Country Listing

Uruguay Table of Contents



Rural depopulation has been a striking trend in Uruguay during the twentieth century. According to the 1975 census, onefifth of those citizens born in the eighteen interior, littoral, and coastal departments lived in Montevideo. The departments that produced the highest flow of outward migration between the 1963 and 1975 censuses were in the interior of the country. In the littoral and coastal departments (except the department of Rocha), the greater net retention of population correlated with the growth of the local urban population. This showed that people tended to stay in the department where they were born if there were local towns to which they could move. Otherwise, they moved farther afield.

Migration in Uruguay thus appeared to follow the classic pattern by which those born in isolated rural areas moved to the nearest towns, whereas those born in interior towns headed for Montevideo. Montevideans, in turn, sought to migrate to large cities in Latin America, notably Buenos Aires, where their accents and customs blended successfully and where wages were much higher on average.

Data as of December 1990