boliviaBolivia is a landlocked, sparsely populated country located in the central part of South America. Besides Spanish, which is the main language, several other officially recognized native languages are also spoken. Bolivia’s population is about 10.5 million (2012). Economically, Bolivia has been rated as the poorest country in the region as about 60 per cent of its urban and about 80 per cent of its rural population live below the national poverty line. Sucre is Bolivia’s constitutional capital, while La Paz is the administrative capital. The altitude of La Paz, which is located on the Andes Mountains, ranges from 3,100 m (10,170 ft.) to 4,058 m (13,313 ft.), making it the highest capital city in the world. For administrative purposes, Bolivia is divided into nine departments, which are subdivided into 112 provinces. The provinces are further subdivided into a total of 339 municipalities and native community lands.

Context

Context

Due to having several eco-zones, Bolivia enjoys a variety of climates varying from tropical humid in the East to snowfalls in the West. Temperatures, humidity level, rainfall, and wind velocity vary depending on the location. The country has high biodiversity and is rich in natural resources like minerals, natural gas, and forests. Although the agricultural sector is of great importance for Bolivia, factors like landholding pattern until 1953 (about 93 per cent of the privately owned land controlled by just 6.3 per cent of the landowners), persistent soil erosion, low soil productivity, poor infrastructure, scattered population, and low productive cultural practices have not allowed its proper development. Potatoes (most important staple crop), corn, barley, quinoa, habas, wheat, oats, alfalfa, oca, cocoa, coffee, cacao, bananas, yucca, aji, vegetables, grapes, olives, fruits, rice and sugarcane are grown in different parts of the country. Soybean, cotton, sugarcane and coffee constitute commercial crops.  Bolivia has a large number of South American Camelids, sheep and cattle.

Key Statistics and Indicators

Indicator

Value

Year   

Agricultural land (sq. km)

Agricultural land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares)

Arable land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares per person)

370,550

34.20

3,836,000

3.54

0.37

2011

2011

2011

2011

2011

Fertilizer consumption (kg per hectare of arable land)

9.02

2010

Agriculture, value added (% of GDP)

Food production index (2004-2006 = 100)

Food exports (% of merchandise exports)

Food imports (% of merchandise imports)

12.52

124.12

14.39

7.53

2011

2011

2012

2012

GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$)

2,220

2012

Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)

Literacy rate, youth female (% of females ages 15-24)

Literacy rate, youth male (% of males ages 15-24)

Ratio of young literate females to males (% ages 15-24)

Ratio of female to male secondary enrollment (%)

91.16

99.08

99.69

99.38

97.87

2009

2009

2009

2009

2008

Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people)

Internet users (per 100 people)

92.63

34.18

2012

2012

Population, total

Population density (people per sq. km of land area)

Rural population

Rural population (% of total population)

Agricultural population (% of total population)*

Total economically active population

Total economically active population in agriculture*

Total economically active population in agriculture (in %

    of total economically active population)

Female economically active population in agriculture (% of

     total economically active population in agriculture)*

10,496,285

9.53

3,440,283

32.77

37.78

4,811,936

1,973,000

41

41.86

2012

2011

2012

2012

2010

2011

2010

2011

2010

Sources: The World Bank; *Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO

Acknowledgements

  • Authored by M. Kalim Qamar (December 2013)
  • Edited by Burton E. Swanson