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Paraguay

  • By: Sarah E. Boslaugh
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Paraguay is a landlocked country in South America with one of the highest rates of poverty in Latin America. Governmental instability and markedly unequal income distribution have impaired efforts to deliver medical and other social services, particularly to the poor, although recently great improvements have been made in maternal and child health. The population of just under 7 million is primarily (95 percent) Mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) and most people understand both Spanish and Guaran (an Amerindian language). Most of the population (89.6 percent) are Roman Catholic, with most of the remainder Protestant.

Paraguay has the typical age structure of a developing nation, with a median age of 21.9 years of age and 36.7 percent of the population age 14 years or younger. The population ...

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