Bolivia
   HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

, image_flag = Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg , flag_alt = Horizontal tricolor (red, yellow, and green from top to bottom) with the coat of arms of Bolivia in the center , flag_alt2 = 7 × 7 square patchwork with the (top left to bottom right) diagonals forming colored stripes (green, blue, purple, red, orange, yellow, white, green, blue, purple, red, orange, yellow, from top right to bottom left) , other_symbol =
, other_symbol_type = Dual flag: , image_coat = Escudo de Bolivia.svg , national_anthem =
" National Anthem of Bolivia"
, image_map = BOL orthographic.svg , map_width = 220px , alt_map = , image_map2 = , alt_map2 = , map_caption = , capital =
La Paz
La Paz

Sucre
Sucre
, largest_city =
, official_languages = Spanish , languages_type = Co-official languages , languages = , ethnic_groups = , ethnic_groups_year = 2009 , religion_year = 2018 , religion_ref = , religion = , demonym = Bolivian , government_type = Unitary presidential
republic A republic () is a "sovereign state, state in which Power (social and political), power rests with the people or their Representative democracy, representatives; specifically a state without a monarchy" and also a "government, or system of gov ...

republic
, leader_title1 = President , leader_name1 = Luis Arce , leader_title2 = Vice President , leader_name2 = David Choquehuanca , leader_title3 = President of the Senate , leader_name3 = Andrónico Rodríguez , leader_title4 = President of the Chamber of Deputies , leader_name4 = Jerges Mercado , legislature = Plurinational Legislative Assembly , upper_house = Chamber of Senators , lower_house = Chamber of Deputies , sovereignty_type = Independence , sovereignty_note = from
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...

Spain
, established_event1 = Declared , established_date1 = 6 August 1825 , established_event2 = Recognized , established_date2 = 21 July 1847 , established_event3 = Current constitution , established_date3 = 7 February 2009 , area_km2 = 1,098,581 , area_footnote = , area_rank = 27th , area_sq_mi = 424,163 , percent_water = 1.29 , population_estimate = 12,054,379 , population_estimate_year = 2022 , population_estimate_rank = 79th , population_density_km2 = 10.4 , population_density_sq_mi = 26,9 , population_density_rank = 224th , FR_total_population_estimate_year = 11,428,245 (2019) , GDP_PPP = $118.8 billion , GDP_PPP_rank = 94th , GDP_PPP_year = 2022 , GDP_PPP_per_capita = $9,933 , GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 120th , GDP_nominal = $43.4 billion , GDP_nominal_rank = 96th , GDP_nominal_year = 2022 , GDP_nominal_per_capita = $3,631 , GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = 126th , Gini = 41.6 , Gini_year = 2019 , Gini_change = decrease , Gini_ref = , Gini_rank = , HDI = 0.692 , HDI_year = 2021 , HDI_change = decrease , HDI_ref = , HDI_rank = 118th , currency = Boliviano , currency_code = BOB , time_zone = BOT , utc_offset = −4 , date_format = dd/mm/yyyy , drives_on = right , calling_code = +591 , iso3166code = , cctld = .bo , footnote_a = While is the constitutional capital, is the seat of government and the executive capital. See below. Bolivia, ; ay, Wuliwya ; Quechua: ''Puliwya'' officially the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is a
landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct part of the world, such as a state (polity), state, nation, or other polity, political entity. It may be a sovereign state or make up one part of a larger state. For example, th ...
located in western-central
South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere at the northern tip of the continent. It can also be described as the souther ...
. It is bordered by
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, ...
to the north and east,
Paraguay Paraguay (; ), officially the Republic of Paraguay ( es, República del Paraguay, links=no; gn, Tavakuairetã Paraguái, links=si), is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to th ...
to the southeast,
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the List of South American countries by area, second-largest ...
to the south,
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America. It is the southernmost country in the world, and the closest to Antarctica, occupying a long and narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east a ...
to the southwest and
Peru , image_flag = Flag of Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo nacional del Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (emblem), National seal , national_motto = "Fi ...
to the west. The
seat of government The seat of government is (as defined by ''Brewer's Politics'') "the building, complex of buildings or the city from which a government exercises its authority". In most countries, the nation’s Capital city, capital is also seat of its governme ...
and executive capital is , while the constitutional capital is . The largest city and principal industrial center is
Santa Cruz de la Sierra Santa Cruz de la Sierra (; "Holy Cross of the Mountain Range"), commonly known as Santa Cruz, is the largest city in Bolivia and the capital of the Santa Cruz Department (Bolivia), Santa Cruz department. Situated on the Pirai River (Bolivia), P ...
, located on the Llanos Orientales (tropical lowlands), a mostly flat region in the east of the country. The
sovereign state A sovereign state or sovereign country, is a polity, political entity represented by one central government that has supreme legitimate authority over territory. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defin ...
of Bolivia is a constitutionally
unitary state A unitary state is a sovereign state governed as a single entity in which the central government is the supreme authority. The central government may create (or abolish) administrative division Administrative division, administrative un ...
, divided into nine departments. Its geography varies from the peaks of the
Andes The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains (; ) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western ...
in the West, to the Eastern Lowlands, situated within the
Amazon basin The Amazon basin is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributary, tributaries. The Amazon drainage basin covers an area of about , or about 35.5 percent of the South American continent. It is located in the countrie ...
. One-third of the country is within the
Andean The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains (; ) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western ...
mountain range. With of area, Bolivia is the fifth largest country in South America, after
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, ...
,
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the List of South American countries by area, second-largest ...
,
Peru , image_flag = Flag of Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo nacional del Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (emblem), National seal , national_motto = "Fi ...
, and
Colombia Colombia (, ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a country in South America with insular regions in North America—near Nicaragua's Caribbean coast—as well as in the Pacific Ocean. The Colombian mainland is bordered by the Cari ...
(and alongside
Paraguay Paraguay (; ), officially the Republic of Paraguay ( es, República del Paraguay, links=no; gn, Tavakuairetã Paraguái, links=si), is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to th ...
, one of the only two landlocked countries in the
Americas The Americas, which are sometimes collectively called America, are a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. ...
), the 27th largest in the world, the largest
landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct part of the world, such as a state (polity), state, nation, or other polity, political entity. It may be a sovereign state or make up one part of a larger state. For example, th ...
in the Southern Hemisphere, and the world's seventh largest landlocked country, after
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country located mainly in Central Asia and partly in Eastern Europe. It borders Russia to Kazakhstan–Russia border, the north and ...
,
Mongolia Mongolia; Mongolian script: , , ; literal translation, lit. "Mongol Nation" or "State of Mongolia" () is a landlocked country in East Asia, bordered by Russia Mongolia–Russia border, to the north and China China–Mongolia border, to the s ...
,
Chad Chad (; ar, تشاد , ; french: Tchad, ), officially the Republic of Chad, '; ) is a landlocked country at the crossroads of North Africa, North and Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to Chad–Libya border, the north, Sudan to Chad– ...
,
Niger ) , official_languages = , languages_type = National languagesMali Mali (; ), officially the Republic of Mali,, , ff, 𞤈𞤫𞤲𞥆𞤣𞤢𞥄𞤲𞤣𞤭 𞤃𞤢𞥄𞤤𞤭, Renndaandi Maali, italics=no, ar, جمهورية مالي, Jumhūriyyāt Mālī is a landlocked country in West Africa. Mali ...
, and
Ethiopia Ethiopia, , om, Itiyoophiyaa, so, Itoobiya, ti, ኢትዮጵያ, Ítiyop'iya, aa, Itiyoppiya officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea to the ...
. The country's population, estimated at 12 million, is multiethnic, including
Amerindians The Indigenous peoples of the Americas are the inhabitants of the Americas before the arrival of the European colonization of the Americas, European settlers in the 15th century, and the ethnic groups who now identify themselves with those peopl ...
,
Mestizo (; ; fem. ) is a term used for racial classification to refer to a person of mixed Ethnic groups in Europe, European and Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indigenous American ancestry. In certain regions such as Latin America, it may also r ...
s,
Europeans Europeans are the focus of European ethnology, the field of anthropology related to the various ethnic groups that reside in the List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Europe, states of Europe. Groups may be defined by common gen ...
,
Asians Asian people (or Asians, sometimes referred to as Asiatic people)United States National Library of Medicine. Medical Subject Headings. 2004. November 17, 200Nlm.nih.gov: ''Asian Continental Ancestry Group'' is also used for categorical purpos ...
, and
Africans African or Africans may refer to: * Anything from or pertaining to the continent of Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 mill ...
. Spanish is the official and predominant language, although 36
indigenous language An indigenous language, or autochthonous language, is a language that is native to a region and spoken by indigenous peoples. This language is from a linguistically distinct community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) ...
s also have official status, of which the most commonly spoken are Guarani, Aymara, and
Quechua languages Quechua (, ; ), usually called ("people's language") in Quechuan languages, is an Indigenous languages of the Americas, indigenous language family spoken by the Quechua peoples, primarily living in the Peruvian Andes. Derived from a common anc ...
. Before Spanish colonization, the Andean region of Bolivia was part of the
Inca Empire The Inca Empire (also Quechuan and Aymaran spelling shift, known as the Incan Empire and the Inka Empire), called ''Tawantinsuyu'' by its subjects, (Quechuan languages, Quechua for the "Realm of the Four Parts",  "four parts together" ) wa ...
, while the northern and eastern lowlands were inhabited by independent tribes. Spanish ''
conquistador Conquistadors (, ) or conquistadores (, ; meaning 'conquerors') were the explorer-soldiers of the Spanish Empire, Spanish and Portuguese Empires of the 15th and 16th centuries. During the Age of Discovery, conquistadors sailed beyond Europe to ...
s'' arriving from
Cusco Cusco, often spelled Cuzco (; qu, Qusqu ()), is a city in Southeastern Peru near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region and of the Cusco Province. The city is the list of cities in Peru, seventh m ...
and
Asunción Asunción (, , , Guarani language, Guarani: Paraguay) is the capital (political), capital and the largest city of Paraguay. The city stands on the eastern bank of the Paraguay River, almost at the confluence of this river with the Pilcomayo Rive ...
took control of the region in the 16th century. During the Spanish colonial period Bolivia was administered by the
Real Audiencia of Charcas The Real Audiencia of Charcas ( es, Audiencia y Cancillería Real de La Plata de los Charcas) was a Spanish Empire, Spanish ''Audiencia Real, audiencia'' with its seat in what is today Bolivia. It was established in 1559 in Ciudad de la Plata de N ...
. Spain built its empire in large part upon the silver that was extracted from Bolivia's mines. After the first call for independence in 1809, 16 years of war followed before the establishment of the Republic, named for
Simón Bolívar Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios (24 July 1783 – 17 December 1830) was a Venezuelan people, Venezuelan military and political leader who led what are currently the countries of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, ...
. Over the course of the 19th and early 20th century Bolivia lost control of several peripheral territories to neighboring countries including the
seizure An epileptic seizure, informally known as a seizure, is a period of symptoms due to abnormally excessive or neural oscillation, synchronous neuronal activity in the brain. Outward effects vary from uncontrolled shaking movements involving much o ...
of its coastline by Chile in 1879. Bolivia remained relatively politically stable until 1971, when
Hugo Banzer Hugo Banzer Suárez (; 10 May 1926 – 5 May 2002) was a Bolivian politician and military officer who served as the 51st president of Bolivia. He held the Bolivian presidency twice: from 1971 to 1978 in a military dictatorship; and then a ...
led a CIA-supported
coup d'état A coup d'état (; French for 'stroke of state'), also known as a coup or overthrow, is a seizure and removal of a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In ...
which replaced the socialist government of Juan José Torres with a
military dictatorship A military dictatorship is a dictatorship in which the military exerts complete or substantial control over political authority, and the dictator is often a high-ranked military officer. The reverse situation is to have civilian control of the m ...
headed by Banzer. Banzer's regime cracked down on
left-wing Left-wing politics describes the range of Ideology#Political%20ideologies, political ideologies that support and seek to achieve social equality and egalitarianism, often in opposition to social hierarchy. Left-wing politics typically in ...
and
socialist Socialism is a left-wing Economic ideology, economic philosophy and Political movement, movement encompassing a range of economic systems characterized by the dominance of social ownership of the means of production as opposed to Private prop ...
opposition and other forms of dissent, resulting in the torture and deaths of a number of Bolivian citizens. Banzer was ousted in 1978 and later returned as the democratically elected president of Bolivia from 1997 to 2001. Under the 2006–2019 presidency of
Evo Morales Juan Evo Morales Ayma (; born 26 October 1959) is a Bolivian politician, trade union A trade union (labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers intent on "maintaining or improvin ...
the country saw significant economic growth and political stability. Modern Bolivia is a charter member of the UN,
IMF The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major financial agency of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and international security, ...
, NAM, OAS, ACTO, Bank of the South,
ALBA ''Alba'' ( , ) is the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland. It is also, in English language historiography, used to refer to the polity of Picts and Scottish people, Scots united in the ninth century as the Kingdom of Alba, until it developed i ...
, and
USAN file:Usan Ullengdo.gif, 280px, "Samguk Sagi" Book 04. Silla's Records. In 512, Usan-guk(于山國)was Ulleungdo(鬱陵島) Usan-guk, or the State of Usan, occupied Ulleung-do and the adjacent islands during the Three Kingdoms of Korea, ...
. Bolivia remains the second poorest country in South America, though it has slashed poverty rates and has the fastest growing economy in South America (in terms of
GDP Gross domestic product (GDP) is a money, monetary Measurement in economics, measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced and sold (not resold) in a specific time period by countries. Due to its complex and subjec ...
). It is a
developing country A developing country is a sovereign state with a lesser developed industrial base and a lower Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. However, this definition is not universally agreed upon. There is also no clear agre ...
. Its main economic activities include
agriculture Agriculture or farming is the practice of cultivating Plant, plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of Sedentism, sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of Domestication, domesticated species created food ...
,
forestry Forestry is the science and craft of creating, managing, planting, using, conserving and repairing forests, woodlands, and associated resources for human and environmental benefits. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural Stand level ...
,
fishing Fishing is the activity of trying to catch fish. Fish are often caught as wildlife from the natural environment, but may also be caught from fish stocking, stocked bodies of water such as fish pond, ponds, canals, park wetlands and reservoirs. ...
,
mining Mining is the Extractivism, extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein (geology), vein, coal mining, seam, quartz reef mining, reef, or placer deposit. The exploitation of ...
, and
manufacturing Manufacturing is the creation or Production (economics), production of goods with the help of equipment, Work (human activity), labor, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation. It is the essence of secondary secto ...
goods such as
textile Textile is an Hyponymy and hypernymy, umbrella term that includes various Fiber, fiber-based materials, including fibers, yarns, Staple (textiles)#Filament fiber, filaments, Thread (yarn), threads, different #Fabric, fabric types, etc. At f ...
s,
clothing Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the human body, body. Typically, clothing is made of fabrics or textiles, but over time it has included garments made from animal skin and other thin sheets of materials ...
, refined
metal A metal (from ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appearance, and conducts electrical resistivity and conductivity, e ...
s, and refined petroleum. Bolivia is very rich in minerals, including
tin Tin is a chemical element with the Chemical symbol, symbol Sn (from la, :la:Stannum, stannum) and atomic number 50. Tin is a silvery-coloured metal. Tin is soft enough to be cut with little force and a bar of tin can be bent by hand wit ...
,
silver Silver is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Ag (from the Latin ', derived from the Proto-Indo-European wikt:Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/h₂erǵ-, ''h₂erǵ'': "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47. A soft, whi ...
,
lithium Lithium (from el, λίθος, lithos, lit=stone) is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Li and atomic number 3. It is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal. Under standard temperature and pressure, standard conditions, it ...
, and
copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, ductile metal with very high thermal conductivity, thermal and electrical conductivity. A fre ...
.


Etymology

Bolivia is named after
Simón Bolívar Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios (24 July 1783 – 17 December 1830) was a Venezuelan people, Venezuelan military and political leader who led what are currently the countries of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, ...
, a Venezuelan leader in the
Spanish American wars of independence The Spanish American wars of independence (25 September 1808 – 29 September 1833; es, Guerras de independencia hispanoamericanas) were numerous wars in Spanish America with the aim of political independence from Spanish rule during the early ...
. The leader of
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and many Federal Dependencies of V ...
, Antonio José de Sucre, had been given the option by Bolívar to either unite Charcas (present-day Bolivia) with the newly formed Republic of
Peru , image_flag = Flag of Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo nacional del Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (emblem), National seal , national_motto = "Fi ...
, to unite with the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, or to formally declare its independence from Spain as a wholly independent state. Sucre opted to create a brand new state and on 6 August 1825, with local support, named it in honor of Simón Bolívar. The original name was Republic of Bolívar. Some days later, congressman Manuel Martín Cruz proposed: "If from
Romulus Romulus () was the legendary foundation of Rome, founder and King of Rome, first king of Ancient Rome, Rome. Various traditions attribute the establishment of many of Rome's oldest legal, political, religious, and social institutions to Romulus ...
, Rome, then from Bolívar, Bolivia" ( es, Si de Rómulo, Roma; de Bolívar, Bolivia, links=no). The name was approved by the Republic on 3 October 1825. In 2009, a new constitution changed the country's official name to "Plurinational State of Bolivia" to reflect the multi-ethnic nature of the country and the strengthened rights of Bolivia's indigenous peoples under the new constitution.


History


Pre-colonial

The region now known as Bolivia had been occupied for over 2,500 years when the Aymara arrived. However, present-day Aymara associate themselves with the ancient civilization of the Tiwanaku Empire which had its capital at
Tiwanaku Tiwanaku ( es, Tiahuanaco or ) is a Pre-Columbian In the history of the Americas, the pre-Columbian era spans from the Migration to the New World, original settlement of North and South America in the Upper Paleolithic period through European co ...
, in Western Bolivia. The capital city of Tiwanaku dates from as early as 1500 BC when it was a small, agriculturally-based village. The Aymara community grew to urban proportions between AD 600 and AD 800, becoming an important regional power in the southern
Andes The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains (; ) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western ...
. According to early estimates, the city covered approximately at its maximum extent and had between 15,000 and 30,000 inhabitants. In 1996 satellite imaging was used to map the extent of fossilized suka kollus (flooded raised fields) across the three primary valleys of Tiwanaku, arriving at population-carrying capacity estimates of anywhere between 285,000 and 1,482,000 people. Around AD 400, Tiwanaku went from being a locally dominant force to a predatory state. Tiwanaku expanded its reaches into the Yungas and brought its culture and way of life to many other cultures in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. Tiwanaku was not a violent culture in many respects. In order to expand its reach, Tiwanaku exercised great political astuteness, creating colonies, fostering trade agreements (which made the other cultures rather dependent), and instituting state cults. The empire continued to grow with no end in sight. William H. Isbell states "Tiahuanaco underwent a dramatic transformation between AD 600 and 700 that established new monumental standards for civic architecture and greatly increased the resident population." Tiwanaku continued to absorb cultures rather than eradicate them. Archaeologists note a dramatic adoption of Tiwanaku ceramics into the cultures which became part of the Tiwanaku empire. Tiwanaku's power was further solidified through the trade it implemented among the cities within its empire. Tiwanaku's elites gained their status through the surplus food they controlled, collected from outlying regions, and then redistributed to the general populace. Further, this elite's control of
llama The llama (; ) (''Lama glama'') is a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a List of meat animals, meat and pack animal by Inca empire, Andean cultures since the Pre-Columbian era. Llamas are social animals and live with othe ...
herds became a powerful control mechanism, as llamas were essential for carrying goods between the civic center and the periphery. These herds also came to symbolize class distinctions between the commoners and the elites. Through this control and manipulation of surplus resources, the elite's power continued to grow until about AD 950. At this time, a dramatic shift in climate occurred, causing a significant drop in precipitation in the Titicaca Basin, believed by archaeologists to have been on the scale of a major drought. As the rainfall decreased, many of the cities farther away from Lake Titicaca began to tender fewer foodstuffs to the elites. As the surplus of food decreased, and thus the amount available to underpin their power, the control of the elites began to falter. The capital city became the last place viable for food production due to the resiliency of the raised field method of agriculture. Tiwanaku disappeared around AD 1000 because food production, the main source of the elites' power, dried up. The area remained uninhabited for centuries thereafter. Between 1438 and 1527, the Inca empire expanded from its capital at
Cusco Cusco, often spelled Cuzco (; qu, Qusqu ()), is a city in Southeastern Peru near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region and of the Cusco Province. The city is the list of cities in Peru, seventh m ...
,
Peru , image_flag = Flag of Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo nacional del Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (emblem), National seal , national_motto = "Fi ...
. It gained control over much of what is now Andean Bolivia and extended its control into the fringes of the Amazon basin.


Colonial period

The Spanish conquest of the
Inca empire The Inca Empire (also Quechuan and Aymaran spelling shift, known as the Incan Empire and the Inka Empire), called ''Tawantinsuyu'' by its subjects, (Quechuan languages, Quechua for the "Realm of the Four Parts",  "four parts together" ) wa ...
began in 1524 and was mostly completed by 1533. The territory now called Bolivia was known as Charcas, and was under the authority of the
Viceroy of Peru The viceroys of Peru ruled the Viceroyalty of Peru The Viceroyalty of Peru ( es, Virreinato del Perú, links=no) was a Monarchy of Spain, Spanish imperial provincial administrative district, created in 1542, that originally contained modern ...
in
Lima Lima ( ; ), originally founded as Ciudad de Los Reyes (City of The Kings) is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón River, Chillón, Rímac River, Rímac and Lurín Rivers, in the desert zone of t ...
. Local government came from the Audiencia de Charcas located in Chuquisaca (La Plata—modern ). Founded in 1545 as a mining town,
Potosí Potosí, known as Villa Imperial de Potosí in the colonial period, is the capital city and a municipality of the Potosí Department, Department of Potosí in Bolivia. It is one of the list of highest cities in the world, highest cities in the wo ...
soon produced fabulous wealth, becoming the largest city in the
New World The term ''New World'' is often used to mean the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 3 ...
with a population exceeding 150,000 people. By the late 16th century, Bolivian
silver Silver is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Ag (from the Latin ', derived from the Proto-Indo-European wikt:Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/h₂erǵ-, ''h₂erǵ'': "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47. A soft, whi ...
was an important source of revenue for the
Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire ( es, link=no, Imperio español), also known as the Hispanic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Hispánica) or the Catholic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Católica) was a colonial empire governed by Spain and its History ...
. A steady stream of natives served as labor force under the brutal, slave conditions of the Spanish version of the pre-Columbian draft system called the mita. Charcas was transferred to the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1776 and the people from Buenos Aires, the capital of the Viceroyalty, coined the term "
Upper Peru Upper Peru (; ) is a name for the land that was governed by the Real Audiencia of Charcas The Real Audiencia of Charcas ( es, Audiencia y Cancillería Real de La Plata de los Charcas) was a Spanish Empire, Spanish ''Audiencia Real, audiencia' ...
" () as a popular reference to the Royal Audiencia of Charcas. Túpac Katari led the indigenous rebellion that laid siege to in March 1781, during which 20,000 people died. As Spanish royal authority weakened during the
Napoleonic wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic Wars, Europe ...
, sentiment against colonial rule grew.


Independence and subsequent wars

The struggle for independence started in the city of on 25 May 1809 and the Chuquisaca Revolution (Chuquisaca was then the name of the city) is known as the first cry of Freedom in Latin America. That revolution was followed by the La Paz revolution on 16 July 1809. The La Paz revolution marked a complete split with the Spanish government, while the Chuquisaca Revolution established a local independent junta in the name of the Spanish King deposed by Napoleon Bonaparte. Both revolutions were short-lived and defeated by the Spanish authorities in the Viceroyalty of the Rio de La Plata, but the following year the
Spanish American wars of independence The Spanish American wars of independence (25 September 1808 – 29 September 1833; es, Guerras de independencia hispanoamericanas) were numerous wars in Spanish America with the aim of political independence from Spanish rule during the early ...
raged across the continent. Bolivia was captured and recaptured many times during the war by the royalists and patriots. Buenos Aires sent three military campaigns, all of which were defeated, and eventually limited itself to protecting the national borders at Salta. Bolivia was finally freed of Royalist dominion by Marshal Antonio José de Sucre, with a military campaign coming from the North in support of the campaign of
Simón Bolívar Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios (24 July 1783 – 17 December 1830) was a Venezuelan people, Venezuelan military and political leader who led what are currently the countries of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, ...
. After 16 years of war the Republic was proclaimed on 6 August 1825. In 1836, Bolivia, under the rule of
Marshal Marshal is a term used in several official titles in various branches of society. As marshals became trusted members of the courts of Middle Ages, Medieval Europe, the title grew in reputation. During the last few centuries, it has been used f ...
Andrés de Santa Cruz, invaded Peru to reinstall the deposed president,
General A general officer is an Officer (armed forces), officer of highest military ranks, high rank in the army, armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, and marines or naval infantry. In some usages the term "general officer" refers t ...
Luis José de Orbegoso. Peru and Bolivia formed the Peru-Bolivian Confederation, with de Santa Cruz as the ''Supreme Protector''. Following tension between the Confederation and Chile, Chile declared war on 28 December 1836. Argentina separately declared war on the Confederation on 9 May 1837. The Peruvian-Bolivian forces achieved several major victories during the War of the Confederation: the defeat of the Argentine expedition and the defeat of the first Chilean expedition on the fields of Paucarpata near the city of
Arequipa Arequipa (; Aymara language, Aymara and qu, Ariqipa) is a city and capital of Arequipa (province), province and the department of Arequipa, eponymous department of Peru. It is the seat of the Constitutional Court of Peru and often dubbed the " ...
. The Chilean army and its Peruvian rebel allies surrendered unconditionally and signed the Paucarpata Treaty. The treaty stipulated that Chile would withdraw from Peru-Bolivia, Chile would return captured Confederate ships, economic relations would be normalized, and the Confederation would pay Peruvian debt to Chile. However, the Chilean government and public rejected the peace treaty. Chile organized a second attack on the Confederation and defeated it in the Battle of Yungay. After this defeat, Santa Cruz resigned and went to exile in
Ecuador Ecuador ( ; ; Quechuan languages, Quechua: ''Ikwayur''; Shuar language, Shuar: ''Ecuador'' or ''Ekuatur''), officially the Republic of Ecuador ( es, República del Ecuador, which literally translates as "Republic of the Equator"; Quechuan ...
and then Paris, and the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation was dissolved. Following the renewed independence of Peru, Peruvian president General Agustín Gamarra invaded Bolivia. On 18 November 1841, the battle de Ingavi took place, in which the Bolivian Army defeated the Peruvian troops of Gamarra (killed in the battle). After the victory, Bolivia invaded Perú on several fronts. The eviction of the Bolivian troops from the south of Peru would be achieved by the greater availability of material and human resources of Peru; the Bolivian Army did not have enough troops to maintain an occupation. In the district of Locumba – Tacna, a column of Peruvian soldiers and peasants defeated a Bolivian regiment in the so-called Battle of Los Altos de Chipe (Locumba). In the district of Sama and in Arica, the Peruvian colonel José María Lavayén organized a troop that managed to defeat the Bolivian forces of Colonel Rodríguez Magariños and threaten the port of Arica. In the battle of Tarapacá on 7 January 1842, Peruvian militias formed by the commander Juan Buendía defeated a detachment led by Bolivian colonel José María García, who died in the confrontation. Bolivian troops left Tacna, Arica and Tarapacá in February 1842, retreating towards Moquegua and Puno. The battles of Motoni and Orurillo forced the withdrawal of Bolivian forces occupying Peruvian territory and exposed Bolivia to the threat of counter-invasion. The Treaty of Puno was signed on 7 June 1842, ending the war. However, the climate of tension between Lima and La Paz would continue until 1847, when the signing of a Peace and Trade Treaty became effective. The estimated population of the main three cities in 1843 was La Paz 300,000, Cochabamba 250,000 and Potosi 200,000. A period of political and economic instability in the early-to-mid-19th century weakened Bolivia. In addition, during the
War of the Pacific The War of the Pacific ( es, link=no, Guerra del Pacífico), also known as the Saltpeter War ( es, link=no, Guerra del salitre) and by War of the Pacific#Etymology, multiple other names, was a war between Chile and a Treaty of Defensive Allianc ...
(1879–83),
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America. It is the southernmost country in the world, and the closest to Antarctica, occupying a long and narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east a ...
occupied vast territories rich in
natural resources Natural resources are resources that are drawn from nature and used with few modifications. This includes the sources of valued characteristics such as commercial and industrial use, aesthetic value, scientific interest and cultural value. O ...
south west of Bolivia, including the Bolivian
coast The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the ocean, or as a line that forms the boundary between the land and the coastline. The Earth has around of coastline. Coasts are important zones in n ...
. Chile took control of today's Chuquicamata area, the adjoining rich ''salitre'' (
saltpeter Potassium nitrate is a chemical compound with the chemical formula . This alkali metal nitrate Salt (chemistry), salt is also known as Indian saltpetre (large deposits of which were historically mined in India). It is an ionic salt of potassium ...
) fields, and the port of
Antofagasta Antofagasta () is a port city in northern Chile, about north of Santiago. It is the capital of Antofagasta Province and Antofagasta Region. According to the 2015 census, the List of cities in Chile, city has a population of 402,669. After t ...
among other Bolivian territories. Since independence, Bolivia has lost over half of its territory to neighboring countries. Through diplomatic channels in 1909, it lost the basin of the Madre de Dios River and the territory of the Purus in the Amazon, yielding 250,000 km2 to Peru. It also lost the state of Acre, in the Acre War, important because this region was known for its production of rubber. Peasants and the Bolivian army fought briefly but after a few victories, and facing the prospect of a total war against Brazil, it was forced to sign the Treaty of Petrópolis in 1903, in which Bolivia lost this rich territory. Popular myth has it that Bolivian president Mariano Melgarejo (1864–71) traded the land for what he called "a magnificent white horse" and Acre was subsequently flooded by Brazilians, which ultimately led to confrontation and fear of war with Brazil. In the late 19th century, an increase in the world price of silver brought Bolivia relative prosperity and political stability.


Early 20th century

During the early 20th century,
tin Tin is a chemical element with the Chemical symbol, symbol Sn (from la, :la:Stannum, stannum) and atomic number 50. Tin is a silvery-coloured metal. Tin is soft enough to be cut with little force and a bar of tin can be bent by hand wit ...
replaced silver as the country's most important source of wealth. A succession of governments controlled by the economic and social elite followed
laissez-faire ''Laissez-faire'' ( ; from french: laissez faire , ) is an economic system in which transactions between private groups of people are free from any form of economic interventionism (such as Subsidy, subsidies) deriving from special interest ...
capitalist policies through the first 30 years of the 20th century. Living conditions of the native people, who constitute most of the population, remained deplorable. With work opportunities limited to primitive conditions in the mines and in large estates having nearly feudal status, they had no access to education, economic opportunity, and political participation. Bolivia's defeat by Paraguay in the
Chaco War The Chaco War ( es, link=no, Guerra del Chaco, gn, Cháko ÑorairõGran Chaco The Gran Chaco or Dry Chaco is a sparsely populated, hot and semiarid lowland Upland and lowland are conditional descriptions of a plain based on elevation above sea level. In studies of the ecology of freshwater rivers, habitats are c ...
region in dispute, marked a turning-point. On 7 April 1943, Bolivia entered
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
, joining part of the Allies, which caused president Enrique Peñaranda to declare war on the
Axis powers The Axis powers, ; it, Potenze dell'Asse ; ja, 枢軸国 ''Sūjikukoku'', group=nb originally called the Rome–Berlin Axis, was a military coalition that initiated World War II and fought against the Allies of World War II, Allies. Its p ...
of
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
and
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north ...
. The Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (MNR), the most historic political party, emerged as a broad-based party. Denied its victory in the 1951 presidential elections, the MNR led a successful revolution in 1952. Under President Víctor Paz Estenssoro, the MNR, having strong popular pressure, introduced
universal suffrage Universal suffrage (also called universal franchise, general suffrage, and common suffrage of the common man) gives the right to vote to all adult citizens, regardless of wealth, income, gender, social status, race, ethnicity, or political sta ...
into his political platform and carried out a sweeping land-reform promoting rural education and nationalization of the country's largest tin mines.


Late 20th century

Twelve years of tumultuous rule left the MNR divided. In 1964, a military junta overthrew President Estenssoro at the outset of his third term. The 1969 death of President René Barrientos Ortuño, a former member of the junta who was elected president in 1966, led to a succession of weak governments. Alarmed by the rising Popular Assembly and the increase in the popularity of President Juan José Torres, the military, the MNR, and others installed Colonel (later General) Hugo Banzer Suárez as president in 1971. He returned to the presidency in 1997 through 2001. Juan José Torres, who had fled Bolivia, was kidnapped and assassinated in 1976 as part of
Operation Condor Operation Condor ( es, link=no, Operación Cóndor, also known as ''Plan Cóndor''; pt, Operação Condor) was a United States–backed campaign of political repression and state terrorism, state terror involving Intelligence (information gath ...
, the U.S.-supported campaign of political repression by South American right-wing dictators. The United States'
Central Intelligence Agency The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA ), known informally as the Agency and historically as the Company, is a civilian intelligence agency, foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, officially tasked with gat ...
(CIA) financed and trained the Bolivian military dictatorship in the 1960s. The revolutionary leader
Che Guevara Ernesto Che Guevara (; 14 June 1928The date of birth recorded on /upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/78/Ernesto_Guevara_Acta_de_Nacimiento.jpg his birth certificatewas 14 June 1928, although one tertiary source, (Julia Constenla, quoted ...
was killed by a team of CIA officers and members of the Bolivian Army on 9 October 1967, in Bolivia. Félix Rodríguez was a CIA officer on the team with the Bolivian Army that captured and shot Guevara. Rodriguez said that after he received a Bolivian presidential execution order, he told "the soldier who pulled the trigger to aim carefully, to remain consistent with the Bolivian government's story that Che had been killed in action during a clash with the Bolivian army." Rodriguez said the US government had wanted Che in
Panama Panama ( , ; es, link=no, Panamá ), officially the Republic of Panama ( es, República de Panamá), is a List of transcontinental countries#North America and South America, transcontinental country spanning the Central America, southern ...
, and "I could have tried to falsify the command to the troops, and got Che to Panama as the US government said they had wanted", but that he had chosen to "let history run its course" as desired by Bolivia. Elections in 1979 and 1981 were inconclusive and marked by fraud. There were coups d'état, counter-coups, and caretaker governments. In 1980, General Luis García Meza Tejada carried out a ruthless and violent coup d'état that did not have popular support. The Bolivian Workers' Center, which tried to resist the putsch, was violently repressed. More than a thousand people were killed in less than a year. Cousin of one of the most important narco-trafficker of the country, Luis García Meza Tejada favors the production of cocaine. He pacified the people by promising to remain in power only for one year. At the end of the year, he staged a televised rally to claim popular support and announced, "", or, "All right; I'll stay n office. After a military rebellion forced out Meza in 1981, three other military governments in 14 months struggled with Bolivia's growing problems. Unrest forced the military to convoke the
Congress A congress is a formal meeting of the Representative democracy, representatives of different countries, constituent states, organizations, trade unions, political party, political parties, or other groups. The term originated in Late Middle Eng ...
, elected in 1980, and allow it to choose a new chief executive. In October 1982, Hernán Siles Zuazo again became president, 22 years after the end of his first term of office (1956–1960).


Democratic transition

In 1993, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada was elected
president President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese ful ...
in alliance with the Tupac Katari Revolutionary Liberation Movement, which inspired indigenous-sensitive and multicultural-aware policies. Sánchez de Lozada pursued an aggressive economic and social reform agenda. The most dramatic reform was privatization under the "capitalization" program, under which investors, typically foreign, acquired 50% ownership and management control of public enterprises in return for agreed upon capital investments. In 1993, Sanchez de Lozada introduced the ''Plan de Todos'', which led to the decentralization of government, introduction of intercultural bilingual education, implementation of agrarian
legislation Legislation is the process or result of enrolling, enacting, or promulgating laws by a legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign st ...
, and
privatization Privatization (also privatisation in British English) can mean several different things, most commonly referring to moving something from the public sector into the private sector. It is also sometimes used as a synonym for deregulation when ...
of state owned businesses. The plan explicitly stated that Bolivian citizens would own a minimum of 51% of enterprises; under the plan, most state-owned enterprises (SOEs), though not mines, were sold. This privatization of SOEs led to a
neoliberal Neoliberalism (also neo-liberalism) is a term used to signify the late 20th century political reappearance of 19th-century ideas associated with free-market capitalism after it fell into decline following the Second World War. A prominent fa ...
structuring. The reforms and economic restructuring were strongly opposed by certain segments of society, which instigated frequent and sometimes violent protests, particularly in La Paz and the Chapare
coca Coca is any of the four cultivated plants in the family (biology), family Erythroxylaceae, native to western South America. Coca is known worldwide for its Psychoactive plant, psychoactive alkaloid, cocaine. The plant is grown as a cash crop in ...
-growing region, from 1994 through 1996. The indigenous population of the
Andean The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains (; ) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western ...
region was not able to benefit from government reforms. During this time, the umbrella labor-organization of Bolivia, the Central Obrera Boliviana (COB), became increasingly unable to effectively challenge government policy. A teachers' strike in 1995 was defeated because the COB could not marshal the support of many of its members, including construction and factory workers.


1997–2002 General Banzer Presidency

In the 1997 elections, General
Hugo Banzer Hugo Banzer Suárez (; 10 May 1926 – 5 May 2002) was a Bolivian politician and military officer who served as the 51st president of Bolivia. He held the Bolivian presidency twice: from 1971 to 1978 in a military dictatorship; and then a ...
, leader of the Nationalist Democratic Action party (ADN) and former dictator (1971–1978), won 22% of the vote, while the MNR candidate won 18%. At the outset of his government, President Banzer launched a policy of using special police-units to eradicate physically the illegal coca of the Chapare region. The MIR of Jaime Paz Zamora remained a coalition-partner throughout the Banzer government, supporting this policy (called the Dignity Plan). The Banzer government basically continued the free-market and privatization-policies of its predecessor. The relatively robust economic growth of the mid-1990s continued until about the third year of its term in office. After that, regional, global and domestic factors contributed to a decline in economic growth. Financial crises in Argentina and Brazil, lower world prices for export commodities, and reduced employment in the coca sector depressed the Bolivian economy. The public also perceived a significant amount of public sector corruption. These factors contributed to increasing social protests during the second half of Banzer's term. Between January 1999 and April 2000, large-scale
protests A protest (also called a demonstration, remonstration or remonstrance) is a public expression of objection, disapproval or dissent towards an idea or action, typically a political one. Protests can be thought of as acts of coopera ...
erupted in
Cochabamba Cochabamba ( ay, Quchapampa; qu, Quchapampa) is a city and municipality in central Bolivia in a valley in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital (political), capital of the Cochabamba Department and the list of cities in Bolivia, fourth la ...
, Bolivia's third largest city, in response to the privatization of water resources by foreign companies and a subsequent doubling of water prices. On 6 August 2001, Banzer resigned from office after being diagnosed with cancer. He died less than a year later. Vice President Jorge Fernando Quiroga Ramírez completed the final year of his term.


2002–2005 Sánchez de Lozada / Mesa presidency

In the June 2002 national elections, former President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada (MNR) placed first with 22.5% of the vote, followed by coca-advocate and native peasant-leader
Evo Morales Juan Evo Morales Ayma (; born 26 October 1959) is a Bolivian politician, trade union A trade union (labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers intent on "maintaining or improvin ...
( Movement Toward Socialism, MAS) with 20.9%. A July agreement between the MNR and the fourth-place MIR, which had again been led in the election by former President Jaime Paz Zamora, virtually ensured the election of Sánchez de Lozada in the congressional run-off, and on 6 August he was sworn in for the second time. The MNR platform featured three overarching objectives: economic reactivation (and job creation), anti-
corruption Corruption is a form of dishonesty or a criminal offense which is undertaken by a person or an organization which is entrusted in a position of authority, in order to acquire illicit benefits or abuse power for one's personal gain. Corruption m ...
, and social inclusion. In 2003 the Bolivian gas conflict broke out. On 12 October 2003, the government imposed martial law in El Alto after 16 people were shot by the police and several dozen wounded in violent clashes. Faced with the option of resigning or more bloodshed, Sánchez de Lozada offered his resignation in a letter to an emergency session of Congress. After his resignation was accepted and his vice president,
Carlos Mesa Carlos Diego de Mesa Gisbert (; born 12 August 1953) is a Bolivian historian, journalist, and politician who served as the 63rd president of Bolivia from 2003 to 2005. As an independent politician, he previously served as the 37th Vice Presid ...
, invested, he left on a commercially scheduled flight for the United States. The country's internal situation became unfavorable for such political action on the international stage. After a resurgence of gas protests in 2005, Carlos Mesa attempted to resign in January 2005, but his offer was refused by Congress. On 22 March 2005, after weeks of new street protests from organizations accusing Mesa of bowing to U.S. corporate interests, Mesa again offered his resignation to Congress, which was accepted on 10 June. The chief justice of the Supreme Court, Eduardo Rodríguez, was sworn as interim president to succeed the outgoing Carlos Mesa.


2005–2019 Morales Presidency

Evo Morales Juan Evo Morales Ayma (; born 26 October 1959) is a Bolivian politician, trade union A trade union (labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers intent on "maintaining or improvin ...
won the 2005 presidential election with 53.7% of the votes in Bolivian elections. On 1 May 2006, Morales announced his intent to re-nationalize Bolivian hydrocarbon assets following protests which demanded this action. Fulfilling a campaign promise, on 6 August 2006, Morales opened the Bolivian Constituent Assembly to begin writing a new constitution aimed at giving more power to the indigenous majority. In August 2007, a conflict which came to be known as The Calancha Case arose in . Local citizens demanded that an official discussion of the seat of government be included in the agenda of the full body of the Bolivian Constituent Assembly. The people of Sucre wanted to make Sucre the full capital of the country, including returning the executive and legislative branches to the city, but the government rejected the demand as impractical. Three people died in the conflict and as many as 500 were wounded. The result of the conflict was to include text in the constitution stating that the capital of Bolivia is officially Sucre, while leaving the executive and legislative branches in La Paz. In May 2008, Evo Morales was a signatory to the UNASUR Constitutive Treaty of the
Union of South American Nations The Union of South American Nations (USAN; es, links=no, Unión de Naciones Suramericanas, UNASUR; pt, links=no, União de Nações Sul-Americanas, UNASUL; nl, links=no, Unie van Zuid-Amerikaanse Naties, UZAN; French: ''Union des nations s ...
. 2009 marked the creation of a new constitution and the renaming of the country to the Plurinational State of Bolivia. The previous constitution did not allow a consecutive reelection of a president, but the new constitution allowed for just one reelection, starting the dispute if Evo Morales was enabled to run for a second term arguing he was elected under the last constitution. This also triggered a new general election in which Evo Morales was re-elected with 61.36% of the vote. His party, Movement for Socialism, also won a two-thirds majority in both houses of the National Congress. By 2013, after being reelected under the new constitution, Evo Morales and his party attempted a third term as President of Bolivia. The opposition argued that a third term would be unconstitutional but the Bolivian Constitutional Court ruled that Morales' first term under the previous constitution, did not count towards his term limit. This allowed Evo Morales to run for a third term in 2014, and he was re-elected with 64.22% of the vote. On 17 October 2015, Morales surpassed Andrés de Santa Cruz's nine years, eight months, and twenty-four days in office and became Bolivia's longest serving president. During his third term, Evo Morales began to plan for a fourth, and the
2016 Bolivian constitutional referendum A constitutional referendum was held in Bolivia on Sunday, 21 February 2016. The proposed constitutional amendments would have allowed the president and vice president to run for a third consecutive term under the Bolivian Constitution of 2009, 2 ...
asked voters to override the constitution and allow Evo Morales to run for an additional term in office. Morales narrowly lost the referendum, however in 2017 his party then petitioned the Bolivian Constitutional Court to override the constitution on the basis that the
American Convention on Human Rights The American Convention on Human Rights, also known as the Pact of San José, is an International human rights instruments, international human rights instrument. It was adopted by many countries in the Western Hemisphere in San José, Costa Rica, ...
made term limits a human rights violation. The
Inter-American Court of Human Rights The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR or IACtHR) is an international court based in San José, Costa Rica. Together with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, it was formed by the American Convention on Human Rights, a Human ri ...
determined that term limits are not a human rights violation in 2018, however, once again the Bolivian Constitutional Court ruled that Morales has permission to run for a fourth term in the 2019 elections, and this permission was not retracted. " e country's highest court overruled the constitution, scrapping term limits altogether for every office. Morales can now run for a fourth term in 2019 – and for every election thereafter." The revenues generated by the partial
nationalization Nationalization (nationalisation in British English) is the process of transforming privately-owned assets into public assets by bringing them under the State ownership, public ownership of a Government, national government or State (polity), ...
of hydrocarbons made it possible to finance several social measures: the Renta Dignidad (or old age minimum) for people over 60 years old; the Juana Azurduy voucher (named after the revolutionary Juana Azurduy de Padilla, 1780-1862), which ensures the complete coverage of medical expenses for pregnant women and their children in order to fight infant mortality; the Juancito Pinto voucher (named after a child hero of the Pacific War, 1879-1884), an aid paid until the end of secondary school to parents whose children are in school in order to combat school dropout, and the Single Health System, which since 2018 has offered all Bolivians free medical care. The reforms adopted have made the Bolivian economic system the most successful and stable in the region. Between 2006 and 2019, GDP has grown from $9 billion to over $40 billion, real wages have increased, GDP per capita has tripled, foreign exchange reserves are on the rise, inflation has been essentially eliminated, and extreme poverty has fallen from 38% to 15%, a 23-point drop.


Interim government 2019–2020

During the 2019 elections, the transmission of the unofficial quick counting process was interrupted; at the time, Morales had a lead of 46.86 percent to Mesa's 36.72, after 95.63 percent of tally sheets were counted. The ''Transmisión de Resultados Electorales Preliminares'' (TREP) is a quick count process used in Latin America as a transparency measure in electoral processes that is meant to provide a preliminary results on election day, and its shutdown without further explanation raised consternation among opposition politicians and certain election monitors. Two days after the interruption, the official count showed Morales fractionally clearing the 10-point margin he needed to avoid a runoff election, with the final official tally counted as 47.08 percent to Mesa's 36.51 percent, starting a wave of protests and tension in the country. Amidst allegations of fraud perpetrated by the Morales government, widespread
protests A protest (also called a demonstration, remonstration or remonstrance) is a public expression of objection, disapproval or dissent towards an idea or action, typically a political one. Protests can be thought of as acts of coopera ...
were organized to dispute the election. On 10 November, the
Organization of American States The Organization of American States (OAS; es, Organización de los Estados Americanos, pt, Organização dos Estados Americanos, french: Organisation des États américains; ''OEA'') is an international organization that was founded on 30 April ...
(OAS) released a preliminary report concluding several irregularities in the election, though these findings were heavily disputed. The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) concluded that "it is very likely that Morales won the required 10 percentage point margin to win in the first round of the election on 20 October 2019." David Rosnick, an economist for CEPR, showed that "a basic coding error" was discovered in the OAS's data, which explained that the OAS had misused its own data when it ordered the time stamps on the tally sheets alphabetically rather than chronologically. However, the OAS stood by its findings arguing that the "researchers' work did not address many of the allegations mentioned in the OAS report, including the accusation that Bolivian officials maintained hidden servers that could have permitted the alteration of results". Additionally, observers from the European Union released a report with similar findings and conclusions as the OAS. The tech security company hired by the TSE (under the Morales administration) to audit the elections, also stated that there were multiple irregularities and violations of procedure and that "our function as an auditor security company is to declare everything that was found, and much of what was found supports the conclusion that the electoral process should be declared null and void". ''The New York Times'' reported on 7 June 2020 that the OAS analysis immediately after the 20 October election was flawed yet fuelled "a chain of events that changed the South American nation's history". After weeks of protests, Morales resigned on national television shortly after the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces General Williams Kaliman had urged that he do so in order to restore "peace and stability". Morales flew to Mexico and was granted asylum there, along with his vice president and several other members of his government. Opposition Senator Jeanine Áñez's declared herself interim president, claiming constitutional succession after the president, vice president and both head of the legislature chambers. She was confirmed as interim president by the constitutional court who declared her succession to be constitutional and automatic. Morales, his supporters, the Governments of Mexico and
Nicaragua Nicaragua (; ), officially the Republic of Nicaragua (), is the largest Sovereign state, country in Central America, bordered by Honduras to the north, the Caribbean Sea, Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to ...
, and other personalities argued the event was a coup d'état. However, local investigators and analysts pointed out that even after Morales' resignation and during all of Añez's term in office, the Chambers of Senators and Deputies were ruled by Morales' political party MAS, making it impossible to be a coup d'état, as such an event would not allow the original government to maintain legislative power. International politicians, scholars and journalists are divided between describing the event as a coup or a spontaneous social uprising against an unconstitutional fourth term. * * * * * * Protests to reinstate Morales as president continued becoming highly violent: burning public buses and private houses, destroying public infrastructure and harming pedestrians. The protests were met with more violence by security forces against Morales supporters after Áñez exempted police and military from criminal responsibility in operations for "the restoration of order and public stability". In April 2020, the interim government took out a loan of more that $327 million from the
International Monetary Fund The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major financial agency of the United Nations, and an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 190 countries. Its stated mission is "working to foster globa ...
in order to meet the country's needs during the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identif ...
. . New elections were scheduled for 3 May 2020. In response to the
coronavirus pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identified ...
, the Bolivian electoral body, the TSE, made an announcement postponing the election. MAS reluctantly agreed with the first delay only. A date for the new election was delayed twice more, in the face of massive protests and violence. The final proposed date for the elections was 18 October 2020. Observers from the OAS, UNIORE, and the UN all reported that they found no fraudulent actions in the 2020 elections. The
general election A general election is a political voting election where generally all or most members of a given political body are chosen. These are usually held for a nation, state, or territory's primary legislative body, and are different from by-election ...
had a record voter turnout of 88.4% and ended in a landslide win for MAS which took 55.1% of the votes compared to 28.8% for centrist former president Carlos Mesa. Both Mesa and Áñez conceded defeat. "I congratulate the winners and I ask them to govern with Bolivia and democracy in mind", Áñez said on Twitter.


Government of Luis Arce: 2020–present

On 8 November 2020, Luis Arce was sworn in as President of Bolivia alongside his Vice President David Choquehuanca. In February 2021, the Arce government returned an amount of around $351 million to the IMF. This comprised a loan of $327 million taken out by the interim government in April 2020 and interest of around $24 million. The government said it returned the loan to protect Bolivia's economic sovereignty and because the conditions attached to the loan were unacceptable. According to the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade, Bolivia had the lowest accumulated inflation of Latin America by October 2021.


Geography

Bolivia is located in the
central zone The Central Indo-Aryan languages or Hindi languages are a group of related language varieties Spoken across North India North India is a loosely defined region consisting of the northern part of India. The dominant geographical feature ...
of South America, between 57°26'–69°38'W and 9°38'–22°53'S. With an area of , Bolivia is the world's 28th-largest country, and the fifth largest country in South America, extending from the Central Andes through part of the ''
Gran Chaco The Gran Chaco or Dry Chaco is a sparsely populated, hot and semiarid lowland Upland and lowland are conditional descriptions of a plain based on elevation above sea level. In studies of the ecology of freshwater rivers, habitats are c ...
'',
Pantanal The Pantanal () is a natural region encompassing the world's largest tropical wetland area, and the world's largest Flooded grasslands and savannas, flooded grasslands. It is located mostly within the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, but it ...
and as far as the
Amazon Amazon most often refers to: * Amazons, a tribe of female warriors in Greek mythology * Amazon rainforest, a rainforest covering most of the Amazon basin * Amazon River, in South America * Amazon (company), an American multinational technology co ...
. The geographic center of the country is the so-called ''Puerto Estrella'' ("Star Port") on the Río Grande, in Ñuflo de Chávez Province, Santa Cruz Department. The
geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia''. Combination of Greek words ‘Geo’ (The Earth) and ‘Graphien’ (to describe), literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, i ...
of the country exhibits a great variety of terrain and climates. Bolivia has a high level of
biodiversity Biodiversity or biological diversity is the variety and variability of life, life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the Genetics, genetic (''genetic variability''), species (''species diversity''), and ecosystem (''ecosystem d ...
, considered one of the greatest in the world, as well as several
ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecology, ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion, which in turn is smaller than a biogeographic realm. Ecoregions cover relatively large a ...
s with ecological sub-units such as the ''
Altiplano The Altiplano (Spanish for "high plain"), Collao (Quechuan languages, Quechua and Aymara language, Aymara: Qullaw, meaning "place of the Qulla people, Qulla") or Andean Plateau, in west-central South America, is the most extensive high plateau on ...
'',
tropical rainforest Tropical rainforests are rainforests that occur in areas of tropical rainforest climate in which there is no dry season – all months have an average precipitation of at least 60 mm – and may also be referred to as ''lowland equatori ...
s (including
Amazon rainforest The Amazon rainforest, Amazon jungle or ; es, Selva amazónica, , or usually ; french: Forêt amazonienne; nl, Amazoneregenwoud. In English, the names are sometimes capitalized further, as Amazon Rainforest, Amazon Forest, or Amazon Jungle. ...
), dry
valley A valley is an elongated low area often running between Hill, hills or Mountain, mountains, which will typically contain a river or stream running from one end to the other. Most valleys are formed by erosion of the land surface by rivers ...
s, and the ''
Chiquitania Chiquitania ("Chiquitos" or "Gran Chiquitania") is a region of tropical savannas in the Santa Cruz Department in eastern Bolivia , image_flag = Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg , flag_alt = Horizontal tricolor (r ...
'', which is a
tropical savanna Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands is a terrestrial biome A biome () is a biogeographical unit consisting of a biological community (ecology), community that has formed in response to the physical environment in whi ...
. These areas feature enormous variations in altitude, from an elevation of above sea level in Nevado Sajama to nearly along the
Paraguay River The Paraguay River (Río Paraguay in Spanish, Rio Paraguai in Portuguese, Ysyry Paraguái in Guarani) is a major river in south-central South America, running through Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Bra ...
. Although a country of great geographic diversity, Bolivia has remained a
landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct part of the world, such as a state (polity), state, nation, or other polity, political entity. It may be a sovereign state or make up one part of a larger state. For example, th ...
since the
War of the Pacific The War of the Pacific ( es, link=no, Guerra del Pacífico), also known as the Saltpeter War ( es, link=no, Guerra del salitre) and by War of the Pacific#Etymology, multiple other names, was a war between Chile and a Treaty of Defensive Allianc ...
. Puerto Suárez, San Matías and Puerto Quijarro are located in the Bolivian Pantanal. Bolivia can be divided into three
physiographic Physical geography (also known as physiography) is one of the three main branches of geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia''. Combination of Greek words ‘Geo’ (The Earth) and ‘Graphien’ (to describe), ...
regions: *The Andean region in the southwest spans 28% of the national territory, extending over . This area is located above altitude and is located between two big Andean chains, the '' Cordillera Occidental'' ("Western Range") and the '' Cordillera Central'' ("Central Range"), with some of the highest spots in the
Americas The Americas, which are sometimes collectively called America, are a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. ...
such as the Nevado Sajama, with an altitude of , and the Illimani, at . Also located in the Cordillera Central is
Lake Titicaca Lake Titicaca (; es, Lago Titicaca ; qu, Titiqaqa Qucha) is a large freshwater lake in the Andes mountains on the border of Bolivia and Peru. It is often called the highest navigable lake in the world. By volume of water and by surface area, i ...
, the highest commercially navigable lake in the world and the largest lake in South America; the lake is shared with
Peru , image_flag = Flag of Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo nacional del Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (emblem), National seal , national_motto = "Fi ...
. Also in this region are the ''
Altiplano The Altiplano (Spanish for "high plain"), Collao (Quechuan languages, Quechua and Aymara language, Aymara: Qullaw, meaning "place of the Qulla people, Qulla") or Andean Plateau, in west-central South America, is the most extensive high plateau on ...
'' and the '' Salar de Uyuni'', which is the largest salt flat in the world and an important source of
lithium Lithium (from el, λίθος, lithos, lit=stone) is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Li and atomic number 3. It is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal. Under standard temperature and pressure, standard conditions, it ...
. *The Sub-Andean region in the center and south of the country is an intermediate region between the ''
Altiplano The Altiplano (Spanish for "high plain"), Collao (Quechuan languages, Quechua and Aymara language, Aymara: Qullaw, meaning "place of the Qulla people, Qulla") or Andean Plateau, in west-central South America, is the most extensive high plateau on ...
'' and the eastern ''
llanos The Llanos (Spanish language, Spanish ''Los Llanos'', "The Plains"; ) is a vast tropical grassland plain situated to the east of the Andes in Colombia and Venezuela, in northwestern South America. It is an ecoregion of the tropical and subtropic ...
'' (plain); this region comprises 13% of the territory of Bolivia, extending over , and encompassing the Bolivian valleys and the Yungas region. It is distinguished by its farming activities and its temperate climate. *The Llanos region in the northeast comprises 59% of the territory, with . It is located to the north of the Cordillera Central and extends from the Andean foothills to the
Paraguay River The Paraguay River (Río Paraguay in Spanish, Rio Paraguai in Portuguese, Ysyry Paraguái in Guarani) is a major river in south-central South America, running through Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Bra ...
. It is a region of flat land and small plateaus, all covered by extensive rain forests containing enormous biodiversity. The region is below above sea level. Bolivia has three
drainage basin A drainage basin is an area of land where all flowing surface water converges to a single point, such as a river mouth, or flows into another body of water, such as a lake or ocean. A basin is separated from adjacent basins by a perimeter ...
s: *The first is the
Amazon Basin The Amazon basin is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributary, tributaries. The Amazon drainage basin covers an area of about , or about 35.5 percent of the South American continent. It is located in the countrie ...
, also called the North Basin (/66% of the territory). The rivers of this basin generally have big
meander A meander is one of a series of regular sinuous curves in the Channel (geography), channel of a river or other watercourse. It is produced as a watercourse erosion, erodes the sediments of an outer, concave bank (cut bank) and deposits sedimen ...
s which form lakes such as Murillo Lake in Pando Department. The main Bolivian
tributary A tributary, or affluent, is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tributaries and the main stem river drain the surrounding drainage b ...
to the Amazon basin is the Mamoré River, with a length of running north to the confluence with the Beni River, in length and the second most important river of the country. The Beni River, along with the
Madeira River The Madeira River ( pt, Rio Madeira, link=no ) is a major waterway in South America. It is estimated to be in length, while the Madeira-Mamoré is estimated near or in length depending on the measuring party and their methods. The Madeira is ...
, forms the main tributary of the
Amazon River The Amazon River (, ; es, Río Amazonas, pt, Rio Amazonas) in South America is the List of rivers by discharge, largest river by Discharge (hydrology), discharge volume of water in the world, and the disputed List of river systems by length, ...
. From east to west, the basin is formed by other important rivers, such as the
Madre de Dios River The Madre de Dios River () is a river shared by Bolivia and Peru which is homonymous to the Peruvian Madre de Dios region, region it runs through. On Bolivian territory it receives the Beni River, close to the town of Riberalta, which later joins ...
, the Orthon River, the Abuna River, the Yata River, and the Guaporé River. The most important lakes are Rogaguado Lake, Rogagua Lake, and Jara Lake. *The second is the Río de la Plata Basin, also called the South Basin (/21% of the territory). The tributaries in this basin are in general less abundant than the ones forming the Amazon Basin. The Rio de la Plata Basin is mainly formed by the
Paraguay River The Paraguay River (Río Paraguay in Spanish, Rio Paraguai in Portuguese, Ysyry Paraguái in Guarani) is a major river in south-central South America, running through Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Bra ...
, Pilcomayo River, and Bermejo River. The most important lakes are Uberaba Lake and Mandioré Lake, both located in the Bolivian marshland. *The third basin is the Central Basin, which is an
endorheic basin An endorheic basin (; also spelled endoreic basin or endorreic basin) is a drainage basin A drainage basin is an area of land where all flowing surface water converges to a single point, such as a river mouth, or flows into another b ...
(/13% of the territory). The ''
Altiplano The Altiplano (Spanish for "high plain"), Collao (Quechuan languages, Quechua and Aymara language, Aymara: Qullaw, meaning "place of the Qulla people, Qulla") or Andean Plateau, in west-central South America, is the most extensive high plateau on ...
'' has large numbers of lakes and rivers that do not run into any ocean because they are enclosed by the Andean mountains. The most important river is the Desaguadero River, with a length of , the longest river of the ''Altiplano''; it begins in
Lake Titicaca Lake Titicaca (; es, Lago Titicaca ; qu, Titiqaqa Qucha) is a large freshwater lake in the Andes mountains on the border of Bolivia and Peru. It is often called the highest navigable lake in the world. By volume of water and by surface area, i ...
and then runs in a southeast direction to Poopó Lake. The basin is then formed by Lake Titicaca, Lake Poopó, the Desaguadero River, and great salt flats, including the '' Salar de Uyuni'' and Coipasa Lake.


Geology

The geology of Bolivia comprises a variety of different lithologies as well as
tectonic Tectonics (; ) are the processes that control the structure and properties of the Earth's crust and its evolution through time. These include the processes of orogeny, mountain building, the growth and behavior of the strong, old cores of con ...
and sedimentary environments. On a synoptic scale, geological units coincide with topographical units. Most elementally, the country is divided into a mountainous western area affected by the
subduction Subduction is a geological process in which the oceanic lithosphere is Geochemical cycle, recycled into the Earth's mantle at convergent boundary, convergent boundaries. Where the oceanic lithosphere of a tectonic plate converges with the less d ...
processes in the Pacific and an eastern lowlands of stable platforms and
shields A shield is a piece of personal armour held in the hand, which may or may not be strapped to the wrist or forearm. Shields are used to intercept specific attacks, whether from melee weapon, close-ranged weaponry or projectiles such as arrows, ...
.


Climate

The climate of Bolivia varies drastically from one eco-region to the other, from the tropics in the eastern ''
llanos The Llanos (Spanish language, Spanish ''Los Llanos'', "The Plains"; ) is a vast tropical grassland plain situated to the east of the Andes in Colombia and Venezuela, in northwestern South America. It is an ecoregion of the tropical and subtropic ...
'' to a
polar climate The polar climate regions are characterized by a lack of warm summers but with varying winters. Every month in a polar climate has an average temperature of less than . Regions with polar climate cover more than 20% of the Earth's area. Most of ...
in the western Andes. The summers are warm, humid in the east and dry in the west, with rains that often modify temperatures, humidity, winds,
atmospheric pressure Atmospheric pressure, also known as barometric pressure (after the barometer), is the pressure within the atmosphere of Earth. The Standard atmosphere (unit), standard atmosphere (symbol: atm) is a unit of pressure defined as , which is equival ...
and evaporation, yielding very different climates in different areas. When the climatological phenomenon known as '' El Niño'' takes place, it causes great alterations in the weather. Winters are very cold in the west, and it snows in the mountain ranges, while in the western regions, windy days are more common. The autumn is dry in the non-tropical regions. *''Llanos''. A
humid Humidity is the concentration of water vapor present in the air. Water vapor, the gaseous state of water, is generally invisible to the human eye. Humidity indicates the likelihood for precipitation (meteorology), precipitation, dew, or fog t ...
tropical climate Tropical climate is the first of the five major climate groups in the Köppen climate classification identified with the letter A. Tropical climates are defined by a monthly average temperature of 18 °C (64.4 °F) or higher in the cool ...
with an average temperature of . The wind coming from the
Amazon rainforest The Amazon rainforest, Amazon jungle or ; es, Selva amazónica, , or usually ; french: Forêt amazonienne; nl, Amazoneregenwoud. In English, the names are sometimes capitalized further, as Amazon Rainforest, Amazon Forest, or Amazon Jungle. ...
causes significant rainfall. In May, there is low precipitation because of dry winds, and most days have clear skies. Even so, winds from the south, called ''surazos'', can bring cooler temperatures lasting several days. *''
Altiplano The Altiplano (Spanish for "high plain"), Collao (Quechuan languages, Quechua and Aymara language, Aymara: Qullaw, meaning "place of the Qulla people, Qulla") or Andean Plateau, in west-central South America, is the most extensive high plateau on ...
''.
Desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to denudation. About one ...
- Polar climates, with strong and cold winds. The average temperature ranges from 15 to 20 °C. At night, temperatures descend drastically to slightly above 0 °C, while during the day, the weather is dry and
solar radiation Solar irradiance is the power (physics), power per unit area (surface power density) received from the Sun in the form of electromagnetic radiation in the wavelength range of the measuring instrument. Solar irradiance is measured in watts per ...
is high. Ground frosts occur every month, and snow is frequent. *Valleys and ''Yungas''.
Temperate In geography, the temperate climates of Earth occur in the middle latitudes (23.5° to 66.5° N/S of Equator), which span between the tropics and the polar regions of Earth. These zones generally have wider temperature ranges throughout t ...
climate. The humid northeastern winds are pushed to the mountains, making this region very humid and rainy. Temperatures are cooler at higher elevations. Snow occurs at altitudes of . *'' Chaco''.
Subtropical The subtropical zones or subtropics are geographical zone, geographical and Köppen climate classification, climate zones to the Northern Hemisphere, north and Southern Hemisphere, south of the tropics. Geographically part of the Geographical z ...
semi-arid climate A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is a dry climate sub-type. It is located on regions that receive precipitation below Evapotranspiration#Potential evapotranspiration, potential evapotranspiration, but not as low as a des ...
. Rainy and humid in January and the rest of the year, with warm days and cold nights.


Issues with climate change

Bolivia is especially vulnerable to the negative consequences of
climate change In common usage, climate change describes global warming—the ongoing increase in global average temperature—and its effects on Earth's climate system. Climate variability and change, Climate change in a broader sense also includes ...
. Twenty percent of the world's tropical
glacier A glacier (; ) is a persistent body of dense ice that is constantly moving under its own weight. A glacier forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its Ablation#Glaciology, ablation over many years, often Century, centuries. It acquires dis ...
s are located within the country, and are more sensitive to change in temperature due to the tropical climate they are located in. Temperatures in the Andes increased by 0.1 °C per decade from 1939 to 1998, and more recently the rate of increase has tripled (to 0.33 °C per decade from 1980 to 2005), causing glaciers to recede at an accelerated pace and create unforeseen water shortages in Andean agricultural towns. Farmers have taken to temporary city jobs when there is poor yield for their crops, while others have started permanently leaving the agricultural sector and are migrating to nearby towns for other forms of work; some view these migrants as the first generation of
climate refugees Climate migrants are a subset of environmental migrants who were forced to flee "due to sudden or gradual alterations in the natural environment related to at least one of three Effects of climate change, impacts of climate change: sea-level rise ...
. Cities that are neighbouring agricultural land, like El Alto, face the challenge of providing services to the influx of new migrants; because there is no alternative water source, the city's water source is now being constricted. Bolivia's government and other agencies have acknowledged the need to instill new policies battling the
effects of climate change The effects of climate change impact the physical environment, ecosystems and human societies. The environmental effects of climate change are broad and far-reaching. They affect the Effects of climate change on the water cycle, water cycle, ...
. The
World Bank The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and Grant (money), grants to the governments of Least developed countries, low- and Developing country, middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital pro ...
has provided funding through the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) and are using the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR II) to construct new
irrigation Irrigation (also referred to as watering) is the practice of applying controlled amounts of water to land to help grow Crop, crops, Landscape plant, landscape plants, and Lawn, lawns. Irrigation has been a key aspect of agriculture for over 5,00 ...
systems, protect riverbanks and basins, and work on building water resources with the help of indigenous communities. Bolivia has also implemented the Bolivian Strategy on Climate Change, which is based on taking action in these four areas: # Promoting clean development in Bolivia by introducing technological changes in the agriculture, forestry, and industrial sectors, aimed to reduce GHG emissions with a positive impact on development. # Contributing to carbon management in forests, wetlands and other managed natural ecosystems. # Increasing effectiveness in energy supply and use to mitigate effects of GHG emissions and risk of contingencies. # Focus on increased and efficient observations, and understanding of environmental changes in Bolivia to develop effective and timely responses.


Biodiversity

Bolivia, with an enormous variety of
organism In biology, an organism () is any life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells (cell theory). Organisms are classified by taxonomy (biology), taxonomy into groups such as Multicellular o ...
s and
ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy enters the syste ...
s, is part of the " Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries". Bolivia's variable altitudes, ranging from above sea level, allow for a vast biologic diversity. The territory of Bolivia comprises four types of
biome A biome () is a biogeographical unit consisting of a biological community (ecology), community that has formed in response to the physical environment in which they are found and a shared regional climate. Biomes may span more than one continent. ...
s, 32 ecological regions, and 199 ecosystems. Within this geographic area there are several natural parks and reserves such as the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, the Madidi National Park, the Tunari National Park, the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve, and the
Kaa-Iya del Gran Chaco National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area Kaa-Iya del Gran Chaco National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area (''Parque Nacional y Area Natural de Manejo Integrado Kaa-Iya del Gran Chaco)'' is the biggest national park in Bolivia and one of the largest in South America. It is a pr ...
, among others. Bolivia boasts over 17,000 species of seed plants, including over 1,200 species of
fern A fern (Polypodiopsida or Polypodiophyta ) is a member of a group of vascular plants (plants with xylem and phloem) that reproduce via spores and have neither seeds nor flowers. The Polypodiophyta, polypodiophytes include all living pteridop ...
, 1,500 species of ''
marchantiophyta The Marchantiophyta () are a division of non-vascular plant, non-vascular embryophyte, land plants commonly referred to as hepatics or liverworts. Like mosses and hornworts, they have a gametophyte-dominant life cycle, in which cells of the pla ...
'' and
moss Mosses are small, non-vascular flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproduction, reproductive structure found in flowering plants (plants of the division Angiospermae). The biological function of a flower is to ...
, and at least 800 species of
fungus A fungus (plural, : fungi or funguses) is any member of the group of Eukaryote, eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and Mold (fungus), molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified ...
. In addition, there are more than 3,000 species of
medicinal plant Medicinal plants, also called medicinal herbs, have been discovered and used in traditional medicine practices since prehistoric times. Plants synthesize hundreds of chemical compounds for various functions, including Plant defense against her ...
s. Bolivia is considered the place of origin for such species as peppers and
chili peppers Chili peppers (also chile, chile pepper, chilli pepper, or chilli), from Nahuatl Nahuatl (; ), Aztec, or Mexicano is a language or, by some definitions, a group of languages of the Uto-Aztecan languages, Uto-Aztecan language family. Varie ...
,
peanut The peanut (''Arachis hypogaea''), also known as the groundnut, goober (US), pindar (US) or monkey nut (UK), is a legume crop grown mainly for its edible Seed, seeds. It is widely grown in the tropics and subtropics, important to both small ...
s, the
common bean ''Phaseolus vulgaris'', the common bean, is a herbaceous annual plant grown worldwide for its edible dry seeds or green bean, green, unripe pods. Its leaf is also occasionally used as a Leaf vegetable, vegetable and the straw as fodder. Its Pla ...
s,
yucca ''Yucca'' is a genus of perennial plant, perennial shrubs and trees in the family (biology), family Asparagaceae, subfamily Agavoideae. Its 40–50 species are notable for their Rosette (botany), rosettes of evergreen, tough, sword-shaped Leaf, ...
, and several species of palm. Bolivia also naturally produces over 4,000 kinds of
potato The potato is a starch#Food, starchy food, a tuber of the plant ''Solanum tuberosum'' and is a root vegetable native to the Americas. The plant is a perennial plant, perennial in the nightshade family Solanaceae. Wild potato species can be fo ...
es. The country had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 8.47/10, ranking it 21st globally out of 172 countries. Bolivia has more than 2,900 animal species, including 398 mammals, over 1,400 birds (about 14% of birds known in the world, being the sixth most diverse country in terms of bird species), 204
amphibian Amphibians are tetrapod, four-limbed and ectothermic vertebrates of the Class (biology), class Amphibia. All living amphibians belong to the group Lissamphibia. They inhabit a wide variety of habitats, with most species living within terres ...
s, 277
reptile Reptiles, as most commonly defined are the animals in the Class (biology), class Reptilia ( ), a paraphyletic grouping comprising all sauropsid, sauropsids except birds. Living reptiles comprise turtles, crocodilians, Squamata, squamates (lizar ...
s, and 635 fish, all
fresh water Fresh water or freshwater is any naturally occurring liquid or frozen water containing low concentrations of dissolved salt (chemistry), salts and other total dissolved solids. Although the term specifically excludes seawater and brackish wate ...
fish as Bolivia is a
landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct part of the world, such as a state (polity), state, nation, or other polity, political entity. It may be a sovereign state or make up one part of a larger state. For example, th ...
. In addition, there are more than 3,000 types of
butterfly Butterflies are insects in the macrolepidopteran clade Rhopalocera from the order Lepidoptera, which also includes moth Moths are a Paraphyly, paraphyletic group of insects that includes all members of the order Lepidoptera that are ...
, and more than 60
domestic animals This page gives a list of domesticated animals, also including a list of domestication of animals, animals which are or may be currently undergoing the process of domestication and animals that have an extensive relationship with humans beyond simp ...
. In 2020 a new species of snake, the Mountain Fer-De-Lance Viper, was discovered in Bolivia. Bolivia has gained global attention for its ' Law of the Rights of Mother Earth', which accords nature the same rights as humans.


Government and politics

Bolivia has been governed by democratically elected governments since 1982; prior to that, it was governed by various dictatorships. Presidents Hernán Siles Zuazo (1982–85) and Víctor Paz Estenssoro (1985–89) began a tradition of ceding power peacefully which has continued, although three presidents have stepped down in the face of extraordinary circumstances: Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada in 2003,
Carlos Mesa Carlos Diego de Mesa Gisbert (; born 12 August 1953) is a Bolivian historian, journalist, and politician who served as the 63rd president of Bolivia from 2003 to 2005. As an independent politician, he previously served as the 37th Vice Presid ...
in 2005, and
Evo Morales Juan Evo Morales Ayma (; born 26 October 1959) is a Bolivian politician, trade union A trade union (labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers intent on "maintaining or improvin ...
in 2019. Bolivia's multiparty democracy has seen a wide variety of parties in the presidency and parliament, although the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement, Nationalist Democratic Action, and the Revolutionary Left Movement predominated from 1985 to 2005. On 11 November 2019, all senior governmental positions were vacated following the resignation of Evo Morales and his government. On 13 November 2019, Jeanine Áñez, a former senator representing Beni, declared herself acting
President of Bolivia The president of Bolivia ( es, Presidente de Bolivia), officially known as the president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia ( es, Presidente del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia), is head of state and head of government of Bolivia and the ca ...
. Luis Arce was elected on 23 October 2020; he took office as president on 8 November 2020. The
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity A polity is an identifiable Politics, political entity – a group of people with a collective identity, who ...
, drafted in 2006–07 and approved in 2009, provides for balanced executive, legislative, judicial, and electoral powers, as well as several levels of autonomy. The traditionally strong executive branch tends to overshadow the
Congress A congress is a formal meeting of the Representative democracy, representatives of different countries, constituent states, organizations, trade unions, political party, political parties, or other groups. The term originated in Late Middle Eng ...
, whose role is generally limited to debating and approving legislation initiated by the executive. The judiciary, consisting of the
Supreme Court A supreme court is the highest court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of ju ...
and departmental and lower courts, has long been riddled with corruption and inefficiency. Through revisions to the constitution in 1994, and subsequent laws, the government has initiated potentially far-reaching reforms in the judicial system as well as increasing decentralizing powers to departments, municipalities, and indigenous territories. The executive branch is headed by a president and vice president, and consists of a variable number (currently, 20) of government ministries. The president is elected to a five-year term by popular vote, and governs from the Presidential Palace (popularly called the Burnt Palace, ''Palacio Quemado'') in La Paz. In the case that no candidate receives an
absolute majority A supermajority, supra-majority, qualified majority, or special majority is a requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level of support which is greater than the threshold of more than one-half used for a simple majority. Supermajority ru ...
of the popular vote or more than 40% of the vote with an advantage of more than 10% over the second-place finisher, a run-off is to be held among the two candidates most voted. The ''Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional'' ( Plurinational Legislative Assembly or National Congress) has two chambers. The ''Cámara de Diputados'' ( Chamber of Deputies) has 130 members elected to five-year terms, 63 from single-member districts (''circunscripciones''), 60 by proportional representation, and seven by the minority indigenous peoples of seven departments. The ''Cámara de Senadores'' ( Chamber of Senators) has 36 members (four per department). Members of the Assembly are elected to five-year terms. The body has its headquarters on the
Plaza Murillo The Plaza Murillo is the central plaza of the city of La Paz, Bolivia, La Paz and the open space most connected to the political life of Bolivia. Prominent buildings on the plaza include the Presidential Palace, National Congress of Bolivia, and t ...
in La Paz, but also holds honorary sessions elsewhere in Bolivia. The Vice President serves as titular head of the combined Assembly. The judiciary consists of the Supreme Court of Justice, the Plurinational Constitutional Court, the Judiciary Council, Agrarian and Environmental Court, and District (departmental) and lower courts. In October 2011, Bolivia held its first judicial elections to choose members of the national courts by popular vote, a reform brought about by Evo Morales. The Plurinational Electoral Organ is an independent branch of government which replaced the National Electoral Court in 2010. The branch consists of the Supreme Electoral Courts, the nine Departmental Electoral Court, Electoral Judges, the anonymously selected Juries at Election Tables, and Electoral Notaries. Wilfredo Ovando presides over the seven-member Supreme Electoral Court. Its operations are mandated by the Constitution and regulated by the Electoral Regime Law (Law 026, passed 2010). The Organ's first elections were the country's first judicial election in October 2011, and five municipal special elections held in 2011.


Capital

Bolivia has its constitutionally recognized capital in , while is the seat of government. La Plata (now Sucre) was proclaimed the provisional capital of the newly independent Alto Perú (later, Bolivia) on 1 July 1826. On 12 July 1839, President José Miguel de Velasco proclaimed a law naming the city as the capital of Bolivia, and renaming it in honor of the revolutionary leader Antonio José de Sucre. The Bolivian seat of government moved to La Paz at the start of the twentieth century as a consequence of Sucre's relative remoteness from economic activity after the decline of
Potosí Potosí, known as Villa Imperial de Potosí in the colonial period, is the capital city and a municipality of the Potosí Department, Department of Potosí in Bolivia. It is one of the list of highest cities in the world, highest cities in the wo ...
and its silver industry and of the Liberal Party in the War of 1899. The 2009 Constitution assigns the role of national capital to Sucre, not referring to La Paz in the text. In addition to being the constitutional capital, the Supreme Court of Bolivia is located in Sucre, making it the judicial capital. Nonetheless, the Palacio Quemado (the Presidential Palace and seat of Bolivian
executive power The Executive, also referred as the Executive branch or Executive power, is the term commonly used to describe that part of government which enforces the law, and has overall responsibility for the governance of a State (polity), state. In poli ...
) is located in La Paz, as are the National Congress and Plurinational Electoral Organ. La Paz thus continues to be the seat of government.


Foreign relations

Despite losing its maritime coast, the so-called Litoral Department, after the
War of the Pacific The War of the Pacific ( es, link=no, Guerra del Pacífico), also known as the Saltpeter War ( es, link=no, Guerra del salitre) and by War of the Pacific#Etymology, multiple other names, was a war between Chile and a Treaty of Defensive Allianc ...
, Bolivia has historically maintained, as a state policy, a maritime claim to that part of
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America. It is the southernmost country in the world, and the closest to Antarctica, occupying a long and narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east a ...
; the claim asks for sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean and its maritime space. The issue has also been presented before the
Organization of American States The Organization of American States (OAS; es, Organización de los Estados Americanos, pt, Organização dos Estados Americanos, french: Organisation des États américains; ''OEA'') is an international organization that was founded on 30 April ...
; in 1979, the OAS passed the ''426 Resolution'', which declared that the Bolivian problem is a hemispheric problem. On 4 April 1884, a truce was signed with Chile, whereby Chile gave facilities of access to Bolivian products through
Antofagasta Antofagasta () is a port city in northern Chile, about north of Santiago. It is the capital of Antofagasta Province and Antofagasta Region. According to the 2015 census, the List of cities in Chile, city has a population of 402,669. After t ...
, and freed the payment of export rights in the port of
Arica Arica ( ; ) is a Communes of Chile, commune and a port city with a population of 222,619 in the Arica Province of northern Chile's Arica y Parinacota Region. It is Chile's northernmost city, being located only south of the border with Peru. The ...
. In October 1904, the Treaty of Peace and Friendship was signed, and Chile agreed to build a railway between Arica and La Paz, to improve access of Bolivian products to the ports. The ''Special Economical Zone for Bolivia in Ilo'' (ZEEBI) is a special economic area of of maritime coast, and a total extension of , called Mar Bolivia ("Sea Bolivia"), where Bolivia may maintain a free port near Ilo,
Peru , image_flag = Flag of Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo nacional del Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (emblem), National seal , national_motto = "Fi ...
under its administration and operation for a period of 99 years starting in 1992; once that time has passed, all the construction and territory revert to the Peruvian government. Since 1964, Bolivia has had its own port facilities in the ''Bolivian Free Port'' in
Rosario, Argentina Rosario () is the largest city in the central provinces of Argentina, Argentine province of Santa Fe Province, Santa Fe. The city is located northwest of Buenos Aires, on the west bank of the Paraná River. Rosario is the third-most populous ci ...
. This port is located on the Paraná River, which is directly connected to the Atlantic Ocean. In 2018, Bolivia signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The dispute with Chile was taken to the
International Court of Justice The International Court of Justice (ICJ; french: Cour internationale de justice, links=no; ), sometimes known as the World Court, is one of the United Nations System#Six principal organs, six principal organs of the United Nations (UN). It s ...
. The court ruled in support of the Chilean position, and declared that although Chile may have held talks about a Bolivian corridor to the sea, the country was not required to negotiate one or to surrender its territory.


Military

The Bolivian military comprises three branches: Ejército (Army), Naval (Navy) and Fuerza Aérea (Air Force). The Bolivian army has around 31,500 men. There are six military regions (''regiones militares''—RMs) in the army. The army is organized into ten divisions. Although it is landlocked Bolivia keeps a navy. The Bolivian Naval Force (''Fuerza Naval Boliviana'' in Spanish) is a naval force about 5,000 strong in 2008. The
Bolivian Air Force The Bolivian Air Force ( es, Fuerza Aérea Boliviana or 'FAB') is the air force An air force – in the broadest sense – is the national military branch that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a ...
('Fuerza Aérea Boliviana' or "FAB") has nine air bases, located at La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Puerto Suárez, Tarija,
Villamontes Villamontes (or: ''Villa Montes'') is a town in the Tarija Department in south-eastern Bolivia , image_flag = Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg , flag_alt = Horizontal tricolor (red, yellow, and green from top t ...
, Cobija,
Riberalta Riberalta is a town in the Beni Department in northern Bolivia, situated where the Madre de Dios River joins the Beni River. Riberalta is on the south (south east) bank of the Beni River. As the capital of the province of Vaca Diez, the city has ...
, and Roboré.


Law and crime

There are 54 prisons in Bolivia, which incarcerate around 8,700 people . The prisons are managed by the Penitentiary Regime Directorate ( es, Dirección de Régimen Penintenciario, links=no). There are 17 prisons in departmental capital cities and 36 provincial prisons.


Administrative divisions

Bolivia has nine departments— Pando,
La Paz La Paz (), officially known as Nuestra Señora de La Paz (Spanish pronunciation: ), is the seat of government of the Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bolivia. With an estimated 816,044 residents as of 2020, La Paz is the List of Bolivian cities ...
,
Beni is a Japanese Contemporary R&B, R&B singer, who debuted in 2004 under the Avex Trax label. In 2008, Arashiro left Avex Trax and transferred to Universal Music Japan where she started to perform as simply Beni (stylized as BENI). She was initial ...
, Oruro,
Cochabamba Cochabamba ( ay, Quchapampa; qu, Quchapampa) is a city and municipality in central Bolivia in a valley in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital (political), capital of the Cochabamba Department and the list of cities in Bolivia, fourth la ...
, Santa Cruz,
Potosí Potosí, known as Villa Imperial de Potosí in the colonial period, is the capital city and a municipality of the Potosí Department, Department of Potosí in Bolivia. It is one of the list of highest cities in the world, highest cities in the wo ...
, Chuquisaca, Tarija. According to what is established by the Bolivian Political Constitution, the Law of Autonomies and Decentralization regulates the procedure for the elaboration of Statutes of Autonomy, the transfer and distribution of direct competences between the central government and the autonomous entities. There are four levels of decentralization: Departmental government, constituted by the ''Departmental Assembly'', with rights over the legislation of the department. The
governor A governor is an administrative leader and head of a polity A polity is an identifiable Politics, political entity – a group of people with a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized s ...
is chosen by
universal suffrage Universal suffrage (also called universal franchise, general suffrage, and common suffrage of the common man) gives the right to vote to all adult citizens, regardless of wealth, income, gender, social status, race, ethnicity, or political sta ...
. Municipal government, constituted by a ''Municipal Council'', with rights over the legislation of the municipality. The
mayor In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official in a municipal government A municipality is usually a single administrative division having municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as ...
is chosen by universal suffrage. Regional government, formed by several provinces or municipalities of geographical continuity within a department. It is constituted by a ''Regional Assembly''. Original indigenous government,
self-governance __NOTOC__ Self-governance, self-government, or self-rule is the ability of a person or group to exercise all necessary functions of regulation without intervention from an external authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is ...
of original indigenous people on the ancient territories where they live. While Bolivia's administrative divisions have similar status under governmental jurisprudence, each department varies in quantitative and qualitative factors. Generally speaking, Departments can be grouped either by geography or by political-cultural orientation. For example, Santa Cruz, Beni and Pando make up the low-lying "Camba" heartlands of the Amazon, Moxos and Chiquitanía. When considering political orientation, Beni, Pando, Santa Cruz, Tarija are generally grouped for regionalist autonomy movements; this region is known as the "Media Luna". Conversely, La Paz, Oruro, Potosí, Cochabamba have been traditionally associated with Andean politics and culture. Today, Chuquisaca vacillates between the Andean cultural bloc and the Camba bloc.


Economy

In recent history, Bolivia has consistently led Latin America in measures of economic growth, fiscal stability and foreign reserves. Bolivia's estimated 2012 gross domestic product (GDP) totaled $27.43 billion at official exchange rate and $56.14 billion at purchasing power parity. Despite a series of mostly political setbacks, between 2006 and 2009 the Morales administration spurred growth higher than at any point in the preceding 30 years. The growth was accompanied by a moderate decrease in inequality. Under Morales, per capita GDP doubled from US$1,182 in 2006 to US$2,238 in 2012. GDP growth under Morales averaged 5 percent a year, and in 2014 only
Panama Panama ( , ; es, link=no, Panamá ), officially the Republic of Panama ( es, República de Panamá), is a List of transcontinental countries#North America and South America, transcontinental country spanning the Central America, southern ...
and the
Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, República Dominicana, ) is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles The Greater Antilles ( es, Grandes Antillas or Antillas Mayores; french: Grandes Antilles; ht, Gwo Zant ...
performed better in all of Latin America. Bolivia's nominal GDP increased from 11.5 billion in 2006 to 41 billion in 2019. Bolivia in 2016 boasted the highest proportional rate of financial reserves of any nation in the world, with Bolivia's rainy day fund totaling some US$15 billion or nearly two-thirds of total annual GDP, up from a fifth of GDP in 2005. Even the IMF was impressed by Morales' fiscal prudence.


Historical challenges

A major blow to the Bolivian economy came with a drastic fall in the price of tin during the early 1980s, which impacted one of Bolivia's main sources of income and one of its major mining industries. Since 1985, the government of Bolivia has implemented a far-reaching program of macroeconomic stabilization and structural reform aimed at maintaining price stability, creating conditions for sustained growth, and alleviating scarcity. A major reform of the customs service has significantly improved transparency in this area. Parallel legislative reforms have locked into place market-liberal policies, especially in the hydrocarbon and telecommunication sectors, that have encouraged private investment. Foreign investors are accorded national treatment. In April 2000, Hugo Banzer, the former president of Bolivia, signed a contract with Aguas del Tunari, a private consortium, to operate and improve the water supply in Bolivia's third-largest city,
Cochabamba Cochabamba ( ay, Quchapampa; qu, Quchapampa) is a city and municipality in central Bolivia in a valley in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital (political), capital of the Cochabamba Department and the list of cities in Bolivia, fourth la ...
. Shortly thereafter, the company tripled the water rates in that city, an action which resulted in protests and rioting among those who could no longer afford clean water. Amidst Bolivia's nationwide economic collapse and growing national unrest over the state of the economy, the Bolivian government was forced to withdraw the water contract. Once Bolivia's government depended heavily on foreign assistance to finance development projects and to pay the public staff. At the end of 2002, the government owed $4.5 billion to its foreign
creditor A creditor or lender is a Party (law), party (e.g., person, organization, company, or government) that has a claim on the services of a second party. It is a person or institution to whom money is owed. The first party, in general, has provided s ...
s, with $1.6 billion of this amount owed to other governments and most of the balance owed to multilateral development banks. Most payments to other governments have been rescheduled on several occasions since 1987 through the
Paris Club The Paris Club (french: Club de Paris) is a group of officials from major creditor countries whose role is to find co-ordinated and sustainable solutions to the payment difficulties experienced by debtor countries. As debtor countries undertake ...
mechanism. External creditors have been willing to do this because the Bolivian government has generally achieved the monetary and fiscal targets set by IMF programs since 1987, though economic crises have undercut Bolivia's normally good record. However, by 2013 the foreign assistance is just a fraction of the government budget thanks to tax collection mainly from the profitable exports to Brazil and Argentina of natural gas.


Agriculture

Agriculture is less relevant in the country's GDP compared to the rest of Latin America. The country produces close to 10 million tons of
sugarcane Sugarcane or sugar cane is a species of (often hybrid) tall, Perennial plant, perennial grass (in the genus ''Saccharum'', tribe Andropogoneae) that is used for sugar Sugar industry, production. The plants are 2–6 m (6–20 ft) tall with ...
per year and is the 10th largest producer of
soybean The soybean, soy bean, or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean, which has numerous uses. Traditional unfermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk, from which tofu and ...
in the world. It also has considerable yields of
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American English, North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples of Mexico, indigenous ...
,
potato The potato is a starch#Food, starchy food, a tuber of the plant ''Solanum tuberosum'' and is a root vegetable native to the Americas. The plant is a perennial plant, perennial in the nightshade family Solanaceae. Wild potato species can be fo ...
,
sorghum ''Sorghum'' () is a genus of about 25 species of flowering plants in the grass family (Poaceae). Some of these species are grown as cereals for human consumption and some in pastures for animals. One species is grown for grain, while many other ...
,
banana A banana is an elongated, edible fruit – botanically a berry (botany), berry – produced by several kinds of large herbaceous flowering plants in the genus ''Musa (genus), Musa''. In some countries, Cooking banana, bananas used for ...
,
rice Rice is the seed of the Poaceae, grass species ''Oryza sativa'' (Asian rice) or less commonly ''Oryza glaberrima'' (African rice). The name wild rice is usually used for species of the genera ''Zizania (genus), Zizania'' and ''Porteresia'', bo ...
, and
wheat Wheat is a Poaceae, grass widely Agriculture, cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain that is a worldwide staple food. The Taxonomy of wheat, many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum'' ; the most widely grown is common wheat ...
. The country's largest exports are based on soy (soybean meal and
soybean oil Soybean oil (British English: soyabean oil) is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the soybean (''Glycine max''). It is one of the most widely consumed cooking oils and the second most consumed vegetable oil. As a drying oil, processed so ...
). The culture of
soy The soybean, soy bean, or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean, which has numerous uses. Traditional unfermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk, from which tofu and ...
was brought by Brazilians to the country: in 2006, almost 50% of soy producers in Bolivia were people from Brazil, or descendants of Brazilians. The first Brazilian producers began to arrive in the country in the 1990s. Before that, there was a lot of land in the country that was not used, or where only subsistence agriculture was practiced. Bolivia's most lucrative agricultural product continues to be
coca Coca is any of the four cultivated plants in the family (biology), family Erythroxylaceae, native to western South America. Coca is known worldwide for its Psychoactive plant, psychoactive alkaloid, cocaine. The plant is grown as a cash crop in ...
, of which Bolivia is currently the world's third largest cultivator.


Mineral resources

Bolivia, while historically renowned for its vast mineral wealth, is relatively under-explored in geological and mineralogical terms. The country is rich in various mineral and natural resources, sitting at the heart of South America in the Central Andes.
Mining Mining is the Extractivism, extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein (geology), vein, coal mining, seam, quartz reef mining, reef, or placer deposit. The exploitation of ...
is a major sector of the economy, with most of the country's exports being dependent on it. In 2019, the country was the eighth largest world producer of
silver Silver is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Ag (from the Latin ', derived from the Proto-Indo-European wikt:Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/h₂erǵ-, ''h₂erǵ'': "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47. A soft, whi ...
; fifth largest world producer of
tin Tin is a chemical element with the Chemical symbol, symbol Sn (from la, :la:Stannum, stannum) and atomic number 50. Tin is a silvery-coloured metal. Tin is soft enough to be cut with little force and a bar of tin can be bent by hand wit ...
and
antimony Antimony is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Sb (from la, wiktionary:stibium#Latin, stibium) and atomic number 51. A lustrous gray metalloid, it is found in nature mainly as the sulfide mineral stibnite (Sb2S3). Antimony ...
; seventh largest producer of
zinc Zinc is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Zn and atomic number 30. Zinc is a slightly brittle metal at room temperature and has a shiny-greyish appearance when oxidation is removed. It is the first element in group 12 eleme ...
, eighth largest producer of
lead Lead is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Pb (from the Latin ) and atomic number 82. It is a heavy metals, heavy metal that is density, denser than most common materials. Lead is Mohs scale of mineral hardness#Intermediate ...
, fourth largest world producer of
boron Boron is a chemical element with the Chemical symbol, symbol B and atomic number 5. In its crystalline form it is a brittle, dark, lustrous metalloid; in its amorphous form it is a brown powder. As the lightest element of the ''boron g ...
; and the sixth largest world producer of
tungsten Tungsten, or wolfram, is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol W and atomic number 74. Tungsten is a rare metal found naturally on Earth almost exclusively as compounds with other elements. It was identified as a new element in 1 ...
. The country also has considerable
gold Gold is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Au (from la, aurum) and atomic number 79. This makes it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. It is a Brightness, bright, slightly orange-yellow, dense, s ...
production, which varies close to 25 tons/year, and also has
amethyst Amethyst is a violet (color), violet variety of quartz. The name comes from the Koine Greek αμέθυστος ''amethystos'' from α- ''a-'', "not" and μεθύσκω (Ancient Greek) / μεθώ (Modern Greek), "intoxicate", a reference to t ...
extraction. Bolivia has the world's largest lithium reserves, second largest antimony reserves, third largest iron ore reserves, sixth largest tin reserves, ninth largest lead, silver, and copper reserves, tenth largest zinc reserves, and undisclosed but productive reserves of gold and tungsten. Additionally, there is believed to be considerable reserves of uranium and nickel present in the country's largely under-explored eastern regions. Diamond reserves may also be present in some formations of the Serranías Chiquitanas in Santa Cruz Department. Bolivia has the second largest
natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas or simply gas) is a naturally occurring mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons consisting primarily of methane in addition to various smaller amounts of other higher alkanes. Low levels of trace gases like carbon di ...
reserves in South America. Its natural gas exports bring in millions of dollars per day, in royalties, rents, and taxes. From 2007 to 2017, what is referred to as the "government take" on gas totaled approximately $22 billion. Most of Bolivia's gas comes from megafields located in San Alberto, San Antonio, Margarita, and Incahuasi. These areas are in the territory of the indigenous Guarani people, and the region is frequently viewed as a remote backwater by non-residents. The government held a binding referendum in 2005 on the Hydrocarbon Law. Among other provisions, the law requires that companies sell their production to the state hydrocarbons company Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) and for domestic demand to be met before exporting hydrocarbons and increased the state's royalties from natural gas. The passage of the Hydrocarbon law in opposition to then-President
Carlos Mesa Carlos Diego de Mesa Gisbert (; born 12 August 1953) is a Bolivian historian, journalist, and politician who served as the 63rd president of Bolivia from 2003 to 2005. As an independent politician, he previously served as the 37th Vice Presid ...
can be understood as part of the Bolivian gas conflict which ultimately resulted in election of
Evo Morales Juan Evo Morales Ayma (; born 26 October 1959) is a Bolivian politician, trade union A trade union (labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers intent on "maintaining or improvin ...
, Bolivia's first indigenous president. The US Geological Service estimates that Bolivia has 21 million tonnes of
lithium Lithium (from el, λίθος, lithos, lit=stone) is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Li and atomic number 3. It is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal. Under standard temperature and pressure, standard conditions, it ...
, which represent at least 25% of world reserves - the largest in the world. However, to mine for it would involve disturbing the country's salt flats (called Salar de Uyuni), an important natural feature which boosts tourism in the region. The government does not want to destroy this unique natural landscape to meet the rising world demand for lithium. On the other hand, sustainable extraction of lithium is attempted by the government. This project is carried out by the public company "Recursos Evaporíticos" subsidiary of COMIBOL. It is thought that due to the importance of lithium for batteries for
electric vehicle An electric vehicle (EV) is a vehicle that uses one or more traction motor, electric motors for propulsion. It can be powered by a Current collector, collector system, with electricity from extravehicular sources, or it can be powered autonom ...
s and stabilization of electric grids with large proportions of intermittent renewables in the electricity mix, Bolivia could be strengthened geopolitically. However, this perspective has also been criticized for underestimating the power of economic incentives for expanded production in other parts of the world.


Foreign-exchange reserves

The amount in reserve currencies and
gold Gold is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Au (from la, aurum) and atomic number 79. This makes it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. It is a Brightness, bright, slightly orange-yellow, dense, s ...
held by Bolivia's Central Bank advanced from 1.085 billion US dollars in 2000, under Hugo Banzer Suarez's government, to 15.282 billion US dollars in 2014 under
Evo Morales Juan Evo Morales Ayma (; born 26 October 1959) is a Bolivian politician, trade union A trade union (labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers intent on "maintaining or improvin ...
' government.


Tourism

upright=2, Salar de Uyuni, one of the most visited sites in Bolivia. The income from tourism has become increasingly important. Bolivia's tourist industry has placed an emphasis on attracting ethnic diversity. The most visited places include Nevado Sajama,
Torotoro National Park Torotoro National Park ( es, Parque Nacional Torotoro) is a national park A national park is a nature park, natural park in use for conservation (ethic), conservation purposes, created and protected by national governments. Often it is a r ...
, Madidi National Park,
Tiwanaku Tiwanaku ( es, Tiahuanaco or ) is a Pre-Columbian In the history of the Americas, the pre-Columbian era spans from the Migration to the New World, original settlement of North and South America in the Upper Paleolithic period through European co ...
and the city of . The best known of the various festivals found in the country is the "
Carnaval de Oruro The Carnival of Oruro is a religious and cultural festival in Oruro, Bolivia. It has been celebrated since the 18th century. Originally an indigenous festival, the celebration later was transformed to incorporate a Christian ritual around ...
", which was among the first 19 "
Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity The Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity was made by the Director-General of UNESCO starting in 2001 to raise awareness of intangible cultural heritage and encourage local communities to protect them and th ...
", as proclaimed by UNESCO in May 2001.


Transport


Roads

Bolivia's Yungas Road was called the "world's most dangerous road" by the
Inter-American Development Bank The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB or IADB) is an International financial institutions, international financial institution headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States of America, and serving as the largest source of development finan ...
, called () in Spanish. The northern portion of the road, much of it unpaved and without guardrails, was cut into the Cordillera Oriental Mountain in the 1930s. The fall from the narrow path is as much as in some places and due to the humid weather from the
Amazon Amazon most often refers to: * Amazons, a tribe of female warriors in Greek mythology * Amazon rainforest, a rainforest covering most of the Amazon basin * Amazon River, in South America * Amazon (company), an American multinational technology co ...
there are often poor conditions like mudslides and falling rocks. Each year over 25,000 bikers cycle along the road. In 2018, an Israeli woman was killed by a falling rock while cycling on the road. The Apolo road goes deep into . Roads in this area were originally built to allow access to mines located near Charazani. Other noteworthy roads run to Coroico, Sorata, the Zongo Valley ( Illimani mountain), and along the
Cochabamba Cochabamba ( ay, Quchapampa; qu, Quchapampa) is a city and municipality in central Bolivia in a valley in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital (political), capital of the Cochabamba Department and the list of cities in Bolivia, fourth la ...
highway (). According to researchers with the
Center for International Forestry Research The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is a non-profit scientific research organization that conducts research on the use and management of forests with a focus on tropical forests in developing countries. CIFOR, which merged wit ...
(CIFOR), Bolivia's road network was still underdeveloped as of 2014. In lowland areas of Bolivia there is less than of paved road. There have been some recent investments;
animal husbandry Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture concerned with animals that are raised for meat, animal fiber, fibre, milk, or other products. It includes day-to-day care, selective breeding, and the raising of livestock. Husbandry has a long hi ...
has expanded in Guayaramerín, which might be due to a new road connecting Guayaramerín with
Trinidad Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the two major islands of Trinidad and Tobago. The island lies off the northeastern coast of Venezuela and sits on the continental shelf of South America. It is often referred to as the southernmos ...
. The country only opened its first duplicated highway in 2015: a 203 km stretch between the capital La Paz and Oruro.


Air

The General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics (Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil—DGAC) formerly part of the FAB, administers a civil aeronautics school called the National Institute of Civil Aeronautics (Instituto Nacional de Aeronáutica Civil—INAC), and two commercial air transport services TAM and TAB. TAM – Transporte Aéreo Militar (the Bolivian Military Airline) was an airline based in La Paz, Bolivia. It was the civilian wing of the 'Fuerza Aérea Boliviana' (the Bolivian Air Force), operating passenger services to remote towns and communities in the North and Northeast of Bolivia. TAM (a.k.a. TAM Group 71) has been a part of the FAB since 1945. The airline company has suspended its operations since 23 September 2019. Boliviana de Aviación, often referred to as simply BoA, is the flag carrier airline of Bolivia and is wholly owned by the country's government. A private airline serving regional destinations is Línea Aérea Amaszonas, with services including some international destinations. Although a civil transport airline, TAB – Transportes Aéreos Bolivianos, was created as a subsidiary company of the FAB in 1977. It is subordinate to the Air Transport Management (Gerencia de Transportes Aéreos) and is headed by an FAB general. TAB, a charter heavy cargo airline, links Bolivia with most countries of the
Western Hemisphere The Western Hemisphere is the half of the planet Earth that lies west of the prime meridian (which crosses Greenwich, London, United Kingdom) and east of the 180th meridian, antimeridian. The other half is called the Eastern Hemisphere. Politica ...
; its inventory includes a fleet of Hercules C130 aircraft. TAB is headquartered adjacent to El Alto International Airport. TAB flies to
Miami Miami ( ), officially the City of Miami, known as "the 305", "The Magic City", and "Gateway to the Americas", is a East Coast of the United States, coastal metropolis and the County seat, county seat of Miami-Dade County, Florida, Miami-Dade C ...
and
Houston Houston (; ) is the List of cities in Texas by population, most populous city in Texas, the Southern United States#Major cities, most populous city in the Southern United States, the List of United States cities by population, fourth-most pop ...
, with a stop in
Panama Panama ( , ; es, link=no, Panamá ), officially the Republic of Panama ( es, República de Panamá), is a List of transcontinental countries#North America and South America, transcontinental country spanning the Central America, southern ...
. The three largest, and main international airports in Bolivia are El Alto International Airport in La Paz, Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz, and Jorge Wilstermann International Airport in Cochabamba. There are regional airports in other cities that connect to these three hubs.


Rail


Technology

Bolivia owns a
communications satellite A communications satellite is an artificial satellite that relays and amplifies radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between ...
which was offshored/outsourced and launched by China, named Túpac Katari 1. In 2015, it was announced that electrical power advancements include a planned $300 million nuclear reactor developed by the Russian nuclear company
Rosatom Rosatom, ( rus, Росатом, p=rɐsˈatəm}) also known as Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation, the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom or Rosatom State Corporation, is a Russian State corporation (Russia), state corporation headquart ...
. Bolivia was ranked 104th in the Global Innovation Index in 2021, up from 110th in 2019.


Water supply and sanitation

Bolivia's drinking water and
sanitation Sanitation refers to public health conditions related to clean drinking water and treatment and disposal of Human waste, human excreta and sewage. Risk management, Preventing human contact with feces is part of sanitation, as is hand washing wi ...
coverage has greatly improved since 1990 due to a considerable increase in sectoral investment. However, the country has the continent's lowest coverage levels and services are of low quality. Political and institutional instability have contributed to the weakening of the sector's institutions at the national and local levels. Two concessions to foreign private companies in two of the three largest cities –
Cochabamba Cochabamba ( ay, Quchapampa; qu, Quchapampa) is a city and municipality in central Bolivia in a valley in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital (political), capital of the Cochabamba Department and the list of cities in Bolivia, fourth la ...
and /
El Alto El Alto (Spanish for "The Heights") is the List of Bolivian cities by population, second-largest city in Bolivia, located adjacent to La Paz in Pedro Domingo Murillo Province on the Altiplano highlands. El Alto is today one of Bolivia's fastest- ...
– were prematurely ended in 2000 and 2006 respectively. The country's second largest city,
Santa Cruz de la Sierra Santa Cruz de la Sierra (; "Holy Cross of the Mountain Range"), commonly known as Santa Cruz, is the largest city in Bolivia and the capital of the Santa Cruz Department (Bolivia), Santa Cruz department. Situated on the Pirai River (Bolivia), P ...
, manages its own water and sanitation system relatively successfully by way of cooperatives. The government of
Evo Morales Juan Evo Morales Ayma (; born 26 October 1959) is a Bolivian politician, trade union A trade union (labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers intent on "maintaining or improvin ...
intends to strengthen citizen participation within the sector. Increasing coverage requires a substantial increase of investment financing. According to the government the main problems in the sector are low access to sanitation throughout the country; low access to water in rural areas; insufficient and ineffective investments; a low visibility of community service providers; a lack of respect of indigenous customs; "technical and institutional difficulties in the design and implementation of projects"; a lack of capacity to operate and maintain infrastructure; an institutional framework that is "not consistent with the political change in the country"; "ambiguities in the social participation schemes"; a reduction in the quantity and quality of water due to climate change; pollution and a lack of integrated water resources management; and the lack of policies and programs for the reuse of wastewater.Estado Plurinacional de Bolivi
Plan Nacional de Saneamiento Basico 2008–2015
, retrieved on 30 September 2010
Only 27% of the population has access to
improved sanitation Improved sanitation (related to but distinct from a "safely managed sanitation service") is a term used to categorize types of sanitation for monitoring purposes. It refers to the management of human feces at the household level. The term was coi ...
, 80 to 88% has access to improved water sources. Coverage in urban areas is bigger than in rural ones.JMP 2010 Estimates for Bolivia
. The estimates are based on the Household Survey (2005), the Bolivia Democratic and Health Survey (2008) and other surveys.
Some regions of Bolivia are largely under the power of the ''ganaderos'', the large cattle and pig owners, and many small farmers are still reduced to peons. Nevertheless, the presence of the state has been clearly reinforced under the government of
Evo Morales Juan Evo Morales Ayma (; born 26 October 1959) is a Bolivian politician, trade union A trade union (labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers intent on "maintaining or improvin ...
. The government tends to accommodate the interests of large landowners while trying to improve the living and working conditions of small farmers.


Agriculture

The agrarian reform promised by Evo Morales - and approved in a referendum by nearly 80 per cent of the population - has never been implemented. Intended to abolish latifundism by reducing the maximum size of properties that do not have an "economic and social function" to 5,000 hectares, with the remainder to be distributed among small agricultural workers and landless indigenous people, it was strongly opposed by the Bolivian oligarchy. In 2009, the government gave in to the agribusiness sector, which in return committed to end the pressure it was exerting and jeopardizing until the new constitution was in place. However, a series of economic reforms and projects have improved the condition of modest peasant families. They received farm machinery, tractors, fertilizers, seeds and breeding stock, while the state built irrigation systems, roads and bridges to make it easier for them to sell their produce in the markets. The situation of many indigenous people and small farmers was regularized through the granting of land titles for the land they were using. In 2007, the government created a "Bank for Productive Development" through which small workers and agricultural producers can borrow easily, at low rates and with repayment terms adapted to agricultural cycles. As a result of improved banking supervision, borrowing rates have been reduced by a factor of three between 2014 and 2019 across all banking institutions for small and medium-sized agricultural producers. In addition, the law now requires banks to devote at least 60% of their resources to productive credits or to the construction of social housing. With the creation of the Food Production Support Enterprise (Emapa), the government sought to stabilize the domestic market for agricultural products by buying the best prices for the production of small and medium-sized farmers, thus forcing agribusinesses to offer them fairer remuneration. According to Vice President Àlvaro García Linera, "by setting the rules of the game, the State establishes a new balance of power that gives more power to small producers. Wealth is better redistributed to balance the power of the agribusiness sector. This generates stability, which allows the economy to flourish and benefits everyone.


Demographics

According to the last two censuses carried out by the Bolivian National Statistics Institute ''(Instituto Nacional de Estadística'', INE), the population increased from 8,274,325 (from which 4,123,850 were men and 4,150,475 were women) in 2001 to 10,059,856 in 2012. In the last fifty years the Bolivian population has tripled, reaching a population growth rate of 2.25%. The growth of the population in the inter-census periods (1950–1976 and 1976–1992) was approximately 2.05%, while between the last period, 1992–2001, it reached 2.74% annually. Some 67.49% of Bolivians live in urban areas, while the remaining 32.51% in rural areas. The most part of the population (70%) is concentrated in the departments of
La Paz La Paz (), officially known as Nuestra Señora de La Paz (Spanish pronunciation: ), is the seat of government of the Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bolivia. With an estimated 816,044 residents as of 2020, La Paz is the List of Bolivian cities ...
, Santa Cruz and
Cochabamba Cochabamba ( ay, Quchapampa; qu, Quchapampa) is a city and municipality in central Bolivia in a valley in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital (political), capital of the Cochabamba Department and the list of cities in Bolivia, fourth la ...
. In the
Andean The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains (; ) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western ...
Altiplano The Altiplano (Spanish for "high plain"), Collao (Quechuan languages, Quechua and Aymara language, Aymara: Qullaw, meaning "place of the Qulla people, Qulla") or Andean Plateau, in west-central South America, is the most extensive high plateau on ...
region the departments of La Paz and Oruro hold the largest percentage of population, in the valley region the largest percentage is held by the departments of Cochabamba and Chuquisaca, while in the Llanos region by Santa Cruz and
Beni is a Japanese Contemporary R&B, R&B singer, who debuted in 2004 under the Avex Trax label. In 2008, Arashiro left Avex Trax and transferred to Universal Music Japan where she started to perform as simply Beni (stylized as BENI). She was initial ...
. At national level, the population density is 8.49, with variations marked between 0.8 ( Pando Department) and 26.2 (Cochabamba Department). The largest population center is located in the so-called "central axis" and in the Llanos region. Bolivia has a young population. According to the 2011 census, 59% of the population is between 15 and 59 years old, 39% is less than 15 years old. Almost 60% of the population is younger than 25 years of age.


Genetics

According to a genetic study done on Bolivians, average values of Native American, European and African ancestry are 86%, 12.5%, and 1.5%, in individuals from La Paz and 76.8%, 21.4%, and 1.8% in individuals from Chuquisaca; respectively.


Ethnic and racial classifications

The vast majority of Bolivians are
mestizo (; ; fem. ) is a term used for racial classification to refer to a person of mixed Ethnic groups in Europe, European and Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indigenous American ancestry. In certain regions such as Latin America, it may also r ...
(with the indigenous component higher than the European one), although the government has not included the cultural self-identification "mestizo" in the November 2012 census. There are approximately three dozen native groups totaling approximately half of the Bolivian population – the largest proportion of indigenous people in the Americas. Exact numbers vary based on the wording of the ethnicity question and the available response choices. For example, the 2001 census did not provide the racial category "mestizo" as a response choice, resulting in a much higher proportion of respondents identifying themselves as belonging to one of the available indigenous ethnicity choices. Mestizos are distributed throughout the entire country and make up 26% of the Bolivian population, with the predominantly mestizo departments being Beni, Santa Cruz, and Tarija. Most people assume their ''mestizo'' identity while at the same time identifying themselves with one or more indigenous cultures. A 2018 estimate of racial classification put mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian) at 68%, indigenous at 20%, white at 5%,
cholo ''Cholo'' () is a loosely defined Spanish language, Spanish term that has had various meanings. Its origin is a somewhat derogatory term for Mestizo, people of mixed-blood heritage in the Spanish Empire in Latin America and its successor sta ...
at 2%, black at 1%, other at 4%, while 2% were unspecified; 44% attributed themselves to some indigenous group, predominantly the linguistic categories of
Quechuas Quechua people (, ; ) or Quichua people, may refer to any of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, aboriginal people of South America who speak the Quechua languages, which originated among the Indigenous people of Peru. Although most Quechua ...
or Aymaras.
White Bolivians White Bolivians or European Bolivians are Bolivian people whose ancestry lies within the continent of Europe, most notably Spain and Germany, and to a lesser extent, Italy and Croatia. Bolivian people of European ancestry mostly descend from peop ...
comprised about 14% of the population in 2006, and are usually concentrated in the largest cities: ,
Santa Cruz de la Sierra Santa Cruz de la Sierra (; "Holy Cross of the Mountain Range"), commonly known as Santa Cruz, is the largest city in Bolivia and the capital of the Santa Cruz Department (Bolivia), Santa Cruz department. Situated on the Pirai River (Bolivia), P ...
and
Cochabamba Cochabamba ( ay, Quchapampa; qu, Quchapampa) is a city and municipality in central Bolivia in a valley in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital (political), capital of the Cochabamba Department and the list of cities in Bolivia, fourth la ...
, but as well in some minor cities like Tarija and . The ancestry of whites and the white ancestry of mestizos lies within Europe and the Middle East, most notably Spain, Italy, Germany,
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = " Lijepa naša domovino"("Our Beautiful Homeland") , image_map = , map_caption = , capi ...
,
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue ...
and
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, translit=Sūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, الجمهورية العربية السورية, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a Western Asian country loc ...
. In the Santa Cruz Department, there are several dozen colonies of German-speaking Mennonites from Russia totaling around 40,000 inhabitants (). Afro-Bolivians, descendants of
African slaves Slavery has historically been widespread in Africa. Systems of servitude and slavery were common in parts of Africa in ancient times, as they were in much of the rest of the Ancient history, ancient world. When the trans-Saharan slave trade ...
who arrived in the time of the
Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire ( es, link=no, Imperio español), also known as the Hispanic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Hispánica) or the Catholic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Católica) was a colonial empire governed by Spain and its History ...
, inhabit the department of La Paz, and are located mainly in the provinces of Nor Yungas and Sud Yungas. Slavery was abolished in Bolivia in 1831. There are also important communities of
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea ...
(14,000) and Lebanese (12,900).
Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples are culturally distinct ethnic groups whose members are directly descended from the earliest known inhabitants of a particular geographic region and, to some extent, maintain the language and culture of those original people ...
, also called ''"originarios"'' ("native" or "original") and less frequently, ''Amerindians'', could be categorized by geographic area, such as
Andean The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains (; ) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western ...
, like the Aymaras and
Quechuas Quechua people (, ; ) or Quichua people, may refer to any of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, aboriginal people of South America who speak the Quechua languages, which originated among the Indigenous people of Peru. Although most Quechua ...
(who formed the ancient
Inca Empire The Inca Empire (also Quechuan and Aymaran spelling shift, known as the Incan Empire and the Inka Empire), called ''Tawantinsuyu'' by its subjects, (Quechuan languages, Quechua for the "Realm of the Four Parts",  "four parts together" ) wa ...
), who are concentrated in the western departments of
La Paz La Paz (), officially known as Nuestra Señora de La Paz (Spanish pronunciation: ), is the seat of government of the Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bolivia. With an estimated 816,044 residents as of 2020, La Paz is the List of Bolivian cities ...
,
Potosí Potosí, known as Villa Imperial de Potosí in the colonial period, is the capital city and a municipality of the Potosí Department, Department of Potosí in Bolivia. It is one of the list of highest cities in the world, highest cities in the wo ...
, Oruro,
Cochabamba Cochabamba ( ay, Quchapampa; qu, Quchapampa) is a city and municipality in central Bolivia in a valley in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital (political), capital of the Cochabamba Department and the list of cities in Bolivia, fourth la ...
and Chuquisaca. There also are ethnic populations in the east, composed of the Chiquitano, Chané, Guaraní and Moxos, among others, who inhabit the departments of Santa Cruz,
Beni is a Japanese Contemporary R&B, R&B singer, who debuted in 2004 under the Avex Trax label. In 2008, Arashiro left Avex Trax and transferred to Universal Music Japan where she started to perform as simply Beni (stylized as BENI). She was initial ...
, Tarija and Pando. There are small numbers of European citizens from Germany, France, Italy and Portugal, as well as from other countries of the Americas, as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, the United States, Paraguay, Peru, Mexico and Venezuela, among others. There are important Peruvian colonies in ,
El Alto El Alto (Spanish for "The Heights") is the List of Bolivian cities by population, second-largest city in Bolivia, located adjacent to La Paz in Pedro Domingo Murillo Province on the Altiplano highlands. El Alto is today one of Bolivia's fastest- ...
and
Santa Cruz de la Sierra Santa Cruz de la Sierra (; "Holy Cross of the Mountain Range"), commonly known as Santa Cruz, is the largest city in Bolivia and the capital of the Santa Cruz Department (Bolivia), Santa Cruz department. Situated on the Pirai River (Bolivia), P ...
. There are around 140,000
Mennonites in Bolivia The Mennonites in Bolivia are among the most traditional and conservative of all Mennonite denominations in South America. They are mostly Russian Mennonites of Frisians, Frisian, Flanders, Flemish, and Northern Germany, North German descent. , th ...
of Friesian, Flemish and German ethnic origins.


Indigenous peoples

The Indigenous peoples of Bolivia can be divided into two categories of ethnic groups: the Andeans, who are located in the
Andean The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains (; ) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western ...
Altiplano The Altiplano (Spanish for "high plain"), Collao (Quechuan languages, Quechua and Aymara language, Aymara: Qullaw, meaning "place of the Qulla people, Qulla") or Andean Plateau, in west-central South America, is the most extensive high plateau on ...
and the valley region; and the lowland groups, who inhabit the warm regions of central and eastern Bolivia, including the valleys of Cochabamba Department, the Amazon Basin areas of northern La Paz Department, and the lowland departments of Beni, Pando, Santa Cruz, and Tarija (including the
Gran Chaco The Gran Chaco or Dry Chaco is a sparsely populated, hot and semiarid lowland Upland and lowland are conditional descriptions of a plain based on elevation above sea level. In studies of the ecology of freshwater rivers, habitats are c ...
region in the southeast of the country). Large numbers of Andean peoples have also migrated to form Quechua, Aymara, and intercultural communities in the lowlands. *Andean ethnicities **
Aymara people The Aymara or Aimara ( ay, aymara ) people are an Indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous people in the Andes and Altiplano regions of South America; about 2.3 million live in northwest Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru. Their ancestors ...
. They live on the high plateau of the departments of La Paz, Oruro and Potosí, as well as some small regions near the tropical flatlands. **
Quechua people Quechua people (, ; ) or Quichua people, may refer to any of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, aboriginal people of South America who speak the Quechua languages, which originated among the Indigenous people of Peru. Although most Quechua ...
. They mostly inhabit the valleys in
Cochabamba Cochabamba ( ay, Quchapampa; qu, Quchapampa) is a city and municipality in central Bolivia in a valley in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital (political), capital of the Cochabamba Department and the list of cities in Bolivia, fourth la ...
and Chuquisaca. They also inhabit some mountain regions in
Potosí Potosí, known as Villa Imperial de Potosí in the colonial period, is the capital city and a municipality of the Potosí Department, Department of Potosí in Bolivia. It is one of the list of highest cities in the world, highest cities in the wo ...
and Oruro. They divide themselves into different Quechua nations, as the Tarabucos, Ucumaris, Chalchas, Chaquies, Yralipes, Tirinas, among others. **
Uru people The Uru or Uros ( ure, Qhas Qut suñi) are an indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous people of Bolivia. They live on an approximate and still growing 120 self-fashioned floating islands in Lake Titicaca near Puno. They form three main ...
*Ethnicities of the Eastern Lowlands ** Guaraníes: made up of Guarayos, Pausernas, Sirionós, Chiriguanos,
Wichí The Wichí are an indigenous people of South America. They are a large group of tribes ranging about the headwaters of the Bermejo River and the Pilcomayo River, in Argentina and Bolivia. Notes on designation This ethnic group was named by the En ...
, Chulipis, Taipetes, Tobas, and Yuquis. **Tacanas: made up of Lecos, Chimanes, Araonas, and Maropas. **Panos: made up of Chacobos, Caripunas, Sinabos, Capuibos, and Guacanaguas. **Aruacos: made up of Apolistas, Baures, Moxos, Chané, Movimas, Cayabayas, Carabecas, and Paiconecas (Paucanacas). **Chapacuras: made up of Itenez (More), Chapacuras, Sansinonianos, Canichanas, Itonamas, Yuracares, Guatoses, and Chiquitanos. **Botocudos: made up of Bororos and Otuquis. **Zamucos: made up of Ayoreos.


Language

Bolivia has great linguistic diversity as a result of its
multiculturalism The term multiculturalism has a range of meanings within the contexts of sociology, political philosophy, and colloquial use. In sociology and in everyday usage, it is a synonym for "Pluralism (political theory), ethnic pluralism", with the tw ...
. The Constitution of Bolivia recognizes 36 official languages besides Spanish: Aymara, Araona, Baure, Bésiro, Canichana, Cavineño, Cayubaba, Chácobo, Chimán, Ese Ejja, Guaraní, Guarasu'we, Guarayu, Itonama, Leco,
Machajuyai-Kallawaya Kallawaya, also Callahuaya or Callawalla, is an Endangered language, endangered, secret, mixed language in Bolivia; another name sometimes used for the language is Pohena. It is spoken by the Kallawaya people, a group of traditional itinerant hea ...
, Machineri, Maropa, Mojeño-Ignaciano, Mojeño-Trinitario, Moré, Mosetén, Movima, Pacawara,
Puquina Puquina (or Pukina) is a small, putative Language family, language family, often portrayed as a Language isolate, language isolate, which consists of the extinct Puquina language and Kallawaya language, Kallawaya, although it is assumed that th ...
, Quechua, Sirionó, Tacana, Tapieté, Toromona, Uru-Chipaya, Weenhayek, Yaminawa, Yuki, Yuracaré, and Zamuco. Spanish is the most spoken official language in the country, according to the 2001 census; as it is spoken by two-thirds of the population. All legal and official documents issued by the State, including the Constitution, the main private and public institutions, the media, and commercial activities, are in Spanish. The main indigenous languages are: Quechua (21.2% of the population in the 2001 census), Aymara (14.6%), Guarani (0.6%) and others (0.4%) including the Moxos in the department of Beni. Plautdietsch, a German dialect, is spoken by about 70,000
Mennonite Mennonites are groups of Anabaptism, Anabaptist Christianity, Christian church communities of denominations. The name is derived from the founder of the movement, Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Friesland. Through his writings about Reformed Chris ...
s in Santa Cruz. Portuguese is spoken mainly in the areas close to Brazil. Bilingual education was implemented in Bolivia under the leadership of President Evo Morales. His program placed emphasis on the expansion of indigenous languages in the educational systems of the country.


Religion

Bolivia is a constitutionally
secular state A secular state is an idea pertaining to secularity, whereby a State (polity), state is or purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. A secular state claims to treat all its citizens ...
that guarantees the
freedom of religion Freedom of religion or religious liberty is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance. It also includes the freedom ...
and the independence of government from religion. According to the 2001
census A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring, recording and calculating information about the members of a given population Population typically refers to the number of people in a single area, whether it be a city A city is a ...
conducted by the National Institute of Statistics of Bolivia, 78% of the population is
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan c ...
, followed by 19% that are
Protestant Protestantism is a branch of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Na ...
, as well as a small number of Bolivians that are Orthodox, and 3% non-religious. The
Association of Religion Data Archives The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) is a free source of online information related to American and international religion. One of the primary goals of the archive is to democratize access to academic information on religion by making th ...
(relying on the World Christian Database) records that in 2010, 92.5% of Bolivians identified as
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...
(of any denomination), 3.1% identified with indigenous religion, 2.2% identified as Baháʼí, 1.9% identified as
agnostic Agnosticism is the view or belief that the existence of God, of the divinity, divine or the supernatural is unknown or Uncertainty, unknowable. (page 56 in 1967 edition) Another definition provided is the view that "human reason is incapable o ...
, and all other groups constituted 0.1% or less. Much of the indigenous population adheres to different traditional beliefs marked by inculturation or
syncretism Syncretism () is the practice of combining different beliefs and various school of thought, schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merging or religious assimilation, assimilation of several originally discrete traditions, especially in t ...
with Christianity. The cult of
Pachamama Pachamama is a goddess revered by the indigenous peoples of the Andes. In Inca mythology she is an "Earth Mother" type goddess,Penelope Dransart, Dransart, Penny. (1992) "Pachamama: The Inka Earth Mother of the Long Sweeping Garment." ''Dress an ...
, or "Mother Earth", is notable. The veneration of the Virgin of Copacabana, Virgin of Urkupiña and Virgin of Socavón, is also an important feature of
Christian pilgrimage Christianity has a strong tradition of pilgrimages, both to sites relevant to the New Testament narrative (especially in the Holy Land) and to sites associated with later saints or miracles. History Christian pilgrimages were first made to sit ...
. There also are important Aymaran communities near
Lake Titicaca Lake Titicaca (; es, Lago Titicaca ; qu, Titiqaqa Qucha) is a large freshwater lake in the Andes mountains on the border of Bolivia and Peru. It is often called the highest navigable lake in the world. By volume of water and by surface area, i ...
that have a strong devotion to James the Apostle. Deities worshiped in Bolivia include Ekeko, the Aymaran god of abundance and prosperity, whose day is celebrated every 24 January, and Tupá, a god of the Guaraní people.


Largest cities and towns

Approximately 67% of Bolivians live in urban areas, among the lowest proportion in South America. Nevertheless, the rate of urbanization is growing steadily, at around 2.5% annually. According to the 2012 census, there are total of 3,158,691 households in Bolivia – an increase of 887,960 from 2001. In 2009, 75.4% of homes were classified as a house, hut, or Pahuichi; 3.3% were apartments; 21.1% were rental residences; and 0.1% were
mobile home A mobile home (also known as a house trailer, park home, trailer, or trailer home) is a prefabrication, prefabricated structure, built in a factory on a permanently attached chassis before being transported to site (either by being towed or o ...
s. Most of the country's largest cities are located in the highlands of the west and central regions.


Culture

Bolivian culture has been heavily influenced by the Spanish, the Aymara, the Quechua, as well as the popular cultures of Latin America as a whole. The cultural development is divided into three distinct periods: precolumbian, colonial, and republican. Important
archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the scientific study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, architecture, biofacts or ecofacts, sites, and cultural landscapes ...
ruins, gold and silver ornaments, stone monuments,
ceramic A ceramic is any of the various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant materials made by shaping and then firing an inorganic, nonmetallic material, such as clay, at a high temperature. Common examples are earthenware, porcelain, ...
s, and
weaving Weaving is a method of textile production in which two distinct sets of yarn, yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a textile, fabric or cloth. Other methods are knitting, crocheting, felting, and braid, braiding or plaiting. ...
s remain from several important pre-Columbian cultures. Major ruins include
Tiwanaku Tiwanaku ( es, Tiahuanaco or ) is a Pre-Columbian In the history of the Americas, the pre-Columbian era spans from the Migration to the New World, original settlement of North and South America in the Upper Paleolithic period through European co ...
, El Fuerte de Samaipata, Inkallaqta and Iskanawaya. The country abounds in other sites that are difficult to reach and have seen little archaeological exploration. The Spanish brought their own tradition of religious art which, in the hands of local native and mestizo builders and
artisan An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled worker, skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by handicraft, hand. These objects may be wikt:functional, functional or strictly beauty, ...
s, developed into a rich and distinctive style of architecture, painting, and sculpture known as "Mestizo Baroque". The colonial period produced not only the paintings of Pérez de Holguín, Flores, Bitti, and others but also the works of skilled but unknown stonecutters, woodcarvers, goldsmiths, and silversmiths. An important body of Native Baroque religious music of the colonial period was recovered and has been performed internationally to wide acclaim since 1994. Bolivian artists of stature in the 20th century include María Luisa Pacheco, Roberto Mamani Mamani, Alejandro Mario Yllanes, Alfredo Da Silva, and Marina Núñez del Prado. Bolivia has a rich
folklore Folklore is shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. This includes oral traditions such as Narrative, tales, legends, proverbs and jokes. They include material culture, r ...
. Its regional
folk music Folk music is a music genre that includes #Traditional folk music, traditional folk music and the Contemporary folk music, contemporary genre that evolved from the former during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be c ...
is distinctive and varied. The "devil dances" at the annual carnival of Oruro are one of the great folkloric events of South America, as is the lesser known carnival at Tarabuco.


Education

In 2008, following
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international coope ...
standards, Bolivia was declared free of
illiteracy Literacy in its broadest sense describes "particular ways of thinking about and doing reading and writing" with the purpose of understanding or expressing thoughts or ideas in Writing, written form in some specific context of use. In other wo ...
, making it the fourth country in South America to attain this status. Bolivia has public and private universities. Among them: Universidad Mayor, Real y Pontificia de San Francisco Xavier de Chuquisaca USFX – Sucre, founded in 1624; Universidad Mayor de San Andrés UMSA – La Paz, founded in 1830; Universidad Mayor de San Simon UMSS – Cochabamba, founded in 1832; Universidad Autónoma Gabriel René Moreno UAGRM – Santa Cruz de la Sierra, founded in 1880; Universidad Técnica de Oruro UTO – Oruro, founded in 1892; Universidad Evangélica Boliviana UEB – Santa Cruz de la Sierra, founded in 1980; and Universidad Autónoma Tomás Frías UATF – Potosi, founded in 1892.


Health

According to UNICEF under-five mortality rate in 2006 was 52.7 per 1000 and was reduced to 26 per 1000 by 2019. The infant mortality rate was 40.7 per 1000 in 2006 and was reduced to 21.2 per 1000 in 2019. Before Morales took office, nearly half of all infants were not vaccinated; now nearly all are vaccinated. Morales also put into place several supplemental nutrition programs, including an effort to supply free food in public health and social security offices, and his desnutrición cero (zero malnutrition) program provides free school lunches. Between 2006 and 2016, extreme poverty in Bolivia fell from 38.2% to 16.8%. Chronic malnutrition in children under five years of age also went down by 14% and the child mortality rate was reduced by more than 50%, according to
World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a list of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. The WHO Constitution states its main objective as "the attainme ...
. In 2019 the Bolivian government created a universal healthcare system which has been cited as a model for all by the World Health Organization.


Sports

Football Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, Kick (football), kicking a Football (ball), ball to score a Goal (sport), goal. Unqualified, Football (word), the word ''football'' normally means the form of football tha ...
is popular. The national team is the
Bolivia national football team The Bolivia national football team ( es, Selección de fútbol de Bolivia), also known as ''La Verde'', has represented Bolivia , image_flag = Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg , flag_alt = Horizontal tricolor ( ...
.
Racquetball Racquetball is a list of racket sports, racquet sport and a team sport played with a hollow rubber ball on an indoor or outdoor court. Joseph Sobek invented the modern sport of racquetball in 1950, adding a stringed racquet to Four wall padd ...
is the second most popular sport in Bolivia as for the results in the Odesur 2018 Games held in Cochabamba. Bolivia has won 13 medals at the Pan American Games and 10 of them came from racquetball events, including their only gold medal won in the Men's Team event in 2019.
Basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball (approximately in diameter) through the defender' ...
is especially popular and influential in the Potosí Department.Identidad deportiva, la fórmula del éxito del básquetbol potosino
Gabriel Caero Rodríguez ( Los Tiempos), 22 September 2019. Accessed 12 August 2021.


See also

* * * Outline of Bolivia * Bolivia–United States relations


Notes


References


Bibliography

* Crabtree, John, and Laurence Whitehead, eds. ''Unresolved tensions: Bolivia past and present'' (2008
excerpt
* Klein, Herbert S. ''A Concise History of Bolivia'' (Cambridge UP, 2021
excerpt
* Morales, Waltraud Q. ''A brief history of Bolivia'' (Infobase Publishing, 2010). * Rohan, Rebecca. ''Bolivia'' (Cavendish Square, 2021) 32pp; for middle schools. * Thomson, Sinclair, et al., eds. ''The Bolivia Reader: History, Culture, Politics'' (Duke University Press, 2018). * Young, Kevin A. ''Blood of the earth: resource nationalism, revolution, and empire in Bolivia'' (University of Texas Press, 2017). * * * * Attribution: *


External links

*
Bolivia
''
The World Factbook ''The World Factbook'', also known as the ''CIA World Factbook'', is a reference resource produced by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with almanac-style information about the countries of the world. The official print version is availab ...
''.
Central Intelligence Agency The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA ), known informally as the Agency and historically as the Company, is a civilian intelligence agency, foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, officially tasked with gat ...
. *
Bolivia: A Country Study
(U.S. Library of Congress). *BBC News
Country Profile – Bolivia
* * {{Authority control Andean Community Former Spanish colonies Landlocked countries Member states of the Union of South American Nations Republics Countries in South America Spanish-speaking countries and territories States and territories established in 1825 Member states of the United Nations