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   Information Center Uruguay
Uruguay General Information
History of Uruguay
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Uruguay Geography
Uruguay Population
Uruguay Government
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Uruguay Military
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Uruguay People, Languages & Religions
Uruguay Expatriates Handbook
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People, Languages & Religions


About 88% of the inhabitants of Uruguay are white and of European origin, mostly Spanish and Italian; a small percentage is descended from Portuguese, English and other Europeans. Mestizos (those of mixed white and Amerindian lineage) represent 8% of the population and mulattoes and blacks about 4%. The indigenous Charrúa Amerindians were virtually wiped out early in the colonial era.


Uruguay is South America's most secular country. It has no official religion and church and state are separate. Religious freedom is guaranteed. 60% of Uruguayans are Roman Catholics. Most Uruguayans baptise their children and marry in churches but less than half attend church on a regular basis. There is a small Jewish community in Montevideo (about 1% of the population) as well as several evangelical Protestant groups (about 2%). Macumba and Umbanda, religions of Afro-Brazilian origin, are the currently fastest-growing religions in Uruguay, reflecting immigration from Brazil.


Spanish is the official language of Uruguay and is spoken by almost all of the population. English is common in the business world though it is a minority language, as are French and Italian. Other languages include Portuguese and Portuñol, a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese. Both are present in northern regions near the Brazilian border.

As few native peoples exist in the population, no indigenous languages are thought to remain in Uruguay.





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