Paraguay – education
The public school system, which is free and has nine years of compulsory schooling for 6-14 year olds, includes a six-year primary school, followed by two three-year courses, the last of which is divided into a general line, a trade line and a technical line; the first two provide access to higher education, taking place at the country’s two universities, both in Asunción. Illiteracy in the adult population is estimated at 7.9% (1995).
OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Paraguay
CAPITAL CITY: Asuncion
POPULATION: 6,800,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 406,750 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Spanish, guarani and approximately 15 other Native American languages
RELIGION: Catholics 89%, Protestants (including Mennonites) 5%, others 6%
CURRENCY CODE: PYG
ENGLISH NAME: Paraguay
POPULATION COMPOSITION: mestizer 92%, white 5%, Indians 3%
GDP PER residents: $ 1377 (2007)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 69 years, women 74 years (2007)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.757
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 91
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .py
Paraguay is a Republic of Central South America; the country is an inland state, but is traversed and partly bounded by large rivers. The western part of the country is almost uninhabited, and Paraguay is generally sparsely populated.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Find two-letter abbreviation for each independent country and territory, such as PY which stands for Paraguay.
Until the Triple Alliance War (1865-70), the country was relatively well developed, but the war left it in economic ruin and was followed by prolonged instability. In 1954, General Alfredo Stroessner took power and headed an authoritarian and dictatorial government for the following 35 years; Paraguay gained its first democratic government as late as 1989.
Paraguay – Constitution
The Constitution of the Republic is from 1992. The legislative power lies with the National Assembly, which has two chambers and sits for five years. The lower house (Deputeetkammeret) has 80 members who are elected by ordinary election in departmental constituencies. The Upper House (Senate) has 45 members, elected by general election in one large national constituency. The executive has the president, who is elected for a five-year term by simple majority election. He is assisted by a government and advised by a Council of State.
Paraguay – Economy
Since 1989, Paraguay has been striving for a gradual liberalization of the economy, which under General Stroessner’s regime was subject to significant public regulation. In 1991, Paraguay co-founded the customs union MERCOSUR with Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. However, the increasing competition and a lack of political will to implement agricultural reforms in favor of the landless farmers has also led to growing social unrest in the country, which is characterized by severe economic inequality, high unemployment and significant underemployment.
Since 1989, economic policy has generally been tight, which has helped to reduce inflation from approximately 40% in 1990 to 7% in 2005, but also to reduce economic growth, which in the 1970’s and 1980’s was particularly stimulated by public investment projects. From 1998 to 2002, Paraguay was thus in a recession, which was exacerbated by a severe banking crisis, triggered by revelations that a large part of the banks’ statutory deposit reserves had been used for lending in the gray loan market. The problems in the financial sector are exacerbated by persistent accusations from the United States in particular that Paraguay acts as a center for money laundering. The country’s corruption is legendary, and in addition to a large subsistence sector of poor farmers and slumboers, it has an extensive black economy with re-export of consumables. The exchange rate of the currency, the guaraní, has been floating freely since 1989 and has fallen annually in value against the currencies of Paraguay’s main trading partners, but not as much as the inflation differential might suggest. Competitiveness has therefore gradually deteriorated, which is a contributing factor to a steady trade deficit;
Most of Paraguay’s foreign trade takes place with the MERCOSUR countries, in particular Brazil and Argentina, but also with the United States. Denmark’s exports to Paraguay in 2005 amounted to DKK 10 million. DKK, while imports from there amounted to 8 mill. kr.
Paraguay – social conditions
Paraguay is an ethnically and culturally strongly mixed society and really one of the few bilingual countries in Latin America. Despite this, racism is a widespread phenomenon. approximately 50% of the population lives in deep poverty, hardest hit are the Indians and people in rural areas. Economic downturn since the late 1990’s has led to a significant decline in real income, so the country today has one of the most skewed income distributions in Latin America. The 20% poorest part of the population thus has only 2% of the total income, while the 20% richest sit at 60%.
Under General Stroessner’s regime, a social security system was developed, based on the principle of insurance and supplemented by public funds. It provides limited support for medical care, maternity leave and pensions after the age of 60. The social security system and the health care sector have been severely neglected by changing governments since the fall of Stroessner. Through the 1990’s, the cost of social security per capita was halved. This is reflected, among other things, in the fact that there are only 49 doctors per 100,000 residents. Wealthy Paraguayans would rather see a doctor in neighboring Argentina and Brazil than consult a local doctor. Check youremailverifier for Paraguay social condition facts.
Corruption has not diminished since Stroessner’s fall. Smuggling of goods and money laundering (in 2002 an estimated $ 70 million a day) are among the most lucrative businesses. Like other Latin American countries, violent crime has increased.