Bolivia Politics

Bolivia Politics, Population and Geography

General information: Bolivia, named after the independence fighter Simon BOLIVAR, liberated from Spanish rule in 1825; a significant part of its subsequent history is a series of almost 200 coups. Comparatively democratic civilian rule was established in the 1980s, but the leaders faced difficult problems of deep-rooted poverty, social unrest and drug production. Current challenges include attracting foreign investment, improving the education system, continuing privatization, and systematically fighting corruption. See to know more about Bolivia History.


Location: Central South America, southwest of Brazil.
Geographical coordinates: 17° 00′ S. latitude, 65° 00′ W
Reference map: South America.
Area: total: 1,098,580 km2; land surface area: 1,084,390 km2; water surface area: 14,190 km2
Comparative area: somewhat smaller than the three states of Montana.
Land borders: total: 6,743 km; with neighboring states: with Argentina 832 km, with Brazil 3,400 km, with Chile 861 km, with Paraguay 750 km, with Peru 900 km.
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked).
Maritime claims: none (landlocked).
Climate: varies with altitude from humid tropical to cold semi-arid.
Relief: steep Andes mountains with a high plateau (Altiplano), hills, lowland in the Amazon basin.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Paraguay River 90 m; highest point: Mount Sahama 6,542 m.
Natural resources: tin, natural gas, oil, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, hydropower.
Land use: arable land: 2%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 24%; forests and plantations: 53%; others: 21% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 1,750 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: floods in the northeast (in March-April).
Current environmental issues: Land clearing for agricultural purposes and global market demand for tropical timber are leading to deforestation; soil erosion due to overgrazing by livestock and primitive methods of cultivating the land (slash-and-burn agriculture is used); desertification; biodiversity loss; industrial pollution of drinking water sources and water used to irrigate fields.
International agreements on environmental protection: member: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 1983, Tropical Timber 1994, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Environmental change, Marine pollution, Marine life conservation, Ozone layer protection.
Note to the section “Geography”: landlocked; shares with Peru control of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world (3,805 m).


Population: 8,300,463 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 38.46% (male 1,626,689; female 1,565,748); 15 to 64 years old: 57.07% (male 2,315,098; female 2,421,987); over 65: 4.47% (male 166,986; female 203,946) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 1.76% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 27.27 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 8.2 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -1.45 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.04 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.96 male/female; over 65: 0.82 male/female; for the general population: 0.98 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 58.98 deaths/1000 births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 64.06 years; men: 61.53 years; women: 66.72 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 3.51 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.1% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 4,200 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 380 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Bolivian; adjective: Bolivian.
Ethnic groups: Quechua Indians 30%, Aymara Indians 25%, mestizos (descendants of whites and Indians) 30%, whites 15%.
Believers: Catholics 95%, Protestants (Evangelical Methodists).
Languages): Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara (official).
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 83.1%; men: 90.5%; women: 76% (1995 est.). State Name:


conventional long form: Republic of Bolivia;
conventional short form: Bolivia; local long form: Republica de Bolivia local short form: Bolivia
State structure: republic.
Capital: La Paz (seat of government); Sucre (official capital and center of the judiciary).
Administrative division: 9 departments: Beni, Cochabamba, La Paz, Oruro, Pando, Poto-si, Santa Cruz, Tarija, Chuquisaca.
Independence: August 6, 1825 (until 1825 – a colony of Spain).
National holiday: Independence Day, August 6 (1825).
Constitution: adopted February 2, 1967; revised August 1994
Legal system: based on Spanish law and the Napoleonic Code; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from the age of 18, universal and compulsory (for those who are married); from the age of 21, universal and compulsory (for singles).
chief of state: President Hugo BANZER Suarez (since 6 August 1997) Vice President Jorge Fernando QUIROGA Ramirez (since August 6, 1997); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
head of government: President Hugo BANZER Suarez (since 6 August 1997) Vice President Jorge Fernando QUIROGA Ramirez (since August 6, 1997); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
Government: cabinet appointed by the president; elections: president and vice-president are elected by one list for five years; elections last held 1 June 1997 (next to be held in May or June 2002); Results Selected: Hugo BANZER Suárez elected president; Percentage of votes won: Hugo BANZER Suarez (ADN) 22%; Jaime PAZ Zamora (MIR) 17%, Juan Carlos DURAN (MNR) 18%, Ivo KULJIS (UCS) 16%, Remedios LOZA (CONDEPA) 17 %; no candidate received a majority of votes; Hugo BANZER Suárez won the congressional round on August 5, 1997 after forming a “mega-coalition” with MIR, UCS, CONDEPA, NFR and PDC.
Legislature: the bicameral National Congress consists of the Chamber of Senators (27 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote for five years) and the Chamber of Deputies (130 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote for five years); elections: Chamber of Senators and Chamber of Deputies – last held 1 June 1997 (next to be held June 2002); election results: Chamber of Senators, distribution of votes between parties: NA; distribution of seats among parties: ADN 11, MIR 7, MNR 4, CONDEPA 3, UCS 2; Chamber of Deputies, distribution of votes between parties: no data; distribution of seats among parties: ADN 32, MNR 26, MIR 23, UCS 21, CONDEPA 19, MBL5, IU4.
Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed for 10 years by the National Congress; district courts (one in each department); provincial and local courts (for petty cases).
Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Party (PDC) (leader – no data); Union of Civil Solidarity (UCS) (Johnny FERNANDEZ [Johnny FERNANDEZ]); Conscience of the Fatherland (CONDEPA) (Remedios LOSA Alvorado); Free Bolivian Movement (MBL) (Antonio ARANIBAR); Left Revolutionary Movement (MIR) (Jaime PAZ Zamora); National Democratic Action (ADN) (Hugo BANZER Suarez); National Revolutionary Movement (MNR) (Gonzalo SANCHEZ DE LOZADA); New Republican Force (NFR) (leader – NA); Indian movement “Pachacuti” (Filipe KISPE [Filipe QUIS-RE]); United Left (IU) (Marcos DOMIC); note: ADN, MIR, UCS form the ruling coalition.
Political influence groups and their leaders: the Cocalero Group; indigenous organizations; unions.
Participation in international organizations: CAN, ССС, ECLAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MONUC, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNTAET, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTOO, WTRO.
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Marlene FERNANDEZ del Granado; office: 3014 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone: [1] (202) 483-4410; fax: [C (202) 328-3712; consulates general: Los Angeles, Miami-1 mi, New York, San Francisco.
US Diplomatic Mission: head of mission: Ambassador V. Manuel ROCHA; embassy: Avenida Arce 2780, San Jorge, La Paz; ‘ postal address: R. O. Box 425, La Paz; APO AA 34032; phone: [591] (2) 432254; fax: [591] (2) 433854.
Description of the flag: three equal horizontal stripes of red (top), yellow and green with the coat of arms in the center of the yellow stripe; similar to the flag of Ghana, which features a large black five-pointed star in the center of a yellow stripe.

Bolivia Politics