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Basic Facts
Country name conventional long form: Oriental Republic of Uruguay
conventional short form: Uruguay
local long form: Republica Oriental del Uruguay
local short form: Uruguay
former: Banda Oriental, Cisplatine Province
Gevernment typeconstitutional republic
Capital name: Montevideo
geographic coordinates: 34 53 S, 56 11 W
time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in October; ends second Sunday in March
Flag descriptionnine equal horizontal stripes of white (top and bottom) alternating with blue; there is a white square in the upper hoist-side corner with a yellow sun bearing a human face known as the Sun of May with 16 rays that alternate between triangular and wavy
CurrencyUruguayan peso (UYU)
Internet country
Ports and terminalsMontevideo, Nueva Palmira, Fray Bentos, Colonia, Juan Lacaze
Agriculture productsrice, wheat, corn, barley; livestock; fish
Industriesfood processing, electrical machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, textiles, chemicals, beverages
LocationSouthern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil
Coordinates33 00 S, 56 00 W
ContinentSouth America
Area total: 176,220 sq km
land: 173,620 sq km
water: 2,600 sq km
Boundaries total: 1,648 km
border countries: Argentina 580 km, Brazil 1,068 km
Coastline660 km
Climatewarm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown
Terrainmostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland
Natural resourcesarable land, hydropower, minor minerals, fisheries
Natural hazardsseasonally high winds (the pampero is a chilly and occasional violent wind that blows north from the Argentine pampas), droughts, floods; because of the absence of mountains, which act as weather barriers, all locations are particularly vulnerable to rapid changes from weather fronts
Population3,431,932 (July 2006 est.)
Ethnic groupswhite 88%, mestizo 8%, black 4%, Amerindian (practically nonexistent)
ReligionsRoman Catholic 66% (less than half of the adult population attends church regularly), Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, nonprofessing or other 31%
LanguagesSpanish, Portunol, or Brazilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier)

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