Potosí Department

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Department of Potosí
Flag of Department of Potosí
Coat of arms of Department of Potosí
Coat of arms
Location within Bolivia
Location within Bolivia
Coordinates: 20°40′0″S 66°40′0″W / 20.66667°S 66.66667°W / -20.66667; -66.66667
Country  Bolivia
Capital Potosí
 • Governor Félix Gonzales Bernal
 • Total 118,218 km2 (45,644 sq mi)
Population (2012)
 • Total 823,517
 • Density 7.0/km2 (18/sq mi)
Time zone BOT (UTC-4)
HDI (2004) -

Potosí Department is a department in southwestern Bolivia. It comprises 118,218 km² with 823,517 inhabitants (2012 census). The capital is the city of Potosí. It is mostly a barren, mountainous region with one large plateau to the west, where the largest salt flat in the world, Salar de Uyuni, is located.

Potosí was the richest province in the Spanish empire, providing a great percentage of the silver that was shipped to Europe.

Potosi is also the location of the San Cristóbal silver, zinc and lead mines, developed by the US-company Apex Silver Mines Limited of Colorado and in November 2008 sold to the Japanese Sumitomo Corporation.

Provinces of Potosi Department[edit]

The department is divided into 16 provinces which are further supbdivided into 40 municipalities [1] (municipios) and 219 cantons (cantones).

Province Capital Area km² Population
(2012 census)
POTOSI 15.png
Alonso de Ibáñez Sacaca 2.170 29.821
Antonio Quijarro Uyuni 14,890 54,947
Bernardino Bilbao Arampampa 640 10,224
Charcas San Pedro de Buena Vista 2,964 41,214
Chayanta Colquechaca 7,026 97,251
Cornelio Saavedra Betanzos 2,375 55,100
Daniel Campos Llica 12,106 5,850
Enrique Baldivieso San Agustín 2,254 1,684
José María Linares Puna 5,136 49,619
Modesto Omiste Villazón 2,260 44,645
Nor Chichas Cotagaita 8,979 42,248
Nor Lípez Colcha 20,892 14,057
Rafael Bustillo Uncía 2,235 86,947
Sud Chichas Tupiza 8,516 55,879
Sud Lípez San Pablo de Lípez 22,355 6,835
Tomás Frías Potosí 3,420 229,047


The languages spoken in the department are mainly Quechua, Spanish and Aymara. The following table shows the number of those belonging to the recognized group of speakers. [2]

Language Department Bolivia
Quechua 514,421 2,281,198
Aymara 57,738 1,525,321
Guaraní 374 62,575
Another native 356 49,432
Spanish 438,204 6,821,626
Foreign 3,771 250,754
Only native 226,967 960,491
Native and Spanish 301,280 2,739,407
Spanish and foreign 136,980 4,115,751

Places of interest[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 20°40′S 66°40′W / 20.667°S 66.667°W / -20.667; -66.667