Uruguay - At a glance

Uruguay at a glance

Location South America – on the northeastern shore of the Río de la Plata (River Plate), between Brazil, Argentina and the Atlantic Ocean. Uruguay shares borders with Brazil to the north (1,068km) and Argentina to the west (580km).

Size 176,215km² (68,037 square miles)

Climate Warm-temperate

Time Uruguay is three hours behind UTC (GMT –3), thus four hours behind France and Germany, two hours ahead of Washington and New York and five hours ahead of California. Daylight Saving Time is generally in effect from the first Sunday of October until the second Sunday in March.

Electricity 220V, 50Hz. Plugs have either two European-style round pins (sometimes with an earth pin between them) or three (sometimes two) angled flat pins

International telephone code +598

Status Presidential republic

Currency Peso (UYU) (for up-to-date rates, go to www.xe.com)

Population 3,397,514 (2013 estimate)

Population growth per year 0.466% (2009 estimate)

Life expectancy at birth 76.41 years (male 73.27, female 79.99; 2012 estimate)

Economy Dominated by agriculture, forestry and tourism. GDP US$49.7 billion at the official exchange rate, or US$53.55 billion at purchasing power parity, and US$15,800 per capita (2012).

Capital Montevideo (population 1.31m (2011))

Main cities Punta del Este, Colonia, Paysandú, Salto

Language Spanish (Español or Castellano)

Religion Roman Catholic 56% (nominally), Protestant 11%, Jewish 0.3%, atheist or agnostic 17%, other 16%

Flag The pabellón nacional (national flag) bears five horizontal white stripes alternating with four blue stripes, with a white square in the upper hoist corner with a yellow sun bearing a human face. The flag of Artigas (a white stripe between two blue stripes, with a diagonal red stripe, used mainly by the military) and the flag of the Treinta y Tres Orientales (a white stripe bearing the words ‘Libertad o Muerte’ – Liberty or Death – between a blue stripe and a red stripe) are also official national symbols.

Public holidays 1 January (New Year’s Day), 6 January (Epiphany; Día de los Reyes), February/March (Carnaval; the two days before Ash Wednesday), February/March (five days for Holy Week; dates vary from year to year), 19 April (Day of the Landing of the 33 Orientales), 1 May (Labour Day), 18 May (Battle of Las Piedras), 19 June (Birthday of Artigas; also marking the end of the dictatorship), 18 July (Constitution Day), 25 August (Independence Day), 12 October (Columbus Day; Dia de la Raza), 2 November (All Saints), 25 December (Christmas)

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Uruguay articles

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Five reasons to visit Uruguay

This laidback country can certainly stand up to its bigger, brasher neighbours.



In Uruguay, maté-drinking seems more like a justified relaxation before or after getting on with the rest of one’s life.


Luis Suarez

A pithy insight to the gifted, but controversial, Uruguayan player.


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