Country Listing

Uruguay Table of Contents



Population: In 1991 estimated at 3.1 million; annual rate of growth averaged 0.7 percent during 1981-88 period but fell to 0.6 percent in 1990-91. Relatively low birth rate (17 per 1,000 population in 1991). According to 1985 census, 87 percent of population lived in urban areas, Latin America's highest percentage.

Literacy and Education: In 1990 literacy rate 96 percent (highest in Latin America). System of universal, free, and secular education required total of nine years of compulsory school attendance, from ages six to fourteen. By 1985 an estimated 70 percent of secondary school-age children enrolled in secondary school (also highest rate in Latin America). Despite inadequate teaching resources, quality of education generally high.

Health: In 1984 total health care spending represented 8.1 percent of gross domestic product ( GDP--see Glossary). In 1985 number of inhabitants per physician 466 (proportion similar to developed countries). In 1987 Montevideo had over sixty public health facilities, including seven major public hospitals. Total mortality rate just below 10 per 1,000 population in 1980s. In 1990 infant mortality 22 deaths per 1,000 population. Average life expectancy at birth in 1991 sixty-nine years for men and seventy-six years for women.

Language: Spanish.

Ethnic Groups: Largely homogeneous society. In 1990 about 88 percent of population white and of European descent; 8 percent mestizo; and 4 percent black.

Religion: In 1990 about 66 percent were professed Roman Catholics; 2 percent Protestants; and 2 percent Jews. Remainder nonprofessing or other (less than half of adult population attended church regularly).

Data as of December 1990