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Bolivia, named after independence fighter Simon BOLIVAR, broke away from Spanish rule in 1825; much of its subsequent history has consisted of a series of coups and countercoups, with the last coup occurring in 1978. Democratic civilian rule was established in 1982, but leaders have faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and illegal drug production.


Central South America, southwest of Brazil

Natural Resources

tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, hydropower

Population - distribution

a high altitude plain in the west between two cordillera of the Andes, known as the Altiplano, is the focal area for most of the population; a dense settlement pattern is also found in and around the city of Santa Cruz, located on the eastern side of the Andes

Spanish (official) 60.7%, Quechua (official) 21.2%, Aymara (official) 14.6%, foreign languages 2.4%, Guarani (official) 0.6%, other native languages 0.4%, none 0.1%
Santa Cruz 2.107 million; LA PAZ (capital) 1.816 million; Cochabamba 1.24 million; Sucre (constitutional capital) 372,000 (2015)
Conventional long form
Plurinational State of Bolivia
Conventional short form
Local long form
Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia
Local short form
presidential republic
Geographic coordinates
16 30 S, 68 09 W
Time difference
UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Bolivia is a resource rich country with strong growth attributed to captive markets for natural gas exports to Brazil and Argentina. However, the country remains one of the least developed countries in Latin America because of state-oriented policies that deter investment and growth.
External debt stocks
US$ 9,848,995,000
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ -1,853,713,739
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 10,831,641,389
Exports of goods and services
US$ 8,311,504,920
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 503,444,027
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 1,219,705,773
soybeans, quinoa, Brazil nuts, sugarcane, coffee, corn, rice, potatoes, chia, coca
mining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverages, tobacco, handicrafts, clothing, jewelry
natural gas, silver, zinc, lead, tin, gold, quinoa, soybeans and soy products
Brazil 28.1%, Argentina 16.9%, US 12.1%, Colombia 6.3%, China 5.3%, Japan 4.7%, South Korea 4.3% (2015)
machinery, petroleum products, vehicles, iron and steel, plastics
China 17.9%, Brazil 16.5%, Argentina 11.8%, US 10.6%, Peru 6.2%, Japan 5.2%, Chile 4.6% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
A very uncertain political and economic outlook and a business environment with many troublesome weaknesses can have a significant impact on corporate payment behavior. Corporate default probability is high.
Business Climate Rating
The business environment is difficult. Corporate financial information is often unavailable and when available often unreliable. Debt collection is unpredictable. The institutional framework has many troublesome weaknesses. Intercompany transactions run major risks in the difficult environments rated C.
  • Significant natural resources (gas, oil, zinc, silver, gold, tin, and manganese)
  • Membership of the Andean Community and association with Mercosur
  • Large foreign currency reserves
  • Little economic diversity and reliance on oil and gas
  • Landlocked country
  • Size of the informal sector
  • Insecurity and drug trafficking
  • Risk of social unrest

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