Geography of Bolivia

General information about Bolivia

The official name is the Republic of Bolivia (Republica de Bolivia).

Located in the central part of South America. The area is 1098.58 thousand km2, the population is 8.274 million people. (2001, census). The official languages are Spanish, Quechua and Aymara. The official capital is the city of Sucre (215.8 thousand people), the actual capital is La Paz (793.3 thousand people, 2001 census). Public holiday – Independence Day August 6 (1825). The monetary unit is the Boliviano.

Member of the UN and its specialized agencies, OAS, Leningrad NPP, associate member of MERCOSUR, etc.

Geography of Bolivia

Bolivia is located between 9°40′ and 23° South latitude and 57°35′ and 69°36′ West longitude. Has no access to the sea. It borders Brazil to the north and northeast, Paraguay to the southeast, Argentina to the south, Chile and Peru to the southwest and west. It occupies the main part of the Central Andes in the west and vast plains in the east. In the west is the Puna Plateau (height – from 3000 to 4000 m). The western border of Pune is the Western Cordillera, its maximum height is the extinct volcano of the city of Saham (6520 m), the eastern border is the Cordillera Real and its continuation is the Central Cordillera. These ranges are separated by deep gorges and basins of the upper reaches of the Pilco Mayo and Rio Bermejo rivers from the Eastern Cordillera (height up to 4051 m). The northeast is occupied by plains irrigated by a dense network of rivers of the Beni-Mamore system and gradually turning into the Amazonian lowland.

Bolivia has significant natural resources. Proven oil reserves are 396.5 million barrels, gas – 680 billion m3, zinc – 935 thousand tons, tin – 450 thousand tons, antimony – 310 thousand tons, vanadium – 53 thousand tons, gold – 390 tons. In addition, there are significant reserves of copper, lead, iron ore, polymetallic ores, manganese, nickel, cobalt, mercury, uranium, etc. There are significant reserves of non-metallic raw materials – sulfur, natural nitrates, etc.

The west of the Altiplano is occupied by semi-deserts, the east by high-mountain tropical steppe on mountain-steppe soils, the eastern slopes of the Andes by ferrallitic soils, and the eastern plains by savannahs on red soils, turning into hylaea on gley or podzolized ferrallitic soils in the north. The south is occupied by swampy red-brown soils.

According to Bridgat, the Puna Plateau and the Western Cordillera are located in a zone of tropical alpine climate, semi-desert in the west (up to 150 mm of precipitation per year) and less arid in the east (up to 600 mm per year). The average temperature in July in Pune is +3-7°С, in January +9-11°С. Characterized by strong winds and a sharp change in weather. In the mountainous regions, the altitudinal zonality of the climate is clearly expressed, the annual amount of precipitation is up to 2000 mm. The snow line on the Cordillera descends to 4850 m, the ridges are covered with eternal snow and glaciers. The eastern plains are characterized by a subequatorial climate with a dry period of up to 4–5 months. in the north and tropical with drought up to 9 months. on South. The average temperature in July is + 17-28°C, in January + 24-28°C. The annual rainfall is from 1300 to 1600 mm in the north to 800 mm in the south.

On the Puna Plateau is located the largest in South America and the highest mountain in the world, Lake Titicaca (area 9065 km2, 3805 m above sea level). 350 km to the south is Lake Poopo (Pampa Aullagas). Both lakes are connected by the Desaguadero River. In the north, the full-flowing Beni, Mamore and Guapore rivers flow, which merge and form the Madeira River (a tributary of the Amazon). During the rainy season, these rivers overflow and flood vast areas. In the east, due to the dry climate, only the Pilcomayo River (a tributary of Paraguay) and the Parapeti River emerge from the mountains, the rest dry up in alluvial fans.

The eastern slopes of the Andes are covered with tropical forests, which occupy up to 40% of the country’s territory and abound in valuable tree species (palm, cinchona). Coca is traditionally grown in mountainous regions. The west is characterized by a semi-desert type of vegetation, while the east is steppe. The southern part of the country is occupied by swampy light forests.

In the east, the main representatives of the fauna are monkeys, armadillos, tapirs, rodents, many birds, reptiles and insects. Wild (guanaco and vicuña) and domestic llamas, chinchillas, and a lot of waterfowl are widespread on the Puna plateau.

Population of Bolivia

According to 2002 data, the population growth rate was 1.69%. Birth rate 26.41%, mortality 8.05%, infant mortality of St. 57.5 people per 1000 newborns. Average life expectancy is 64.4 years, incl. 67.1 women, 61.9 men. The population aged 0-14 years is 37.8%, 15-64 years old – 57.7%, 65 years and older – 4.5%. 50.1% of the population are women. Literate among the population over the age of 15 is 86.01% (2001, census). Urban population 62.4%.

The core of the Spanish-speaking Bolivian nation is made up of Spanish-Indian mestizos (cholo), it is replenished due to the assimilation of the Indians. In 2002 (estimate), this group of the population was approximately 30%, another 30% were Quechua Indians, 25% were Aymaras, and 15% were white descendants of Europeans (mainly Spaniards). In the tropical regions of the eastern part of the country, the so-called. forest Indians. Over the past decades, the proportion of ethnic composition has not changed significantly. The languages are Spanish, Quechua and Aymara, while the Wood Indians speak various languages of the Tupi-Guarani and Arawakan families.

St. 95% of the population are Catholics, there are also Protestants (Baptists, Methodists, Seventh Day Adventists), some of the Indians retain pre-Christian cults and beliefs.

Geography of Bolivia