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Paraguay Population

Population Distribution

Total population 7,191,685
Population growth rate 1.16%
Birth rate 16.60 births per 1,000 residents
Life expectancy  
Overall life expectancy 76.60 years
Men life expectancy 73.97 years
Women life expectancy 79.35 years
Age structure  
0-14 years 24.13%
15-64 years 68.52%
65 years and above 7.35%
Median age 27.30 years
Gender ratio 1.01 M / F
Population density 17.68 residents per km²
Urbanization 57.20%
Cities  
Asunción 526,400 (2015 A 2.2 million), Ciudad del Este 290,900, San Lorenzo 250,600, Luque 239,100, Capiatá 219,800, Lambaré 167,800, Fernando de la Mora 163,700, Limpio 127,200, Ñemby 122,700, Mariano Roque Alonso 95,500, Encarnación 90,100, Pedro Juan Caballero 88,800, Presidente Franco 80,800, Villa Elisa 74,600
Ethnicities  
over 90% European indigenous, 2% European descent, 1.6% indigenous (Guaraní)
Religions  
Catholics (Roman Catholic) 90%, Mennonites, and other Protestants
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.724
HDI ranking 98

People in Paraguay

Almost 7 million people live in Paraguay. Only 5 percent of them, around 350,000 people, live in the western part, the dry Chaco landscape. All others live in the east of Paraguay, 2.6 million in the region around the capital Asunción alone.

In surveys in 2012 and 2013, Paraguayans (along with the residents of Panama) described themselves as the happiest people in the world.

90 to 95 percent of the population describe themselves as mestizos, descendants of Indians with whites. With this high number, Paraguay has one of the most uniform population groups in Latin America. Almost 2 percent describe themselves as Indians and therefore belong to the indigenous population.

Black slaves from Africa were also brought into Paraguay during colonial times. Today only a few black people live in the country. The numbers vary between 1 and 4 percent. Like the majority of the population, they speak the Guaraní language.

The Mennonites are a minority. They originally come from German-speaking areas, where they were persecuted because of their religion. You belong to the Anabaptists. About 30,000 Mennonites live in Paraguay. They are a small but economically successful group. Above all, the dairy industry was built up by them.

Guaraní

The Guaraní are the largest indigenous group in Paraguay. The Guaraní live in the east of the country. Sometimes all Paraguayans are referred to as guaraní and the country's soccer team also has this nickname. Even the currency was called that!

There are other indigenous peoples in eastern Paraguay. But these peoples are small, for example the Aché (around 1500 people) or the Chamacoco (1800 people). The Aché still live as hunters and gatherers. So they are nomads and move from one camp to the next.

Guaycurú and other peoples in the Chaco

The Guaycurú include the Mocovíes and Toba. They live in western Paraguay, in the Chaco. There are also other smaller indigenous peoples here, for example the Sanapaná or the Guaná.

  • Children: Every woman in Paraguay has an average of 2.5 children. With us, every woman has an average of 1.4 children. A quarter of the population (25 percent) is under 14 years old. In Germany only 13 percent are under 14 years old.
  • Urban and rural: 60 percent of Paraguay's residents live in cities. So 40 percent live in the country.
  • Age: The average age is 28 years. The average age in Germany is 47 years.

Languages in Paraguay

Spanish and Guaraní

Spanish is one of two official languages ​​in Paraguay. The other official language is Guaraní, the language of the Guaraní people. In fact, 85 percent of the population speak Guarani as their mother tongue, only 11 percent speak Spanish. This makes Paraguay an exception among the Latin American countries.

Most of the residents are at least bilingual: 95 percent speak Guaraní, 90 percent Spanish. Many people speak a mixture of both languages. Typical for the Guaraní in Paraguay is an admixture of many Spanish words. This variant of the Guaraní is also called Jopara-Guaraní.

Seseo and Voseo

The Spanish spoken in Paraguay is also different from the Spanish spoken in Spain. While in Spain, for example, the c is usually pronounced like an English th , i.e. between the teeth (as in through ), in Paraguay (and throughout Latin America) the c is pronounced like a sharp s (as in see ). This is called Seseo. Voseo is the name given to the peculiarity that instead of tu (for "you") vos is said. This is common in Paraguay, tu is hardly needed.

Words from the Guaraní

Incidentally, in German we use a few words that originally come from the Guaraní. These include the words tapir, jaguar, pineapple, cassava, passion fruit, rhea and piranha.

Religions in Paraguay

88 percent of the population are Catholics (Roman Catholic). 8 percent belong to a Protestant church. So the vast majority are Christians.


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