Highest 10%: 34.4% (2010 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
45.3 (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 40
44.8 (1999)

Budget:
Revenues: $14.25 billion
Expenditures: $15.63 billion (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
28.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 99

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-2.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 109

Public debt:
58.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 51
59.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions.

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
8.1% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 183
8.1% (2011 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
9% (31 December 2012)
Country comparison to the world: 29
8.75% (31 December 2011)
note: Uruguay's central bank uses the benchmark interest rate, rather than the discount rate, to conduct monetary policy; the rates shown here are the benchmark rates

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
11.2% (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 91
9.78% (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$5.32 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 96
$4.749 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$16.97 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 92
$14.22 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$16.63 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 89
$13.67 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$231 million (31 December 2011)
Country comparison to the world: 112
$238 million (31 December 2010)
$219 million (31 December 2009)

Current account balance:
-$1.189 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 119
-$875.9 million (2011 est.)

Exports:
$9.907 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 94
$9.276 billion (2011 est.)

Exports - commodities:
beef, soybeans, cellulose, rice, wheat, wood, dairy products; wool

Exports - partners:
Brazil 18.5%, China 17.9%, Argentina 6.8%, Germany 4.3% (2012)

Imports:
$12.22 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 91
$10.7 billion (2011 est.)

Imports - commodities:
refined oil, crude oil, passenger and other transportation vehicles, vehicle parts, cellular phones

Imports - partners:
China 16.1%, Argentina 15.8%, Brazil 14.6%, US 8.9%, Paraguay 7.6% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$13.6 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 70
$10.3 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Debt - external:
$21.07 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 81
$14.35 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$15.2 billion (31 December 2011)
Country comparison to the world: 78
$14.8 billion (31 December 2010)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$345 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 81
$300 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:
Uruguayan pesos (UYU) per US dollar -
20.311 (2012 est.)
19.314 (2011 est.)
20.059 (2010 est.)
22.568 (2009)
20.936 (2008)

Energy

Electricity - production:
9.5 billion kWh (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 94

Electricity - consumption:
7.96 billion kWh (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 94

Electricity - exports:
18.9 million kWh (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 81

Electricity - imports:
470 million kWh (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 79

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
2.516 million kW (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 93

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
38.5% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 170

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 194

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
61.1% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 30

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0.4% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 77

Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 199

Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 198

Crude oil - imports:
38,720 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 61

Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 198

Refined petroleum products - production:
43,370 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 85

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
51,100 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 98

Refined petroleum products - exports:
6,093 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 93

Refined petroleum products - imports:
22,060 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 102

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 202

Natural gas - consumption:
80 million cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 105

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 198

Natural gas - imports:
86.4 million cu m (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 73

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 200

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
7.265 million Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 111

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
964,900 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 80

Telephones - mobile cellular:
4.757 million (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 109

Telephone system:
General assessment: fully digitalized
Domestic: most modern facilities concentrated in Montevideo; nationwide microwave radio relay network; overall fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity has reached 170 telephones per 100 persons
International: country code - 598; the UNISOR submarine cable system provides direct connectivity to Brazil and Argentina; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media:
mixture of privately owned and state-run broadcast media; more than 100 commercial radio stations and about 20 TV channels; cable TV is available; many community radio and TV stations; adopted the hybrid Japanese/Brazilian HDTV standard (ISDB-T) in December 2010 (2010)

Internet country code:
.uy

Internet hosts:
1.036 million (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 45

Internet users:
1.405 million (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 86

Transportation

Airports:
133 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 43

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 11
Over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 4
Under 914 m: 2 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 122
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 40
Under 914 m:
79 (2013)

Pipelines:
gas 257 km; oil 160 km (2013)

Railways:
Total: 1,641 km
Country comparison to the world: 77
Standard gauge: 1,641 km 1.435-m gauge (1,200 km operational) (2010)

Roadways:
Total: 77,732 km
Country comparison to the world: 63
Paved: 7,743 km
Unpaved: 69,989 km (2010)

Waterways:
1,600 km (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 50

Merchant marine:
Total: 16
Country comparison to the world: 100
By type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 2, chemical tanker 3, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 1
Foreign-owned: 8 (Argentina 1, Denmark 1, Greece 1, Spain 5)
Registered in other countries: 1 (Liberia 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:
Montevideo

Military

Military branches:
Uruguayan Armed Forces: Uruguayan National Army (Ejercito Nacional Uruguaya, ENU), Uruguayan National Navy (Armada Nacional del Uruguay; includes naval air arm, Naval Rifle Corps (Cuerpo de Fusileros Navales, Fusna), Maritime Prefecture in wartime), Uruguayan Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Uruguaya, FAU) (2012)

Military service age and obligation:
18-30 years of age (18-22 years of age for Navy) for male or female voluntary military service; up to 40 years of age for specialists; enlistment is voluntary in peacetime, but the government has the authority to conscript in emergencies; minimum 6-year education (2012)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 771,159
Females age 16-49: 780,932 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 649,025
Females age 16-49: 654,903 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 27,564
Female: 26,811 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
0.9% of GDP (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 137

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
in 2010, the ICJ ruled in favor of Uruguay's operation of two paper mills on the Uruguay River, which forms the border with Argentina; the two countries formed a joint pollution monitoring regime; uncontested boundary dispute between Brazil and Uruguay over Braziliera/Brasiliera Island in the Quarai/Cuareim River leaves the tripoint with Argentina in question; smuggling of firearms and narcotics continues to be an issue along the Uruguay-Brazil border

Trafficking in persons:
Current situation: Uruguay is a source country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking and, to a lesser extent, a destination country for men, women, and children exploited in forced labor; most victims are women and girls exploited in sex trafficking; some Uruguayan women lured by fraudulent employment offers in Spain, Italy, and Argentina are forced into prostitution; foreign workers in domestic service and agriculture are vulnerable to forced labor in Uruguay; some human trafficking cases are reportedly linked to crime rings
Tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Uruguay does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government investigated and prosecuted several trafficking cases during 2012 but reported no convictions; authorities have increased funding and staffing for the national women's institute unit that is focused on sex trafficking and domestic violence, but specialized services remain inadequate and victim care services outside the capital are uneven; officials lack formal procedures for identifying trafficking victims (2013)

Illicit drugs:
small-scale transit country for drugs mainly bound for Europe, often through sea-borne containers; law enforcement corruption; money laundering because of strict banking secrecy laws; weak border control along Brazilian frontier; increasing consumption of cocaine base and synthetic drugs

Flag of Uruguay



Flag description:
nine equal horizontal stripes of white (top and bottom) alternating with blue; a white square in the upper hoist-side corner with a yellow sun bearing a human face known as the Sun of May with 16 rays that alternate between triangular and wavy; the stripes represent the nine original departments of Uruguay; the sun symbol evokes the legend of the sun breaking through the clouds on 25 May 1810 as independence was first declared from Spain (Uruguay subsequently won its independence from Brazil)
note: the banner was inspired by the national colors of Argentina and by the design of the US flag