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Nationality: Noun and adjective--Uruguayan(s).
Population (2002): 3.4 million.
Annual growth rate: 0.6%.
Ethnic groups (est.): European descent 93%, African descent 5%, mestizo 1%.
Religions: Roman Catholic 52%, Protestant and other Christian 16%, Jewish 2%, nonprofessing or other 30%.
Health: Life expectancy (2001)--74.8 yrs. (78.8 yrs. females; 70.9 yrs. males). Infant mortality rate--13.9/1,000.
Work force (1.2 million, 2002): Manufacturing--15%; commerce--20%; services (except banking)--43%; banking--2%; construction--8%; transportation and communications--6%; agriculture--4%; other--2%.
People of Uruguay
Uruguayans share a Spanish linguistic and cultural background, even though about one-quarter of the population is of Italian origin. Most are nominally Roman Catholic, although the majority of Uruguayans do not actively practice a religion. Church and state are officially separated. Uruguay is distinguished by its high literacy rate, large urban middle class, and relatively even income distribution. The average Uruguayan standard of living compares favorably with that of most other Latin Americans. Metropolitan Montevideo, with about 1.4 million inhabitants, is the only large city. The rest of the urban population lives in about 20 towns. During the past two decades, an estimated 500,000 Uruguayans have emigrated, principally to Argentina and Spain. Emigration to the United States also rose recently. As a result of the low birth rate, high life expectancy, and relatively high rate of emigration of younger people, Uruguay's population is quite mature.