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Colombia Demographics Profile

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Population50,355,650 (July 2021 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Colombian(s)

adjective: Colombian
Ethnic groupsMestizo and White 87.6%, Afro-Colombian (includes Mulatto, Raizal, and Palenquero) 6.8%, Amerindian 4.3%, unspecified 1.4% (2018 est.)
LanguagesSpanish (official)

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 79%, Protestant 14% (includes Pentecostal 6%, mainline Protestant 2%, other 6%), other 2%, unspecified 5% (2014 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 23.27% (male 5,853,351/female 5,567,196)

15-24 years: 16.38% (male 4,098,421/female 3,939,870)

25-54 years: 42.04% (male 10,270,516/female 10,365,423)

55-64 years: 9.93% (male 2,307,705/female 2,566,173)

65 years and over: 8.39% (male 1,725,461/female 2,390,725) (2020 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 45.4

youth dependency ratio: 32.3

elderly dependency ratio: 13.2

potential support ratio: 7.6 (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 31.2 years

male: 30.2 years

female: 32.2 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate1.04% (2021 est.)
Birth rate16.51 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate5.53 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate-0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Population distributionthe majority of people live in the north and west where agricultural opportunities and natural resources are found; the vast grasslands of the llanos to the south and east, which make up approximately 60% of the country, are sparsely populated
Urbanizationurban population: 81.7% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.01% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
Major cities - population11.167 million BOGOTA (capital), 4.034 million Medellin, 2.810 million Cali, 2.299 million Barranquilla, 1.349 million Bucaramanga, 1.071 million Cartagena (2021)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth21.7 years (2015 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-49
Maternal mortality rate83 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 12.88 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 15.73 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 9.86 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 76.91 years

male: 73.77 years

female: 80.23 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate2.14 children born/woman (2021 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate81% (2015/16)
Drinking water sourceimproved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 86.4% of population

total: 97.3% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 13.6% of population

total: 2.7% of population (2017 est.)
Health expenditures7.6% (2018)
Physicians density2.19 physicians/1,000 population (2018)
Hospital bed density1.7 beds/1,000 population (2017)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: urban: 98.3% of population

rural: 80.1% of population

total: 94.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.7% of population

rural: 19.9% of population

total: 5.3% of population (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.4% (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS180,000 (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths3,000 (2020 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever

note: widespread ongoing transmission of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring throughout Colombia; as of 19 July 2021, Columbia has reported a total of 4,639,466   cases of COVID-19 or 9117.93 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population with 228.58 cumulative deaths per 100,000 population; as of 18 July 2021, 29.64% of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine
Obesity - adult prevalence rate22.3% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight3.7% (2015/16)
Education expenditures4.5% of GDP (2018)
Demographic profile

Colombia is in the midst of a demographic transition resulting from steady declines in its fertility, mortality, and population growth rates. The birth rate has fallen from more than 6 children per woman in the 1960s to just above replacement level today as a result of increased literacy, family planning services, and urbanization. However, income inequality is among the worst in the world, and more than a third of the population lives below the poverty line.

Colombia experiences significant legal and illegal economic emigration and refugee outflows. Large-scale labor emigration dates to the 1960s; the United States and, until recently, Venezuela have been the main host countries. Emigration to Spain picked up in the 1990s because of its economic growth, but this flow has since diminished because of Spain’s ailing economy and high unemployment. Colombia has been the largest source of Latin American refugees in Latin America, nearly 400,000 of whom live primarily in Venezuela and Ecuador. Venezuela’s political and economic crisis since 2015, however, has created a reverse flow, consisting largely of Colombians returning home.

Forced displacement continues to be prevalent because of violence among guerrillas, paramilitary groups, and Colombian security forces. Afro-Colombian and indigenous populations are disproportionately affected. Even with the Colombian Government’s December 2016 peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the risk of displacement remains as other rebel groups fill the void left by the FARC. Between 1985 and September 2017, nearly 7.6 million persons have been internally displaced, the highest total in the world. These estimates may undercount actual numbers because many internally displaced persons are not registered. Historically, Colombia also has one of the world’s highest levels of forced disappearances. About 30,000 cases have been recorded over the last four decades—although the number is likely to be much higher—including human rights activists, trade unionists, Afro-Colombians, indigenous people, and farmers in rural conflict zones.

Because of political violence and economic problems, Colombia received limited numbers of immigrants during the 19th and 20th centuries, mostly from the Middle East, Europe, and Japan. More recently, growth in the oil, mining, and manufacturing sectors has attracted increased labor migration; the primary source countries are Venezuela, the US, Mexico, and Argentina. Colombia has also become a transit area for illegal migrants from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean -- especially Haiti and Cuba -- who are en route to the US or Canada.

Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 95.1%

male: 94.9%

female: 95.3% (2018)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 15 years (2018)

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

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