Paraguay, officially the Republic of Paraguay (Spanish: República del Paraguay, Guaraní: Tetã Paraguái), is one of the two landlocked countries which lie entirely within the Western Hemisphere, the other being Bolivia, both in South America.
It lies on both banks of the Paraguay River and is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Because of its central location in South America, the country is sometimes referred to as Corazón de América — Heart of America. As of 2009 the population was estimated at over six million.
Desertification is also taking its toll in Paraguay, where the dry seasons have been prolonging during the last years. Today we have several areas in the country that are under environmental emergency due to the lack of rain. Many people blame the changes to the indiscriminate deforestation. Right now there are about 20,000 Has. of forest in the Teixeiras lands that might be cut down if the government purchases the lands as part of the land reform. 
Various poverty estimates suggest that 30-50% of the population is poor. In rural areas, 41.20% of the people lack a monthly income to cover basic necessities, whereas in urban centers this figure is 27.6%. The top 10% of the population holds 43.8% of the national income, while the lowest 10% has 0.5%. The economic recession has worsened income inequality, notably in the rural areas, where the Gini coefficient has risen from 0.56 in 1995 to 0.66 in 1999.
Similarly, land concentration in the Paraguayan countryside is one of the highest in the globe: 10% of the population controls 66% of the land, while 30% of the rural people are landless. This inequality has caused a great deal of tensions between the landless and elites.
- Asunción, (capital)
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- ↑ Global Voices Online, November 4th, 2009 - comment by Ricardo
- ↑ 2003 Census Bureau Household Survey
- ↑ Marió et al. (2004) Paraguay: Social Development Issues for Poverty Alleviation. World Bank report. Retrieved 18 June 2007.
- ↑ Nagel, Beverly Y.(1999) "'Unleashing the Fury': The Cultural Discourse of Rural Violence and Land Rights in Paraguay", in Comparative Studies in Society and History, 41: 148-181. Cambridge University Press.