Mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland
Warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown
Population: 3,324,460 (July 2013 est.)
Languages: Spanish (official), Portunol, Brazilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier)
Roman Catholic 47.1%, non-Catholic Christians 11.1%, nondenominational 23.2%, Jewish 0.3%, atheist or agnostic 17.2%, other 1.1% (2006)
Uruguay has a free market economy characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector, a well-educated work force, and high levels of social spending. Following financial difficulties in the late 1990s and early 2000s, economic growth for Uruguay averaged 8% annually during the period 2004-08. The 2008-09 global financial crisis put a brake on Uruguay's vigorous growth, which decelerated to 2.6% in 2009.
Montevideo is a modern city, with high-rise apartments and office buildings. Many of the poorer residents live in small homes or shacks on the outskirts of the city. In rural areas, Uruguayan cowboys, called gauchos, live in simple communal housing on farms where they work. Other rural dwellers live in adobe homes.
US Military Presence/Support