Bolivia | Facts & Information

Updated May 3, 2023 | Infoplease Staff

Infoplease has everything you need to know about Bolivia. Check out our country profile, full of essential information about Bolivia's geography, history, government, economy, population, culture, religion, and languages. If that's not enough, click over to our collection of world maps and flags.

Facts & Figures

  • Official Name: The Plurinational State of Bolivia

    President: Luis Arce Catacora (2020)

    Vice President: David Choquehuanca

    President of the Senate: Andrónico Rodríguez

    President of the Chamber of Deputies: Jerges Mercado

    Type of Government: Unitary Presidential Republic

    Land area: 418,683 sq mi (1,084,389 sq km); Water Area: 15,280 sq km; Total Area: 424,164 sq mi (1,098,580 sq km)

    Population (2022 est.): 12,054,379 (growth rate: 1.12%); birth rate: 18.61/1000; infant mortality rate: 22.28/1000; life expectancy: 72.5

    Administrative Capital: La Paz, 1.908 million

    Constitutional Capital: Sucre, 278,000

    Largest City: Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 2.4 million

    Other large cities: Santa Cruz 1.784 million; Cochabamba, 1.369 million (2022)

    Monetary unit: Boliviano

    National name: República de Bolivia

    Current Government Officials

    Languages: Spanish (official) 60.7%, Quechua (official) 21.2%, Aymara (official) 14.6%, Guarani (official), foreign languages 2.4%, other 1.2% note: Bolivia's 2009 constitution designates Spanish and all indigenous languages as official; 36 indigenous languages are specified, including some that are extinct (2001 census)

    Ethnicity/race: Mestizo (mixed White and Amerindian ancestry) 68%, Indigenous 20%, White 5%, Cholo/Chola 2%, African descent 1%, other 1%, unspecified 3%; 44% of respondents indicated feeling part of some indigenous group, predominantly Quechua or Aymara (2009 est.)

    National Holiday: Independence Day, August 6

    Religion: Roman Catholic 70%, Evangelical 14.5%, Adventist 2.5%, Church of Jesus Christ 1.2%, agnostic 0.3%, atheist 0.8%, other 3.5%, none 6.6%, unspecified 0.6% (2018 est.)

    Literacy rate: 92.5%. Male 96.5%, female 88.6% (2015 est.)

    Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2020 est.): $92.59 billion; per capita $7,900. Real growth rate: 2.2%. Inflation: 1.8%. Unemployment: 4% in urban areas with widespread underemployment. Arable land: 3.6%. Agriculture: soybeans, coffee, coca, cotton, corn, sugarcane, rice, potatoes; timber. Labor force: 5.719 million; agriculture 29.4%, industry 22%, services 48.6%. Industries: mining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverages, tobacco, handicrafts, clothing. Natural resources: tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, hydropower. Exports: $7.55 billion (2020 est.): natural gas, soybeans and soy products, crude petroleum, zinc ore, tin. Major trading partners (exports): Argentina 16%, Brazil 15%, United Arab Emirates 12%, India 10%, United States 6%, South Korea 5%, Peru 5%, Colombia 5% (2019). Imports: $8.27 billion (2020 est.): petroleum products, plastics, paper, aircraft and aircraft parts, prepared foods, automobiles, insecticides, soybeans. Major trading partners (imports): Brazil 22%, Chile 15%, China 13%, Peru 11%, Argentina 8%, United States 7% (2017).

    Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 598,082 (2020); mobile cellular: 11,804,343 (2020). Broadcast media: large number of radio and TV stations broadcasting with private media outlets dominating; state-owned and private radio and TV stations generally operating freely, although both pro-government and anti-government groups have attacked media outlets in response to their reporting (2019). Internet hosts: 180,988 (2012). Internet users: 7,003,817 (2020).

    Transportation: Railways: total: 3,960 km (2019). Roadways: total: 90,568 km; paved: 9,792 km; unpaved: 80,776 km (2017). Waterways: 10,000 km (commercially navigable) (2012). Ports and harbors: Puerto Aguirre (on the Paraguay/Parana waterway, at the Bolivia/Brazil border); also, Bolivia has free port privileges in maritime ports in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay. Airports: 855 (2021 est.).

    Major sources and definitions