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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

Map of Bolivia

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Bolivia
Definition Field Listing
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 counter-coups. Comparatively democratic civilian rule was established in the 1980s, but leaders have faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and drug production. Current goals include attracting foreign investment, strengthening the educational system, continuing the privatization program, and waging an anticorruption campaign.
   Geography    Bolivia
Definition Field Listing
Central South America, southwest of Brazil
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
17 00 S, 65 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
South America
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,098,580 sq km
water: 14,190 sq km
land: 1,084,390 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly less than three times the size of Montana
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 6,743 km
border countries: Argentina 832 km, Brazil 3,400 km, Chile 861 km, Paraguay 750 km, Peru 900 km
Definition Field Listing
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
none (landlocked)
Definition Field Listing
varies with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid
Definition Field Listing
rugged Andes Mountains with a highland plateau (Altiplano), hills, lowland plains of the Amazon Basin
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Rio Paraguay 90 m
highest point: Nevado Sajama 6,542 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 1.73%
permanent crops: 0.21%
other: 98.06% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
1,280 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
flooding in the northeast (March-April)
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
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
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
landlocked; shares control of Lago Titicaca, world's highest navigable lake (elevation 3,805 m), with Peru
   People    Bolivia
Definition Field Listing
8,445,134 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 37.8% (male 1,626,596; female 1,565,124)
15-64 years: 57.7% (male 2,383,852; female 2,491,823)
65 years and over: 4.5% (male 169,583; female 208,156) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.69% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
26.41 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
8.05 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-1.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
57.52 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 64.42 years
female: 67.1 years (2002 est.)
male: 61.86 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.37 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.1% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
4,200 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
380 (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Bolivian(s)
adjective: Bolivian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Quechua 30%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 30%, Aymara 25%, white 15%
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic 95%, Protestant (Evangelical Methodist)
Definition Field Listing
Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara (official)
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.1%
male: 90.5%
female: 76% (1995 est.)
   Government    Bolivia
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Bolivia
conventional short form: Bolivia
local short form: Bolivia
local long form: Republica de Bolivia
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
La Paz (seat of government); Sucre (legal capital and seat of judiciary)
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
9 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, Beni, La Paz, Oruro, Pando, Potosi, Santa Cruz, Tarija
Definition Field Listing
6 August 1825 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 6 August (1825)
Definition Field Listing
2 February 1967; revised in August 1994
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on Spanish law and Napoleonic Code; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age, universal and compulsory (married); 21 years of age, universal and compulsory (single)
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Gonzalo SANCHEZ DE LOZADA Bustamante (since 4 August 2002); Vice President Carlos Diego MESA Gisbert (since 4 August 2002); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Gonzalo SANCHEZ DE LOZADA Bustamante (since 4 August 2002); Vice President Carlos Diego MESA Gisbert (since 4 August 2002); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms; election last held 30 June 2002 (next to be held NA June 2007)
election results: the new president was chosen by Congress, a result of no candidate winning a majority in the 30 June 2002 election; Congressional votes - Gonzalo SANCHEZ de Lozada 84, Evo MORALES 43
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (27 seats; members are directly elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (130 seats; members are directly elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms; note - some members are drawn from party lists, thus not directly elected)
elections: Chamber of Senators and Chamber of Deputies - last held 30 June 2002 (next to be held NA June 2007)
election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - MNR 11, MAS 8, MIR 5, NFR 2, other 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - MNR 36, MAS 27, MIR 26, NFR 25, others 16
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges appointed for 10-year terms by National Congress); District Courts (one in each department); provincial and local courts (to try minor cases)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Bolivian Socialist Falange or FSB [Otto RICHTER]; Civic Solidarity Union or UCS [Johnny FERNANDEZ]; Conscience of the Fatherland or CONDEPA [Remedios LOZA Alvarado]; Free Bolivia Movement or MBL [Franz BARRIOS]; Movement of the Revolutionary Left or MIR [Jaime PAZ Zamora]; Movement to Socialism or MAS [leader NA]; Nationalist Democratic Action or ADN [Jorge Fernando QUIROGA Ramirez]; Nationalist Revolutionary Movement or MNR [Gonzalo SANCHEZ DE LOZADA]; New Republican Force or NFR [Manfred REYES-VILLA]; United Left or IU [Marcos DOMIC]
note: the ADN, MIR, and UCS comprise the ruling coalition
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Cocalero Groups; indigenous organizations; labor unions; Sole Confederation of Campesino Workers of Bolivia or CSUTCB [Felipe QUISPE]
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Jaime APARICIO Otero
chancery: 3014 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
consulate(s) general: Miami, New York, and San Francisco
FAX: [1] (202) 328-3712
telephone: [1] (202) 483-4410
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador David N. GREENLEE
embassy: Avenida Arce 2780, San Jorge, La Paz
mailing address: P. O. Box 425, La Paz; APO AA 34032
telephone: [591] (2) 2430120, 2430251
FAX: [591] (2) 2433900
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green with the coat of arms centered on the yellow band; similar to the flag of Ghana, which has a large black five-pointed star centered in the yellow band
   Economy    Bolivia
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Bolivia, long one of the poorest and least developed Latin American countries, has made considerable progress toward the development of a market-oriented economy. Successes under President SANCHEZ DE LOZADA (1993-97) included the signing of a free trade agreement with Mexico and becoming an associate member of the Southern Cone Common Market (Mercosur), as well as the privatization of the state airline, telephone company, railroad, electric power company, and oil company. Growth slowed in 1999, in part due to tight government budget policies, which limited needed appropriations for anti-poverty programs, and the fallout from the Asian financial crisis. In 2000, major civil disturbances in April, and again in September and October, held down overall growth to 2.5%. Bolivia's GDP failed to grow in 2001 due to the global slowdown and laggard domestic activity. Growth is expected to pick up in 2002, but the fiscal deficit and debt burden will remain high.
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $21.4 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $2,600 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 14%
industry: 31%
services: 55% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
70% (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 1%
highest 10%: 46% (1997) (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
59 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
2% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
2.5 million
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
7.6% (2000)
note: widespread underemployment (2000)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $4 billion
expenditures: $4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
mining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverages, tobacco, handicrafts, clothing
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.9% (1998) (1998)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
3.87 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 48%
hydro: 50%
other: 2% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
3.605 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
5 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
11 million kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
soybeans, coffee, coca, cotton, corn, sugarcane, rice, potatoes; timber
Definition Field Listing
$1.2 billion (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
soybeans, natural gas, zinc, gold, wood
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 32%, Colombia 18%, UK 15%, Brazil 15%, Peru 6% (2000)
Definition Field Listing
$1.5 billion (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
capital goods, raw materials and semi-manufactures, chemicals, petroleum, food
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 24%, Argentina 17%, Brazil 15%, Chile 9%, Peru 5% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$5.8 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$588 million (1997) (1997)
Definition Field Listing
boliviano (BOB)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
bolivianos per US dollar - 6.8613 (January 2002), 6.6069 (2001), 6.1835 (2000), 5.8124 (1999), 5.5101 (1998), 5.2543 (1997)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Bolivia
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
327,600 (1996)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
116,000 (1997)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: new subscribers face bureaucratic difficulties; most telephones are concentrated in La Paz and other cities; mobile cellular telephone use expanding rapidly
domestic: primary trunk system, which is being expanded, employs digital microwave radio relay; some areas are served by fiber-optic cable; mobile cellular systems are being expanded
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 171, FM 73, shortwave 77 (1999)
Definition Field Listing
5.25 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
48 (1997)
Definition Field Listing
900,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
9 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
78,000 (2000)
   Transportation    Bolivia
Definition Field Listing
total: 3,691 km
narrow gauge: 3,652 km 1.000-m gauge; 39 km 0.760-m gauge (13 km electrified) (1995 est.)
Definition Field Listing
total: 49,400 km
paved: 2,500 km (including 30 km of expressways)
unpaved: 46,900 km (1996)
Definition Field Listing
10,000 km (commercially navigable)
Definition Field Listing
crude oil 1,800 km; petroleum products 580 km; natural gas 1,495 km
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Puerto Aguirre (on the Paraguay/Parana waterway, at the Bolivia/Brazil border); also, Bolivia has free port privileges in maritime ports in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 36 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 196,399 GRT/320,137 DWT
ships by type: bulk 3, cargo 15, chemical tanker 2, container 1, petroleum tanker 13, roll on/roll off 2
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of Belize 2, China 2, Cuba 1, Cyprus 1, Egypt 1, Honduras 1, Latvia 2, Liberia 2, Panama 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Saudi Arabia 1, Singapore 1, South Korea 3, Switzerland 1, Ukraine 1, United Arab Emirates 5, United States 1 (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
1,109 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 12
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,069 1,096
over 3,047 m: 1 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 64 65
914 to 1,523 m: 225 236
under 914 m: 776 790 (2002)
   Military    Bolivia
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army (Ejercito Boliviano), Navy (Fuerza Naval, includes Marines), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Boliviana), National Police Force (Policia Nacional de Bolivia)
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
19 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 2,062,321 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,343,755 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 90,120 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$147 million (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
1.8% (FY99)
   Transnational Issues    Bolivia
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
continues to demand a sovereign corridor to the South Pacific Ocean since the Atacama region was lost to Chile in 1884
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
world's third-largest cultivator of coca (after Colombia and Peru) with an estimated 24,400 hectares under cultivation in June 2002, a 23% increase from June 2001; intermediate coca products and cocaine exported to or through Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile to the US and other international drug markets; eradication and alternative crop programs under the SANCHEZ DE LOZADA administration have been unable to keep pace with farmers' attempts to increase cultivation after significant reductions in 1998 and 1999; money-laundering activity related to narcotics trade, especially along the borders with Brazil and Paraguay

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

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