Title: The Republic of Paraguay

Population: 7,272,639

Population Change: 1.25

National Average Age: 26

Urban Percentage: 62

Christian Population: 6,260,000

Christian Percentage: 96

Introduction: Paraguay is a landlocked country between Argentina Brazil and Bolivia home to large swaths of swampland subtropical forest and chaco wildernesses comprising savanna and scrubland. The capital Asunción on the banks of the Paraguay River is home to the grand Government Palace and the Museo del Barro displaying pre-Columbian ceramics and ñandutí lacework the latter available in many shops.

Overview: Paraguay achieved its independence from Spain in 1811. In the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70) - between Paraguay and Argentina Brazil and Uruguay - Paraguay lost two-thirds of its adult males and much of its territory. The country stagnated economically for the next half century. Following the Chaco War of 1932-35 with Bolivia Paraguay gained a large part of the Chaco lowland region. The 35-year military dictatorship of Alfredo STROESSNER ended in 1989 and despite a marked increase in political infighting in recent years Paraguay has held relatively free and regular presidential elections since the country's return to democracy.