Bolivia, named after independence fighter Simon BOLIVAR, broke away from Spanish rule in 1825; much of its subsequent history has consisted of a series of nearly 200 coups and countercoups. Democratic civilian rule was established in 1982, but leaders have faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and illegal drug production.
In December 2005, Bolivians elected Movement Toward Socialism leader Evo MORALES president - by the widest margin of any leader since the restoration of civilian rule in 1982 - after he ran on a promise to change the country's traditional political class and empower the nation's poor, indigenous majority. In December 2009 and October 2014, President MORALES easily won reelection. His party maintained control of the legislative branch of the government, which has allowed him to continue his process of change. In October 2011, the country held its first judicial elections to select judges for the four highest courts. MORALES has publicly described the elected judiciary as a failed experiment that has not resolved judicial backlogs or extended pre-trial detention. He has called for a public referendum on the judicial system.



Central South America, southwest of Brazil

Geographic coordinates

17 00 S, 65 00 W

Map references

South America


total: 1,098,581 sq km
land: 1,083,301 sq km
water: 15,280 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly less than three times the size of Montana

Land boundaries

total: 7,252 km
border countries (5): Argentina 942 km, Brazil 3,403 km, Chile 942 km, Paraguay 753 km, Peru 1,212 km


0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)


varies with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid


rugged Andes Mountains with a highland plateau (Altiplano), hills, lowland plains of the Amazon Basin


mean elevation: 1,192 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Rio Paraguay 90 m
highest point: Nevado Sajama 6,542 m

Natural resources

tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, hydropower

Land use

agricultural land: 34.3%
arable land 3.6%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 30.5%
forest: 52.5%
other: 13.2% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

3,000 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards

flooding in the northeast (March to April)
volcanism: volcanic activity in Andes Mountains on the border with Chile; historically active volcanoes in this region are Irruputuncu (elev. 5,163 m), which last erupted in 1995, and Olca-Paruma

Environment - current issues

the clearing of land for agricultural purposes and the international demand for tropical timber are contributing to deforestation; soil erosion from overgrazing and poor cultivation methods (including slash-and-burn agriculture); desertification; loss of biodiversity; industrial pollution of water supplies used for drinking and irrigation

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note

landlocked; shares control of Lago Titicaca, world's highest navigable lake (elevation 3,805 m), with Peru

People and Society

Ethnic groups

mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 68%, indigenous 20%, white 5%, cholo/chola 2%, black 1%, other 1%, unspecified 3% ; 44% of respondents indicated feeling part of some indigenous group, predominantly Quechua or Aymara
note: results among surveys vary based on the wording of the ethnicity question and the available response choices; the 2001 national census did not provide "mestizo" as a response choice, resulting in a much higher proportion of respondents identifying themselves as belonging to one of the available indigenous ethnicity choices; the use of "mestizo" and "cholo" varies among response choices in surveys, with surveys using the terms interchanageably, providing one or the other as a response choice, or providing the two as separate response choices (2009 est.)

Birth rate

22.4 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)


10,969,649 (July 2016 est.)


noun: Bolivian(s)
adjective: Bolivian


Spanish (official) 60.7%, Quechua (official) 21.2%, Aymara (official) 14.6%, foreign languages 2.4%, Guarani (official) 0.6%, other native languages 0.4%, none 0.1%
note: Bolivia's 2009 constitution designates Spanish and all indigenous languages as official; 36 indigenous languages are specified, including some that are extinct (2001 est.)


Roman Catholic 76.8%, Evangelical and Pentecostal 8.1%, Protestant 7.9%, other 1.7%, none 5.5% (2012 est.)

Demographic profile

Bolivia ranks at or near the bottom among Latin American countries in several areas of health and development, including poverty, education, fertility, malnutrition, mortality, and life expectancy. On the positive side, more children are being vaccinated and more pregnant women are getting prenatal care and having skilled health practitioners attend their births. Bolivia's income inequality is the highest in Latin America and one of the highest in the world. Public education is of poor quality, and educational opportunities are among the most unevenly distributed in Latin America, with girls and indigenous and rural children less likely to be literate or to complete primary school. The lack of access to education and family planning services helps to sustain Bolivia's high fertility rate - approximately three children per woman. Bolivia's lack of clean water and basic sanitation, especially in rural areas, contributes to health problems.
Almost 7% of Bolivia's population lives abroad, primarily to work in Argentina, Brazil, Spain, and the United States. In recent years, more restrictive immigration policies in Europe and the United States have increased the flow of Bolivian emigrants to neighboring Argentina and Brazil.

Age structure

0-14 years: 32.36% (male 1,808,567/female 1,740,760)
15-24 years: 19.55% (male 1,086,134/female 1,058,584)
25-54 years: 37.08% (male 1,986,514/female 2,081,415)
55-64 years: 5.83% (male 296,197/female 343,394)
65 years and over: 5.18% (male 250,749/female 317,335) (2016 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 63.7%
youth dependency ratio: 53.1%
elderly dependency ratio: 10.6%
potential support ratio: 9.4% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 24 years
male: 23.3 years
female: 24.7 years (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

1.54% (2016 est.)

Death rate

6.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

-0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Population distribution

a high altitude plain in the west between two cordillera of the Andes, known as the Altiplano, is the focal area for most of the population; a dense settlement pattern is also found in and around the city of Santa Cruz, located on the eastern side of the Andes


urban population: 68.5% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.26% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

Santa Cruz 2.107 million; LA PAZ (capital) 1.816 million; Cochabamba 1.24 million; Sucre (constitutional capital) 372,000 (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.86 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Child labor - children ages 5-14

total number: 757,352
percentage: 26.4%
note: data represent children ages 5-17 (2008 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

206 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 36.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 39.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 32.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 69.2 years
male: 66.4 years
female: 72.1 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.68 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

60.5% (2008)

Health expenditures

6.3% of GDP (2014)

Physicians density

0.47 physicians/1,000 population (2011)

Hospital bed density

1.1 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source

urban: 96.7% of population
rural: 75.6% of population
total: 90% of population
urban: 3.3% of population
rural: 24.4% of population
total: 10% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

urban: 60.8% of population
rural: 27.5% of population
total: 50.3% of population
urban: 39.2% of population
rural: 72.5% of population
total: 49.7% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.29% (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

18,200 (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

800 (2015 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever
note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

15.8% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

4.5% (2008)

Education expenditures

7.3% of GDP (2014)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.7%
male: 97.8%
female: 93.6% (2015 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2007)

Mother's mean age at first birth

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2008 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 6.2%
male: 5.1%
female: 7.8% (2011 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Plurinational State of Bolivia
conventional short form: Bolivia
local long form: Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia
local short form: Bolivia
etymology: the country is named after Simon BOLIVAR, a 19th-century leader in the South American wars for independence

Government type

presidential republic


name: La Paz (administrative capital); Sucre (constitutional [legislative and judicial] capital)
geographic coordinates: 16 30 S, 68 09 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

9 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Beni, Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz, Oruro, Pando, Potosi, Santa Cruz, Tarija


6 August 1825 (from Spain)

National holiday

Independence Day, 6 August (1825)


many previous; latest drafted 6 August 2006 - 9 December 2008, approved by referendum 25 January 2009, effective 7 February 2009; amended 2013 (2015)

Legal system

civil law system with influences from Roman, Spanish, canon (religious), French, and indigenous law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 3 years


18 years of age, universal and compulsory

Executive branch

chief of state: President Juan Evo MORALES Ayma (since 22 January 2006); Vice President Alvaro GARCIA Linera (since 22 January 2006); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Juan Evo MORALES Ayma (since 22 January 2006); Vice President Alvaro GARCIA Linera (since 22 January 2006)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 12 October 2014 (next to be held in 2019); note - a presidential candidate wins an election one of 3 ways
election results: Juan Evo MORALES Ayma reelected president; percent of vote - Juan Evo MORALES Ayma 61%; Samuel DORIA MEDINA Arana 24.5%; Jorge QUIROGA 9.1%; other 5.4%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Plurinational Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional consists of the Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (36 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (130 seats; 70 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 53 indirectly elected in single-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote, and 7 - apportioned to non-contiguous, rural areas in 7 of the 9 states - directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: Chamber of Senators and Chamber of Deputies - last held on 12 October 2014 (next to be held in 2019)
election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MAS 25, UD 9, PDC 2; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MAS 88, UD 32, PDC 10

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (consists of 12 judges); Plurinational Constitutional Tribunal (consists of 7 primary and 7 alternate magistrates); Plurinational Electoral Organ (consists of 7 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court and Plurinational Constitutional Tribunal judges elected by popular vote from list of candidates pre-selected by Plurinational Legislative Assembly for 6-year terms); Plurinational Electoral Organ members - 6 judges elected by the Assembly and 1 appointed by the president; judges and members serve 6-year terms; note - the 2009 constitution reformed the procedure for selecting judicial officials for the Supreme Court, Constitutional Tribunal, and the Plurinational Electoral Organ by direct national vote, which occurred in October 2011
subordinate courts: Agro-Environmental Court; Council of the Judiciary; District Courts (in each of the 9 administrative departments)

Political parties and leaders

Christian Democratic Party or PDC [Jorge Fernando QUIROGA Ramirez]
Movement Toward Socialism or MAS [Juan Evo MORALES Ayma]
United Democrats or UD [Samuel DORIA MEDINA Arana]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Bolivian Workers Central or COB
Federation of Neighborhood Councils of El Alto or FEJUVE
Landless Movement or MST
National Coordinator for Change or CONALCAM
Sole Confederation of Campesino Workers of Bolivia or CSUTCB
other: Cocalero groups; indigenous organizations (including Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Eastern Bolivia or CIDOB and National Council of Ayullus and Markas of Quollasuyu or CONAMAQ); Interculturales union or CSCIB; labor unions (including the Central Bolivian Workers' Union or COB and Cooperative Miners Federation or FENCOMIN)

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Freddy BERSATTI Tudela
chancery: 3014 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 328-4155
FAX: [1] (202) 328-3712
consulate(s) general: Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Washington,DC
note: as of September 2008, the US expelled the Bolivian ambassador to the US

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Peter Brennan (since June 2014
embassy: Avenida Arce 2780, Casilla 425, La Paz
mailing address: P. O. Box 425, La Paz; APO AA 34032
telephone: [591] (2) 216-8000
FAX: [591] (2) 216-8111
note: in September 2008, the Bolivian Government expelled the US Ambassador to Bolivia, and the countries have yet to reinstate ambassadors

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green with the coat of arms centered on the yellow band; red stands for bravery and the blood of national heroes, yellow for the nation's mineral resources, and green for the fertility of the land
note: similar to the flag of Ghana, which has a large black five-pointed star centered in the yellow band; in 2009, a presidential decree made it mandatory for a so-called wiphala - a square, multi-colored flag representing the country's indigenous peoples - to be used alongside the traditional flag

National symbol(s)

llama, Andean condor; national colors: red, yellow, green

National anthem

name: "Cancion Patriotica" (Patriotic Song)
lyrics/music: Jose Ignacio de SANJINES/Leopoldo Benedetto VINCENTI
note: adopted 1852


Economy - overview

Bolivia is a resource rich country with strong growth attributed to captive markets for natural gas exports – to Brazil and Argentina. Gas accounts for roughly 50% of Bolivia's total exports and will fund more than half of its 2015 budget. However, the co

Following a disastrous economic crisis during the early 1980s, reforms spurred private investment, stimulated economic growth, and cut poverty rates in the 1990s. The period 2003-05 was characterized by political instability, racial tensions, and violent

A lack of foreign investment in the key sectors of mining and hydrocarbons, along with conflict among social groups, pose challenges for the Bolivian economy. In 2015, President Evo MORALES expanded efforts to court international investment and boost Boli

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$78.35 billion (2016 est.)
$75.56 billion (2015 est.)
$72.06 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$35.7 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

3.7% (2016 est.)
4.8% (2015 est.)
5.5% (2014 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$7,200 (2016 est.)
$7,000 (2015 est.)
$6,800 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

Gross national saving

12.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
13.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
20.5% of GDP (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 69.3%
government consumption: 18.2%
investment in fixed capital: 20.4%
investment in inventories: -1.4%
exports of goods and services: 29%
imports of goods and services: -35.5% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 13.3%
industry: 37.4%
services: 53.6% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products

soybeans, quinoa, Brazil nuts, sugarcane, coffee, corn, rice, potatoes, chia, coca


mining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverages, tobacco, handicrafts, clothing, jewelry

Industrial production growth rate

3.5% (2016 est.)

Labor force

4.993 million (2016 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 32%
industry: 20%
services: 47.9% (2009 est.)

Unemployment rate

7.5% (2016 est.)
7.4% (2015 est.)
note: data are for urban areas; widespread underemployment

Population below poverty line

note: based on percent of population living on less than the international standard of $2/day (2011 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 0.8%
highest 10%: 33.6% (2012 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

46.6 (2012)
57.9 (1999)


revenues: $15.44 billion
expenditures: $17.66 billion (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

43.3% of GDP (2016 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-6.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

Public debt

47% of GDP (2016 est.)
38.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

3.9% (2016 est.)
4.1% (2015 est.)

Central bank discount rate

4.5% (31 December 2013)
4% (31 december 2012)

Commercial bank prime lending rate

7.6% (31 December 2016 est.)
8.07% (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$9.572 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$8.946 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of broad money

$17.77 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$15.45 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$22.68 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$18.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$9.684 billion (31 December 2013)
$7.689 billion (31 December 2012)
$6.089 billion (31 December 2011)

Current account balance

-$2.34 billion (2016 est.)
-$1.923 billion (2015 est.)


$7.528 billion (2016 est.)
$8.197 billion (2015 est.)

Exports - commodities

natural gas, mineral ores, gold, soybeans and soy products, tin

Exports - partners

Brazil 28.1%, Argentina 16.9%, US 12.1%, Colombia 6.3%, China 5.3%, Japan 4.7%, South Korea 4.3% (2015)


$8.981 billion (2016 est.)
$9.069 billion (2015 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery, petroleum products, vehicles, iron and steel, plastics

Imports - partners

China 17.9%, Brazil 16.5%, Argentina 11.8%, US 10.6%, Peru 6.2%, Japan 5.2%, Chile 4.6% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$11 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$13.06 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Debt - external

$11.83 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$9.035 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$10.56 billion (31 December 2013)
$8.809 billion (31 December 2012)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$0 (31 December 2013 est.)
$0 (31 December 2012 est.)

Exchange rates

bolivianos (BOB) per US dollar -
6.91 (2016 est.)
6.91 (2015 est.)
6.91 (2014 est.)
6.91 (2013 est.)
6.94 (2012 est.)


Electricity - access

population without electricity: 1,200,000
electrification - total population: 90%
electrification - urban areas: 99%
electrification - rural areas: 72% (2013)

Electricity - production

8.4 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption

7.5 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity

2.2 million kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

68.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

30% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

1.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production

55,610 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

209.8 million bbl (1 January 2016 es)

Refined petroleum products - production

54,210 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

78,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

7,292 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

19,940 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production

21.4 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

3.536 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports

17.86 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - imports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

295.9 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

16 million Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 881,084
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total: 10.163 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 94 (July 2015 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: Bolivian National Telecommunications Company was privatized in 1995 but re-nationalized in 2007; the primary trunk system is being expanded and employs digital microwave radio relay; some areas are served by fiber-optic cable; system operations, reliabili
domestic: most telephones are concentrated in La Paz, Santa Cruz, and other capital cities; mobile-cellular telephone use expanding rapidly and, in 2015, teledensity reached about 95 per 100 persons
international: country code - 591; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)

Broadcast media

large number of radio and TV stations broadcasting with private media outlets dominating; state-owned and private radio and TV stations generally operating freely, although both pro-government and anti-government groups have attacked media outlets in resp (2010)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 4.871 million
percent of population: 45.1% (July 2015 est.)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 7
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 39
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 2,578,959
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 9,456,548 mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

CP (2016)


855 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 21
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 6 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 834
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 47
914 to 1,523 m: 151
under 914 m: 631 (2013)


gas 5,457 km; liquid petroleum gas 51 km; oil 2,511 km; refined products 1,627 km (2013)


total: 3,504 km
narrow gauge: 3,504 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)


total: 80,488 km
paved: 6,850 km
unpaved: 73,638 km (2010)


10,000 km (commercially navigable almost exclusively in the northern and eastern parts of the country) (2012)

Merchant marine

total: 18
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 14, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 2
foreign-owned: 5 (Syria 4, UK 1, (2010)

Ports and terminals

river port(s): Puerto Aguirre (Paraguay/Parana)
note: Bolivia has free port privileges in maritime ports in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay


Military branches

Bolivian Armed Forces: Bolivian Army (Ejercito Boliviano, EB), Bolivian Naval Force (Fuerza Naval Boliviana, FNB; includes Marines), Bolivian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Boliviana, FAB) (2013)

Military service age and obligation

18-49 years of age for 12-month compulsory male and female military service; Bolivian citizenship required; 17 years of age for voluntary service; when annual number of volunteers falls short of goal, compulsory recruitment is effected, including conscription of boys as young as 14; 15-19 years of age for voluntary premilitary service, provides exemption from further military service (2013)

Military expenditures

1.47% of GDP (2012)
1.47% of GDP (2011)
1.47% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Chile and Peru rebuff Bolivia's reactivated claim to restore the Atacama corridor, ceded to Chile in 1884, but Chile offers instead unrestricted but not sovereign maritime access through Chile for Bolivian natural gas; contraband smuggling, human trafficking, and illegal narcotic trafficking are problems in the porous areas of the border with Argentina

Trafficking in persons

current situation: Bolivia is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking domestically and abroad; indigenous children are particularly vulnerable; Bolivia is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking domestically and abroad; rural and poor Bolivians, most of whom are indigenous, and LGBT youth are particularly vulnerable; Bolivians perform forced labor domestically in mining, ranching, agriculture, and domestic service, and a significant number are in forced labor abroad in sweatshops, agriculture, domestic service, and the informal sector; women and girls are sex trafficked within Bolivia and in neighboring countries, such as Argentina, Peru, and Chile; a limited number of women from nearby countries are sex trafficked in Bolivia
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Bolivia does not comply fully with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government did not demonstrate overall increasing anti-trafficking efforts, and poor data collection made it difficult to assess the number of investigations, prosecutions, and victim identifications and referrals to care services; authorities did not adequately differentiate between human trafficking and other crimes, such as domestic violence and child abuse; law enforcement failed to implement an early detection protocol for identifying trafficking cases and lacked a formal process for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations; specialized victim services were inadequately funded and virtually non-existent for adult women and male victims (2015)

Illicit drugs

world's third-largest cultivator of coca (after Colombia and Peru) with an estimated 30,000 hectares under cultivation in 2011, a decrease of 13 percent over 2010; third largest producer of cocaine, estimated at 265 metric tons potential pure cocaine in 2011, a 29 percent increase over 2010; transit country for Peruvian and Colombian cocaine destined for Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Europe; weak border controls; some money-laundering activity related to narcotics trade; major cocaine consumption (2013)