Portal:Bolivia

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Physical map of Bolivia
Bolivia's location

Bolivia /bəˈlɪviə/ ( About this sound listen), officially the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. The constitutional capital is Sucre, while the seat of government and executive capital is La Paz. The largest city and principal industrial center is Santa Cruz de la Sierra, located on the Llanos Orientales (tropical lowlands), a mostly flat region in the east of the country.

The sovereign state of Bolivia is a constitutionally unitary state, divided into nine departments. Its geography varies from the peaks of the Andes in the West, to the Eastern Lowlands, situated within the Amazon basin. It is bordered to the north and east by Brazil, to the southeast by Paraguay, to the south by Argentina, to the southwest by Chile, and to the northwest by Peru. One-third of the country is within the Andean mountain range. With 1,098,581 km2 (424,164 sq mi) of area, Bolivia is the fifth largest country in South America, after Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Colombia (and alongside Paraguay, one of the only two landlocked countries in the Americas), the 27th largest in the world, the largest landlocked country in the Southern Hemisphere, and the world's seventh largest landlocked country, after Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Chad, Niger, Mali, and Ethiopia.

The country's population, estimated at 11 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Mestizos, Europeans, Asians, and Africans. Spanish is the official and predominant language, although 36 indigenous languages also have official status, of which the most commonly spoken are Guarani, Aymara, and Quechua languages.

Before Spanish colonization, the Andean region of Bolivia was part of the Inca Empire, while the northern and eastern lowlands were inhabited by independent tribes. Spanish conquistadors arriving from Cusco and Asunción took control of the region in the 16th century. During the Spanish colonial period Bolivia was administered by the Real Audiencia of Charcas. Spain built its empire in large part upon the silver that was extracted from Bolivia's mines. After the first call for independence in 1809, 16 years of war followed before the establishment of the Republic, named for Simón Bolívar. Over the course of the 19th and early 20th century Bolivia lost control of several peripheral territories to neighboring countries including the seizure of its coastline by Chile in 1879. Bolivia remained relatively politically stable until 1971, when Hugo Banzer led a CIA-supported coup d'état which replaced the socialist government of Juan José Torres with a military dictatorship headed by Banzer; Torres was murdered in Buenos Aires, Argentina by a right-wing death squad in 1976. Banzer's regime cracked down on leftist and socialist opposition and other forms of dissent, resulting in the torture and deaths of a number of Bolivian citizens. Banzer was ousted in 1978 and later returned as the democratically elected president of Bolivia from 1997 to 2001.

Modern Bolivia is a charter member of the UN, IMF, NAM, OAS, ACTO, Bank of the South, ALBA, and USAN. Bolivia remains the second poorest country in South America, though it has slashed poverty rates and has the fastest growing economy in South America (in terms of GDP). It is a developing country, with a high ranking in the Human Development Index. Its main economic activities include agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, and manufacturing goods such as textiles, clothing, refined metals, and refined petroleum. Bolivia is very rich in minerals, including tin, silver, lithium, and copper. ( Full article...) Read More...

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Bolivia geological map 1.1.jpg
The geology of Bolivia comprises a variety of different lithologies as well as tectonic and sedimentary environments. On a synoptic scale, geological units coincide with topographical units. The country is divided into a mountainous western area affected by the subduction processes in the Pacific and an eastern lowlands of stable platforms and shields. The Bolivian Andes is divided into three main ranges; these are from west to east: the Cordillera Occidental that makes up the border to Chile and host several active volcanoes and geothermal areas, Cordillera Central (in some contexts also called Cordillera Oriental) once extensively mined for silver and tin and the relatively low Cordillera Oriental that rather than being a range by its own is the eastern continuation of the Central Cordillera as a fold and thrust belt. Between the Occidental and Central Cordillera the approximately 3,750-meter-high Altiplano high plateau extends. This basin hosts several freshwater lakes, including Lake Titicaca as well as salt-covered dry lakes that bring testimony of past climate changes and lake cycles. The eastern lowlands and sub-Andean zone in Santa Cruz, Chuquisaca, and Tarija Departments was once an old Paleozoic sedimentary basin that hosts valuable hydrocarbon reserves. Further east close to the border with Brazil lies the Guaporé Shield, made up of stable Precambrian crystalline rock. ( Full article...)
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State flag of Bolivia, from the xrmap flag collection 2.9.
Credit: Denelson83
The flag of Bolivia adopted on October 31, 1851 by the government of Manuel Isidoro Belzu

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Largest cities or towns in Bolivia
Census 2012, INE
Rank Name Department Pop. Rank Name Department Pop.
Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Santa Cruz de la Sierra
El Alto
El Alto
1 Santa Cruz de la Sierra Santa Cruz 1,453,549 11 Montero Santa Cruz 109,518 La Paz
La Paz
Cochabamba
Cochabamba
2 El Alto La Paz 848,840 12 Trinidad Beni 106,422
3 La Paz La Paz 764,617 13 Warnes Santa Cruz 96,406
4 Cochabamba Cochabamba 630,587 14 Yacuíba Tarija 91,998
5 Oruro Oruro 264,683 15 La Guardia Santa Cruz 89,080
6 Sucre Chuquisaca 259,388 16 Riberalta Beni 89,003
7 Tarija Tarija 205,346 17 Viacha La Paz 80,388
8 Potosí Potosí 189,652 18 Villa Tunari Cochabamba 72,623
9 Sacaba Cochabamba 169,494 19 Cobija Pando 55,692
10 Quillacollo Cochabamba 137,029 20 Tiquipaya Cochabamba 53,062

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