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Bolivia Demographics Profile

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Population11,758,869 (July 2021 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Bolivian(s)

adjective: Bolivian
Ethnic groupsMestizo (mixed White and Amerindian ancestry) 68%, Indigenous 20%, White 5%, Cholo/Chola 2%, African descent 1%, other 1%, unspecified 3%; 44% of respondents indicated feeling part of some indigenous group, predominantly Quechua or Aymara (2009 est.)

note: results among surveys vary based on the wording of the ethnicity question and the available response choices; the 2001 national census did not provide "Mestizo" as a response choice, resulting in a much higher proportion of respondents identifying themselves as belonging to one of the available indigenous ethnicity choices; the use of "Mestizo" and "Cholo" varies among response choices in surveys, with surveys using the terms interchangeably, providing one or the other as a response choice, or providing the two as separate response choices
LanguagesSpanish (official) 60.7%, Quechua (official) 21.2%, Aymara (official) 14.6%, Guarani (official) 0.6%, other native languages 0.4%, foreign languages 2.4%, none 0.1%; note - Bolivia's 2009 constitution designates Spanish and all indigenous languages as official; 36 indigenous languages are specified, including a few that are extinct (2001 est.)

major-language sample(s):
La Libreta Informativa del Mundo, la fuente indispensable de información básica. (Spanish)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.
ReligionsRoman Catholic 70%, Evangelical 14.5%, Adventist 2.5%, Mormon 1.2%, agnostic 0.3%, atheist 0.8%, other 3.5%, none 6.6%, unspecified 0.6% (2018 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 30.34% (male 1,799,925/female 1,731,565)

15-24 years: 19.21% (male 1,133,120/female 1,103,063)

25-54 years: 38.68% (male 2,212,096/female 2,289,888)

55-64 years: 6.06% (male 323,210/female 382,139)

65 years and over: 5.71% (male 291,368/female 373,535) (2020 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 60.5

youth dependency ratio: 48.5

elderly dependency ratio: 12

potential support ratio: 8.3 (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 25.3 years

male: 24.5 years

female: 26 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate1.39% (2021 est.)
Birth rate20.36 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate6.26 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate-0.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Population distributiona high altitude plain in the west between two cordillera of the Andes, known as the Altiplano, is the focal area for most of the population; a dense settlement pattern is also found in and around the city of Santa Cruz, located on the eastern side of the Andes
Urbanizationurban population: 70.5% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.87% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
Major cities - population278,000 Sucre (constitutional capital) (2018); 1.882 million LA PAZ (capital), 1.749 million Santa Cruz, 1.337 million Cochabamba (2021)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.85 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth21.2 years (2008 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29
Maternal mortality rate155 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 39.27 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 43.95 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 34.37 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 70.7 years

male: 67.87 years

female: 73.67 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate2.45 children born/woman (2021 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate66.5% (2016)
Drinking water sourceimproved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 78.1% of population

total: 92.8% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 21.9% of population

total: 7.1% of population (2017 est.)
Health expenditures6.3% (2018)
Physicians density1.59 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density1.3 beds/1,000 population (2017)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: urban: 94.1% of population

rural: 42.2% of population

total: 78% of population

unimproved: urban: 5.9% of population

rural: 57.8% of population

total: 22% of population (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.2% (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS17,000 (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths<200 (2020 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
Obesity - adult prevalence rate20.2% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight3.4% (2016)
Education expenditures7.3% of GDP (2014)
Demographic profile

Bolivia ranks at or near the bottom among Latin American countries in several areas of health and development, including poverty, education, fertility, malnutrition, mortality, and life expectancy. On the positive side, more children are being vaccinated and more pregnant women are getting prenatal care and having skilled health practitioners attend their births.

Bolivia’s income inequality is the highest in Latin America and one of the highest in the world. Public education is of poor quality, and educational opportunities are among the most unevenly distributed in Latin America, with girls and indigenous and rural children less likely to be literate or to complete primary school. The lack of access to education and family planning services helps to sustain Bolivia’s high fertility rate—approximately three children per woman. Bolivia’s lack of clean water and basic sanitation, especially in rural areas, contributes to health problems.

Between 7% and 16% of Bolivia’s population lives abroad (estimates vary in part because of illegal migration). Emigrants primarily seek jobs and better wages in Argentina (the principal destination), the US, and Spain. In recent years, more restrictive immigration policies in Europe and the US have increased the flow of Bolivian emigrants to neighboring countries. Fewer Bolivians migrated to Brazil in 2015 and 2016 because of its recession; increasing numbers have been going to Chile, mainly to work as miners.

Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 92.5%

male: 96.5%

female: 88.6% (2015)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on September 18, 2021

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