El Salvador: People & Society#

Population6,156,670 (July 2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Salvadoran(s)
adjective: Salvadoran
Ethnic groupsmestizo 86.3%, white 12.7%, Amerindian 0.2% (includes Lenca, Kakawira, Nahua-Pipil), black 0.1%, other 0.6% (2007 est.)
LanguagesSpanish (official), Nawat (among some Amerindians)
ReligionsRoman Catholic 57.1%, Protestant 21.2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.9%, Mormon 0.7%, other religions 2.3%, none 16.8% (2003 est.)
Demographic profileEl Salvador is the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America. It is well into its demographic transition, experiencing slower population growth, a decline in its number of youths, and the gradual aging of its population. The increased use of family planning has substantially lowered El Salvador's fertility rate, from approximately 6 children per woman in the 1970s to replacement level today. A 2008 national family planning survey showed that female sterilization remained the most common contraception method in El Salvador - its sterilization rate is among the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean - but that the use of injectable contraceptives is growing. Fertility differences between rich and poor and urban and rural women are narrowing. Salvadorans fled during the 1979 to 1992 civil war mainly to the United States but also to Canada and to neighboring Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Emigration to the United States increased again in the 1990s and 2000s as a result of deteriorating economic conditions, natural disasters (Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and earthquakes in 2001), and family reunification. At least 20% of El Salvador's population lives abroad. The remittances they send home account for close to 20% of GDP, are the second largest source of external income after exports, and have helped reduce poverty.
Age structure0-14 years: 26.58% (male 839,392/female 797,323)
15-24 years: 20.51% (male 635,100/female 627,648)
25-54 years: 38.66% (male 1,098,619/female 1,281,822)
55-64 years: 6.96% (male 190,386/female 238,206)
65 years and over: 7.28% (male 197,945/female 250,229) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 54.3%
youth dependency ratio: 41.7%
elderly dependency ratio: 12.6%
potential support ratio: 7.9% (2015 est.)
Median agetotal: 26.6 years
male: 25.1 years
female: 28.1 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate0.25% (2016 est.)
Birth rate16.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate5.7 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-8.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Population distributionathough it is the smallest country in land area in Central America, El Salvador has a population that is 18 times larger than Belize; at least 20% of the population lives abroad; high population density country-wide, with particular concentration around the capital of San Salvador
Urbanizationurban population: 66.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - populationSAN SALVADOR (capital) 1.098 million (2015)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.86 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.8 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth20.8
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2008 est.)
Maternal mortality rate54 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 17.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 19.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 74.7 years
male: 71.4 years
female: 78.1 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate1.89 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate72.3%
note: percent of women aged 15-44 (2008)
Health expenditures6.8% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density1.6 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
Hospital bed density1.1 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 97.5% of population
rural: 86.5% of population
total: 93.8% of population
urban: 2.5% of population
rural: 13.5% of population
total: 6.2% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 82.4% of population
rural: 60% of population
total: 75% of population
urban: 17.6% of population
rural: 40% of population
total: 25% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.51% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS19,800 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths400 (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea
vectorborne diseases: dengue 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 rate20.1% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight5% (2014)
Education expenditures3.4% of GDP (2014)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 88%
male: 90.4%
female: 86% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2014)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 179,303
percentage: 4%

note: data represent children ages 5-17 (2007 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 12.4%
male: 11.8%
female: 13.6% (2013 est.)