Bolivia Population, Politics and Economy
Population in Bolivia
Bolivia’s population grew from around 3 million to over 11 million people from the middle of the 20th century until today. In the meantime, population growth has slowed down significantly and was 1.54% in 2016. With an average age of 24, Bovilian society is one of the youngest in Latin America. According to directoryaah, a little over 50% of the population belong to indigenous peoples of the South American Indians, mostly Quechua and Aymara, a good 30% of the population are mestizos. The remaining residents of the country are predominantly descendants of the various waves of immigration from Europe until after the Second World War, descendants of African slaves and immigrants from East Asia. The Bolivian constitution recognizes Spanish and another 35 indigenous languages as official languages.
Politics and economy in Bolivia
At the head of the Bolivian central government, based in La Paz, is the president, who is elected by the people for five years without the possibility of re-election. The President performs representative tasks, essentially determines foreign policy and can also issue legal acts through presidential decrees. He reports to ministers of state for various areas of competence, as well as the armed forces, which are administered by the Ministry of Defense and professionally directed by the Supreme Commander.
The Bolivian parliament consists of the Chamber of Deputies with 130 members and the Senate with 36 senators. The members of both chambers are elected together with the president for a five-year term. The legislative period can be shorter if the president is elected early.
The judiciary is exercised by the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court as the highest instance. Both institutions are based in Sucre, the country’s formal capital.
A special feature in Bolivia is the plurinational electoral body, which has constitutional status as an independent power. It consists of the supreme election management and the election management of the individual departments (provinces) and other subordinate institutions. Voting is compulsory in Bolivia, to which all Bolivian citizens are called who are in the country on election day and can reach the polling station at their place of residence. An important task of the electoral body is to keep the biometric electoral register. In addition, the body was given responsibility for identity cards, driving licenses and the functions of the registry offices.
Despite its wealth of natural resources, Bolivia was for a long time the poorest and least exportable country in South America. Since the natural gas industry was successfully nationalized in 2006, government revenues have increased significantly. With the expansion of the customs and tax authorities, further considerable government revenues were generated and exports increased tenfold, which greatly reduced extreme poverty. With increased economic growth and stable monetary policy, the population of Bolivia today (2015) has achieved a standard of living that is comparable to many other countries in the region. The shares of the economic sectors in the gross domestic product are divided between agriculture at 13%, industry at 30% and services at 58%. Industrial products include mining products,
According to ebizdir, mining has played a major role in Bolivia’s economy since colonial times. While in the past it was mainly built on tin and silver, today there is also the extraction of natural gas and lithium production from the evaporites of the Salar de Uyuni salt lake in southwestern Bolivia. Bolivia has South America’s third largest natural gas reserves and the world’s largest known lithium deposit.
A relatively large part of the population is still employed in agriculture. Above all in the Altiplano with its climatically unfavorable cultivation conditions and among the indigenous communities of the country traditional subsistence economy is practiced. Only the more modern farms in the tropical lowlands in eastern Bolivia also generate surpluses.
Transport network in Bolivia
Almost all of the country’s goods and passenger traffic takes place on the road network of more than 80,000 km in Bolivia. Although almost 10,000 kilometers of roads have now been paved, most of the secondary roads, especially in the remote areas, are only gravel. Almost all roads between the big cities are completely paved and between La Paz and Oruro the first four-lane rural road was opened in 2015. Fuel supplies can be difficult in many parts of the country. Outside of the big cities, petrol or diesel is often only available a few days a week, although the amount sold can also be limited.
In Bolivia, around 3,700 km of single-track rail lines have been laid, which are distributed over two separate railway networks. On the Altiplano with a rail network of 2276 km in length and in the Bolivian lowlands with 1244 km in length and Santa Cruz as a hub. Passenger and freight traffic is operated on both routes. The railway systems in Bolivia have not been state of the art for a long time. With the planned South American transcontinental railroad, which is to lead from the Pacific coast of Peru to the Brazilian Atlantic coast, the two route networks of Bolivia could be connected and modernized for the first time.
The most important of the 37 Bolivian airports are the international airports La Paz / El Alto, Santa Cruz and the Alcantarí airport in Sucre, which opened in 2016.
The large river systems of Bolivia are navigable over a total length of about 5600 km, mainly in the lowlands and up to the coast. Therefore, inland shipping with the four inland ports Puerto Aguirre, Puerto Gravetal, Puerto Suárez and Puerto Busch in Bolivia is of certain importance, as goods can be brought to and from the Atlantic on this route.