Uruguay’s capital city has a flowery nickname in Spanish, which translates to “The Very Faithful and Reconqueror”. Montevideo’s motto is “With liberty I offend not, I fear not”.
Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey for cities ranks Montevideo in first place for quality of life compared to any other Latin American country. The annual survey compares 230 cities from around the globe based on 39 factors including political, economic, environmental, personal safety, health, education, transportation and other public service factors. Montevideo scores high on the personal safety factor. New York City is used as the benchmark for all comparisons.
However, as is the case in all cities of developing countries, petty thieves including pickpockets continue to be a concern on Montevideo’s streets. Visitors to the capital city are well advised to secure at all times their cash, credit cards, passports and other valuables.
Uruguay was the world’s 95th top exporter in 2019, shipping an estimated US$7.8 billion worth of goods around the globe. Its most valuable exports are frozen beef (19.3% of Uruguay’s global total), soya beans (12.9%), wood in the rough (8.9%), concentrated or sweetened milk and cream (5.8%), rice (4.8%), fresh or chilled beef (4.3%), malt (2.8%), edible offal (1.9%), plastic packaging items, lids and caps (also 1.9%) and trucks (1.5%) according to the International Trade Centre.
Tourism represents a large part of the Uruguayan economy, and Montevideo is no exception. Visitors to Montevideo tour the city’s oldest buildings in the Ciudad Vieja area as well as museums, art galleries and nightclubs.
Capital Facts for Montevideo, Uruguay: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Independence Plaza (Plaza Independencia), Salvo Palace (Palacio Salvo), Centenario Stadium, Carnival Museum and the Matriz Cathedral (Catedral Matriz)
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Montevideo, Uruguay.
- Diego Forlán, soccer player/footballer (born May 19, 1979)
- Gabe Saporta, pop singer (born Oct. 11, 1979)
- Natalia Oreiro, actress & singer (born May 19, 1977)
- Barbara Mori, model & actress (born Feb. 2, 1978)
- Gus Poyet, soccer player/footballer (born Nov. 15, 1967)
- Cristina Peri Rossi, novelist & poet (born Nov. 12, 1941)
- Jose Mujica, former president (born May 20, 1935)
- Diego Perez, soccer player/footballer (born May 18, 1980)
- Jorge Drexler, Oscar-winning songwriter (born Sep. 21, 1964)
- Enzo Francescoli, soccer player/footballer (born Nov. 12, 1961)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches mostly targeting published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a Montevideo resident: Montevidean
Population: 1,752,400 (Montevideo) at July 10, 2020
Density: 22,612 people per square mile (8,718 per square kilometer)
Population: 3,474,000 (Uruguay) at July 10, 2020
Density: 51 people per square mile (20 per square kilometer)
Median age for all Uruguay: 35.8 years old
GDP: US$83 billion in 2019 (Uruguay)
GDP per person: $23,581
Note: The above country-level GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars. Credible city GDP statistics for Montevideo were unavailable.
Official currency used in Montevideo: Uruguayan peso
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data).
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas.
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, South America: Uruguay.
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition.
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition.
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Databases.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Mercer, Western European Cities Top Quality Of Living Ranking ‒ Mercer .
Official Government Website, Municipality of Montevideo.
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags.
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Mercer Quality of Living Survey.
WorldOMeter, Uruguay Population.
Uruguay broke free from Brazil on August 25, 1825. Residents celebrate Independence Day as a public holiday each August 25.
Montevideo’s land area measures 77.5 square miles (201 square kilometers). Montevideo’s people count was 1.75 million residents at July 10, 2020.
On a national scale, Uruguay’s population is 3.5 million inhabitants–about twice that for its capital city. Yet Uruguay’s land mass of 67,576 square miles (175,020 square kilometers) is almost 900 times greater than Montevideo’s area.
Population density is more than 400 times more concentrated within Uruguay’s capital city, with an average 22,612 Montevideans per square mile (8,718 per square kilometer).
Zooming out to national land boundaries, Uruguay’s density diminishes significantly averaging a 51 people per square mile (20 per square kilometer).