Paraguay Table of Contents
Population: 1988 population estimates ranged from 4 to 4.4 million; rate of annual growth estimated at from 2.5 to 2.9 percent in the late 1980s.
Education and Literacy: Compulsory attendance to age fourteen or completion of six-year primary level. Three-year secondary education programs offered in humanities or technical training. University studies available through two institutions, one state-sponsored and the other operated by the Roman Catholic Church. Official literacy rate estimated at over 80 percent in the mid-1980s.
Health: Most people had ready access to medical care of some kind; nonetheless, system's overall effectiveness limited by inadequate funding, supplies, service coordination, and data collection, as well as heavy concentration of medical personnel in urban areas. In the late 1980s, life expectancy at birth sixty-nine for females and sixty-five for males.
Languages: Guaraní recognized as national language and spoken by approximately 90 percent of people in late 1980s. Spanish official language but understood by only 75 percent of the population. Portuguese predominant in area near Brazilian border.
Ethnic Groups: In the late 1980s, approximately 95 percent of population was mestizo; remainder were Indians, Asians, or whites. In 1970s and 1980s, substantial immigration of Brazilians, Koreans, and ethnic Chinese.
Religion: Estimated 92 to 97 percent of the population were Roman Catholics in 1980s; remainder Mennonites or other Protestant groups.
Data as of December 1988