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The Differences Between Paraguay and Uruguay (Detailed Comparison)

The Differences Between Paraguay and Uruguay (Detailed Comparison)

Some people neglect Uruguay and Paraguay compared to some of its neighbors, even though both have a lot to offer. Uruguay and Paraguay are two countries in South America.

Paraguay is an underdeveloped country that borders with the countries of Brazil and Bolivia. Uruguay is a developed country that developed its economy through manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism. They are both of interest to tourists because of their unique landscapes, rich culture, and biodiversity.

If you want to widen your South American horizons, here are my insights on Uruguay vs. Paraguay. In this article, I will highlight all the differences between these two countries so that you will have more ideas about them.

History of Paraguay vs. Uruguay

The history of Paraguay is divided into four distinct periods: pre-Columbian time (up to the Spanish conquistadores), colonial time, post-colonial time (Régimen republican), and modern times.

The history of Uruguay starts with the pre-Columbian Charrua Indians who lived on the land now known as Uruguay.

In 1811, a revolution started in Buenos Aires to overthrow Spanish rule and establish a new country. The revolution was unsuccessful initially, and Montevideo became an important city for trade with Brazil.

In 1825, Uruguay finally gained independence from Spain but experienced political unrest until 1973, when a civilian president was elected without military experience.

What’s the Cultural Difference Between Paraguays & Uruguayans?

Culture is an essential part of society and often plays a role in how people interact and mingle. We often see cultural differences from country to country and even state to state. Paraguay and Uruguay are on the same continent but have very different cultures.

Many people know there are differences between Paraguay’s and Uruguay’s cultures, but not many know what those differences are. Some significant discrepancies in these two countries’ cultures come from their history and colonial influences.

Most of these consist of their language, food, education systems, industry, economy, diplomatic relations, level of democracy, and political stability.

What is the Geographical Location of Uruguay and Paraguay?

Geographical Location
Geographical Location

Geography studies a region’s social, economic, and natural world. Geographic studies involve understanding a particular area’s physical, cultural, and human characteristics.

The geographical location of Uruguay is in South America on what is referred to as the ‘triple frontier’ or ‘border triangle’ shared with Argentina and Brazil. It also shares its borders with Bolivia and Paraguay.

The capital city of Uruguay is Montevideo, located at the southern end of its border with Brazil, where it divides with Argentina by the Rio de la Plata estuary.

How the country has been geographically divided has resulted in 12 districts based on natural regions. These districts are known as Departamentos, and they include Canelones, Cerro Largo, Colonia, Durazno, Flores, Lavalleja, Maldonado, Montevideo (city), Paysandu, Rio Negro, Rivera (department), and Tac.

How Big is Paraguay than Uraguay?

Paraguay is almost 2.3 times larger than Uruguay.

Uruguay has an area of around 176,215 square kilometers, while Paraguay has an area of approximately 406,752 square kilometers, making Paraguay 131% larger than Uruguay.

Meanwhile, the population of Uruguay is 3.4 million people and 3.9 million more people live in Paraguay. The contour of Uruguay is near the center of Paraguay.

People’s Health Comparison

As of 2016, 20.3% of adults in Paraguay were obese and that figure in Uruguay was 27.9% of the population.

Economy Comparison

  • As of 2020, Paraguay has a GDP per capita of $12,300, whereas Uruguay has a GDP per capita of $21,600.
  • As of 2019, 23.5% of Paraguayans were living in poverty. In Uruguay, the figure is 8.8% as of 2019.
  • As of 2017, 5.7% of adults in Paraguay were unemployed. As of 2017, the figure in Uruguay was 7.6%.

Living and Death Comparison

  • As of 2017, roughly 84.0 women per 100,000 births died during childbirth in Paraguay. As of 2017, 17.0 women worked in Uruguay.
  • As of 2022, roughly 23.2 children (per 1,000 live births) die before reaching the age of one in Paraguay. In Uruguay, however, 8.3 children will do so by 2022.
  • As of 2022, Paraguay has roughly 16.3 infants per 1,000 inhabitants. As of 2022, Uruguay has 12.7 infants per 1,000 people.

What About the Basic Needs in Paraguay and Uraguay?

There is a difference in basic needs also in the two places. Uraguay has been revolutionizing more rapidly than Paraguay.

As of 2021, around 64.0% of the population in Paraguay has an internet connection. As of 2020, around 86.0% of Uruguayans do.

What About the Expenditures of Uraguay and Paraguay?

  • As of 2019, Paraguay invests 3.5% of its total GDP in education. As of 2019, Uruguay spends 4.7% of its total GDP on education.
  • As of 2019, Paraguay spends 7.2% of its total GDP on healthcare. As of 2019, the figure in Uruguay was 9.4% of the GDP.

Uruguay is primarily an urban country. Most people live in cities such as Montevideo, the country’s capital.

Many Paraguayans live in rural areas. Livestock production is an important aspect of the Paraguayan economy.

What Makes Paraguay Unique?

It possesses the world’s largest navy of any landlocked country.

Even though it lacks a coastline, Paraguay has the greatest navy of any landlocked country. It also has a naval, aviation, coastguard, and river defense force.

What Makes Uruguay Unique?

A Waving Flag of Uruguay
A Waving Flag of Uruguay

Uruguay is a beautiful South American country known for its beaches, steak, and outstanding soccer players.

With 660 kilometers of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean, the country attracts surfers and beach enthusiasts worldwide. The country is also noted for its excellent living standards, modern education, and liberal social regulations.

The Uruguay River inspired the country’s name. It rephrases into the “river of the painted birds” in Guarani.

Guarani is a Tupian language that belongs to the Tupi-Guarani family and is a major pre-Columbian language group that has survived to the present day.

Francisco Acuna de Figueroa wrote the words of the national song of Uruguay and authored the lyrics to Paraguay’s national song. Francisco José Debali and Fernando Quijano wrote the music. Musicians initially played the song on July 19, 1845.

Let’s watch this video and discover their differences.

Other Differences

  • One significant disparity between these two countries is the geographical location; Uruguay has a more temperate climate than Paraguay, which has a desert-like climate. Uruguay also has a significantly higher Human Development Index (HDI) than Paraguay.
  • These neighboring countries are often mixed up as they both have Spanish-speaking communities. Paraguay is a landlocked country in the center of South America, while Uruguay is located on the Atlantic Coast.
  • The most notable difference between these two countries is that Uruguay is a federal democracy while Paraguay is a presidential republic.
  • Uruguay and its capital Montevideo are situated on the Rio de la Plata’s banks, which separates it from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to the south. Meanwhile, Paraguay lies south of Brazil and towers over Bolivia to its east.
  • There are many differences between Uruguay and Paraguay. They are situated in different worlds, have other languages, and eat different foods.
  • One of the most significant differences between Uruguayan and Paraguayan cultures is their languages. The primary language in Uruguay is Spanish (though there are other languages as well), whereas the preceding language in Paraguay is Guaraní. Therefore, the people of each country read and write differently, making communication difficult for those who do not speak both languages fluently.
  • Uruguay and Paraguay are neighboring countries in South America with different cultures and economies.
  • Uruguay and Paraguay share a lot of history reflected in their modern-day practices. For instance, the nation’s flags represent their struggle against oppressive pasts. However, despite so much history shared between them, Paraguay still uses a very conservative form of Spanish. At the same time, Uruguay keeps it more neutral by retaining elements of Catalan or Italian as well as Spanish.
  • The two countries have many differences; for instance, Uruguay is bilingual, while Paraguay only has Spanish as an official language. With such varied cultures and economies, the people of these two nations have different lifestyles and traditions.

Let’s take an overview of the differences in the table below.

ClimateTemperate climateDesert-like climate
Democratic DifferenceFederal DemocracyPresidential Republic.
Primary LanguageSpanishGuaraní
Uruguay vs. Paraguay


  • Uruguay and Paraguay are both South American countries. Tourists are drawn to both for their beautiful landscapes, rich culture, and biodiversity.
  •  Both have considerable differences highlighted in this article. Even though both have names that sound similar to each other, however, history, geographical location, culture, size, etc., make them different.
  • The most notable difference between these two countries is that Uruguay is a federal democracy while Paraguay is a presidential republic.
  • Uruguay and Paraguay are neighboring countries in South America with different cultures and economies.

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