Bolivia is a resource rich country with strong growth attributed to captive markets for natural gas exports. However, the country remains one of the least developed countries in Latin America because of state-oriented policies that deter investment and growth. Following a disastrous economic crisis during the early 1980s, reforms spurred private investment, stimulated economic growth, and cut poverty rates in the 1990s. The period 2003-05 was characterized by political instability, racial tensions, and violent protests against plans - subsequently abandoned - to export Bolivia's newly discovered natural gas reserves to large Northern Hemisphere markets. In 2005, the government passed a controversial hydrocarbons law that imposed significantly higher royalties and required foreign firms then operating under risk-sharing contracts to surrender all production to the state energy company in exchange for a predetermined service fee. The global recession slowed growth, but Bolivia recorded the highest growth rate in South America during 2009. High commodity prices since 2010 sustained rapid growth and large trade surpluses. However, a lack of foreign investment in the key sectors of mining and hydrocarbons, along with conflict among social groups pose challenges for the Bolivian economy.


$59.11 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
$55.35 billion (2012 est.)
$52.63 billion (2011 est.)

GDP- Real Growth Rate

6.8% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 25
5.2% (2012 est.)
5.2% (2011 est.)

GDP - Per Capita

$5,500 (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
$5,200 (2012 est.)
$4,900 (2011 est.)

GDP - Composition By Sector

agriculture: 9.2%
industry: 38.5%
services: 52.3% (2013 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line

note: based on percent of population living on less than the international standard of $2/day (2011 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices)

6.5% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
4.5% (2012 est.)

Labor Force

4.922 million (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78

Labor Force - By Occupation

agriculture: 32%
industry: 27.4%
services: 40.6% (2009 est.)

Unemployment Rate

7.4% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80 7.5% (2012 est.)


mining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverages, tobacco, handicrafts, clothing, jewelry

Industrial Production Growth

5.6% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46