30+ Interesting Facts About Uruguay

  1. Uruguay is the 2nd smallest country in South America after Suriname. It shares borders with Brazil and Argentina.
  2. Uruguay is the wealthiest country in South America. It has the highest average income per capita in the continent. (Source)
  3. In 2013, Uruguay became the first country to legalize the production, sale, and smoking of marijuana. (Source)
  4. Uruguay has the world’s longest national anthem according to the time taken to its singing. It takes 6 minutes to sing the Uruguay national anthem. (Source)
  5. Uruguay has the highest carbon tax rate in the world: $137 per metric ton of CO2. The country implemented this tax in January 2022. (Source)
  6. Europeans initially arrived in Uruguay in 1516. There were a few thousand local settlers at that time in this area. The initial European (Spanish) explorers were killed and eaten by these local tribes.
  7. Portuguese were the first to establish a colony in Uruguay in 1680. The territory was later divided between the Portuguese and Spanish.
  8. Uruguay gained independence in 1828. It was established as a buffer zone between Brazil and Argentina.
  9. The majority population in Uruguay are descendants of Spanish and Italian emigrants who arrived in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  10. Uruguay generates more than 98% of its electricity from renewable sources. 60% of renewable energy is hydropower, while the remaining is mostly wind power. 99.9% of homes in Uruguay receive electricity. It also exports a large amount of electricity to Brazil and Argentina. (Source)
  11. Uruguay has the highest number of cattle compared to its population in the world. There are 3.44 cattle heads per capita in Uruguay. (Source)
  12. Uruguay also has the highest consumption of red meat per capita in the world. The meat consumption is more than 124 pounds per capita. (Source)
  13. Like most other South American countries, Roman Catholic Christianity is the main religion in Uruguay. But the percentage of Christianity in Uruguay is the lowest in South America as many people are irreligious.
  14. Uruguay is the least corrupt country in Lain America and the Caribbean. In the corruption perception index, its score is 71 out of 100 points. (Source)
  15. Uruguay has the 2nd best press freedom in Latin America (after Costa Rica) and the 19th-best in the world. (Source)
  16. Uruguay is the friendliest country in Latin America for LGBT. In 2008, it became the first Latin American country to recognize same-sex civil unions.
  17. Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, is the southernmost capital city of South America. Half of Uruguay’s population resides in this city. (Source)
    Map of Uruguay with its capital in the south
    Uruguay has the South America's southernmost capital city 

  18. Uruguay is one of the four countries in the world and the only in South America located entirely south of the Tropic of Capricorn. (Source)
  19. Uruguay is one of few countries in the world and the only country in South America that is ranked full democracy. (Source)
  20. Jose Mujica, former president of Uruguay, is known as the world’s poorest president. During his presidency, he was the owner of a farm, a house, tractors, and a Volkswagen Beetle. He donated around 90% of his monthly salary during his presidency. (Source)
  21. Uruguay has the highest percentage of irreligion in Latin America. There are 37% religiously unaffiliated people in Uruguay, more than twice the second-most irreligious country (the Dominican Republic with 18%) in the region. (Source)
  22. In 2009, Uruguay became the first country to provide a laptop to every primary school student. Around 350,000 students and 16,000 teachers received the “ceibalita” at that time. (Source)
  23. Uruguay is the largest per capita software exporter in South America. More than 700 tech companies in this country export software across 52 markets.
  24. Similar to its neighbor Argentina and unlike many other South American countries, Uruguay is culturally related to Europe (especially Spain and Italy). There is very little influence of indigenous culture in Uruguay.
  25. Spanish is the main language in Uruguay, spoken in all parts of the country. Portuguese is the majority language in areas adjacent to Brazil.
  26. Uruguay hosted and also won the first FIFA World Cup in 1930. The country won its second world cup title in the 1950 Soccer World Cup.
  27. Uruguay appeared for the first time in Olympics in 1924. It won a gold medal in football in its inaugural Olympics as well.
  28. Uruguay has won the highest number of Copa America cups. The country has 15 titles. Football national teams from across South America participate in this tournament. 
  29. Uruguay is named after the Uruguay River. Uruguay is a Guarani word that means “river of the painted birds.”
  30. More than 30% of Uruguayans suffer from hypertension, while the country has the highest percentage of child obesity in the region. People eat the double amount of sodium compared to the amount recommended by WHO. To combat this problem, the government has banned restaurants to serve salt shakers, mayonnaise, ketchup, and other items with additional salt on the table. (Source)
  31. A major attraction in Uruguay is the Casapueblo hotel on the southern coast of Uruguay. It was built by Uruguayan artist Carlos Paez Vilaro without any plan, but is known as one of the man-made wonders in South America. (Source)
  32. After Cuba and Guyana, Uruguay became the 3rd Latin American country to legalize abortion in 2012. (Source)


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