Colombia: People & Society#

Population47,220,856 (July 2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Colombian(s)
adjective: Colombian
Ethnic groupsmestizo and white 84.2%, Afro-Colombian (includes multatto, Raizal, and Palenquero) 10.4%, Amerindian 3.4%, Roma

LanguagesSpanish (official)
ReligionsRoman Catholic 90%, other 10%
Demographic profileColombia is in the midst of a demographic transition resulting from steady declines in its fertility, mortality, and population growth rates. The birth rate has fallen from more than 6 children per woman in the 1960s to just above replacement level today as a result of increased literacy, family planning services, and urbanization. However, income inequality is among the worst in the world, and more than a third of the population lives below the poverty line. Colombia experiences significant legal and illegal economic emigration and refugee flows. Large-scale labor emigration dates to the 1960s; Venezuela and the United States continue to be the main host countries. Colombia is the largest source of Latin American refugees in Latin America, nearly 400,000 of whom live primarily in Venezuela and Ecuador. Forced displacement remains prevalent because of violence among guerrillas, paramilitary groups, and Colombian security forces. Afro-Colombian and indigenous populations are disproportionately affected. A leading NGO estimates that 5.2 million people have been displaced since 1985, while the Colombian Government estimates 3.6 million since 2000. These estimates may undercount actual numbers because not all internally displaced persons are registered. Historically, Colombia also has one of the world's highest levels of forced disappearances. About 30,000 cases have been recorded over the last four decades - although the number is likely to be much higher - including human rights activists, trade unionists, Afro-Colombians, indigenous people, and farmers in rural conflict zones.
Age structure0-14 years: 24.57% (male 5,940,903/female 5,659,594)
15-24 years: 17.54% (male 4,216,437/female 4,066,079)
25-54 years: 41.82% (male 9,788,057/female 9,958,982)
55-64 years: 8.9% (male 1,973,215/female 2,230,609)
65 years and over: 7.17% (male 1,412,209/female 1,974,771) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 45.6%
youth dependency ratio: 35.4%
elderly dependency ratio: 10.2%
potential support ratio: 9.8% (2015 est.)
Median agetotal: 29.6 years
male: 28.7 years
female: 30.6 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate1.02% (2016 est.)
Birth rate16.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate5.4 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Population distributionthe majority of people live in the north and west where agricultural opportunities and natural resources are found; the vast grasslands of the llanos to the south and east, which make up approximately 60% of the country, are sparsely populated
Urbanizationurban population: 76.4% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.66% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - populationBOGOTA (capital) 9.765 million; Medellin 3.911 million; Cali 2.646 million; Barranquilla 1.991 million; Bucaramanga 1.215 million; Cartagena 1.092 million (2015)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth21.4
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2010 est.)
Maternal mortality rate64 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 14.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 17.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 75.7 years
male: 72.6 years
female: 79 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate2.02 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate79.1% (2009/10)
Health expenditures7.2% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density1.47 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
Hospital bed density1.5 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 96.8% of population
rural: 73.8% of population
total: 91.4% of population
urban: 3.2% of population
rural: 26.2% of population
total: 8.6% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 85.2% of population
rural: 67.9% of population
total: 81.1% of population
urban: 14.8% of population
rural: 32.1% of population
total: 18.9% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.48% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS146,000 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths2,300 (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
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 rate20.7% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight3.4% (2010)
Education expenditures4.5% of GDP (2015)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.7%
male: 94.6%
female: 94.8% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2014)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 988,362
percentage: 9%

note: data represent children ages 5-17 (2009 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 18.7%
male: 14.6%
female: 24.3% (2014 est.)