Paraguay. In the municipal elections held November 7, the old power party Colorado Party, which for the first time in 61 years was an opposition party, succeeded very well. Of the country’s 238 municipalities, the party won in 139, and in addition, they won in 14 of the 17 provincial capitals. According to COUNTRYAAH, Paraguay has a population of 6.956 million (2018). The success was attributed to the wealthy businessman Horacio Cartes, who reportedly made financial contributions that covered up to half of the party’s campaign spending.
|Gross domestic product (GDP)||$ 88,910,000,000|
|GDP growth rate||4.80%|
|GDP per capita||$ 12,800|
|GDP by sector|
|Proportion of the population below the national poverty line||34.7%|
|Distribution of household income|
|Industrial production growth rate||6.50%|
|Investment volume||16.6% of GDP|
|National debt||19.50% of GDP|
|Foreign exchange reserves||$ 7,504,000,000|
|Number of visitors||649,000|
An armed left group, Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo (EPP), has stepped up its activities, and in April and May the state of emergency was declared in the country’s five northernmost provinces to intensify the hunt for the group’s leaders. However, the offensive only led to the seizure of four tons of marijuana and 100 people arrested, but none of them were actually being searched. According to softwareleverage, President Fernando Lugo received congressional support to maintain a strong military presence in northern Paraguay.
Population. – At the 1982 census the population amounted to 3,035,360 residents, excluding 46,700 Indians of the jungle; at the subsequent 1992 census it had risen to 4,123,550 residents, of which 98% live in the eastern part of the country, comprising 40% of the total area. Paraguay has the most homogeneous population on the continent: in fact, 90% of it is made up of mestizos, who – with minorities of Europeans – are mainly settled in urban centers (47%). The birth rate is high (34.1ı) and, consequently, the annual growth coefficient.
- Abbreviation Finder: Check to see how the two letter abbreviation of PY stands for the country of Paraguay in geography.
Economic conditions. – The economic situation of the Paraguay has undergone, in recent decades, a constant process of deterioration, and the country is today one of the most backward in Latin America. Although GNP continues to increase (during the period 1980-91 the average annual increase was 2.3%), per capita GNP tends to decrease (it decreased by 0.8% over the same period of time), and in 1991 World Bank estimates gave the country an average per capita income of just over $ 1,200. Also in 1991, the total external debt was around 2200 million US dollars.
After the 1989 coup d’état, an economic reform project was launched which envisages, among other things, the privatization of many publicly owned companies. The new regime has devoted much of its activity to improving the economy, but its efforts are partially thwarted both by the international situation (with the fall in the prices of some products, such as cotton, which Paraguay exports), and by the non-payments in Brazil (for the import of electricity), both due to adverse climatic conditions (floods in 1992).
46% of the active population is employed in agriculture, which contributes just over a quarter to the formation of GNP and over 90% to the value of exports. The main cereal crop is maize (12.7 million q produced in 1991), which together with cassava (5.5 million q) is the largest food product. In recent decades commercial crops have made considerable progress: soy (14 million q), cotton (3.7 million q of seeds and 2.3 million q of fiber), tobacco, oil seeds such as tung, peanuts, castor and palm nuts. Industrial activity, including the mining, manufacturing, construction and electrical sectors, is stagnating. In 1991 it contributed 25.6% to the formation of GNP: but if in the period 1965-80 industrial GNP had an average annual growth of 9.1%, in the decade 1980-90 it recorded an average annual decline of 0.5%. Industrial plants are concentrated for the most part in the Asunción region and in the Central department.
Massive investments were made to exploit the country’s significant hydroelectric potential, also thanks to the contribution of Argentine and Brazilian capital. In 1976, with the entry into operation of the Acaray plant, Paraguay became self-sufficient in the field of electricity. The grandiose new Itaipú dam on the Paraná River, inaugurated in March 1984 and put into operation at the end of the same year, has significantly increased the installed power (5,800,000 kW in 1990) and production (2434 million kWh). A further increase is expected following the completion of the Yacyretá dam, also on the Paraná River.
In 1991 the balance of payments showed a deficit of approximately 323 million US dollars, while the trade balance recorded a negative balance of 412 million US dollars. In that same year, most of the incoming trade took place with Brazil (18.4%), which also represented the largest export market (27.6%). Other notable partners were Argentina, the United States, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and other members of the European Union.