Landlocked Bolivia is the world, s largest producer of tin and is home to the largest indigenous population in Latin America. High levels of malnutrition, infant mortality, and low levels of education also make Bolivia one of the poorest and least developed countries in South America. Although blessed with vast mineral resources, Bolivia faces various challenges associated with a polarized society and rampant coca (a key component of cocaine) production. Efforts to limit and eradicate coca have come under major opposition by the indigenous population who argue that coca has a rich heritage in domestic, social, and religious life dating back to the Incas. The recent implementation of public works projects is seen as a solution to Bolivia, s high levels of unemployment.
||8,989,046 (July 2006 est.)
||1,084,390 sq km
||slightly less than three times the size of Montana
||Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara (official)