La Paz Department (Bolivia)

The La Paz Department of Bolivia comprises 133,985 square kilometres (51,732 sq mi) with a 2012 census population of 2,706,359 inhabitants. It is situated at the western border of Bolivia, sharing Lake Titicaca with adjacent Peru. It contains the Cordillera Real, which reaches altitudes of 6.6 kilometers (4.1 mi). Northeast of the Cordillera Real are the Yungas, the steep eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains that make the transition to the Amazon River basin to the northeast. The capital of the department is the city of La Paz and is the administrative city and seat of government/national capital of Bolivia.

Department of La Paz
Ch'iyar Quta (La Paz)
Flag of Department of La Paz
Coat of arms of Department of La Paz
Location of La Paz Department within Bolivia
Location of La Paz Department within Bolivia
Provinces of the La Paz Department
Provinces of the La Paz Department
Country Bolivia
CapitalNuestra Señora de La Paz
 • GovernorSantos Quispe
 • Total133,985 km2 (51,732 sq mi)
 • Total2,927,000
 • Density22/km2 (57/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-4 (BOT)
HDI (2019)0.717[1]
high · 6th of 9


The Department of La Paz is divided into 20 provinces (provincias) which are further subdivided into 85 municipalities[2] (municipios) and - on the fourth level - into cantons.

The provinces with their capitals are:

Province Area km2 Population (2012 census) Capital
Abel Iturralde 42,815 18,073 Ixiamas
Aroma 4,510 97,364 Sica Sica
Bautista Saavedra 2,525 16,308 Charazani
Caranavi 3,400 59,365 Caranavi
Eliodoro Camacho 2,080 53,747 Puerto Acosta
Franz Tamayo 15,900 26,997 Apolo
Gualberto Villarroel 1,935 17,782 San Pedro de Curahuara de Carangas
Ingavi 5,410 134,535 Viacha
Inquisivi 6,430 66,346 Inquisivi
José Manuel Pando 1,976 7,381 Santiago de Machaca
José Ramón Loayza 3,370 47,295 Luribay
Larecaja 8,110 86,481 Sorata
Los Andes 1,658 77,579 Pucarani
Manco Kapac 367 27,154 Copacabana
Muñecas 4,965 29,694 Chuma
Nor Yungas 1,720 36,983 Coroico
Omasuyos 2,065 84,484 Achacachi
Pacajes 10,584 55,180 Coro Coro
Pedro Domingo Murillo 4,705 1,663,099 Palca
Sud Yungas 5,770 105,013 Chulumani
Total: 133,985 km2 2,706,359
Note: More than 3,770 km2 of Lake Titicaca


The chief executive office of Bolivia's departments (since May 2010) is the Governor; before then, the office was called the Prefect, and until 2006 the prefect was appointed by the President of Bolivia and then the governor is elected by the voters. The current governor, Santos Quispe, was elected on 11 April 2021 and took office on 3 May.

Under the 2009 Constitution, Bolivian departments have an elected legislature, known as the Departmental Legislative Assembly. The La Paz Assembly has 45 members including five indigenous / natives minority representatives.

The most recent governor election results (2021) are as follows:[3]

CandidatePartyFirst roundSecond round
Santos QuispeTogether for the Call of the Peoples392,13225.18831,81655.23
Franklin FloresMovement for Socialism618,22139.70674,22044.77
Rafael QuispeFor the Common Good - We are the People (MDS)349,38422.44
Félix PatziThird System Movement67,9484.36
Franclin GutierrezFront for Victory23,5191.51
Beatriz AlvarezSovereignty and Liberty22,6251.45
Claudia Bravo TerrazasNational Unity Front21,3311.37
Juan ChoqueOvercome16,3141.05
Rufo CalleChristian Democratic Party11,0330.71
Mateo LauraCivic Community - Autonomies for Bolivia8,5780.55
Julio TitoPatriotic Social Alliance7,9440.51
Orlando QuispeBolivian National Action Party6,8860.44
Federico ZeladaMovement for Sovereignty6,2690.40
Santiago QuentaFor my La Paz, United Invincible5,0250.32
Valid votes1,557,20990.351,506,03692.90
Invalid/blank votes166,3869.65115,0927.10
Total votes1,723,595100.001,621,128100.00
Registered voters/turnout1,950,42888.371,947,82883.23
Source: Plurinational Electoral Organ[4]

Past executivesEdit

Date Began Date Ended Prefect/Governor Party Notes
23 Jan 2006 10 Aug 2008 José Luís Paredes Muñoz Social and Democratic Power First elected prefect. Elected in Bolivian general election, December 2005, and removed by the 2008 recall election.
12 Aug 2008 29 Aug 2008 Alejandro Zapata (acting, de facto)
29 Aug 2008 30 May 2010 Pablo Ramos Sánchez (acting) MAS-IPSP Final prefect
30 May 2010 31 May 2015 César Hugo Cocarico Yana MAS-IPSP Elected in regional election on 4 April; first elected with the renamed title of governor
31 May 2015 3 May 2021 Félix Patzi MTS Elected in regional election


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1976 1,465,078—    
1992 1,900,786+1.64%
2001 2,350,466+2.39%
2012 2,719,344+1.33%
2020 2,927,000+0.92%
Source: Citypopulation[5]


The languages spoken in the department are mainly Spanish, Aymara, Quechua and Guaraní. The following table shows the number of people belonging to the recognized group of speakers.[6]

Language Department Bolivia
Quechua 158,260 2,281,198
Aymara 1,181,593 1,525,321
Guaraní 1,526 62,575
Another native 4,446 49,432
Spanish 1,973,708 6,821,626
Foreign 70,448 250,754
Only native 257,242 960,491
Native and Spanish 1,027,999 2,739,407
Spanish and foreign 946,650 4,115,751

Places of interestEdit

Towns and villagesEdit


  1. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. ^ (English)
  3. ^ "Los partidos combinan perfiles para la Gobernación de La Paz". 24 February 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Bolivia: Provinces".
  6. ^ Archived 2009-02-18 at the Wayback Machine (Spanish)

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 15°00′S 68°20′W / 15.000°S 68.333°W / -15.000; -68.333