Bolivia: People & Society#

Population10,969,649 (July 2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Bolivian(s)
adjective: Bolivian
Ethnic groupsmestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 68%, indigenous 20%, white 5%, cholo/chola 2%, black 1%, other 1%, unspecified 3% ; 44% of respondents indicated feeling part of some indigenous group, predominantly Quechua or Aymara
note: results among surveys vary based on the wording of the ethnicity question and the available response choices; the 2001 national census did not provide "mestizo" as a response choice, resulting in a much higher proportion of respondents identifying themselves as belonging to one of the available indigenous ethnicity choices; the use of "mestizo" and "cholo" varies among response choices in surveys, with surveys using the terms interchanageably, providing one or the other as a response choice, or providing the two as separate response choices (2009 est.)
LanguagesSpanish (official) 60.7%, Quechua (official) 21.2%, Aymara (official) 14.6%, foreign languages 2.4%, Guarani (official) 0.6%, other native languages 0.4%, none 0.1%
note: Bolivia's 2009 constitution designates Spanish and all indigenous languages as official; 36 indigenous languages are specified, including some that are extinct (2001 est.)
ReligionsRoman Catholic 76.8%, Evangelical and Pentecostal 8.1%, Protestant 7.9%, other 1.7%, none 5.5% (2012 est.)
Demographic profileBolivia ranks at or near the bottom among Latin American countries in several areas of health and development, including poverty, education, fertility, malnutrition, mortality, and life expectancy. On the positive side, more children are being vaccinated and more pregnant women are getting prenatal care and having skilled health practitioners attend their births. Bolivia's income inequality is the highest in Latin America and one of the highest in the world. Public education is of poor quality, and educational opportunities are among the most unevenly distributed in Latin America, with girls and indigenous and rural children less likely to be literate or to complete primary school. The lack of access to education and family planning services helps to sustain Bolivia's high fertility rate - approximately three children per woman. Bolivia's lack of clean water and basic sanitation, especially in rural areas, contributes to health problems. Almost 7% of Bolivia's population lives abroad, primarily to work in Argentina, Brazil, Spain, and the United States. In recent years, more restrictive immigration policies in Europe and the United States have increased the flow of Bolivian emigrants to neighboring Argentina and Brazil.
Age structure0-14 years: 32.36% (male 1,808,567/female 1,740,760)
15-24 years: 19.55% (male 1,086,134/female 1,058,584)
25-54 years: 37.08% (male 1,986,514/female 2,081,415)
55-64 years: 5.83% (male 296,197/female 343,394)
65 years and over: 5.18% (male 250,749/female 317,335) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 63.7%
youth dependency ratio: 53.1%
elderly dependency ratio: 10.6%
potential support ratio: 9.4% (2015 est.)
Median agetotal: 24 years
male: 23.3 years
female: 24.7 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate1.54% (2016 est.)
Birth rate22.4 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate6.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Population distributiona high altitude plain in the west between two cordillera of the Andes, known as the Altiplano, is the focal area for most of the population; a dense settlement pattern is also found in and around the city of Santa Cruz, located on the eastern side of the Andes
Urbanizationurban population: 68.5% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.26% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - populationSanta Cruz 2.107 million; LA PAZ (capital) 1.816 million; Cochabamba 1.24 million; Sucre (constitutional capital) 372,000 (2015)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.86 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth21.2
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2008 est.)
Maternal mortality rate206 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 36.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 39.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 32.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 69.2 years
male: 66.4 years
female: 72.1 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate2.68 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate60.5% (2008)
Health expenditures6.3% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density0.47 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
Hospital bed density1.1 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 96.7% of population
rural: 75.6% of population
total: 90% of population
urban: 3.3% of population
rural: 24.4% of population
total: 10% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 60.8% of population
rural: 27.5% of population
total: 50.3% of population
urban: 39.2% of population
rural: 72.5% of population
total: 49.7% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.29% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS18,200 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths800 (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever

note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate15.8% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight4.5% (2008)
Education expenditures7.3% of GDP (2014)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.7%
male: 97.8%
female: 93.6% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2007)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 757,352
percentage: 26.4%

note: data represent children ages 5-17 (2008 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 6.2%
male: 5.1%
female: 7.8% (2011 est.)