South America: Bolivia

About Bolivia

Bolivia, named after independence fighter Simon BOLIVAR, broke away from Spanish rule in 1825; much of its subsequent history has consisted of a series of nearly 200 coups and counter-coups. Comparatively democratic civilian rule was established in the 1980s, but leaders have faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and drug production. Current goals include attracting foreign investment, strengthening the educational system, continuing the privatization program, and waging an anti-corruption campaign.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: La Paz (seat of government); S
Population: 8,300,463 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: 70% (1999 est.)
Language: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara (official)
Date of independence: 6 August 1825 (from Spain)
Form of government: republic
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, hydropower
Environmental Issues: the clearing of land for agricultural purposes and the international demand for tropical timber are contributing to deforestation; soil erosion from overgrazing and poor cultivation methods (including slash-and-burn agriculture); desertification; loss of
Agricultural Products: soybeans, coffee, coca, cotton, corn, sugarcane, rice, potatoes; timber
Imports: capital goods, raw materials and semi-manufactures, chemicals, petroleum, food
Exports: soybeans, natural gas, zinc, gold, wood
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: US 32%, Japan 24%, Brazil 12%, Argentina 12%, Chile 7%, Peru 4%, Germany 3%, other 6% (1998)
EXPORTS: UK 16%, US 12%, Peru 11%, Argentina 10%, Colombia 7% (1998)


Bolivia Headlines


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