The indigenous Guarani people remain influential, but most residents identify as mestizo after years of intermarriage among various ethnic groups. Paraguay has long been a recipient of immigrants, particularly after war collapsed its demographics, and there are many groups of ethnic Italians, Russians, Japanese, Germans, Chinese, Arabs, Brazilians and Argentinians in the country. Brazilians represent the largest immigrant group at 400,000, while 1% of the population is Afro-Paraguayan. There is no official information about the country's ethnic composition, as census information does not ask about race and ethnicity. Indigenous people do makeup 1.7% of Paraguay's population.
Paraguay Religion, Economy and Politics
Paraguay has no official religion and does have religious freedom, but it doesn't seem as though many people have taken advantage of it because there is not much religious diversity in the country. 88% of the population are practicing Catholics, and another 8% are Protestant, totaling a whopping 96% of the population practicing some form of Christianity. The remainder of the population is either a member of a minority religion or have no religion at all.
Agriculture is the most prominent sector in the free market economy in Paraguay, employing more people than any other area of the economy and accounting for 30% of the national GDP. The industry also allows the country to be self-sufficient in that they can produce nearly all of their food. Land ownership is not at all evenly distributed, with 15 of the population owning roughly 77% of the land. Paraguay has a very young workforce that gives them an economic advantage, as does their abundant hydro-electric energy.
The country of Paraguay functions as a presidential representative democratic republic, meaning that the constitution separates power between the executive, legislative and the National Congress. The judiciary portion of the government is built from Tribunals and Courts of Civil Law as well the Supreme Court with nine members. The executive branch is made up of the president, who is elected once for a five-year term, and appoints people to other leadership roles. Once a president has completed their term, they are granted the title of "Senator for Life," where they are allowed to attend and speak during legal proceedings, but not to vote. The National Congress is made up of elected 80 members. The Chamber of Senators, however is made up of 45 members chosen by proportional representation.
Paraguay Population History
Paraguay was inhabited by its indigenous Guarani people for at least 1,000 years prior to the Spanish conquering the region prior to the 16th century. The country was ruled by many dictators after it achieved independence, and between 1864 and 1870, Paraguay lost 60-70% of its population to war and disease. Most of the population today is concentrated in the southeast area of the country, with the largest city and capital, Asunción, home to about 1/3 of Paraguay's total population.