Introduction :: Uruguay


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 launched 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 restored in 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 National (Blanco) parties. Uruguay’s political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent.

Geography :: Uruguay


Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil

Geographic coordinates

33 00 S, 56 00 W

Map references

South America


total: 176,215 sq km

land: 175,015 sq km

water: 1,200 sq km

Area – comparative

Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 1,591 km

border countries (2): Argentina 541 km, Brazil 1050 km


660 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or the edge of continental margin


warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown


mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland


mean elevation: 109 m

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Cerro Catedral 514 m

Natural resources

arable land, hydropower, minor minerals, fish

Land use

agricultural land: 87.2% (2011 est.)

arable land: 10.1% (2011 est.) /** permanent crops:** 0.2% (2011 est.) /** permanent pasture:** 76.9% (2011 est.)

forest: 10.2% (2011 est.)

other: 2.6% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

2,380 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

most of the country’s population resides in the southern half of the country; approximately 80% of the populace is urban, living in towns or cities; nearly half of the population lives in and around the capital of Montevideo

Natural hazards

seasonally high winds (the pampero is a chilly and occasional violent wind that blows north from the Argentine pampas), droughts, floods; because of the absence of mountains, which act as weather barriers, all locations are particularly vulnerable to rapid changes from weather fronts

Environment – current issues

water pollution from meat packing/tannery industry; heavy metal pollution; inadequate solid/hazardous waste disposal; deforestation

Environment – international agreements

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation

Geography – 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

People and Society :: Uruguay


3,387,605 (July 2020 est.)


noun: Uruguayan(s)

adjective: Uruguayan

Ethnic groups

white 87.7%, black 4.6%, indigenous 2.4%, other 0.3%, none or unspecified 5% (2011 est.)

note: data represent primary ethnic identity


Spanish (official)


Roman Catholic 47.1%, non-Catholic Christians 11.1%, nondenominational 23.2%, Jewish 0.3%, atheist or agnostic 17.2%, other 1.1% (2006 est.)

Demographic profile

Uruguay rates high for most development indicators and is known for its secularism, liberal social laws, and well-developed social security, health, and educational systems. It is one of the few countries in Latin America and the Caribbean where the entire population has access to clean water. Uruguay’s provision of free primary through university education has contributed to the country’s high levels of literacy and educational attainment. However, the emigration of human capital has diminished the state’s return on its investment in education. Remittances from the roughly 18% of Uruguayans abroad amount to less than 1 percent of national GDP. The emigration of young adults and a low birth rate are causing Uruguay’s population to age rapidly.

In the 1960s, Uruguayans for the first time emigrated en masse – primarily to Argentina and Brazil – because of economic decline and the onset of more than a decade of military dictatorship. Economic crises in the early 1980s and 2002 also triggered waves of emigration, but since 2002 more than 70% of Uruguayan emigrants have selected the US and Spain as destinations because of better job prospects. Uruguay had a tiny population upon its independence in 1828 and welcomed thousands of predominantly Italian and Spanish immigrants, but the country has not experienced large influxes of new arrivals since the aftermath of World War II. More recent immigrants include Peruvians and Arabs.

Age structure

population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 54.9

youth dependency ratio: 31.5

elderly dependency ratio: 23.4

potential support ratio: 4.3 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 35.5 years

male: 33.8 years

female: 37.3 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

0.27% (2020 est.)

Birth rate

12.9 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)

Death rate

9.3 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)

Net migration rate

-0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)

Population distribution

most of the country’s population resides in the southern half of the country; approximately 80% of the populace is urban, living in towns or cities; nearly half of the population lives in and around the capital of Montevideo


urban population: 95.5% of total population (2020)

rate of urbanization: 0.46% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas – population

1.752 million MONTEVIDEO (capital) (2020)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

17 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 7.8 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 8.6 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 6.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 77.9 years

male: 74.8 years

female: 81.2 years (2020 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.77 children born/woman (2020 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

79.6% (2015)

note: percent of women aged 15-44

Drinking water source

improved:** urban:** 100% of population

rural: 93.9% of population

total: 99.7% of population

unimproved:** urban:** 100% of population

rural: 95% of population

total: 100% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

9.3% (2017)

Physicians density

5.08 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

2.4 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved:** urban:** 99% of population

rural: 98.3% of population

total: 98.9% of population

unimproved:** urban:** 1% of population

rural: 1.7% of population

total: 2.1% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate

0.6% (2018 est.)

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS

14,000 (2018 est.)

HIV/AIDS – deaths

<200 (2018 est.)

Obesity – adult prevalence rate

27.9% (2016)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

4% (2011)

Education expenditures

4.9% of GDP (2017)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98.7%

male: 98.4%

female: 99% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

16 years

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 25.9%

male: 22.4%

female: 30.7% (2018 est.)

Government :: Uruguay

Country name

conventional long form: Oriental Republic of Uruguay

conventional short form: Uruguay

local long form: Republica Oriental del Uruguay

local short form: Uruguay

former: Banda Oriental, Cisplatine Province

etymology: name derives from the Spanish pronunciation of the Guarani Indian designation of the Uruguay River, which makes up the western border of the country and whose name later came to be applied to the entire country

Government type

presidential republic


name: Montevideo

geographic coordinates: 34 51 S, 56 10 W

time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the name “Montevidi” was originally applied to the hill that overlooked the bay upon which the city of Montevideo was founded; the earliest meaning may have been “[the place where we] saw the hill”

Administrative divisions

19 departments (departamentos, singular – departamento); Artigas, Canelones, Cerro Largo, Colonia, Durazno, Flores, Florida, Lavalleja, Maldonado, Montevideo, Paysandu, Rio Negro, Rivera, Rocha, Salto, San Jose, Soriano, Tacuarembo, Treinta y Tres


25 August 1825 (from Brazil)

National holiday

Independence Day, 25 August (1825)


history: several previous; latest approved by plebiscite 27 November 1966, effective 15 February 1967

amendments: initiated by public petition of at least 10% of qualified voters, proposed by agreement of at least two fifths of the General Assembly membership, or by existing “constitutional laws” sanctioned by at least two thirds of the membership in both houses of the Assembly; proposals can also be submitted by senators, representatives, or by the executive power and require the formation of and approval in a national constituent convention; final passage by either method requires approval by absolute majority of votes cast in a referendum; amended many times, last in 2004

Legal system

civil law system based on the Spanish civil code

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 3-5 years


18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch

chief of state: President Luis Alberto LACALLE POU (since 1 March 2020); Vice President Beatriz ARGIMON Cedeira (since 1 March 2020); the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Luis Alberto LACALLE POU (since 1 March 2020); Vice President Beatriz ARGIMON Cedeira (since 1 March 2020)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president with approval of the General Assembly

elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for nonconsecutive terms); election last held on 27 October 2019 with a runoff election on 24 November 2019 (next to be held in October 2024, and a runoff if needed in November 2024)
election results: Luis Alberto LACALLE POU elected president -** results of the first round of presidential elections:** percent of vote – Daniel MARTINEZ (FA) 40.7%, Luis Alberto LACALLE POU (Blanco) 29.7%, Ernesto TALVI (Colorado Party) 12.8%, and Guido MANINI RIOS (Open Cabildo) 11.3%, other 5.5%;** results of the second round:** percent of vote – Luis Alberto LACALLE POU (Blanco) 50.6%, Daniel MARTINEZ (FA) 49.4%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral General Assembly or Asamblea General consists of:

Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (31 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; the vice-president serves as the presiding ex-officio member; elected members serve 5-year terms)
Chamber of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (99 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
Chamber of Senators – last held on 27 October 2019 (next to be held in October 2024)
Chamber of Representatives – last held on 27 October 2019 (next to be held in October 2024)
election results:
Chamber of Senators – percent of vote by coalition/party – na; seats by coalition/party – Frente Amplio 13, National Party 10, Colorado Party 4, Open Cabildo 3;
Chamber of Representatives – percent of vote by coalition/party – na; seats by coalition/party – Frente Amplio 42, National Party 30, Colorado Party 13, Open Cabildo 11, Independent Party 1, other 2

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court of Justice (consists of 5 judges)

judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the president and appointed in joint conference of the General Assembly; judges serve 10-year terms, with reelection possible after a lapse of 5 years following the previous term

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; District Courts (Juzgados Letrados); Peace Courts (Juzgados de Paz); Rural Courts (Juzgados Rurales)

Political parties and leaders

Broad Front or FA (Frente Amplio) [Javier MIRANDA] – (a broad governing coalition that includes Uruguay Assembly [Danilo ASTORI], Progressive Alliance [Rodolfo NIN NOVOA], New Space [Rafael MICHELINI], Socialist Party [Monica XAVIER], Vertiente Artiguista [Enrique RUBIO], Christian Democratic Party [Jorge RODRIGUEZ], For the Peoples Victory [Luis PUIG], Popular Participation Movement (MPP) [Jose MUJICA], Broad Front Commitment [Raul SENDIC], Big House [Constanza MOREIRA], Communist Party [Marcos CARAMBULA], The Federal League [Dario PEREZ]
Colorado Party (including Vamos Uruguay (or Let’s Go Uruguay), Open Space [Tabare VIERA], and Open Batllism [Ope PASQUET])
Independent Party [Pablo MIERES]
National Party or Blanco (including Everyone [Luis LACALLE POU] and National Alliance [Jorge LARRANAGA])
Popular Unity [Gonzalo ABELLA]
Open Cabildo [Guido MANINI RIOS]

International organization participation

CAN (associate), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), OAS, OIF (observer), OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, SICA (observer), UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMOGIP, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

Charge d’Affaires Alejandro Ramon RODRIGUEZ COTRO (since 15 July 2020)
chancery: 1913 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20006

telephone: 1 331-1313

FAX: 1 331-8142
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Kenneth S. GEORGE (since 2 September 2019)

telephone: 598 1770-2000

embassy: Lauro Muller 1776, Montevideo 11200

mailing address: APO AA 34035

FAX: 598 1770-2128

Flag description

nine equal horizontal stripes of white (top and bottom) alternating with blue; a white square in the upper hoist-side corner with a yellow sun bearing a human face (delineated in black) known as the Sun of May with 16 rays that alternate between triangular and wavy; the stripes represent the nine original departments of Uruguay; the sun symbol evokes the legend of the sun breaking through the clouds on 25 May 1810 as independence was first declared from Spain (Uruguay subsequently won its independence from Brazil); the sun features are said to represent those of Inti, the Inca god of the sun

note: the banner was inspired by the national colors of Argentina and by the design of the US flag

National symbol(s)

Sun of May (a sun-with-face symbol); national colors: blue, white, yellow

National anthem


Economy :: Uruguay

Economy – overview

Uruguay has a free market economy characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector, a well-educated workforce, and high levels of social spending. Uruguay has sought to expand trade within the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) and with non-Mercosur members, and President VAZQUEZ has maintained his predecessor’s mix of pro-market policies and a strong social safety net.
Following financial difficulties in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Uruguay’s economic growth averaged 8% annually during the 2004-08 period. The 2008-09 global financial crisis put a brake on Uruguay’s vigorous growth, which decelerated to 2.6% in 2009. Nevertheless, the country avoided a recession and kept growth rates positive, mainly through higher public expenditure and investment; GDP growth reached 8.9% in 2010 but slowed markedly in the 2012-16 period as a result of a renewed slowdown in the global economy and in Uruguay’s main trade partners and Mercosur counterparts, Argentina and Brazil. Reforms in those countries should give Uruguay an economic boost. Growth picked up in 2017.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$78.16 billion (2017 est.)
$76.14 billion (2016 est.)
$74.87 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$59.18 billion (2017 est.)

GDP – real growth rate

2.7% (2017 est.)
1.7% (2016 est.)
0.4% (2015 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP)

$22,400 (2017 est.)
$21,900 (2016 est.)
$21,600 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving

17.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
18.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
18.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

GDP – composition, by end use

household consumption: 66.8% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 14.3% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 16.7% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -1% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 21.6% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -18.4% (2017 est.)

GDP – composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 6.2% (2017 est.)

industry: 24.1% (2017 est.)

services: 69.7% (2017 est.)

Agriculture – products

Cellulose, beef, soybeans, rice, wheat; dairy products; fish; lumber, tobacco, wine


food processing, electrical machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, textiles, chemicals, beverages

Industrial production growth rate

-3.6% (2017 est.)

Labor force

1.748 million (2017 est.)

Labor force – by occupation

agriculture: 13%

industry: 14%

services: 73% (2010 est.)

Unemployment rate

7.6% (2017 est.)
7.9% (2016 est.)

Population below poverty line

9.7% (2015 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 30.8% (2014 est.)


revenues: 17.66 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 19.72 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

29.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-3.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt

65.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
61.6% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions.

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

6.2% (2017 est.)
9.6% (2016 est.)

Current account balance

$879 million (2017 est.)
$410 million (2016 est.)


$11.41 billion (2017 est.)
$8.387 billion (2016 est.)

Exports – partners

China 19%, Brazil 16.1%, US 5.7%, Argentina 5.4% (2017)

Exports – commodities

beef, soybeans, cellulose, rice, wheat, wood, dairy products, wool


$8.607 billion (2017 est.)
$8.463 billion (2016 est.)

Imports – commodities

refined oil, crude oil, passenger and other transportation vehicles, vehicle parts, cellular phones

Imports – partners

China 20%, Brazil 19.5%, Argentina 12.6%, US 10.9% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$15.96 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$13.47 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Debt – external

$28.37 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$27.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Exchange rates

Uruguayan pesos (UYU) per US dollar –
28.77 (2017 est.)
30.16 (2016 est.)
30.16 (2015 est.)
27.52 (2014 est.)
23.25 (2013 est.)

Energy :: Uruguay

Electricity access

electrification – total population: 100% (2016)

Electricity – production

13.13 billion kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity – consumption

10.77 billion kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity – exports

1.321 billion kWh (2015 est.)

Electricity – imports

24 million kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity – installed generating capacity

4.808 million kW (2016 est.)

Electricity – from fossil fuels

29% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)

Electricity – from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)

Electricity – from hydroelectric plants

29% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)

Electricity – from other renewable sources

42% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)

Crude oil – production

0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

Crude oil – exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil – imports

40,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil – proved reserves

0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)

Refined petroleum products – production

42,220 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products – consumption

53,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)

Refined petroleum products – exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products – imports

9,591 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Natural gas – production

0 cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas – consumption

70.79 million cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas – exports

0 cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas – imports

70.79 million cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas – proved reserves

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

7.554 million Mt (2017 est.)

Communications :: Uruguay

Telephones – fixed lines

total subscriptions: 1,153,533

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 34 (2018 est.)

Telephones – mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 5,170,624

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 153 (2018 est.)

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: fully digitalized; one of the highest broadband penetrations in Latin America; high fixed-line and mobile penetrations as well; FttP coverage by 2022; nationwide 3G coverage and LTE networks; limited 5G commercial reach; strong focus on fiber infrastructure with 70% residential fixed-broadband connections and all business connections (2020)

domestic: most modern facilities concentrated in Montevideo; nationwide microwave radio relay network; overall fixed-line 34 per 100 and mobile-cellular teledensity 153 per 100 persons (2018)

international: country code – 598; landing points for the Unisor, Tannat, and Bicentenario submarine cable system providing direct connectivity to Brazil and Argentina; Bicentenario 2012 and Tannat 2017 cables helped end-users with Internet bandwidth; satellite earth stations – 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2020)

note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic’s effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry – mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite – has moderated

Broadcast media

mixture of privately owned and state-run broadcast media; more than 100 commercial radio stations and about 20 TV channels; cable TV is available; many community radio and TV stations; adopted the hybrid Japanese/Brazilian HDTV standard (ISDB-T) in December 2010 (2019)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 2,300,557

percent of population: 68.28% (July 2018 est.)

Broadband – fixed subscriptions

total: 977,390

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 29 (2018 est.)

Military and Security :: Uruguay

Military and security forces

Armed Forces of Uruguay (Fuerzas Armadas del Uruguay): National Army (Ejercito Nacional), National Navy (Armada Nacional, includes Maritime National Prefecture (Coast Guard)), Uruguayan Air Force (Fuerza Aerea); Guardia Nacional Republicana (paramilitary regiment of the National Police) (2020)

Military expenditures

2% of GDP (2019)
2.1% of GDP (2018)
2% of GDP (2017)
1.9% of GDP (2016)
1.8% of GDP (2015)

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Armed Forces of Uruguay have approximately 22,000 active personnel (14,500 Army; 5,000 Navy; 2,500 Air Force); est. 1,400 Guardia Nacional Republicana (2019 est.)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Armed Forces of Uruguay inventory includes a wide variety of older or second-hand equipment imported from a range of suppliers, including Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Spain, and the US (2019 est.)

Military deployments

930 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MINUSCO); 170 Golan Heights (UNDOF) (March 2020)

Military service age and obligation

18-30 years of age (18-22 years of age for Navy) for male or female voluntary military service; up to 40 years of age for specialists; enlistment is voluntary in peacetime, but the government has the authority to conscript in emergencies (2013)

Transportation :: Uruguay

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 2 (2015)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 3 (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

CX (2016)


133 (2013)

Airports – with paved runways

total: 11 (2013)

over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2013)

under 914 m: 2 (2013)

Airports – with unpaved runways

total: 122 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 40 (2013)

under 914 m: 79 (2013)


257 km gas, 160 km oil (2013)


total: 1,673 km (operational; government claims overall length is 2,961 km) (2016)

standard gauge: 1,673 km 1.435-m gauge (2016)


total: 77,732 km (2010)

paved: 7,743 km (2010)

unpaved: 69,989 km (2010)


1,600 km (2011)

Merchant marine

total: 60

by type: bulk carrier 1, general cargo 5, oil tanker 3, other 51 (2019)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Montevideo

Transnational Issues :: Uruguay

Disputes – international

in 2010, the ICJ ruled in favor of Uruguay’s operation of two paper mills on the Uruguay River, which forms the border with Argentina; the two countries formed a joint pollution monitoring regime; uncontested boundary dispute between Brazil and Uruguay over Braziliera/Brasiliera Island in the Quarai/Cuareim River leaves the tripoint with Argentina in question; smuggling of firearms and narcotics continues to be an issue along the Uruguay-Brazil border

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 19,082 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum or have received alternative legal stay) (2020)

Illicit drugs

small-scale transit country for drugs mainly bound for Europe, often through sea-borne containers; law enforcement corruption; money laundering because of strict banking secrecy laws; weak border control along Brazilian frontier; increasing consumption of cocaine base and synthetic drugs

Source: https://www.cia.gov

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