About half of the population lives in the capital, Montevideo, and its metropolitan area. The second largest city, Salto, has ninety thousand inhabitants. As a result of emigration, there could be as many people of Uruguayan descent living outside as inside the country.
There are no alternative traditions or nationalities within the country. Uruguay is on the southeastern Atlantic coast of the Southern Cone of South America, bordering Argentina to the west and south and Brazil to the north.
The Atlantic Ocean is on the east and the estuary of the Río de la Plata is on the south.
In rural areas, gauchesco/criollo, the creole dialect spoken by the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century gauchos, is still influential.
Gauchesco has been preserved in literature, music, and jokes, and is part of the national identity.
Cattle and horses introduced by the Spanish in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries multiplied in the grasslands and roamed freely over the land.
Some Spaniards became seminomadic exploiters of this resource, and local native residents also learned to ride horses and live off wild cattle.
The main cultural differences are related to rural (9 percent) versus urban populations (91 percent), and whether people live in the capital or the interior towns.
The country is divided into nineteen administrative departamentos, each with a capital town. About half of the population lives in the capital, Montevideo, and its metropolitan area.
Gauchos originated as mestizos in these prairies (pampas) of southern South America.