Ecuador: People & Society#

Population16,080,778 (July 2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Ecuadorian(s)
adjective: Ecuadorian
Ethnic groupsmestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 71.9%, Montubio 7.4%, Amerindian 7%, white 6.1%, Afroecuadorian 4.3%, mulato 1.9%, black 1%, other 0.4% (2010 est.)
LanguagesSpanish (Castilian) 93% (official), Quechua 4.1%, other indigenous 0.7%, foreign 2.2%
note: (Quechua and Shuar are official languages of intercultural relations; other indigenous languages are in official use by indigenous peoples in the areas they inhabit) (2010 est.)
ReligionsRoman Catholic 74%, Evangelical 10.4%, Jehovah's Witness 1.2%, other 6.4% (includes Mormon Buddhist, Jewish, Spiritualist, Muslim, Hindu, indigenous religions, African American religions, Pentecostal), atheist 7.9%, agnostic 0.1%
note: data represents persons at least 16 years of age from five Ecuadoran cities (2012 est.)
Demographic profileEcuador's high poverty and income inequality most affect indigenous, mixed race, and rural populations. The government has increased its social spending to ameliorate these problems, but critics question the efficiency and implementation of its national development plan. Nevertheless, the conditional cash transfer program, which requires participants' children to attend school and have medical check-ups, has helped improve educational attainment and healthcare among poor children. Ecuador is stalled at above replacement level fertility and the population most likely will keep growing rather than stabilize. An estimated 2 to 3 million Ecuadorians live abroad, but increased unemployment in key receiving countries - Spain, the United States, and Italy - is slowing emigration and increasing the likelihood of returnees to Ecuador. The first large-scale emigration of Ecuadorians occurred between 1980 and 2000, when an economic crisis drove Ecuadorians from southern provinces to New York City, where they had trade contacts. A second, nationwide wave of emigration in the late 1990s was caused by another economic downturn, political instability, and a currency crisis. Spain was the logical destination because of its shared language and the wide availability of low-skilled, informal jobs at a time when increased border surveillance made illegal migration to the US difficult. Ecuador has a small but growing immigrant population and is Latin America's top recipient of refugees; 98% are neighboring Colombians fleeing violence in their country.
Age structure0-14 years: 27.52% (male 2,257,535/female 2,168,198)
15-24 years: 18.47% (male 1,508,341/female 1,461,207)
25-54 years: 39.38% (male 3,086,599/female 3,245,266)
55-64 years: 7.39% (male 581,560/female 606,821)
65 years and over: 7.25% (male 554,371/female 610,880) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 55.6%
youth dependency ratio: 45.1%
elderly dependency ratio: 10.4%
potential support ratio: 9.6% (2015 est.)
Median agetotal: 27.4 years
male: 26.7 years
female: 28.1 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate1.31% (2016 est.)
Birth rate18.2 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate5.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Population distributionnearly half of the population is concentrated in the interior in the Andean intermontane basins and valleys, with large concentrations also found along the western coastal strip; the rainforests of the east remain sparsely populated
Urbanizationurban population: 63.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.9% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - populationGuayaquil 2.709 million; QUITO (capital) 1.726 million (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: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Maternal mortality rate64 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 16.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 19.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 76.8 years
male: 73.8 years
female: 79.9 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate2.22 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Health expenditures9.2% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density1.72 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
Hospital bed density1.6 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 93.4% of population
rural: 75.5% of population
total: 86.9% of population
urban: 6.6% of population
rural: 24.5% of population
total: 13.1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 87% of population
rural: 80.7% of population
total: 84.7% of population
urban: 13% of population
rural: 19.3% of population
total: 15.3% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.29% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS29,100 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths900 (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

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 rate18% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight6.4% (2013)
Education expenditures4.9% of GDP (2015)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.5%
male: 95.4%
female: 93.5% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2012)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 227,599
percentage: 8% (2008 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 10.9%
male: 8.4%
female: 15.7% (2013 est.)