Since the beginning of the 20th century, Uruguay has been a pioneer in social, educational and civic initiatives and to this day its avant-garde identity and spirit of freedom continue to attract the attention of those who seek to invest, work or live there.
The social transformations and civil, social and educational rights that Uruguay incorporated very early on for the welfare of its inhabitants, earned it the name of “the Switzerland of America”.
Uruguay was the second country in the world to establish secular, free and compulsory education.
In 1913, it became the first in Latin America to legislate divorce by sole will of the woman. In 1918, the Church was separated from the State, a condition that marks its secular identity until today.
As part of the reforms of the beginning of the last century, Uruguay has had an 8-hour workday since 1914.
Today the country has a literacy rate of 98%, a leading position in Latin America. It also has free education at all levels, and was the first country to universally implement the program known worldwide as One Laptop per Child.
Thanks to these milestones and to its stability, security and institutional quality, Uruguay today leads most of the rankings related to institutional quality and social achievements. Some of them have consistently recognized it as the number one country in terms of equity in Latin America, the one with the best democratic quality and the lowest perception of corruption, and the first in terms of Civil Liberties and Social Mobility.
As a matter of fact, Uruguay has been and continues to be a nation that identifies with the values of equity, equality and justice; an austere and freedom-loving society nurtured by republicanism, respect for diversity and a constant vocation for innovation.
These reasons, together with environmental and governance factors, determine that more and more companies, analysts and credit rating agencies take into account the qualities that today make Uruguay the highest performer in environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors at the regional level.