Uruguay (officially named Oriental Republic of Uruguay) is a country in South America. The language spoken there is Spanish. Its capital and largest city is Montevideo. Uruguay is bordered by two large neighbors, Brazil and Argentina. The only country in South America that is smaller than Uruguay is Suriname. The land is mostly flat, and there are many farms in the countryside.

Oriental Republic of Uruguay
  • República Oriental del Uruguay  (Spanish)
Flag of Uruguay
URY orthographic.svg
and largest city
  • Spanish
  • Uruguayan Sign Language
Ethnic groups
GovernmentUnitary presidential constitutional republic
• President
Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou
Beatriz Argimón
LegislatureGeneral Assembly
Chamber of Senators
Chamber of Deputies
Independence from the Empire of Brazil
• Declaration
25 August 1825
28 August 1828
• Constitution
18 July 1830
• Total
Lua error in Module:Convert at line 1850: attempt to index local 'en_value' (a nil value). (91st)
• Water (%)
• 2011 estimate
3,318,535[1] (133rd)
• 2011 census
• Density
Lua error in Module:Convert at line 1850: attempt to index local 'en_value' (a nil value). (196th)
GDP (PPP)2013 estimate
• Total
$56.338 billion[3]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2013 estimate
• Total
$55.412 billion[3]
• Per capita
Gini (2010)45.3[4]
HDI (2013)Increase 0.792[5]
high · 51st
CurrencyUruguayan peso (UYU)
Time zoneUTC−3 (UYT)
• Summer (DST)
Driving sideright
Calling code+598
ISO 3166 codeUY
Internet TLD.uy
Location of Uraguay

The area around Uruguay was fought over by the Portuguese and Spanish Empires in the 18th century. In the 1810s it was the center of the Banda Oriental, a Federal League of states in the Río de la Plata region. Argentina and Brazil took the majority in wars, leaving Uruguay as independent.


Before Europeans came to the land, no more than 10 thousand native people lived here. Spanish explorer Juan Díaz de Solís first explored the land in 1516.[6]


Map of the departments of Uruguay

Uruguay is divided into 19 different Departments.

Department Capital Area Population (2011 census)[7]
Artigas Artigas 11,928 km2 (4,605 sq mi) 73,162
Canelones Canelones 4,536 km2 (1,751 sq mi) 518,154
Cerro Largo Melo 13,648 km2 (5,270 sq mi) 84,555
Colonia Colonia del Sacramento 6,106 km2 (2,358 sq mi) 122,863
Durazno Durazno 11,643 km2 (4,495 sq mi) 57,082
Flores Trinidad 5,144 km2 (1,986 sq mi) 25,033
Florida Florida 10,417 km2 (4,022 sq mi) 67,093
Lavalleja Minas 10,016 km2 (3,867 sq mi) 58,843
Maldonado Maldonado 4,793 km2 (1,851 sq mi) 161,571
Montevideo Montevideo 530 km2 (200 sq mi) 1,292,347
Paysandú Paysandú 13,922 km2 (5,375 sq mi) 113,112
Río Negro Fray Bentos 9,282 km2 (3,584 sq mi) 54,434
Rivera Rivera 9,370 km2 (3,620 sq mi) 103,447
Rocha Rocha 10,551 km2 (4,074 sq mi) 66,955
Salto Salto 14,163 km2 (5,468 sq mi) 124,683
San José San José de Mayo 4,992 km2 (1,927 sq mi) 108,025
Soriano Mercedes 9,008 km2 (3,478 sq mi) 82,108
Tacuarembó Tacuarembó 15,438 km2 (5,961 sq mi) 89,993
Treinta y Tres Treinta y Tres 9,529 km2 (3,679 sq mi) 48,066
Total¹ 175,016 km2 (67,574 sq mi) 3,251,526


The highest point in the country is the Cerro Catedral whose peak reaches to 514 metres (1,686 ft).

Uruguay has 660 km of coastline.[1]

There are nine National Parks in Uruguay. Five in the wetland areas of the east, three in the central hill country and one in the west along the Rio Uruguay.

  • 2nd smallest country on continent
  • South America
  • Sandy beaches near Montevideo
  • In the north, a series of low mountains run north into the highlands of Brazil
  • 176,220 square kilometers
  • Mostly hills
  • A lot of water rich lands
  • Near Brazil and Argentina



According to FAOSTAT, Uruguay is one of world's largest producers of: soybeans (9th); greasy wool (12th); horse meat (14th); beeswax (14th); quinces (17th); natural honey (19th); cattle meat (20th).[8] On December 20, 2013, Uruguay was the first country in the world to legalize the cultivation, sale, and use of cannabis.[9]


Colour/Race (self-reported, 2008)[10]
White 95.4%
Black/African 3.4%
Indigenous 1.1%
Asian/Amarillo 0.1%

Uruguayans are mostly of European origin. 88%, or 88 of 100 people, are from European descent.[1]


Centenario Stadium

Football is the most popular sport in Uruguay. The Uruguay national football team has won the FIFA World Cup on two occasions.

Uruguay Media


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Central Intelligence Agency. "Uruguay". The World Factbook. Archived from the original on 12 June 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  2. Resultados del Censo de Población 2011: población, crecimiento y estructura por sexo y edad Archived 2014-02-09 at the Wayback Machine ine.gub.uy
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Uruguay". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  4. "Gini Index". World Bank. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  5. "Human Development Report 2013" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 14 March 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 July 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  6. "Uruguay - Sports and recreation". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-05-07.
  7. "Censos 2011 - Instituto Nacional de Estadistica". Instituto Nacional de Estadística. Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  8. "FAOSTAT 2008 by Production". faostat.fao.org. Archived from the original on 2019-01-06. Retrieved 2008-06-06.
  9. "Uruguay becomes first country to legalize marijuana trade". NBCNews.com. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  10. "Encuesta Continua de Hogares 2008 – Ascendencia principal declarada". Instituto Nacional de Estadística. Archived from the original on 14 November 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2010.

Official Websites