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El Salvador Demographics Profile

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Population6,528,135 (July 2021 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Salvadoran(s)

adjective: Salvadoran
Ethnic groupsMestizo 86.3%, White 12.7%, Amerindian 0.2% (includes Lenca, Kakawira, Nahua-Pipil), Black 0.1%, other 0.6% (2007 est.)
LanguagesSpanish (official), Nawat (among some Amerindians)

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 50%, Protestant 36%, other 2%, none 12% (2014 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 25.83% (male 857,003/female 817,336)

15-24 years: 18.82% (male 619,368/female 600,501)

25-54 years: 40.51% (male 1,221,545/female 1,404,163)

55-64 years: 7.23% (male 198,029/female 270,461)

65 years and over: 7.6% (male 214,717/female 277,979) (2020 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 54.4

youth dependency ratio: 41.1

elderly dependency ratio: 13.4

potential support ratio: 7.5 (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 27.7 years

male: 26.2 years

female: 29.3 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate0.67% (2021 est.)
Birth rate18.22 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate5.91 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate-5.57 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Population distributionathough it is the smallest country in land area in Central America, El Salvador has a population that is 18 times larger than Belize; at least 20% of the population lives abroad; high population density country-wide, with particular concentration around the capital of San Salvador
Urbanizationurban population: 74.1% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.33% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
Major cities - population1.107 million SAN SALVADOR (capital) (2021)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

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

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

25-54 years: 0.87 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.73 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female

total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth20.8 years (2008 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29
Maternal mortality rate46 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 12.38 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 14.03 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 75.11 years

male: 71.6 years

female: 78.79 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate2.07 children born/woman (2021 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate71.9% (2014)
Drinking water sourceimproved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 92.2% of population

total: 97.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 7.8% of population

total: 2.6% of population (2015 est.)
Health expenditures7.1% (2018)
Physicians density1.57 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density1.2 beds/1,000 population (2017)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: urban: 99.8% of population

rural: 94.7% of population

total: 98.3% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.2% of population

rural: 5.3% of population

total: 1.7% of population (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.5% (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS25,000 (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths<1000 (2020 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever
Obesity - adult prevalence rate24.6% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight5% (2014)
Education expenditures3.6% of GDP (2018)
Demographic profile

El Salvador is the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America. It is well into its demographic transition, experiencing slower population growth, a decline in its number of youths, and the gradual aging of its population. The increased use of family planning has substantially lowered El Salvador's fertility rate, from approximately 6 children per woman in the 1970s to replacement level today. A 2008 national family planning survey showed that female sterilization remained the most common contraception method in El Salvador - its sterilization rate is among the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean - but that the use of injectable contraceptives is growing. Fertility differences between rich and poor and urban and rural women are narrowing.

Salvadorans fled during the 1979 to 1992 civil war mainly to the United States but also to Canada and to neighboring Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Emigration to the United States increased again in the 1990s and 2000s as a result of deteriorating economic conditions, natural disasters (Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and earthquakes in 2001), and family reunification. At least 20% of El Salvador's population lives abroad. The remittances they send home account for close to 20% of GDP, are the second largest source of external income after exports, and have helped reduce poverty.

Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 88.5%

male: 90.6%

female: 86.7% (2017)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 12 years

male: 12 years

female: 12 years (2018)

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

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