Uruguay Geography and Population

Uruguay – geography

The climate is temperate and relatively uniform throughout the country with only small regional variations. Spring is windy and humid, summer hot, autumn mild, and winter cool and very humid (average for July 10 °C). Pga. greater distance to the sea, however, northwestern Uruguay has relatively warmer summers and less humid winters. Frost occurs very rarely. In addition to the Río de la Plata, there are three large river systems and a large number of lakes and lagoons. Río Uruguay forms the border with Argentina, and the tributary Río Negro flows across the country from the NE. A dam over the Río Negro in the middle of the country has created one of South America’s largest artificial lakes. The third major river, the Río Yí, is a tributary of the Río Negro.

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Uruguay lies between the flat Argentine pampas and mountainous southern Brazil. Along the coast and the Argentine border, the landscape is flat. The remaining three quarters of the area is mainly hilly terrain, which towards the border with Brazil turns into low mountains (approximately 200 m).

By far the largest part of the country is made up of el Interior (central Uruguay). The soil layer is generally only thin here, but grass has ideal conditions in the humid climate, and in total natural pastures make up approximately 90% of the country’s agricultural area. In the region are cattle and sheep farms; a majority are family farms, however, occupying only a quarter of the land, while many cattle farms, estancias, are over 1000 ha. Wool, meat and skins are mainly produced, which are the most important exports.

The flat coastline from Montevideo west and north along the border with Argentina is a wide belt that forms the transition to the hilly landscape of el Interior. Here the soil is more suitable for cultivation, and wheat, citrus and dairy products are produced. The coastline from Montevideo to the east and north along the Atlantic Ocean is narrower with many sandy and swampy areas. The region is characterized by larger and smaller resorts. Best known is the peninsula Punta del Este. Many with employment in Montevideo have settled in cities in the southern part of the region, while the northern part is less developed. The region has a modest agriculture. Greater Montevideo houses more than half of the country’s population. The dominance of the capital is an expression of a strong centralization in Uruguay, not only in terms of population, but also economically and culturally. Thus, about 70% of the industry, primarily processing of agricultural products, is located here, and approximately 90% of the country’s trading activities take place here. Urbanization (over 90% of the population lives in cities) also means that the population density varies and in significant parts of the country is very small. This is especially true in el Interior with the large cattle farms. Here are approximately half of the population resides in the capitals of the states, while the other half lives in smaller towns and in the countryside. The Uruguayan population is predominantly (90%) of European origin. A small minority are blacks, many of them immigrants from Brazil, while mestizos (mix of Indians and whites) make up about 8% of the population, which is less than in most other countries in South America. Annual population growth (0.46%; 2006) is also unusually low for the continent. For culture and traditions of Uruguay, please check calculatorinc.