Wissenswertes über Bolivien

Interesting facts about Bolivia

Bolivia is a constitutionally free, independent, sovereign, multicultural and multi-ethnic republic. It is presidential with two Parliamentary chambers, similar to the US system.

President: Evo Morales Aima

Vice President: Alvaro García Linera

Bolivia is located in the center of South America. It is surrounded by Brazil to the north, Peru and Chile to the west and by Argentina and Paraguay to south and east.

The expanse of Bolivia covers 1,098,581 km².

Bolivia is divided into a total of nine departments:

La Paz, Oruro, Potosí, Chuquisaca, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Tarija, Beni and Pando. (With 112 provinces and 327 communes).

While La Paz is the seat of government, Sucre is registered as the official capital of Bolivia.

Depending on the altitude, the climate in Bolivia is dry and cold or humid and tropical. One differentiates between rainy season and dry season. The rainy season lasts from November to March. The remaining months are characterized by dryness and low rainfall. During the dry season, it can get very cold during the nights.

Raw materials: tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, wood and hydropower.

Population: 10.72 million inhabitants (2015 census).

Life expectancy: 68.5 years (men 65.7 years and women 71.4 years) as of 2014.

Ethnic groups: In the Plurinational State of Bolivia, more than 30 ethnic groups are spread throughout the country.

The most represented groups are the Quechua and Aymara, which are also mixed together. Both belong to the indigenous people and make up more than half of the population of Bolivia. Quechuas are mostly represented in the department of Cochabamba, Potosí and Chuquisaca.

While Aymaras live in and around La Paz, the largest city in Bolivia. In the lowlands, the so-called Oriente, there is only a minority of Indigenes the Guaranís. In the highlands, there is even a small population of descendants of African Slaves. It has to be said that statistics for ethnicity are very different.

According to statistics from 2007, 60.6 % count themselves as mestizos (mixed race); while only about 15.6 % belong to the indigenous people and 19 % counts themselves among the white population.

Religion: Most Bolivians belong to the Catholic Church. In addition the traditional Andean faith is omnipresent and joins the Christian rites.

Languages: Official Language is Spanish followed by Quechua and Aymara. Depending on the Departments there are 35 other official languages. Since 2007, Quechua and Aymara has been compulsory subjects in schools. Quechua has its roots in the language of the Incas and is still spoken by the majority of the population. There are many regional dialects. In some areas of Bolivia, people only speak Quechua but understand Spanish. Aymara is spoken in La Paz and west of it, as well as in Peru. This applies purely to indigenous groups as well as the mestizos. Tupi-Guaraní is spoken in the east of the country. This language however is threatened to be forgotten.

National holiday: 6th of August (Independence from Spain 1825)

Currency : Boliviano ( BOB )