Facts about Bolivia
|Population||9,247,816 (July 2008 est.|
|Capital||La Paz (administrative capital)|
|Time zone||UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: Sucre (constitutional capita|
Central South America, southwest of Brazil
General info about Bolivia
Bolivia, named after independence fighter Simon BOLIVAR, broke away from Spanish rule in 1825; much of its subsequent history has consisted of a series of nearly 200 coups and countercoups. Democratic civilian rule was established in 1982, but leaders have faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and illegal drug production. In December 2005, Bolivians elected Movement Toward Socialism leader Evo MORALES president - by the widest margin of any leader since the restoration of civilian rule in 1982 - after he ran on a promise to change the country's traditional political class and empower the nation's poor majority. However, since taking office, his controversial strategies have exacerbated racial and economic tensions between the Amerindian populations of the Andean west and the non-indigenous communities of the eastern lowlands.
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid
Spanish 60.7% (official), Quechua 21.2% (official), Aymara 14.6% (official), foreign languages 2.4%, other 1.2% (2001 census)
What about drugs?
world's third-largest cultivator of coca (after Colombia and Peru) with an estimated 29,500 hectares under cultivation in 2007, a slight increase over 2006; third largest producer of cocaine, estimated at 120 metric tons of potential pure cocaine in 2007; transit country for Peruvian and Colombian cocaine destined for Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Europe; cultivation generally increasing since 2000, despite eradication and alternative crop programs; weak border controls; some money-laundering activity related to narcotics trade, especially along the borders with Brazil and Paraguay; major cocaine consumption
Quechua 30%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 30%, Aymara 25%, white 15%
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
0.1% (2003 est.)
varies with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid
tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, hydropower
Bolivia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Latin America. Following a disastrous economic crisis during the early 1980s, reforms spurred private investment, stimulated economic growth, and cut poverty rates in the 1990s. The period 2003-05 was characterized by political instability, racial tensions, and violent protests against plans - subsequently abandoned - to export Bolivia's newly discovered natural gas reserves to large northern hemisphere markets. In 2005, the government passed a controversial hydrocarbons law that imposed significantly higher royalties and required foreign firms then operating under risk-sharing contracts to surrender all production to the state energy company. In early 2008, higher earnings for mining and hydrocarbons exports pushed the current account surplus to 9.4% of GDP and the government's higher tax take produced a fiscal surplus after years of large deficits. Private investment as a share of GDP, however, remains among the lowest in Latin America, and inflation remained at double-digit levels in 2008. The decline in commodity prices in late 2008, the lack of foreign investment in the mining and hydrocarbon sectors, and the suspension of trade benefits with the United States will pose challenges for the Bolivian economy in 2009.
the clearing of land for agricultural purposes and the international demand for tropical timber are contributing to deforestation; soil erosion from overgrazing and poor cultivation methods (including slash-and-burn agriculture); desertification; loss of biodiversity; industrial pollution of water supplies used for drinking and irrigation
Cities in Boliviaabapo achacachi aiquile arani ascension atocha bermejo betanzos boyuibe buena vista camargo camiri capinota caracollo caranavi challapata charagua chimore chulumani cliza cobija cochabamba colomi colquechaca colquiri comarapa concepcion copacabana coripata coroico cotoca el carmen el torno entre rios eucaliptus guanay guayaramerin huanuni irpa irpa jorochito la belgica la guardia la paz lahuachaca limoncito llallagua los negros machacamarca mairana mapiri mineros mizque monteagudo montero oruro padilla pailon patacamaya poopo portachuelo potosi puerto pailas puerto quijarro puerto suarez punata quime reyes riberalta robore rurrenabaque samaipata san borja san carlos san ignacio san javier san joaquin san jose san julian san lorenzo san matias san miguel san pedro san rafael san ramon santa barbara santa rita santa rosa sipe sipe sorata sucre tarabuco tarata tarija tipuani totoral trinidad tupiza uncia urubicha uyuni villamontes villazon viloco warnes yacuiba