Uruguay i/ˈjʊərəɡwaɪ/, officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay (Spanish: República Oriental del Uruguay, ), is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to 3.3 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area. An estimated 88% of the population is of European descent. With an area of approximately 176,000 square kilometres (68,000 sq mi), Uruguay is the second-smallest nation in South America by area, after Suriname.
Colonia del Sacramento, one of the oldest European settlements in the country, was founded by the Portuguese in 1680. Montevideo was founded by the Spanish in the early 18th century as a military stronghold. Uruguay won its independence between 1811 and 1828, following a four-way struggle amongst Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Brazil. It is a democratic constitutional republic, with a president who is both head of state and head of government.