uruguay - montevideo


Population: 3,360,148

Nationality: Noun: Uruguayan(s); Adjective: Uruguayan

Ethnic Groups: White 88%, mestizo 8%, black 4%, Amerindian (practically nonexistent)

Languages: Spanish (official), Portunol Brazilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier)

Religions: Roman Catholic 47.1%, Atheist or Agnostic 17.2%, other 1.1%; Evangelical 5.96% (Joshua Project).

Population distribution: Most of the country's population resides in the southern half of the country; approximately 95% of the populace is urban, living in towns or cities; nearly half of the population lives in and around the capital of Montevideo

Urbanization: Urban population: 95.6% of total population.

Major urban areas - population: Montevideo (capital) 1.707 million

Metropolitan Region: 

It is estimated that 95% of Uruguay’s population lives in the Montevideo metropolitan region. Uruguay is city-nation where almost all of the citizens live in one metropolitan region. Incredibly, the urban population continues to increase while the rural population decreases.

Spiritual Profile:

Uruguay is the most difficult mission field in Latin America. Half of the population is nominally Roman Catholic. Atheism and Agnosticism is the dominant worldview. Evangelicals make up less than 5% of the population. 

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Historical Profile:

Montevideo, founded by the Spanish in 1726 as a military stronghold, soon took advantage of its natural harbor to become an important commercial center. Claimed by Argentina but annexed by Brazil in 1821, Uruguay declared its independence four years later and secured its freedom in 1828 after a three-year struggle. The administrations of President Jose Batlle in the early 20th century launched widespread political, social, and economic reforms that established a statist tradition. A violent Marxist urban guerrilla movement named the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Uruguay's president to cede control of the government to the military in 1973. By yearend, the rebels had been crushed, but the military continued to expand its hold over the government. Civilian rule was restored in 1985. In 2004, the left-of-center Frente Amplio Coalition won national elections that effectively ended 170 years of political control previously held by the Colorado and National parties. Uruguay's political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent.

Demographic Profile:

Uruguay rates high for most development indicators and is known for its secularism, liberal social laws, and well-developed social security, health, and educational systems. It is one of the few countries in Latin America and the Caribbean where the entire population has access to clean water. Uruguay's provision of free primary through university education has contributed to the country's high levels of literacy and educational attainment. However, the emigration of human capital has diminished the state's return on its investment in education. Remittances from the roughly 18% of Uruguayans abroad amount to less than 1 percent of national GDP. The emigration of young adults and a low birth rate are causing Uruguay's population to age rapidly.

In the 1960s, Uruguayans for the first time emigrated en masse - primarily to Argentina and Brazil - because of economic decline and the onset of more than a decade of military dictatorship. Economic crises in the early 1980s and 2002 also triggered waves of emigration, but since 2002 more than 70% of Uruguayan emigrants have selected the US and Spain as destinations because of better job prospects. Uruguay had a tiny population upon its independence in 1828 and welcomed thousands of predominantly Italian and Spanish immigrants, but the country has not experienced large influxes of new arrivals since the aftermath of World War II. More recent immigrants include Peruvians and Arabs.