Dialing code +598
ISO 2 code UY
ISO 3 code URY
Capital Montevideo
Main Language Spanish
Currency Peso (UYU)
GDP $42.5 billion 92nd
Population 3,477,000 132nd


Continent South America
Location Southern South America bordering the South Atlantic Ocean between Argentina and Brazil
Land 176,220 km2 91st
Terrain Mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland
Climate Warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown
Natural Hazards Mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland
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

Neighbouring Countries

Argentina Brazil


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.
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Life Expectancy 76.35 years 59th
Median Age 33.4 years 65th
Birth Rate 13.91 births/1,000 population 142nd
Death Rate 9.09 births/1,000 population 80th
Sex Ratio 0.67 male(s)/female 172nd
Literacy 98.0% 57th

3.5 million


Roadways 77732 km 62nd
Railways 1641 km 78th
Airports 56 82nd
Waterways 1600 km 49th
Heliports None
Airports paved 1 88th


Currency Peso (UYU)
GDP $42.5 billion 92nd
GDP per capita (PPP) $12200 80th