Trying to make some sense of the world is an age-old practice, from learning about Pythagoras’s theorem to ancient history. However, some countries are made up of mystery and intrigue as well as some facts. In this blog post, check out a list of facts about Bolivia that might surprise you!
OFFICIAL NAME: Plurinational State of Bolivia
FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Republic
CAPITAL: La Paz, Sucre
OFFICIAL LANGUAGES: Spanish and 36 indigenous languages
MONEY: Bolivian boliviano
AREA: 1,098,581 square kilometres
- To start with, Bolivia has a high-income inequality rate and rich biodiversity. It also boasts one of the highest levels of coca cultivation in the world. From an economic standpoint, Bolivia is quite poor despite being rich in natural resources such as minerals and hydroelectric power sources.
- The history of Bolivia dates back to prehistory, where the earliest inhabitants were the early Andean people who originally migrated from what is now central Peru and southern Chile. In time, they grew in population and prospered by living in grassy plateaus along river valleys.
- The indigenous people of Bolivia are the Aymara. These groups have been influenced by numerous cultures, including Inca, Inca, and Spanish. As a result, the Aymara today maintain a well-defined ethnic kinship identity. In addition to their independent identity, they also practice a rich culture that strongly influences Spanish culture and the Mestizo culture from the Conquest period.
- Bolivia is made up of 6 departments, one of which is passed over often in education. The reason for this is that most of the people originate from the Andean region. Although most of them speak Spanish fluently, they are not necessarily fluent in English. Therefore, it would be wise to ensure that you speak Spanish in Bolivia, especially in the cities.
- The population keeps increasing in Bolivia because children are more likely to survive due to better medical treatment post-birth, even if women are more likely to die due to a lack of proper prenatal care. Rural areas that have less access to healthcare are also at an increased risk for infant mortality rates.
- Bolivia is a country in South America. It’s the only landlocked nation on the continent. It’s also the poorest in South America with a Human Development Index of 0.475, compared to Uruguay at 0.629 and Chile at 0.657. In social welfare, Bolivia boasts one of the highest rates in South America at 0.697, but only 30th in Latin America and the Caribbean at 31st place with an HDI of just 0.478 from 95 countries that have been reviewed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
- 5% of Bolivians live below the poverty line, according to World Bank data from 2013, which is above the regional average of 4%. 8.9% of the Bolivian population live below the UN’s poverty line of US$1 a day. The UN’s poverty line for a person living in Bolivia is US$5.41.
- The majority of the Bolivian population are of mixed Spanish and Aymara ancestry, while some are also of white European ancestry. In fact, some areas in the country have people of European descent that colonial masters brought on when slaves were being imported from Africa, traded amongst African leaders, and sold to colonial masters to establish a plantation system of labor.
- The first inhabitants of this part of the world traced their origins to around 12 000 years ago, although it is unknown how these people migrated here. While agriculture was already being practiced, the original inhabitants have created an independent community that was completely isolated by area from other populations.
- The first incursion into this part of creation occurred during Spanish colonization, which began in 1536 with Nuestra Señora de la Concepción. The Spaniards were friendly towards the indigenous population and welcomed them into the towns so long as they helped fight off native hostilities. They had no intention of converting the locals to Christianity either.
- During the 17th century, gold was discovered in the country. Soon afterward, more restricted settlements were enforced with settlers called “colonists.” The Spanish authorities also used the colonists to clear areas for more farms.