130 Facts About Uruguay


Uruguay

Interesting Facts About Uruguay

  • The name Uruguay, when translated, means “river of painted birds.”
  • They have the world’s poorest politician – Jose Mujica
  • Amazingly, Uruguay has the world’s poorest politician. Yes, their president lives in simplicity, donating 90% of his salary to noble causes. He owns a one-bedroom house and a three-legged dog.
  • Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, during the colonial period was a hub for the slave trade in South America. As a result, at least 10 percent of the population of the country is descended from slaves.
  • Uruguay is the second-smallest country in South America, after Suriname.
  • Uruguay is the most non-religious country in the Americas. So much so that they have renamed many of their traditional holidays. Now, Christmas is called Family Day and Holy Week is called Tourism Week.
  • Uruguayans go to bars not just to become intoxicated, but to socialize.
  • Uruguay has the longest national anthem in the world in terms of duration of music (105 bars; almost six minutes.)
  • Uruguay is the only country to keep track of 100% of their cattle. There are three cows for every person in the country.
  • The first-ever FIFA World Cup was held in Uruguay in 1930. Uruguay defeated Argentina 4–2 and won the FIFA World Cup in the same year.
  • Not only that, in 2009, Uruguay became the first country in the world to provide every schoolchild with a free laptop and Wi-Fi access.
  • Over half of the country’s 3.3 million people live in the capital, Montevideo. The city has consistently been rated as having the highest quality of life of any city in Latin America.
  • Suriname is the only country in South America that is smaller than Uruguay.
  • In Uruguay, cows outnumber people four to one. It is a nation of 12 million cattle but just three million people
  • Forget the Andes. The highest point in Uruguay is Cerro Catedral at just 514m (1,684ft) above sea level.
  • Uruguay is the only country in Latin America which is entirely outside of the tropics.
  • Uruguay’s national anthem, which lasts more than five minutes, is the world’s longest in performance duration.
  • With only 46% of the population Catholic, Uruguay is one of the least religious countries in Latin America.
  • Argentina has proudly owned the title of mother of tango since its inception, but it’s little known that it actually shares the honour with Uruguay. This sensual dance was devised by working class dwellers of the cities that straddle either side of the Río de la Plata. In fact, the most famous tango rhythm – La Cumparsita – was first played in 1917 in Montevideo café La Giralda, composed by a 17-year-old student called Gerardo Matos Rodriguez. Sexy and sultry, tango took off.
  • Uruguay is the most non-religious country in the Americas. So much so that they have renamed many of their traditional holidays. Christmas is called Family Day and Holy Week is called Tourism Week in Uruguay.
  • Uruguay sends more troops to UN than any other country.
  • Uruguayans are very fond of naming their houses, which is why every single house in the country has its own name. Their houses are not marked with numbers as in other countries.
  • Uruguay has the longest national anthem in the world. In 1833, the Orientales, la Patria o La Tumba(“Uruguayans, the Fatherland or the Grave”) was officially proclaimed the National Anthem of Uruguay. It is almost 6 minutes long, making it the longest national anthem music in the world.
  • Uruguay is the least corrupt country in Latin America. It is ranked first in the region for democracy, peace, lack of corruption, quality of living, e-Government, freedom of press, size of the middle class, prosperity and security.
  • Uruguay produced almost 95% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2015.
  • Uruguay has the world’s poorest politician. Yes, their president lives in simplicity, donating 90% of his salary to noble causes. He owns a one-bedroom house and a three-legged dog.
  • Uruguayans have free access to education, which is why their literacy rate is highest in South America. Education is compulsory in Uruguay.
  • The country is the first in the world to provide a free laptop and Wi-Fi connection to its school children.
  • Uruguay has scenic, beautiful beaches along its coastline, which covers 500 kilometers in total length.
  • Grassland covers almost three-quarters of Uruguay.
  • The highest point in Uruguay is Cerro Catedral, at 1684 feet (514 meters) above sea level.
  • Marijuana trade has been legal in the country since December 2013. The cost is approximately one dollar per gram.
  • Which is all the more impressive considering the country was ruled by a military dictatorship until 1985. In 2009, General Gregorio Conrado Álvarez, the country’s final dictator, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for 37 counts of murder and human rights violations.
  • Over half of the country’s 3.3 million people live in the capital, Montevideo.
  • Uruguay has renamed many of its traditional Catholic holidays. Christmas, for example, is called Family Day and Holy Week is called Tourism Week.
  • The Uruguayans have won the football World Cup twice. They were the first hosts and winners of the tournament in 1930 and won it again in 1950.
  • In December 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalise the production, sale and use of marijuana.
  • In 2009, Uruguay became the first country in the world to provide every schoolchild with a free laptop and wifi access.
  • José “Pepe” Mujica, President of Uruguay between 2010 and 2015, donates 90% of his income to charity, a habit that earned him the moniker ‘the world’s poorest president’.
  • Every single house in Uruguay has its own unique name.
  • It claims to be the birthplace of the tango (as does Argentina).
  • Uruguay’s national anthem, which lasts more than five minutes, is the world’s longest in terms of performance duration (and is quite catchy too)!
  • Uruguay is the only country in Latin America which is entirely outside of the tropics.
  • José Mujica, Uruguay’s president from 2010-2015, donated 90% of his income to charity and earned himself the nickname of the world’s poorest president.
  • In 2009, Uruguay became the first country in the world to provide every schoolchild with a free laptop and Wi-Fi access.
  • In 2013, Uruguay was named The Economist’s Country of the Year.
  • Uruguay has a literacy rate of 98.1% for adults, one of the highest in the world. This is thanks to the country’s provision of free, compulsory education.
  • Uruguay’s motto is Libertad o Muerte, meaning Liberty or Death.
  • There are more sheep in Uruguay than humans! In 2005, Uruguay, which is well suited for raising sheep and cattle, had 9,712,000 sheep, which was second highest in South America after Brazil. The production costs for raising livestock are low, but the quality of production is high in Uruguay.
  • Exports of meat and wool made Uruguay prosperous during the early 20th century.
  • Uruguay exported $1 billion worth of livestock in 2000.
  • Cows at traditional rural exhibition at prado neighborhood in Montevideo city, Uruguay.
  • Uruguay is the only country to keep track of 100% of their cattle. There are three cows for every person in the country.
  • Uruguay’s industrial economy is mainly dependent on petroleum products, transportation equipment, electrical machinery and food processing.
  • Brazil and Argentina are major trade partners of Uruguay.
  • Interesting facts about Uruguay’s sports, size and more…
  • Until 1985, Uruguay was under a military dictatorship.
  • It is one of the few countries in South America to have access to clean water for its entire population.
  • Uruguayan countrymen played test cricket in the mid-nineteenth century. Between 1868 and the Second World War, they played Argentina – 29 times.
  • Uruguay won its only Olympic gold medals in the 1924 and 1928 Olympics. They won these medals in football (soccer).
  • The first-ever FIFA World Cup was held in Uruguay in 1930. Uruguay defeated Argentina 4–2 and won the FIFA World Cup in the same year.
  • Uruguay is comparable in size toOklahoma.
  • Uruguay on the map
  • Facts about Uruguay’s corruption, legalization of abortions, same-sex marriages, disease outbreak and more…Uruguay’s military ruler Gregorio Alvarez was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the murder of 37 people and numerous human rights violations.
  • Uruguay has ranked as one of the least corrupt nations at 21 out of 176 by Transparency International. Brazil ranks at the 79th spot while Argentina at the 95th position (2016 stats.)
  • After Chile, Uruguay is the second-least corrupt country in South America.
  • In 2010, Uruguay’s president Juan Maria Bordaberry was also sentenced to 30 years for murder and his role in the 1973 military coup.
  • In 2012, a bill was approved by its Senate to legalize abortions during first-trimester pregnancies. This bill attracted a lot of attention among other countries in Latin America. The only other country in Latin America where abortion is legal is Cuba. 
  • Uruguay became the 20th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage in 2013. This was even before the U.K. did so.
  • Foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Uruguay in 1999 caused several nations to stop the import of beef and lamb from the country. Efforts were then made to eradicate the disease successfully.
  • In 1998, Uruguay exceeded its quota under international fishing regulations by catching more than 930 tons of Swordfish.
  • Uruguay is among Latin America’s most highly electrified countries with more than 95% of its region covered with access to a consistent supply of power.
  • The country has the lowest poverty and population-growth rates in South America. Interestingly, they also have the highest urbanization and literacy rates in the region.
  • Uruguayans are very fond of naming their houses, which is why every single house in the country has its own name. Their houses are not marked with numbers as in other countries. They also name their cities from a collection of names that they use for many other cities. For this reason, you may get confused if you are traveling from one city to the other!
  • Did you read the name carefully – ‘Uruguay’? It is the only country whose name in English has the same letter repeated three times in its first five letters. The repeated letter is ‘U’.
  • Smoking is banned in Uruguay in enclosed public places. Almost one-third of its population smokes, which is why strict measures were adopted to curb this deadly habit. A campaign called “A Million Thanks” was launched by the president to reference the number of smokers. Interestingly, the legislation was supported by close to 70% of its smoking population.
  • Uruguay’s national flag has nine strips and a sun with a human face in the upper left-hand corner. Their national anthem also contains the line “No one insults the image of the sun!”
  • More than half of its population lives in its capital city, Montevideo.
  • Advertising is done by means of large speakers installed on the tops of vans running across the city. Van drivers use microphones to deliver advertisements.
  • In 1913, Uruguay had a divorce law in force that would allow Uruguayan woman to seek divorce at their sole request. Chile on the other hand, legalized divorce in 2004.
  • Uruguay produced almost 95% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2015.
  • A woman in Uruguay was recently stopped from aborting her child by court. Actually, her boyfriend filled a law suit in the court claiming that he is willing to up bring the child on his own even if the mother of the child is not interested. The court ruled in favor of the boyfriend, which however, is against the rule of the country where abortions are legally permitted until the 12th week of pregnancy. The women, however has decided that she would appeal against the decision as she does not want to give birth to the child.
  • 45. Philip Morris, a leading tobacco giant, was asked by the court to pay Uruguay a hefty fine of $7 million over a disputed cigarette advertisement.
  • Did you read the name carefully – ‘Uruguay’? It is the only country whose name in English has the same letter repeated three times in its first five letters.  The country’s name comes from the Uruguay river and means river of the painted birds in the Guarani language. The river starts in Brazil, ends in the Río de la Plata Basin and forms the border between Uruguay and Argentina.
  • The country’s official name is República Oriental del Uruguay (Oriental Republic of Uruguay).
  • The name Uruguay comes from the Uruguay River which means ‘river of the painted birds’ in the Guarani language. The river starts in Brazil and ends in the Rio de la Plata Basin which forms the water border between Uruguay and Argentina.
  • Uruguay is the least corrupt country in Latin America. It is ranked first in the region for democracy, peace, lack of corruption, quality of living, e-Government, freedom of press, size of the middle class, prosperity and security…
  • In 2013, Uruguay was named The Economist’s Country of the Year.
  • Uruguay was the first nation in Latin America to establish a welfare state.
  • Uruguay has one of the highest literacy rates in the world with 98.7% for adults. This is largely thanks to Uruguayans’ access to free and compulsory education.
  • The country’s name comes from the Uruguay River and means the river of the painted birds in the Guarani language. The river starts in Brazil, ends in the Río de la Plata Basin, and forms the border between Uruguay and Argentina.
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