Uruguay: General Information


Country name: República Oriental del Uruguay (short name: Uruguay).
President: Dr. Tabaré Vázquez
Data Code: UY
National Capital: Montevideo
Political division: 19 Departments
Government type: Republic under a presidential system. The state is organized in three independent powers: Executive, Legislative and Judiciary. The Executive is headed by the President and a cabinet of 13 ministers. The legislative branch is a bicameral General Assembly or "Asamblea General" which consists of the Chamber of Senators (30 seats plus vice president, who serves as chairman; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and Chamber of Representatives (99 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms).
Suffrage: 18 years of age. Compulsory and universal.
National holidays: January 1st, May 1st, July 18th, August 25th, December 25th.
Legal system: The Uruguayan legal system is based on written law passed by the Parliament and promulgated by the President. The fundamental source of the law is the Constitution of the Republic. The court or judicial procedures normally have two instances. Although the verdict of a court or a judge may provide guidance for other cases, such verdicts are not a binding precedent.


Population: 3.241.003 (2005)
Annual Demographic Growth Rate: 0.6%
Density (population per sq.km.): 18
Life Expectancy at Birth: 75,4 years
Infant mortality rate: 12,7/1000 (2005)
Literacy rate: 97% (2004)
Religions: No official religion (Catholics 56%, non religious 38 %, protestants 2 %, Jews 2%)
Nationality: Uruguayan(s), adjective: Uruguayan
Languages: Spanish
Business languages: English and Portuguese (French and Italian widely spread)


GDP (2004): 13.216 Million Dollars
GDP Per Capita (2004): 4.078 Dollars

GDP composition by sector (2004):
  • Agriculture and fisheries: 11,5%
  • Manufacturing industry and mining: 20,8%
  • Electricity, gas and water: 4,3%
  • Construction industry: 3,4%
  • Transportation, communications: 9,4%
  • Trade,hotels and restaurants: 12,7%
  • Financial services, insurance, housing and business services: 21,0%
  • Other services: 17%
Inflation rate: 4,90% (December 2005)
Economically active population: 1.237.300 (2004)
Unemployment rate: 11,9% (September - November 2005)
Exports of goods: 3.439 (in millions USD) (2005)
Main Items: Beef, airy products and honey, skins and leather products, wool, Mineral fuels and bituminous materials. Wood and vegetal coal, fish and crustaceans, oleaginous seeds and fruits.
Main partners: USA (22,3%), Brazil (13,6%), Argentine (7,5%), European Union (17,7%), Asia (7,94%), Middle East (4,03%).
Imports of goods: 3.092 (in millions USD) (2005) (does not include petroleum)
Main items: Machinery and mechanical appliances, Electrical machinery, sound recorders, vehicles, plastics, mineral fuels and bituminous substances, organic chemical products.
Main partners: Brazil (26,4%), Argentina (25,3%), Asia (15,3%), European Union (13,8%), USA (8,4%).
Net Public External Debt: 7.178 (in millions USD) (2004)

Approximate distance (Kms.) between the main Uruguayan cites

Living standards indicators

Population/physicians ratio: 260
Population with access to drinking water: 98%
Electrification rate: 98%
Cars per 100 inhabitants: 19


Digital telephone network: 100%
Telephone lines per 100 inhabitants: 28 (2003)
Cellular phones per 100 inhabitants: 11 (2004)
Internet Users: 12% (2004)
Hosts/10000 inhabitants: 257 (2004)

Source: Portal del Estado Uruguayo, Uruguay XXI: Promoción de Inversiones y Exportaciones, Marzo de 2006