Country Listing

Uruguay Table of Contents


Regional Development

Uruguay's regions differed markedly not only in population size and density but also in their indexes of social and economic development, including education, health care, communications, energy consumption, and industrialization. Least developed were the northern ranching departments along the Brazilian border-- Artigas, Rivera, and Cerro Largo--and also Tacuarembó. Somewhat more developed was a band of six departments stretching across the center of the country, from west to east: Río Negro, Flores, Florida, Durazno, Treinta y Tres, and Rocha. More industrialized and urbanized, but still quite poor, were the departments of Soriano and Salto, which, as noted previously, benefited from the construction of a bridge and a dam, respectively, across the Río Uruguay in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The two remaining western departments--Colonia and Paysandú--were the most developed of the littoral.

Three departments close to Montevideo--San José, Canelones, and Lavalleja--presented a contradictory picture of relatively advanced economic development combined with low indexes of social modernization. Finally, Montevideo and the department of Maldonado (which is strongly affected by the tourism industry in Punta del Este) had the highest indexes of social and economic development in the country (see table 3, Appendix).

Data as of December 1990