|Capital of Department||Artigas|
|• Intendant||Patricia Ayala|
|• Ruling party||Frente Amplio|
|• Total||11.928 km2 (4.605 sq mi)|
|Population (2011 census)|
|• Density||6.2/km2 (16/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UYT (UTC-3)|
|ISO 3166 code||UY-AR|
Artigas Department (Spanish: Departamento de Artigas) is the northernmost department of Uruguay, belonging to its northwestern region. Its capital is the city of Artigas, who lives in the Brazilian city of Quarai. It has an area of 11928 km2, making it the fifth largest in the country. It has a population of 73,378 inhabitants according to the 2011 census.
Bordered on the north and east by Brazil, which is separated by the river Cuareim the south by the department of Salto and west by Argentina, which is separated by the Río Uruguay.
In the northwest corner is Bella Unión, a city that is so named because it is located at the junction of river Cuareim the Uruguay River, on the border with Brazil and Argentina Uruguay, this gives a special feature of Triple Frontier, ( only department Uruguayan border 2 countries).
It is named after José Artigas (1764–1850), leader of the orientales (inhabitants of the Banda Oriental, the Eastern Bank of the Uruguay River) during the wars of Independence.
The first division of the Republic in six departments happened on 27 January 1816. Two more departments were formed later in that year. At the time, Paysandú Department included all the territory north of the Río Negro, which included the actual departments of Artigas, Rivera, Tacuarembó, Salto, Paysandú and Río Negro. On 17 June 1837 a new division of Uruguay was made and the department of Salto was created including the actual Artigas Department. The actual borders were defined on 1 October 1884, when the Artigas Department was separated from Salto by the Act of Ley Nº 1854.
The Battle of Masoller, a noteworthy event in Uruguayan history, was fought on September 1, 1904. Masoller is situated on the boundary between the departments of Artigas and Salto, close to the Brazilian border.
Geography and climate
A portion of the department's border with Brazil is disputed, but, unlike many border disputes among Latin-American countries, this issue has not affected Uruguay's relations with Brazil adversely in recent years.
Two main geostructural regions can be found inside its limits:
- The central and eastern area, which includes a basaltic cuesta, and some sedimentary plains near the Cuareim River. Also found in the region are some hill ranges, such as the Belén Hill Range.
- The western area, which consists of a narrow alluvial plain.
Its average temperature is the highest in the whole country (over 19°C, going as high as 47°C during the Summer months), and so are its precipitation levels (up to an annual average of 1400 mm).
The unique climatic conditions of Artigas has made possible the development of an important agro-industrial centre, centered in the city of Bella Unión. This specializes in several crops, namely fruits and vegetables, sugar cane and rice. The main economic activity in the rest of the department is livestock raising.
Semi-precious stones, such as agates and amethysts are also found in the department, and an entire industry has risen up around their extraction and manufacturing, especially near the city of Artigas.
The proximity of the department to Brazil has made it possible for an important flow of trade to be established here, but unfortunately this is generally unfavorable to Uruguayan economic interests. Nevertheless this partially compensates for the fact that the per capita income is the lowest of the country, and the percentage of households in poverty is the highest in the country (13.19% of the inhabitants).
Population and Demographics
As of the census of 2011, the Artigas Department had a population of 73,378 (36,079 male and 37,299 female) and 26,231 households.
Demographic data for Artigas Department in 2010:
- Population growth rate: -0,006%
- Birth Rate: 15.48 births/1,000 people
- Death Rate: 7.05 deaths/1,000 people
- Average age: 28.2 (27.2 male, 29.2 female)
- Life Expectancy at Birth:
- Total population: 75.43 years
- Male; 72.03 years
- Female: 79.35 years
- Average per household income: 19,273 pesos/month
- Urban per capita income: 6,994 pesos/month
2010 Data Source:
|Main Urban Centres||Other towns and villages|
|Population stated according to the 2011 census.|
- Rural population
According to the 2011 census, Artigas department has a rural population of 3,524.
- List of populated places in Uruguay#Artigas Department
- Uruguayan-Brazilian border dispute
showing all populated places and full geographic details.
See full size version in Commons.
- Domínguez, Carlos María (2004). El norte profundo. Montevideo: Ediciones de la Banda Oriental. (Spanish)
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