Bolivia is a landlocked country in central South America. It is bordered by Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay and Argentina to the south, Chile to the south west, and Peru to the west. Prior to European colonization, the Andean region of Bolivia was a part of the Inca Empire – the largest state in pre-Columbian America.
The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century. During most of the Spanish colonial period, this territory was called Upper Peru and was under the administration of the Viceroyalty of Peru, which included most of Spain's South American colonies.
After declaring independence in 1809, 16 years of war followed before the establishment of the Republic, named for Simón Bolívar, on 6 August 1825.
Bolivia has struggled through periods of political instability, dictatorships and economic woes. It is a Democratic Republic that is divided into nine departments. Its geography is varied from the peaks of the Andes in the West, to the Eastern Lowlands, situated within the Amazon Basin.
It is a developing country, with a medium HDI (Human Development Index) score, and a poverty level around 60%.
Its main economic activities include agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, and manufacturing goods such as textiles, clothing, refined metals, and refined petroleum. Bolivia is very wealthy in minerals, especially tin.