A country of extremes, landlocked Bolivia is the highest and most isolated country in South America.
It has the largest proportion of indigenous people, who make up around two-thirds of the population.
The country has the second-largest reserves of natural gas in South America, but there have been long-running tensions over the exploitation and export of the resource. Indigenous groups say the country should not relinquish control of the reserves, which they see as Bolivia’s sole remaining natural resource.
Bolivia is also one of the world’s largest producers of coca, the raw material for cocaine. A crop-eradication programme, though easing the flow of conditional US aid, has incensed many of Bolivia’s poorest farmers for whom coca is often the only source of income.
- Plurinational State of Bolivia
- Capital: Sucre
- Population 10.2 million
- Area 1.1 million sq km (424,164 sq miles)
- Major languages Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, Guarani
- Major religion Christianity
- Life expectancy 65 years (men), 69 years (women)
- Currency boliviano