Uruguay Properties

Investing in Uruguay

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Living in Uruguay

Discover what makes Uruguay stand out in the region as a unique choice to live or vacation in.

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Country profile: Uruguay

Uruguay has traditionally been better off than many other countries in South America, and is known for its advanced education and social security systems and liberal laws governing social issues such as divorce. 

It was among the first nations in Latin America to establish a welfare state, maintained through relatively high taxes on industry. The system, which had increasingly strained state finances, was reformed in the 1990s. 

Colonial towns, beach resorts and a year-round mild climate have contributed to a growing tourist industry. The economy has also benefited from offshore banking.

But a dependence on livestock and related exports has left Uruguay vulnerable to ups and downs in world commodity prices. Recessions in Brazil and Argentina - its main export markets and sources of tourists - propelled the country into economic crisis in 2002.


Payouts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a restructuring of foreign debt encouraged a fragile recovery. But the recession left many Uruguayans living in poverty and prompted thousands of younger people to leave.

Most Uruguayans are of European origin - chiefly Spanish and Italian. The country has a large middle class and is largely free of serious income inequality. But the minority who are of African or mixed European-indigenous descent form a higher proportion of its poorest people.

In the 19th century Uruguay's newly-won independence was followed by a prolonged and ruinous conflict between two political factions - the land-owning Blancos (whites) and the urban Colorados (reds).

More recently, Marxist Tupamaro urban guerrillas waged a campaign against the establishment in the 1960s and Uruguay suffered repressive military rule between 1973 and 1985.

Uruguay staged football's first World Cup in 1930, and has won the tournament twice.

Source: BBC News - Wednesday, 6 February 2008


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