Geography of Paraguay
General information about Paraguay
According to allcitycodes, the official name is the Republic of Paraguay (Republica del Paraguay, Republic of Paraguay).
Located in the center of South America. The area is 406.8 thousand km2, the population is 5.5 million people. (2002). The official languages are Spanish and Guarani. The capital is Asuncion. Public holiday – Independence Day on May 14. The monetary unit is the Guarani.
Member of the UN (since 1945), OAS (since 1948), MERCOSUR, etc.
Geography of Paraguay
Located between 54°19′ and 62°38′ west longitude, 19°18′ and 27°36′ south latitude. The length of the borders is approx. 3.5 thousand km, of which 2.8 thousand km are rivers, 0.7 thousand km are land. In the north it borders on Bolivia (the length of the border is 750 km), in the northeast – on Brazil (1290 km), in the south and west – on Argentina (1880 km). In the south, along the border with Argentina, on the Parana River, Paraguay owns two large islands – Yasireta and Talivera. On the border with Brazil, on the same Parana River, there is a grand Itaipu reservoir.
The country is divided by the Paraguay River into two parts – the eastern, more elevated with a subtropical climate, and the western – lower, in the south – swampy with a tropical climate.
In the eastern part of Paraguay there are low mountain ranges. Among them stand out the Cordillera de Amambay with the peak of Punta Pora (700 m), the Cordillera de Mbarakuyu, the Cordillera de CaaguaU and in the south of the Cordillera de San Rafael with Mount San Rafael (850 m). Mount Ibi-kui (630 m) stands out in the central part.
Three main rivers pass through the territory of Paraguay – Parana (4.4 thousand km, of which 800 km are within Paraguay), navigable from the ocean to the capital, Asuncion. The Paraguay River is navigable, the floodplain in the north and south is swampy. On the border with Argentina, there is the navigable Pilcomayo River, which separates the Paraguayan Chaco (Chaco Boreal) from the Argentine central and southern parts.
In river floodplains the soils are alluvial, in the Brazilian Plateau they are volcanic, in the Chaco plains they are red earth and solonetzic.
In the eastern part, the climate is subtropical. The average temperature in July is +17-19°С, in January +27-29°С. On the plateau there are deciduous-evergreen forests and shrubs, incl. yerba mate (Paraguayan tea). In the Chaco, tropical forests are concentrated with trees of valuable species. The flora and fauna are very rich and varied. Tapirs, peccaries, otters, coats, cougars, armadillos are found in the forests.
Population of Paraguay
Annual population growth in the 1990s slightly decreased: from 3% in 1980-85 to 2.6% in 1995-2000. The birth rate has dropped significantly (from 38.3% in 1980-85 to 31.3% in 1995-2000). Mortality decreased from 7.3 to 5.4% over the same period, infant mortality was 39.2 people. per 1000 newborns. Life expectancy 69.7 years, incl. men – 67.5, women – 72. The population is dominated by the youth group: persons under 14 years old make up 39.5% of the population.
If in the 20th century Paraguay was still predominantly a rural country, but since 2000 the urban population has dominated: in 1985 – 44.9%, in 2000 – already 56.1%.
By 2000, the illiteracy rate in Paraguay had dropped from 14.1% to 7.8%.
Ethnic composition: mestizos – 95%, whites and Indians together – approx. 5% of the population. The main languages are Guarani and Spanish. Guarani is spoken by 97% of the population, only 5% speak Spanish, the vast majority of the population is characterized by diglossia (knowledge of Spanish and Guarani). In the Gran Chaco, Guarani is not widespread, the Indians here speak mainly the Toba and Mataco languages. In the border regions with Brazil, the Portuguese language is widespread (several hundred thousand Brazilian citizens live here).
90% of Paraguay’s population belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. There are Protestants (especially from among persons of German and Russian origin), Orthodox (Russians), pagans (from non-settled Indians).