South America - Ethnic Demographics

Ethnic Demographics

Descendants of Indigenous peoples, such as the Quechua and Aymara, or the Urarina of Amazonia make up the majority of the population in Bolivia (56%) and, per some sources, in Peru (44%). In Ecuador, Amerindians are a large minority that comprises two-fifths of the population. The white/European population is also a significant element in most other former Portuguese colonies.

The demographics of Colombia include approximately 20% white and European descendants, while in Peru, European descendants are the third group in importance (15%). Compared to other South American countries, the people of European descent are more of a majority in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, and are about half of the population of Brazil. In Venezuela the majority claimed to be multiracial and white, 49.9% and 42.2%, respectively.

South America is also home to one of the largest populations of Africans. This group is also significantly present in Guyana, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Suriname, French Guiana, and Ecuador. Mestizos (mixed white and Amerindian) are the largest ethnic group in Paraguay, Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador and the second group in Peru. East Indians form the largest ethnic group in Guyana. Brazil followed by Peru also have the biggest Japanese, Korean and Chinese communities in South America.

Brazil is the most diverse country in South America and arguably the world, with large population of Whites, Mulattos, Mestizos, a significant population of Blacks, as well as a sizeable community of Asians (from East Asians to West Asians who are also known as Middle Easterners).

Country or
territory with flag
(km²) (per sq mi)
(July 2009 est.)
Population density
per km²
Argentina ! Argentina 2766890 !2,766,890 km2 (1,068,300 sq mi) 40,482,000 1430 !14.3/km² (37/sq mi) Buenos Aires
Bolivia ! Bolivia 1098580 !1,098,580 km2 (424,160 sq mi) 9,863,000 0810 !8.4/km² (21.8/sq mi) La Paz and Sucre
Brazil ! Brazil 8514877 !8,514,877 km2 (3,287,612 sq mi) 191,241,714 2200 !22.0/km² (57/sq mi) Brasília
Chile ! Chile 0756950 ! 756,950 km2 (292,260 sq mi) 16,928,873 2110 !22/km² (57/sq mi) Santiago
Colombia ! Colombia 1138910 !1,138,910 km2 (439,740 sq mi) 45,928,970 3770 !40/km² (103.6/sq mi) Bogotá
Ecuador ! Ecuador 0283560 ! 283,560 km2 (109,480 sq mi) 14,573,101 4710 !53.8/km² (139.3/sq mi) Quito
Falkland Islands ! Falkland Islands (United Kingdom) 0012173 ! 12,173 km2 (4,700 sq mi) 3,140 0026 !0.26/km² (0.7/sq mi) Port Stanley
French Guiana ! French Guiana (France) 0091000 ! 91,000 km2 (35,000 sq mi) 221,500 0210 !2.7/km² (5.4/sq mi) Cayenne
Guyana ! Guyana 0214999 ! 214,999 km2 (83,012 sq mi) 772,298 0360 !3.5/km² (9.1/sq mi) Georgetown
Paraguay ! Paraguay 0406750 ! 406,750 km2 (157,050 sq mi) 6,831,306 1560 !15.6/km² (40.4/sq mi) Asunción
Peru ! Peru 1285220 !1,285,220 km2 (496,230 sq mi) 29,132,013 2170 !22/km² (57/sq mi) Lima
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands ! South Georgia and
South Sandwich Islands (United Kingdom)
0003093 ! 3,093 km2 (1,194 sq mi) 20 0000 !0/km² (0/sq mi) Grytviken
Suriname ! Suriname 0163270 ! 163,270 km2 (63,040 sq mi) 472,000 0270 !3/km² (7.8/sq mi) Paramaribo
Uruguay ! Uruguay 0176220 ! 176,220 km2 (68,040 sq mi) 3,477,780 1940 !19.4/km² (50.2/sq mi) Montevideo
Venezuela ! Venezuela 09116445 ! 916,445 km2 (353,841 sq mi) 26,814,843 2780 !30.2/km² (72/sq mi) Caracas
Total 700717824513000000017,824,513 7008385742554000000385,742,554 21.5/km²
See also: List of South American countries by population and List of sovereign states and dependent territories in South America by median age of population

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Famous quotes containing the word ethnic:

    Caprice, independence and rebellion, which are opposed to the social order, are essential to the good health of an ethnic group. We shall measure the good health of this group by the number of its delinquents. Nothing is more immobilizing than the spirit of deference.
    Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985)