Friday, 12 July 2013


Main article: Demographics of Bolivia People in La Paz city centre Festival in Sucre

According to the Bolivian National Statistics Institute, the enumerated inhabitants in 2001 were 8,274,325 from which 4,123,850 were men and 4,150,475 were women, as of 2010 the number reached 10,125,522 inhabitants.

In the last fifty years the Bolivian population has tripled; reaching a population growth rate of 2.25%. The growth of the population in the inter-census periods (1950–1976 and 1976–1992) was approximately 2.05%, while between the last period, 1992–2001, it reached 2.74% annually.

62.43% of Bolivians live in urban areas, while the remaining 37.57% in rural areas. The most part of the population (70%) is concentrated in the departments of La Paz, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba. In the Andean Altiplano region the departments of La Paz and Oruro hold the largest percentage of population, in the valley region the largest percentage is held by the departments of Cochabamba and Chuquisaca, while in the Llanos region by Santa Cruz and Beni. At national level, the population density is 8,49, with variations marked between 0,8 (Pando Department) and 26,2 (Cochabamba Department).

The biggest concentration of population is located in the called "central axis" and in the Llanos region. Bolivia has a young population. According to the 2011 census, 59% of the population is between 15 and 59 years old, 39% is less than 15 years old. Almost 60% of the population is younger than 25 years.

Ethnicity Macheteros

The ethnic composition of Bolivia is a mix of Hispanic and Amerindian peoples. The largest of the approximately three dozen native groups are the Quechuas (2.5 million), Aymaras (2 million), then Chiquitano (180,000), and Guaraní (125,000). So the full Amerindian population is at 55%; the remaining 30% are mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white), and around 15% are white.

Indigenous, also called "originarios" ("native" or "original") and less frequently, Amerindians, can be Andean, as the Aymaras and Quechuas (which formed the ancient Inca Empire), which concentrate in the western departments of La Paz, Potosí, Oruro, Cochabamba and Chuquisaca. There also is an important oriental ethnic population, composed by the Guaraní and Moxos, among others, and that inhabit the departments of Santa Cruz, Beni, Tarija and Pando. The indigenous people compose the 60% of the Bolivian population.

Mestizos are distributed throughout the entire country and compose the 26% of the Bolivian population. Most people assume their mestizo identity while at the same time identifying themselves with one or more indigenous cultures.

Whites are usually concentrated in the largest cities; La Paz, Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Cochabamba, but as well in some minor cities like Tarija. In the Santa Cruz Department there is an important colony (70.000 inhabitants) of German-speaking Mennonites. Whites represent 15% of the total Bolivian population.

Afro Bolivians, descendents of African slaves which arrived in the times of the Spanish Empire, inhabit the department of La Paz, and located mainly in the provinces of Nor Yungas and Sud Yungas.

Asians are mainly Japanese (14.000), Chinese (4.600), Koreans and Lebanese.

There are small numbers of European citizens of Germany, France, Italy and Portugal, as well as coming from other American countries, as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, United States, Paraguay, Peru, Mexico and Venezuela, among others. There are important Peruvian colonies in La Paz, El Alto and Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

Indigenous peoples

The Indigenous peoples of Bolivia can be divided into two categories of ethnic groups; the Andean groups, which are located in the Andean Altiplano and the valley region, and the ethnic groups of the Oriental Llanos region, which inhabit the warm regions of eastern Bolivia (Gran Chaco).

Andean ethnies Aymaras. They live on the high plateau of the departments of La Paz, Oruro and Potosí, as well as some small regions near the tropical flatlands. Quechuas. They inhabit mostly the valleys on Cochabamba and Chuquisaca. They also inhabit some mountain regions in Potosí and Oruro. They divide themselves into different quechua nations, as the Tarabucos, Ucumaris, Chalchas, Chaquies, Yralipes, Tirinas, among others. Ethnies of the Oriental Llanos Guaraníes. Formed by: Guarayos, Pausernas, Sirionos, Chiriguanos, Wichí, Chulipis, Taipetes, Tobas and Yuquis. Tacanas: Formed by: Lecos, Chimanes, Araonas and Maropas. Panos: Formed by: Chacobos, Caripunas, Sinabos, Capuibos and Guacanaguas. Aruacos: Formed by: Apolistas, Baures, Moxos, Chané, Movimas, Cayabayas, Carabecas, Paiconecas or Paucanacas. Chapacuras: Formed by: Itenez or More, Chapacuras, Sansinonianos, Canichanas, Itonamas, Yuracares, Guatoses and Chiquitos. Botocudos: Formed by: Bororos y Otuquis. Zamucos: Formed by: Ayoreos. Language Main article: Languages of Bolivia Geographic distribution of the indigenous languages of Bolivia.

Bolivia has a great linguistic diversity as a result of its multiculturalism. The Constitution of Bolivia recognizes 37 official languages, including besides Spanish all the languages of the native indigenous nations of Bolivia, which are Aymara, Araona, Baure, Bésiro, Canichana, Cavineño, Cayubaba, Chacobo, Chiman, Ese Ejja, Guaraní, Guarasuawe, Guarayu, Itonama, Leco, Machajuyai-Kallawaya, Machineri, Maropa, Mojeño-Trinitario, Mojeño-Ignaciano, Moré, Mosetén, Movima, Pacawara, Puquina, Quechua, Sirionó, Tacana, Tapiete, Toromona, Uruchipaya, Weenhayek, Yaminawa, Yuki, Yuracaré and Zamuco.

Spanish is the most spoken official language in the country, according to the 2001 census; as it is spoken by 88.4% of the population, as a first language or second language in some indigenous populations. All legal and official documents issued by the State, including the Constitution, the main private and public institutions, the media, and commercial activities, use Spanish.

The main indigenous languages are: Quechua (28% of the population in the 2001 census), Aymara (18%), Guarani (1%), other (4%) including the Moxos in the department of Beni.

English and Portuguese are also spoken by minor percentages of the population, the latter one mainly in the areas close to Brazil.

Religion Main article: Religion in Bolivia Religious syncretism between the cult to Pachamama (represented by the Cerro Rico) and the adoration to Virgin Mary, reflected on the painting "La Virgen del Cerro" of 1720.

Bolivia is a secular state and guarantees freedom of religion. The Constitution establishes that: "The state respects and guarantees the freedom of religion and of spiritual beliefs, in concordance with their world view. The state is independent of the religion." (Bolivian Constitution, Article 4)

According to the 2001 census conducted by the Bolivian National Statistics Institute, 78% of the Bolivian population follow Roman Catholicism, while 19% follow Protestantism, and 3% have different Christian beliefs. The Protestantism along with traditional indigenous beliefs are expanding rapidly.

Most of the indigenous population follows different religions marked by their syncretism with the Catholic religion or complementary to it with their own world view and ancient traditions. It is important the cult to Pachamama, or "Mother Earth", as well as the adoration to the Virgin of Copacabana, Virgin of Urkupiña and Vigin of Socavón. There also are important Aymaran communities near the Lake Titicaca that have a strong devotion to James the Apostle. Other deities are the Ekeko, which is the Aymaran god of abundance and prosperity and which day is celebrated every 24 January, and Tupá, a god of the Guaraní people.

Around 3% of the population identify themselves either agnostic or atheist.

Largest cities v t e Largest cities or towns of Bolivia Projected population for 2007, INE Rank City name Department Pop. Rank City name Department Pop. ! Santa Cruz de la Sierra La Paz 1 Santa Cruz de la Sierra Santa Cruz 1,451,597 11 Quillacollo Cochabamba 142,724 El Alto Cochabamba 2 La Paz La Paz 877,363 12 Montero Santa Cruz 91,952 3 El Alto La Paz 647,350 13 Trinidad Beni 87,977 4 Cochabamba Cochabamba 608,276 14 Riberalta Beni 93,624 5 Sucre Chuquisaca 280,225 15 Tiquipaya Cochabamba 62,940 6 Oruro Oruro 216,702 16 La Guardia Santa Cruz 49,921 7 Tarija Tarija 176,787 17 Warnes Santa Cruz 47,406 8 Potosí Potosí 150,647 18 Cotoca Santa Cruz 45,277 9 Sacaba Cochabamba 134,518 19 Guayaramerín Beni 35,767 10 Yacuíba Tarija 95,594 20 Cobija Pando 34,498

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