Uruguay Demography and Government

By | December 18, 2021

Uruguay is a country located in the southeast of South America. Its territory, with a surface area of more than 176,000 km², is the second smallest in the subcontinent behind Suriname and is bordered to the north and northeast by the state of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) and to the west, by the provinces of Entre Ríos and Corrientes (Argentina) from which it is separated by the Uruguay River. To the south it has coasts on the Río de la Plata, which separates it from the province of Buenos Aires and the city of Buenos Aires, and to the southeast, it has coasts on the Atlantic Ocean. It is administratively divided into 19 departments. Montevideo is the capital city of Uruguay according to simplyyellowpages.

According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), it is the third country in Latin America (after Argentina and Chile), which has the highest Human Development Index (HDI). It is also the fifth country in Latin America (after Cuba, Costa Rica, Chile, and Ecuador), with the highest life expectancy, respectively. It is the third country in South America (after Argentina and Chile), with the highest GDP per capita, and the tenth country in Latin America (after Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia respectively), with the highest GDP.


The republic has a presidential system and its government is divided into three independent powers

Executive power: where the president, who is both the head of state and the head of government, and the council of ministers are located.

Legislative power: organized bicamerally, with senators and deputies together with the vice president, who makes up the legislative power and not the executive as many times it is erroneously located, therefore the vice president of the Republic is also the President of the General Assembly.

Judicial Power: headed by the Supreme Court of Justice, it is in charge of applying the judicial norms.

Patriotic symbols

The national emblem of Uruguay is approved by the laws of the 19 of March of 1829 and the December of July of 1906 and the Decree of the 26 of October of 1908. In accordance with this last decree, the official model of the National Coat of Arms was established, the one presented by Mr. Miguel Copetti, adjusted in its execution rules to the modification indicated by the Executive Power, which consisted in the suppression of military and navy trophies, remaining bordered by two branches of olive and laurel united at the base by a light blue ribbon (law of July 12, 1906).

The Flag of Uruguay or National Pavilion is one of the national symbols of Uruguay. It was adopted by the laws of December 16, 1828 and July 12, 1830. His colors are white and blue, having the sun, which occupies the canton, gold color. The flag has the following proportions: the length and width are in a relationship of 3 to 2 and the space that contains the sun consists of a square in the upper part, next to the flagpole, which reaches the sixth, exclusive, colored strip blue. The first and last stripes are white. The drawing of the sun consists of a radiant circle, with a face, bordered by sixteen, with a diameter of 11/15 of the white square.


The population of Uruguay is fundamentally of European origin (88%). The successive waves of migration that the country experienced have shaped the current population, composed mainly of descendants of Spaniards, closely followed by Italians and with a significant number of French, Germans, Portuguese, British, Swiss, Russians, Poles, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Dutch, Belgians, Croats, Greeks, Scandinavians, Armenians and Lebanese, mestizos (8%), and blacks (4%), however it is estimated that there are some Uruguayans with some Charrúa or Guarani ancestor, recent DNA investigations in Uruguay they confirm that there is a minority of Uruguayans with indigenous or African ancestors (Afro-Uruguayans).

According to these studies, about 33% of Uruguayans have at least one indigenous ancestor on their maternal side, although this is not noticeable in the phenotype; the indigenous contribution to Uruguayan DNA is 10% and rises to 20% in the department of Tacuarembó, where it is estimated that the largest groups lived.

Many of the European immigrants came to Uruguay since 1800 and have greatly influenced the architecture and culture of Montevideo and other major cities. For this reason, Montevideo y la vida houses multiple traces of urban culture from Western Europe, mainly to Spain, France and Italy.

The rest of the Uruguayan population is of African origin or of white African origin (mulatto), almost 5% or 6%. Only 1 or 2% are of Asian origin, mostly from Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic, Chinese or Japanese ancestry is very low.

Montevideo, with around one and a half million residents, is the capital and the largest city. The rest of the urban population lives in about 20 cities. Montevideo is a city of approximately 200 km².

The country is distinguished by its high literacy rate, which reached 97.7% in 2006 according to the INE. During the 1970s and 1980s, an estimated six out of every hundred Uruguayans emigrated, mainly to Europe, Argentina and Australia.

As a result of the low birth rate, high life expectancy, and relatively high emigration rate for young people, Uruguay’s population is quite mature; the country has a lower percentage of young people than most Latin American countries (except Chile and Argentina). In 2008, the global fertility rate reached 2.01 children per woman, a value below the generational replacement limit of 2.1.

During the last two decades, an estimated 500,000 Uruguayans have emigrated, mainly to Europe, Argentina and the US. (Spain is the main destination for Uruguayans within Europe, but they also emigrate to Italy, France and Germany).

Emigration to the United States also increased recently, being to a small area of that country; Most Uruguayans in the US live in New York, New Jersey, Washington, DC, and urban California.

Department Capital Surface (km²) Population (Census 2011)
Artigas Artigas 11,928 km² 73,162
cannelloni cannelloni 4,536 km² 518,154
Cerro Largo Melo 13,648 km² 84,555
Cologne Colonia del Sacramento 6,106 km² 122,863
peach peach 11,643 km² 57,082
flowers Trinity 5,144 km² 25,033
Florida Florida 10,417 km² 67,093
Lavalleja Mines 10,016 km² 58,843
Maldonado Maldonado 4,793 km² 161,571
Montevideo Montevideo 530 km² 1,292,347
Paysandú Paysandú 13,922 km² 113,112
Black river Fray Bentos 9,282 km² 54,343
Rivera Rivera 9,370 km² 103,447
Rocha Rocha 10,551 km² 66,955
Jump Jump 14,163 km² 124,683
Saint Joseph San Jose de Mayo 4,992 km² 108,025
Soriano Mercedes 9,008 km² 82,108
Tacuarembo Tacuarembo 15,438 km² 89,993
Thirty-three Thirty-three 9,529 km² 48066

Uruguay Government