Last updated on March 4th, 2020
Interesting and important facts about Uruguay’s education, urbanization, life quality and more…
21. Uruguay is among Latin America’s most highly electrified countries with more than 95% of its region covered with access to a consistent supply of power.
22. The country has the lowest poverty and population-growth rates in South America. Interestingly, they also have the highest urbanization and literacy rates in the region.
23. Uruguayans have free access to education, which is why their literacy rate is highest in South America. Education is compulsory in Uruguay.
24. The country is the first in the world to provide a free laptop and Wi-Fi connection to its school children.
25. Uruguay has scenic, beautiful beaches along its coastline, which covers 500 kilometers in total length.
26. Grassland covers almost three-quarters of Uruguay.
27. The highest point in Uruguay is Cerro Catedral, at 1684 feet (514 meters) above sea level.
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Some interesting and weird facts about Uruguay, its people, religion, smoking ban and more…
28. Marijuana trade has been legal in the country since December 2013. The cost is approximately one dollar per gram.
29. Uruguayans are very fond of naming their houses, which is why every single house in the country has its own name. Their houses are not marked with numbers as in other countries. They also name their cities from a collection of names that they use for many other cities. For this reason, you may get confused if you are traveling from one city to the other!
30. Did you read the name carefully – ‘Uruguay’? It is the only country whose name in English has the same letter repeated three times in its first five letters. The repeated letter is ‘U’.
31. Uruguay is the second-smallest country in South America, after Suriname.
32. Uruguay is the most non-religious country in the Americas. So much so that they have renamed many of their traditional holidays. Now, Christmas is called Family Day and Holy Week is called Tourism Week.
33. Uruguayans go to bars not just to become intoxicated, but to socialize.
34. Uruguay has the longest national anthem in the world in terms of duration of music (105 bars; almost six minutes.)
35. Smoking is banned in Uruguay in enclosed public places. Almost one-third of its population smokes, which is why strict measures were adopted to curb this deadly habit. A campaign called “A Million Thanks” was launched by the president to reference the number of smokers. Interestingly, the legislation was supported by close to 70% of its smoking population.
36. Uruguay’s national flag has nine strips and a sun with a human face in the upper left-hand corner. Their national anthem also contains the line “No one insults the image of the sun!”
Flag of Uruguay
37. More than half of its population lives in its capital city, Montevideo.
38. Advertising is done by means of large speakers installed on the tops of vans running across the city. Van drivers use microphones to deliver advertisements.
39. The name Uruguay, when translated, means “river of painted birds.”
40. Amazingly, Uruguay has the world’s poorest politician. Yes, their president lives in simplicity, donating 90% of his salary to noble causes. He owns a one-bedroom house and a three-legged dog.
41. Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, during the colonial period was a hub for slave trade in South America. As a result, at least 10 percent of the population of the country is descended from slaves.
42. In 1913, Uruguay had a divorce law in force that would allow Uruguayan woman to seek divorce at their sole request. Chile on the other hand, legalized divorce in 2004.
43. Uruguay produced almost 95% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2015.
44. A woman in Uruguay was recently stopped from aborting her child by court. Actually, her boyfriend filled a law suit in the court claiming that he is willing to up bring the child on his own even if the mother of the child is not interested. The court ruled in favor of the boyfriend, which however, is against the rule of the country where abortions are legally permitted until the 12th week of pregnancy. The women, however has decided that she would appeal against the decision as she does not want to give birth to the child.
45. Philip Morris, a leading tobacco giant, was asked by the court to pay Uruguay a hefty fine of $7 million over a disputed cigarette advertisement.
Related: Interesting facts about Paraguay
Uruguay – country at a glance
|Independence||25 August 1825 (from Brazil)|
|Population||3,369,299 (July 2018 est.)|
|Literacy rate||total population: 98.6%|
|Suffrage||18 years of age; universal and compulsory|
|Total area||176,215 sq km|
|Government type||presidential republic|
|National Anthem||"Himno Nacional" (National Anthem of Uruguay)
note: adopted 1848; the anthem is also known as "Orientales, la Patria o la tumba!" ("Uruguayans, the Fatherland or Death!"); it is the world's longest national anthem in terms of music (105 bars; almost five minutes); generally only the first verse and chorus are sung
|National symbol||Sun of May (a sun-with-face symbol)|
|National colors||blue, white, yellow|
|Borders||Argentina and Brazil|
|Currency||Uruguayan peso (UYU)|
|Life expectancy at birth||77.6 years (2018)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
|Terrain||mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland|
|Mean elevation||109 m|
|Lowest point||Atlantic Ocean 0 m|
|Highest point||Cerro Catedral 514 m|
|Climate||warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown|
|Natural resources:||arable land, hydropower, minor minerals, fish|
|Birth rate||13 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)|
|Death rate||9.4 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)|
|Sex ratio||0.94 male(s)/female (2018 est.)|
|Industries||food processing, electrical machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, textiles, chemicals, beverages|
|Exports||$11.41 billion (2017 est.)
beef, soybeans, cellulose, rice, wheat, wood, dairy products; wool
|Imports||$8.607 billion (2017 est.)
refined oil, crude oil, passenger and other transportation vehicles, vehicle parts, cellular phones
|GDP - per capita (PPP)||$22,400 (2017 est.)|
|Time Zone||UYT (UTC−3)|
|Internet country code||.uy|
|Drives on the||Right|
|Data sources||1. Central Intelligence Agency
|Table last updated||May 29, 2019|