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Uruguay has been rediscovered -- mainly by affluent foreigners who are choosing to retire there. For the first time since 1965, the country recorded positive migration numbers in 2009. The number of residence permits has also tripled in the last four years.

Most of Uruguay's newest residents come from other South American countries -- about half are from Brazil and Argentina -- but the number of immigrants from Europe and the US is also growing.

Carlos Flanagans of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs attributes Uruguay's new popularity to political stability, an economy that was not affected by the global financial crisis, and a law passed in 2008 that gives immigrants the same rights and opportunities as nationals.

Juan Fischer, an immigration lawyer, believes that Uruguay has become more attractive to Americans as they face an economic crisis and tax increases at home.

Uruguay's relative safety, large middle class, clean water, good infrastructure and good quality of living at a lower cost have been some of the factors used in its being a great place for vacations and retirement.

Source: BBC News