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Paraguay Country Guide

Explore Paraguay in South America

Paraguay with the capital city Asunción is located in South America (Central South America, northeast of Argentina). It covers some 406,750 square kilometres (slightly smaller than California) with 6,831,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Paraguay

The landscape offers grassy plains and wooded hills east of Rio Paraguay with Gran Chaco region west of Rio Paraguay mostly low, marshy plain near the river, and dry forest and thorny scrub elsewhere. The average density of population is approximately 17 per km². The notable climate conditions in Paraguay can be described as subtropical to temperate with substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, becoming semiarid in the far west. Potential threats by nature are local flooding in southeast (early September to June) or poorly drained plains may become boggy (early October to June).

To reach someone in Paraguay dial +595 prior to a number. There are 387,300 installed telephones. And there are 5,619,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 850/1900 MHz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".py". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 220V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Paraguay

Paraguay Flag Icon

Three equal, horizontal bands of red (top), white, and blue with an emblem centered in the white band; unusual flag in that the emblem is different on each side; the obverse (hoist side at the left) bears the national coat of arms (a yellow five-pointed star within a green wreath capped by the words REPUBLICA DEL PARAGUAY, all within two circles); the reverse (hoist side at the right) bears a circular seal of the treasury (a yellow lion below a red Cap of Liberty and the words PAZ Y JUSTICIA (Peace and Justice)); red symbolizes bravery and patriotism, white represents integrity and peace, and blue denotes liberty and generosity note: the three color bands resemble those on the flag of the Netherlands; one of only three national flags that differ on their obverse and reverse sides - the others are Moldova and Saudi Arabia.

Paraguay achieved its independence from Spain in 1811. In the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70) - between Paraguay and Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay - Paraguay lost two-thirds of all its adult males and much of its territory. The country stagnated economically for the next half century. Following the Chaco War of 1932-35 with Bolivia, Paraguay gained a large part of the Chaco lowland region. The 35-year military dictatorship of Alfredo STROESSNER ended in 1989, and, despite a marked increase in political infighting in recent years, Paraguay has held relatively free and regular presidential elections since the country's return to democracy.

Geography Quick-Facts

SummaryContinent: South America
Neighbours: Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina
Capital: Asunción
Size406,750 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 157,047 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than California
CurrencyName Guarani, Currency Code:PYG
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).py
Telephone Country Prefix+595
Mobile Phone Connections5,619,000
Landline Phone Connections387,300

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Area406,752 (sq km)60

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population6,623,252 103
Population growth rate1.23 (%)95
Birth rate16.95 (births/1,000 population)118
Death rate4.61 (deaths/1,000 population)198
Net migration rate-0.08 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)113
Maternal mortality rate99.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)74
Infant mortality rate21.48 (deaths/1,000 live births)86
Life expectancy at birth76.60 (years)74
Total fertility rate2.01 (children born/woman)129
Health expenditures5.90 (% of GDP)114
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.30 (%)79
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS13,000 90
HIV/AIDS - deaths500 83
Obesity - adult prevalence rate17.90 (%)110
Children under the age of 5 years underweight3.40 (%)102
Education expenditures4.10 (% of GDP)108
Unemployment, youth ages 15-2417.80 (%)71


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)41,550,000,000 101
GDP - real growth rate-1.20 (%)199
GDP - per capita (PPP)6,200 147
Labor force3,137,000 102
Unemployment rate6.90 (%)75
Distribution of family income - Gini index53.20 13
Investment (gross fixed)17.90 (% of GDP)119
Taxes and other revenues18.00 (% of GDP)176
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.70 (% of GDP)80
Public debt14.70 (% of GDP)136
Inflation rate (consumer prices)4.60 (%)132
Central bank discount rate6.00 (%)57
Commercial bank prime lending rate28.00 (%)7
Stock of narrow money3,666,000,000 112
Stock of broad money10,110,000,000 106
Stock of domestic credit9,149,000,000 102
Market value of publicly traded shares42,000,000 116
Industrial production growth rate6.50 (%)47
Current account balance-1,170,000,000 118
Exports4,700,000,000 116
Imports9,700,000,000 100
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold4,920,000,000 91
Debt - external2,245,000,000 141
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home4,425,000 101


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production54,410,000,000 (kWh)48
Electricity - consumption6,237,000,000 (kWh)103
Electricity - exports43,380,000,000 (kWh)6
Electricity - installed generating capacity8,816,000 (kW)60
Electricity - from fossil fuels0.10 (% of total installed capacity)208
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants99.90 (% of total installed capacity)3
Refined petroleum products - consumption26,820 (bbl/day)121
Refined petroleum products - imports23,810 (bbl/day)100
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy4,394,000 (Mt)128


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use372,400 108
Telephones - mobile cellular6,529,000 96
Internet hosts280,658 65
Internet users1,105,000 94


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports800 9
Railways36 (km)132
Roadways29,500 (km)97
Waterways3,100 (km)33
Merchant marine19 96


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures1.50 (% of GDP)102

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Jesuit Missions of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue
In addition to their artistic interest, these missions are a reminder of the Jesuits' Christianization of the Río de la Plata basin in the 17th and 18th centuries, with the accompanying social and economic initiatives. ...