Grassy plains and wooded hills east of Rio Paraguay; Gran Chaco region west of Rio Paraguay mostly low, marshy plain near the river, and dry forest and thorny scrub elsewhere
Subtropical to temperate; substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, becoming semiarid in the far west
Population: 6,623,252 (July 2013 est.)
Languages: Spanish (official, Guarani)
Roman Catholic 89.6%, Protestant 6.2%, other Christian 1.1%, other or unspecified 1.9%, none 1.1% (2002 census)
Landlocked Paraguay has a market economy distinguished by a large informal sector, featuring re-export of imported consumer goods to neighboring countries, as well as the activities of thousands of microenterprises and urban street vendors. A large percentage of the population, especially in rural areas, derives its living from agricultural activity, often on a subsistence basis.
Paraguay's capital city Asunción has preserved much of its nineteenth-century architecture. It has narrow streets full of low buildings. Meanwhile, a steady stream of rural poor people has arrived and caused large shantytowns to develop. Some 40 percent of the population still live in rural areas, where poor sanitation and malnutrition are common. Paraguay has one of the highest infant mortality rates in South America.
US Military Presence/Support