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Country Profile: Paraguay (Republic of Paraguay)

1. Geography
Area: 406,752 sq.km.; landlocked nation between Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia. The Paraguay Rivers divides the more fertile and developed east from the forests, marshes and ranches of the sparsely populated Gran Chaco.
Population: 5,496,453 in 2000; 6,980,320 in 2010; 9,355,207 in 2025
Capital: Asuncion (1,100,000)

2. Peoples
Spanish/Guarani-speaking: 94%
Amerindian peoples: 1.4%
Immigrant minorities: 4.6%
Literacy: Officially 90%, but much of it minimal
Official languages: Spanish, Guarani (understood by 90% of population)

3. Economy
Few natural resources besides agriculture and hydro-electric power. Landlocked status and lack of mineral resources hinders development. Large-scale hydro-electric projects are boosting the economy, but the cycle of poverty continues.
Exports: soybeans, cotton, meat, feed, edible oils, electricity, wood, leather
Imports: road vehicles, consumer goods, tobacco, petroleum products, electrical machinery
Industries: sugar, cement, textiles, beverages, wood products, steel, metallurgic, electrical power
Currency: guarani
GDP per capita: 4,600

4. Politics
Independent from Spain in 1811. Devastating wars with surrounding nations in 1864-70 and 1932-35. Corrupt military dictatorship 1954-89. Since then economic and democratic reforms have slowly reintegrated Paraguay into the world’s political and trade network.

5. Religions
Christian: 5,383,776 adherents (97.95% of population)
Non-religious: 54,965 adherents (1.00% of population)
Traditional ethnic: 34,078 adherents (0.62% of population)
Buddhist/Chinese: 12,642 adherents (0.23% of population)
Baha’i: 5,496 adherents (0.10% of population)
Jewish: 2,748 adherents (0.05% of population)
Muslim: 2,748 adherents (0.05% of population)
Churches: Catholic (2,330,000 members)
El Pueblo de Dios (42,857 members)
Mennonite groups (25,000 members)
Latter-day Saints (Morm) (21,164 members)
Assemblies of God (12,454 members)
Baptist Convention (7,981 members)
Other Pentecostal (7,000 members)
Anglican (6,400 members)
Congregation of P (9,850 members)
Seventh-day Adventist (7,788 members)
Ch of God (Cleveland) (7,618 members)
Ev Miss Assemb of God (6,250 members)
Grace and Glory (5,500 members)
Jehovah’s Witnesses (6,883 members)
Ev Ch of the River Plate (Lut) (4,192 members)
Evangelical Lutheran (5,000 members)
Assoc of United Christians (2,000 members)
Christian Brethren (2,041 members)
Slavic Baptist (3,000 members)
Other denoms (38,000 members)


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