Uruguay Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Uruguay: population and cities



According to Countryaah website, Uruguay has around 3.5 million people.

Ethnic composition

Around 85% are of European descent, 3% are mulattos, 5% mestizos and around 50,000 Germans or people of German origin.


Around 46% Catholics, 9% Protestants and other Christian faiths,

30% non-denominational believers, 14% unbelievers and agnostics and 1% Jews

National languages Spanish, Portunol, a Spanish-Portuguese dialect, is spoken in the border area with Brazil.

Capital and other cities

The capital of Uruguay is Montevideo with a population of around 1.4 million. According to Abbreviation Finder, URU stands for Uruguay in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.

Other large or important cities are:

– Salto with around 81,000 residents

– Paysandú with around 76,000 residents

– Las Piedras with around 58,000 residents

– Rivera with around 57,000 residents.

Uruguay: geography, map

Uruguay covers a total area of 176,215 km². Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Uruguay. Thereof:

  • ForestAround 4% of the country is forested.
  • Meadows and pasture landAround 78% of the land is used as meadow or pasture land.
  • Arable land and fieldsAround 8% of the land is used as arable land or fields, especially for growing grain.


Around 70% of the country are part of the lowlands formed by the river system of the Río de la Plata and the lower reaches of Uruguay. The other part of the country is a gently undulating hill country on the border with the Brazilian highlands.

National borders

Uruguay shares a border with two countries:

Brazil with a length of around 1,003 km

Argentina with a length of around 495 km.


Uruguay has a coast to the South Atlantic and the Rio de la Plata with a length of around 660 km. On the coast there are a number of impressive lagoons that are between 39 and 181 km² in size.

Longitude and latitude

Uruguay extends over the following geographical latitude (abbr. Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbr. Δλ):

Δφ = from 30 ° 05 ‘to 34 ° 58’ south latitude Δλ = from 53 ° 07 ‘to 58 ° 28’ west longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under: Geographical longitude and latitude.

Legal time

For Uruguay, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time. A minus sign means that it is earlier there, a plus sign that it is later than CET:

Δt (CET) = – 4 h

More detailed explanations of the time can be found under: Time zones, time.

The highest point of the sun in Montevideo

Montevideo lies at a southern latitude of around φ = 35 °.

If the sun, or its pixel, is at the southern tropic, i.e. at = -23.5 °, summer starts in Montevideo. That’s December 21st. Then for the highest position of the sun at noon, according to Eq. 1 (see position of the sun):

– 35 ° = – (90 ° – h) + -23.5 °


H = 78.5 °

At 78.5 °, the sun in Montevideo has the highest level of the entire year above the horizon (more precisely: above the horizon).


If the image point of the sun (declination) is north of the latitude of Montevideo, and this is the case all year round, the sun is not in the south at noon, as in our latitudes, but in the north. The sun moves from east to north to west, where it then sets.

Mountains or elevations

Cerro Catedral

The Cerro Catedral – also known as Cerro Cordillera – belongs to the range of hills of the Sierra Carapé and is the highest point in the country with a height of 514 m. The mountain is located in the north of the Maldonado department in the south of the country.

Cerro de las Animas

The second highest point in the country is the Cerro de las Animas with a height of 501 m – in the range of hills of the Sierra de las Ánimas. The mountain is located southwest of the Maldonado department in the city of Piriápolis, on the Rio de la Plata.

Cuchilla Negra and Cuchilla Santa Ana ranges of hills

Other important geological formations are the Cuchilla Negra and Cuchilla Santa Ana ranges of hills with a height of 200 to 300 meters. These hills mostly run in a north-south direction and determine the landscape. According to legend, the explorer called Magellan – when his ship reached land: “Monte vide eu”. In Portuguese this means something like: “I see a mountain!”


Rio Negro

The Río Negro is a 750 km long tributary of the Rio Uruguay, into which it flows in the Río Negro department. It flows roughly from northeast to southwest through Uruguay and is dammed up in the middle of the country to form the 1,140 km² Rincón del Bonete. The river has its source near the city of Bagé in Brazil.

Rio Uruguay

The Rio Uruguay has a total length of 1,790 km – with a length in the country of around 300 km on the border with Argentina. The river forms the Rio de la Plata, the river delta of both rivers, in front of its mouth together with the Paraná. The river has its source in the mountains of southern Brazil, in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina and partially forms the border between Santa Catarina and the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul and then that between Argentina and Brazil and then that of Uruguay and Argentina.

Rio Yi

The Rio Yi has a length of around 210 km. It rises near the city of Cerro Chato and flows into the Rio Negro.

The course of the waters in Uruguay is extremely irregular due to the low gradient to the sea. The confluence of the Rio Uruguay and the Paraná – it does not cross Uruguay – is the Rio de la Plata, on the northern bank of which is the capital of Uruguay – Montevideo – and on the southern bank of which Buenos Aires (Argentina) is located. For more details, see the end of the article.


Rincón del Bonete

The Rincón del Bonete with a maximum size of 1,140 km² – also known as the Embalse del Río Negro – is a reservoir that is dammed up by the Río Negro. The reservoir is dammed by the “Dr. Gabriel Terra dam”. The reservoir with a maximum storage volume of approx. 15 km³ is located near Paso de los Toros and is used to generate electricity with an output of around 130 MW. The dam, which was inaugurated in 1945, was named after Dr. Gabriel Terra (1873–1942) – President of the country from 1931 to 1938.


Other larger “lakes” are the series of lagoons from Punta del Este to the Brazilian border. Their size ranges from 39 to 181 km².


Isla Martin Garcia

The small Isla Martin Garcia in the estuary of Uruguay is claimed by both Argentina and Uruguay.

Atlantic Ocean, Rio de la Plata


Uruguay borders the Atlantic Ocean and the Rio de la Plata. The Atlantic with its numerous tributaries covers an area of around 106 million km². A detailed representation of the Atlantic can be found here >>>

Rio de la Plata

The Rio de la Plata (Silver River) is the approximately 290 km long and up to a maximum of 220 km wide confluence of the 3,200 km long Paraná and 1,815 km long Uruguay into the Atlantic Ocean. It covers an area of around 35,000 km². The border between Argentina and Uruguay runs through the Rio de la Plata. It is bounded by a 220 km long (imaginary) line between Punta del Este in Uruguay and Cabo San Antonio in Argentina to the Atlantic.

Uruguay Population