Paraguay

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 10, 2011
Flag of Paraguay
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Paraguay
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Map of Paraguay
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NO PHOTOS AVAILABLE OF PARAGUAY
 

Introduction

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Paraguay achieved its independence from Spain in 1811. 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. 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, despite a marked increase in political infighting in recent years, Paraguay has held relatively free and regular presidential elections since then.
 
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Geography

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Central South America, northeast of Argentina, southwest of Brazil
 
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23 00 S, 58 00 W
 
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total: 406,752 sq km
country comparison to the world: 60
land: 397,302 sq km
water: 9,450 sq km
 
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slightly smaller than California
 
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total: 3,995 km
border countries: Argentina 1,880 km, Bolivia 750 km, Brazil 1,365 km
 
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0 km (landlocked)
 
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none (landlocked)
 
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subtropical to temperate; substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, becoming semiarid in the far west
 
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grassy plains and wooded hills east of Rio Paraguay; Gran Chaco region west of Rio Paraguay mostly low, marshy plain near the river, and dry forest and thorny scrub elsewhere
 
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lowest point: junction of Rio Paraguay and Rio Parana 46 m
highest point: Cerro Pero 842 m
 
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hydropower, timber, iron ore, manganese, limestone
 
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arable land: 7.47%
permanent crops: 0.24%
other: 92.29% (2005)
 
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670 sq km (2008)
 
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336 cu km (2000)
 
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total: 0.49 cu km/yr (20%/8%/71%)
per capita: 80 cu m/yr (2000)
 
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local flooding in southeast (early September to June); poorly drained plains may become boggy (early October to June)
 
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deforestation; water pollution; inadequate means for waste disposal pose health risks for many urban residents; loss of wetlands
 
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party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
 
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landlocked; lies between Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil; population concentrated in southern part of country
 
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People and Society

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noun: Paraguayan(s)
adjective: Paraguayan
 
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mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) 95%, other 5%
 
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Spanish (official), Guarani (official)
 
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Roman Catholic 89.6%, Protestant 6.2%, other Christian 1.1%, other or unspecified 1.9%, none 1.1% (2002 census)
 
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6,459,058 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105
 
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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.)
 
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total: 25.4 years
male: 25.1 years
female: 25.6 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.284% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93
 
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17.48 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114
 
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4.57 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 199
 
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-0.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
 
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urban population: 61% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 2.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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ASUNCION (capital) 1.977 million (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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95 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
country comparison to the world: 73
 
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total: 23.02 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 86
male: 26.94 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 18.91 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 76.19 years
country comparison to the world: 75
male: 73.59 years
female: 78.93 years (2011 est.)
 
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2.11 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
 
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7.1% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 78
 
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1.11 physicians/1,000 population (2002)
country comparison to the world: 98
 
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1.3 beds/1,000 population (2009)
country comparison to the world: 133
 
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improved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 66% of population
total: 86% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1% of population
rural: 34% of population
total: 14% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 90% of population
rural: 40% of population
total: 70% of population
unimproved:
urban: 10% of population
rural: 60% of population
total: 30% of population (2008)
 
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0.3% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
 
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13,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90
 
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fewer than 500 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95
 
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degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: dengue fever and malaria (2009)
 
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4% of GDP (2008)
country comparison to the world: 105
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94%
male: 94.9%
female: 93% (2003 est.)
 
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total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 12 years (2007)
 
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total: 11.8%
country comparison to the world: 92
male: 8.7%
female: 16.8% (2008)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Republic of Paraguay
conventional short form: Paraguay
local long form: Republica del Paraguay
local short form: Paraguay
 
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constitutional republic
 
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name: Asuncion
geographic coordinates: 25 16 S, 57 40 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends second Sunday in April
 
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17 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital city*; Alto Paraguay, Alto Parana, Amambay, Asuncion*, Boqueron, Caaguazu, Caazapa, Canindeyu, Central, Concepcion, Cordillera, Guaira, Itapua, Misiones, Neembucu, Paraguari, Presidente Hayes, San Pedro
 
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14 May 1811 (from Spain)
 
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Independence Day, 14 May 1811 (observed 15 May)
 
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promulgated 20 June 1992
 
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civil law system with influences from Argentine, Spanish, Roman, and French civil law models; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court of Justice
 
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accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
 
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18 years of age; universal and compulsory up to age 75
 
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chief of state: President Fernando Armindo LUGO Mendez (since 15 August 2008); Vice President Luis Federico FRANCO Gomez (since 15 August 2008); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Fernando Armindo LUGO Mendez (since 15 August 2008); Vice President Luis Federico FRANCO Gomez (since 15 August 2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
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elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held on 20 April 2008 (next to be held in April 2013)
election results: Fernando Armindo LUGO Mendez elected president; percent of vote - Fernando Armindo LUGO Mendez 40.8%, Blanca OVELAR 30.6%, Lino OVIEDO 21.9%, Pedro FADUL 2.4%, other 4.3%
 
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bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (45 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (80 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: Chamber of Senators - last held on 20 April 2008 (next to be held in April 2013); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 20 April 2008 (next to be held in April 2013)
election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ANR 15, PLRA 14, UNACE 9, PPQ 4, other 3; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ANR 30, PLRA 27, UNACE 15, PPQ 3, APC 2, other 3; note - as of 1 January 2010, the composition of the Chamber of Deputies is ANR 30, PLRA 29, UNACE 15, PPQ 4, other 2
 
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Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (nine judges proposed by the Council of Magistrates or Consejo de la Magistratura, and approved by the Senate and president)
 
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Alianza Patriotica por el Cambio (Patriotic Alliance for Change) or APC [Fernando LUGO]; Asociacion Nacional Republicana - Colorado Party or ANR [Lilian SAMANIEGO]; Movimiento Popolar Tekojoja or Tekojoja [Sixto PEREIRA]; Movimiento Union Nacional de Ciudadanos Eticos or UNACE [Lino Cesar OVIEDO Silva]; Patria Querida (Beloved Fatherland Party) or PPQ [Pedro Nicolas Maraa FADUL Niella]; Partido del Movimiento al Socialismo or P-MAS [Camilo Ernesto SOARES Machado]; Partido Democratica Progresista or PDP [Rafael Augusto FILIZZOLA Serra]; Partido Encuentro Nacional or PEN [Fernando CAMACHO Paredes]; Partido Liberal Radical Autentico or PLRA [Amanda NUNEZ]; Partido Pais Solidario or PPS [Carlos Alberto FILIZZOLA Pallares]
 
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Ahorristas Estafados or AE; National Coordinating Board of Campesino Organizations or MCNOC [Luis AGUAYO]; National Federation of Campesinos or FNC [Odilon ESPINOLA]; National Workers Central or CNT [Secretary General Juan TORRALES]; Paraguayan Workers Confederation or CPT; Roman Catholic Church; Unitary Workers Central or CUT [Jorge Guzman ALVARENGA Malgarejo]
 
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CAN (associate), FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Rigoberto GAUTO Vielman
chancery: 2400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-6960 through 6962
FAX: [1] (202) 234-4508
consulate(s) general: Kansas City (Kansas), Los Angeles, Miami, New York
 
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Ambassador Liliana AYALDE
embassy: 1776 Avenida Mariscal Lopez, Casilla Postal 402, Asuncion
mailing address: Unit 4711, APO AA 34036-0001
telephone: [595] (21) 213-715
FAX: [595] (21) 228-603
 
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three equal, horizontal bands of red (top), white, and blue with an emblem centered in the white band; unusual flag in that the emblem is different on each side; the obverse (hoist side at the left) bears the national coat of arms (a yellow five-pointed star within a green wreath capped by the words REPUBLICA DEL PARAGUAY, all within two circles); the reverse (hoist side at the right) bears a circular seal of the treasury (a yellow lion below a red Cap of Liberty and the words PAZ Y JUSTICIA (Peace and Justice)); red symbolizes bravery and patriotism, white represents integrity and peace, and blue denotes liberty and generosity
note: the three color bands resemble those on the flag of the Netherlands; one of only three national flags that differ on their obverse and reverse sides - the others are Moldova and Saudi Arabia
 
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lion
 
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name: "Paraguayos, Republica o muerte!" (Paraguayans, The Republic or Death!)
lyrics/music: Francisco Esteban ACUNA de Figueroa/disputed
note: adopted 1934, in use since 1846; the anthem was officially adopted following its re-arrangement in 1934
 
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Economy

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Landlocked Paraguay has a market economy distinguished by a large informal sector, featuring re-export of imported consumer goods to neighboring countries, as well as 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 on a subsistence basis. Because of the importance of the informal sector, accurate economic measures are difficult to obtain. On a per capita basis, real income has stagnated at 1980 levels. The economy grew rapidly between 2003 and 2008 as growing world demand for commodities combined with high prices and favorable weather to support Paraguay's commodity-based export expansion. Paraguay is the sixth 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. The government reacted by introducing fiscal and monetary stimulus packages. Growth resumed at a 14.5% level in 2010, the highest in South America. Political uncertainty, corruption, limited progress on structural reform, and deficient infrastructure are the main obstacles to growth.
 
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$33.31 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105
$28.89 billion (2009 est.)
$30.05 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$18.48 billion (2010 est.)
 
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15.3% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
-3.8% (2009 est.)
5.8% (2008 est.)
 
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$5,200 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145
$4,600 (2009 est.)
$4,800 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 24.9%
industry: 21.2%
services: 53.9% (2010 est.)
 
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3.033 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
 
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agriculture: 26.5%
industry: 18.5%
services: 55% (2008)
 
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7% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
7.9% (2009 est.)
 
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18.8% (2009 est.)
 
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lowest 10%: 1.4%
highest 10%: 41% (2008)
 
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53.2 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 16
57.7 (1998)
 
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15.8% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
 
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revenues: $3.386 billion
expenditures: $3.22 billion (2010 est.)
 
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18.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
 
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0.9% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
 
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19.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
22.6% of GDP (2009 est.)
 
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4.7% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
2.6% (2009 est.)
 
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6% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
20% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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26.04% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7
28.26% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$3.169 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
$2.774 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$7.633 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110
$6.377 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$5.207 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
$3.909 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$NA (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 111
$409.1 million
$409.1 million (31 December 2006)
 
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cotton, sugarcane, soybeans, corn, wheat, tobacco, cassava (tapioca), fruits, vegetables; beef, pork, eggs, milk; timber
 
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sugar, cement, textiles, beverages, wood products, steel, metallurgic, electric power
 
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6.5% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
 
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54.91 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
 
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8.5 billion kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90
 
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45.13 billion kWh (2009 est.)
 
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45.13 billion kWh (2009 est.)
 
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0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192
 
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31,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114
 
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0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205
 
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23,810 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
 
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0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 177
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
 
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0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
 
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-$596.3 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
$42.9 million (2009 est.)
 
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$8.312 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
$5.805 billion (2009 est.)
 
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soybeans, feed, cotton, meat, edible oils, electricity, wood, leather
 
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Uruguay 16.2%, Brazil 12.8%, Chile 10%, Argentina 8.1%, Italy 5%, Netherlands 4.4%, Spain 4.3%, Turkey 4.2%, Germany 4.2% (2010)
 
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$9.839 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
$6.837 billion (2009 est.)
 
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road vehicles, consumer goods, tobacco, petroleum products, electrical machinery, tractors, chemicals, vehicle parts
 
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Brazil 27.7%, China 17.6%, US 16.6%, Argentina 15.2% (2010)
 
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$4.167 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
$3.862 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$4.545 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116
$4.323 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$3.393 million (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 91
$3.053 million (31 December 2009)
 
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$NA
 
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guarani (PYG) per US dollar -
4,767.6 (2010)
4,965.4 (2009)
4,337.7 (2008)
5,031 (2007)
5,672.8 (2006)
 
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Communications

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405,000 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 104
 
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5.915 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 97
 
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general assessment: the fixed-line market is a state monopoly and fixed-line telephone service is meager; principal switching center is in Asuncion
domestic: deficiencies in provision of fixed-line service have resulted in a rapid expansion of mobile-cellular services fostered by competition among multiple providers
international: country code - 595; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2008)
 
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6 privately-owned TV stations; about 75 commercial and community radio stations broadcasting; 1 state-owned radio network (2010)
 
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.py
 
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167,281 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 69
 
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1.105 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 94
 
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Transportation

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800 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 9
 
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total: 15
over 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2010)
 
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total: 785
1,524 to 2,437 m: 25
914 to 1,523 m: 290
under 914 m: 470 (2010)
 
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total: 36 km
country comparison to the world: 132
standard gauge: 36 km 1.435-m gauge (2010)
 
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total: 29,500 km
country comparison to the world: 98
paved: 14,986 km
unpaved: 14,514 km (2001)
 
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3,100 km (primarily on the Paraguay and Paran� river systems) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 32
 
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total: 23
country comparison to the world: 97
by type: cargo 15, carrier 1, container 2, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 6 (Argentina 5, Netherlands 1) (2010)
 
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Asuncion, Villeta, San Antonio, Encarnacion
 
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Military

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Armed Forces Command (Commando de las Fuerzas Militares): Army, National Navy (Armada Nacional, includes Marine Corps, Naval Aviation), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Paraguay, FAP), Logistics Command, War Materiel Directorate (2011)
 
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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)
 
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males age 16-49: 1,678,335
females age 16-49: 1,675,352 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 1,409,859
females age 16-49: 1,433,037 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 73,367
female: 71,801 (2010 est.)
 
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1% of GDP (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
 
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Transnational Issues

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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
 
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major illicit producer of cannabis, most or all of which is consumed in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile; transshipment country for Andean cocaine headed for Brazil, other Southern Cone markets, and Europe; weak border controls, extensive corruption and money-laundering activity, especially in the Tri-Border Area; weak anti-money-laundering laws and enforcement
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