Uruguay is a South American country sharing borders with Argentina and Brazil. Its gross domestic product (GDP) of $12,600 per capita in 2009 is among the highest in South America, but income distribution is unequal (the Gini index of 45.2 is 42nd-highest in the world) and 27.4 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Life expectancy is 80 years for women and 71 for men. The population of about 3.5 million is predominantly white (88 percent) with 8 percent mestizo (mixed European and Amerindian) and 4 percent black. Roman Catholicism is the most common religion (47.1 percent).

The World Economic Forum rates Uruguay in the middle third of countries with regard to gender equity. On a scale where 0 indicates inequality and 1 perfect ...

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