|Population growth rate
||22.00 births per 1,000 residents
|Overall life expectancy
|Men life expectancy
|Women life expectancy
|65 years and above
||0.98 M / F
||10.60 residents per km²
|Santa Cruz de la Sierra 1,442,396, El Alto
846,880, La Paz 758,845 (A 1.8 million), Cochabamba 632.013, Oruro
264.943, Sucre 238.798, Tarija 179.561, Potosí 176.022, Sacaba 150.110
|49% indigenous (mainly Quechua, Aimará - a total of 36
ethnic groups), 30% European-indigenous, 15% of European origin
|Catholics (Roman Catholic) 95%, Protestants (Evangelical
|Human Development Index (HDI)
People in Bolivia
More than 11 million people live in Bolivia. The
largest city is Santa Cruz de la Sierra with 1.4 million
residents. It is located in the eastern lowlands of
the country. Most people, however, live on the Altiplano,
the plateau in the Andes.
68 percent of the population are joint descendants of
Indians and whites, mostly Spaniards. They are also
called mestizos - although the German translation "Mestizos"
is perceived as degrading and is therefore rarely used.
20 percent belong to indigenous peoples. Many mestizos,
however, also see themselves as belonging to an
indigenous group. According to this, the proportion is
even 40 percent of the population. In any case, Bolivia
has one of the highest proportions of indigenous
population in the population in South America. Most are
Quechua (2.5 million) and Aymara (2 million). You live
in the Altiplano.
Indigenous peoples in Bolivia
The next largest ethnic groups are the Chiquitanos
(180,000), the Guaraní (130,000) and the Moxos (80,000).
These three peoples live in the eastern lowlands. The
Urus live on Lake Titicaca (at the mouth of the
Desaguadero River) and in the highlands, but in Bolivia
they live in the countryside and not on floating islands
like in Peru. Some small Indian peoples are threatened
5 percent of whites live in Bolivia. They also
include around 40,000 Mennonites who live in twelve
communities in the southeast of the country in the Santa
Cruz Department. 1 percent are black, the
Afro-Bolivians. They are descendants of slaves brought
here from the 17th century until the abolition of
slavery in 1831. They were mainly used for work in the
silver mines. Most Afro-Bolivians now live in the Yungas
east of La Paz. Their culture includes saya, a music
and dance that developed in the 19th century and mixes
elements of the Aymara and Africa.
Around 7 percent of the population live abroad. You
have mainly gone to Argentina, Spain or the USA to work
- Children: Every woman in Bolivia has an
average of 2.4 children. With us, every woman has an
average of 1.4 children.
- Urban and rural: 70 percent of the
population of Bolivia live in cities. So 30 percent,
almost a third of the population, live in rural
Languages in Bolivia
Spanish is the official language in Bolivia. 60
percent of Bolivians speak it as their mother tongue.
Overall, almost 90 percent of the population speak
Spanish as a first or second language. 21 percent speak
Quechua and 15 percent speak Aymara, making them the
most widely spoken indigenous languages. A total of 36
indigenous languages are recognized in Bolivia, but
some of them have already died out and are no longer
spoken. The Mennonites of German descent, incidentally,
speak a kind Platt German, called Plautdietsch.
Spanish in Bolivia
The Spanish spoken in Bolivia is different from the
Spanish spoken in Spain. For example, while in Spain the
c is usually pronounced like an English th, i.e.
between the teeth (as in through ), in Bolivia (and
throughout Latin America) the c is pronounced like a
sharp s (as in see ). This is called Seseo.
There are also many regional specialties and
dialects. The Spanish in the lowlands sounds different
from that in the Andes.
Words from Quechua have also found their way into
Bolivian Spanish. The use of the Voseo is typical for
large parts of the country: One says vos instead of tu
for "you". In the eastern part of the country this is
even used in writing. The verb form is then also a
Religions in Bolivia
76 percent of the population are Catholics (Roman
Catholic). 17 percent belong to a Protestant church. So
the vast majority of Bolivians are Christians.