This article possibly contains original research. (June 2021)
|Demographics of El Salvador|
|Infant mortality rate||22.19/1,000|
|Life expectancy||73.44 years|
This article is about the demographic features of the population of El Salvador, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
El Salvador's population numbers 6.1 million. Ethnically, 86.3% of Salvadorans are mixed (mixed Native Salvadoran and European (mostly Spanish) origin). Another 12.7% is of pure European descent, 1% are of pure indigenous descent, 0.16% are black and others are 0.64%.
El Salvador's population was 6,420,746 in 2018, compared to 2,200,000 in 1950. In 2010 the percentage of the population below the age of 15 was 32.1%, 61% were between 15 and 65 years of age, while 6.9% were 65 years or older.
|Year||Total population||Proportion per age group|
|Ages 0-14 (%)||Ages 15-64 (%)||Ages 65+ (%)|
|1950||2 200 000||42.7||53.3||4.0|
|1955||2 433 000||43.6||52.6||3.8|
|1960||2 773 000||45.1||51.1||3.7|
|1965||3 244 000||46.3||50.1||3.7|
|1970||3 736 000||46.4||49.9||3.6|
|1975||4 232 000||45.8||50.5||3.7|
|1980||4 661 000||45.2||50.9||3.9|
|1985||5 004 000||44.1||51.8||4.2|
|1990||5 344 000||41.7||53.7||4.6|
|1995||5 748 000||39.6||55.5||4.9|
|2000||5 888 000||36.6||57.9||5.5|
|2005||6 052 000||34.8||58.9||6.3|
|2010||6 184 000||31.6||61.3||7.1|
|2015||6 325 000||28.4||63.9||7.8|
|2020||6 486 000||26.6||64.8||8.7|
The migration rate accelerated during the period of 1979 to 1981, this marked the beginning of the civil unrest and the spread of political killings. The total impact of civil wars, dictatorships and socioeconomics drove over a million Salvadorans (both as immigrants and refugees) into the United States; Guatemala is the second country that hosts more Salvadorans behind the United States, approximately 110,000 Salvadorans according to the national census of 2010. in addition small Salvadoran communities sprung up in Canada, Australia, Belize, Panama, Costa Rica, Italy, Taiwan and Sweden since the migration trend began in the early 1970s. The 2010 U.S. Census counted 1,648,968 Salvadorans in the United States, up from 655,165 in 2000.
Out of the 6,408,111 people in El Salvador, 86.3% are mestizo, 12.7% are white, 1% indigenous, 0.8% black, and 0.64% other.
86.3% of the population are mestizo, having mixed indigenous and European ancestry. Historical evidence and census supports the explanation of "strong sexual asymmetry"[clarification needed], as a result of a strong bias favoring matings between European males and Native Salvadoran females, and to statistically significant indigenous male mortality during the Conquest. The genetics thus suggests the native men were sharply reduced in numbers due to the war and disease. Large numbers of Spaniard men settled in the region and had children with the local women. The Natives were forced to adopt Spanish names, language, and religion, and in this way, the Lencas and Pipil women and children were Hispanicized. A vast majority over 90% of Salvadorans are Mestizo/Native Salvadoran.
Indigenous Salvadoran woman from Panchimalco
According to the Salvadoran Government, about 1% of the population are of full or partial indigenous origin. The largest most dominant Native Salvadoran groups in El Salvador are the Lenca people and Pipil people followed by small enclaves of Maya peoples: (Poqomam people/Chorti people), Cacaopera people, Xinca people, Alaguilac people, Mixe people, Mangue language people, as well as an Olmec past. (Pipil, located in the west and central part of the country, and Lenca, found east of the Lempa River). There are small populations of Cacaopera people in the Morazán Department and a few Ch'orti' people live in the department of Ahuachapán, near the border of Guatemala.
The number of indigenous people in El Salvador have been criticized by indigenous organizations and academics as too small and accuse the government of denying the existence of indigenous Salvadorans in the country. According to the National Salvadoran Indigenous Coordination Council (CCNIS) and CONCULTURA (National Council for Art and Culture at the Ministry of Education ), approximately 70,000 or 1 per cent of Salvadorian peoples are indigenous. Nonetheless, very few Amerindians have retained their customs and traditions, having over time assimilated into the dominant Mestizo/Spanish culture. The low numbers of indigenous people may be partly explained by historically high rates of old-world diseases, absorption into the mestizo population, as well as mass murder during the 1932 Salvadoran peasant uprising (or La Matanza) which saw (estimates of) up to 30,000 peasants killed in a short period of time. Many authors note that since La Matanza the indigenous in El Salvador have been very reluctant to describe themselves as such (in census declarations for example) or to wear indigenous dress or be seen to be taking part in any cultural activities or customs that might be understood as indigenous. Departments and cities in the country with notable indigenous populations include Sonsonate (especially Izalco, Nahuizalco, and Santo Domingo), Cacaopera, and Panchimalco, in the department of San Salvador.
Afro-Salvadorans are the descendants of the African population that were enslaved and shipped to El Salvador to work in mines in specific regions of El Salvador. They have mixed into and were naturally bred out by the general Mestizo population, which is a combination of a Mestizo majority and the minority of African descendants, both of whom are racially mixed populations. Thus, there remains no significant extremes of African physiognomy among Salvadorans like there is in the other countries of Central America. A total of only 10,000 African slaves were brought to El Salvador over the span of 75 years, starting around 1548, about 25 years after El Salvador's colonization. El Salvador is the only country in Central America that does not have English Antillean (West Indian) or Garifuna populations of the Caribbean, but instead had older colonial African slaves that came straight from Africa. This is the reason why El Salvador is the only country in Central America not to have a caribbeanized culture, and instead preserved its classical Central America culture.
Salarrué and his mother. Salarrué was an important Salvadoran writer, poet, and painter. Of Spanish descent, his father Alejandro Arrué Jimenez came to El Salvador from the Basque Country
Salvador Llort Choussy and his family. Salvador Llort and his brother Fernando Llort were artists, painters and sculpturists who are noted for their contribution in modern Salvadoran art often dubbed "El Salvador's National Artist"
Conquistador Pedro de Alvarado and his army first entered territories of what is now El Salvador in 1524, founding the city of San Salvador in 1525.
Spaniards began to settle in El Salvador in the mid 1520's. Some 12.7% of Salvadorans are white.This population is made up of those of Spanish origin, while there are also Salvadorans of French, German, Swiss, English, Irish, and Italian descent. A majority of Central European settlers in El Salvador arrived during World War II as refugees from the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Switzerland with many settling in the region that is now Chalatenango in the late 18th century. In 1789, Francisco Luis Héctor de Carondelet was named governor of El Salvador. Because the local indigenous population working in the indigo industry had declined greatly, Carondolet recruited Spanish laborers from northern Spain to settle in El Salvador. In 1790, Francisco Luis Héctor de Carondelet, ordered families from the north of Spain (Galicia, Asturias, the Basque Country, Cantabria and Navarra) to settle in the area to compensate for the lack of indigenous people to work the land; Important settlements of these Spaniards were the Northern and Center parts of El Salvador. Their descendants are among the blonde and fair-skinned people of today's Chalatenango Department.
During 1880 to 1920, El Salvador had its Migratory Peak of Immigrants from Europe and the Middle East, but also some Hispanics, Asians and North Americans, when more than 120,000 arrived in El Salvador, the demographic weight was unprecedented, in 1880 the Population was of 480,000 inhabitants and by 1920 it was already 1,170,000. the main groups were the Spanish, Italians, Germans and some French, Polish and British
Arab Salvadorans include Palestinian Salvadoran, Lebanese Salvadoran, Syrian Salvadoran and Egyptian Salvadoran.
There is a significant Arab population (of about 100,000); mostly from Palestine (especially from the area of Bethlehem), but also from Lebanon. Salvadorans of Palestinian descent numbered around 70,000 individuals, while Salvadorans of Lebanese descent is around 25,000.
The history of the Arabs in El Salvador dates back to the end of the 19th century, when religious clashes induced many Palestinians, Lebanese, Egyptians and Syrians to leave the land where they were born in search of countries where they could live in relative peace. There were also economic factors that contributed to immigration from the Middle East; many immigrants felt they could achieve success abroad on a level they couldn't in their native lands.
The first wave of Arab migration to El Salvador began between 1880 and 1920, amidst a large scale influx of immigrants to the country. These Arabs settled in the cities of San Salvador, San Miguel, Santa Ana, Santa Tecla, Usulutan and La Union. The population of El Salvador increased from 482,400 in 1879 to 1,168,000 in 1920, with immigration, including immigration from the late Ottoman Empire, substantially driving growth.
Arab immigration in El Salvador began at the end of the 19th century in the wake of the repressive policies applied by the Ottoman Empire against Maronite Catholics. Several of the destinations that the Lebanese chose at that time were in countries of the Americas, including El Salvador. This resulted in the Arab diaspora residents being characterized by forging in devoutly Christian families and very attached to their beliefs, because in these countries they can exercise their faith without fear of persecution, which resulted in the rise of Lebanese-Salvadoran, Syrian-Salvadoran and Palestinian-Salvadoran communities in El Salvador.
Currently, the Palestinian community forms the largest Arab diaspora population in El Salvador, with 70,000 direct descendants, followed by the Lebanese community with more than 27,000 direct descendants. Both are almost entirely composed of Catholic and Orthodox Christians. The slaughter of Lebanese and Palestinian Arab Christians at the hands of Muslims initiated the first Arab migrations to El Salvador.
Inter-ethnic marriage in the Lebanese community with Salvadorans, regardless of religious affiliation, is very high; most have only one father with Lebanese nationality and mother of Salvadoran nationality. As a result, some of them speak Arabic fluently. But most, especially among younger generations, speak Spanish as a first language and Arabic as a second.
During the war between Israel and Lebanon in 1948 and during the Six Day War, thousands of Lebanese left their country and went to El Salvador. Many arrived at La Libertad, where they comprised half of the economic activity of immigrants.
Lebanon had been an iqta of the Ottoman Empire. Although the imperial administration, whose official religion was Islam, guaranteed freedom of worship for non-Muslim communities, and Lebanon in particular had a semi-autonomous status, the situation for practitioners of the Maronite Catholic Church was complicated, since they had to cancel exaggerated taxes and suffered limitations for their culture. These tensions were expressed in a rebellion in 1821 and a war against the Druze in 1860. The hostile climate caused many Lebanese to sell their property and take ships in the ports of Sidon, Beirut and Tripoli heading for the Americas.
Arab-Salvadoreans and their descendants have traditionally played an outsized role in El Salvador's economic and political life, with many becoming business leaders and noteworthyt political figures.
In 1939, the Arab community based in San Salvador organized and founded the "Arab Youth Union Society"
Salvadoran women San Vicente, El Salvador
Young Salvadoran women in Ahuachapan
Salvadoran boy in La Libertad, La Libertad
Salvadoran boy in San Pedro Perulapán
Salvadoran boys in San Pedro Perulapán
Salvadoran boys coloring, San Pedro Perulapán
Salvadoran children in La Unión, El Salvador
Young Salvadoran girls in San Miguel, El Salvador
The Population Department of the United Nations prepared the following estimates.
|Life expectancy |
|1950-1955||108 000||48 000||61 000||46.7||20.6||26.1||6.30||147||45.1||43.4||46.8|
|1955-1960||125 000||46 000||78 000||47.8||17.8||30.0||6.60||132||49.3||47.2||51.5|
|1960-1965||144 000||47 000||97 000||47.7||15.5||32.3||6.76||119||53.0||50.5||55.7|
|1965-1970||156 000||47 000||109 000||44.8||13.5||31.3||6.43||109||55.6||52.6||58.9|
|1970-1975||168 000||49 000||119 000||42.1||12.3||29.8||5.95||100||57.0||53.2||61.2|
|1975-1980||177 000||52 000||124 000||39.7||11.8||27.9||5.46||91||57.0||51.9||62.7|
|1980-1985||174 000||55 000||119 000||36.1||11.4||24.7||4.80||77||56.9||50.6||64.2|
|1985-1990||171 000||44 000||126 000||33.0||8.6||24.4||4.20||56||63.1||57.4||69.1|
|1990-1995||169 000||37 000||132 000||30.5||6.8||23.8||3.73||38||68.0||63.3||72.9|
|1995-2000||161 000||38 000||123 000||27.5||6.6||20.9||3.30||27||69.2||64.4||73.9|
|2000-2005||133 000||75 000||94 000||22.7||6.7||16.0||2.72||23||70.2||65.4||74.9|
|2005-2010||127 000||90 000||87 000||20.4||6.8||13.6||2.40||21||71.3||66.5||75.9|
|* CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births; TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman)|
|Average population ||Live births||Deaths||Natural change||Crude birth rate (per 1000)||Crude death rate (per 1000)||Natural change (per 1000)||TFR|
Structure of the population (May 2007 census):
|Total||2 719 371||3 024 742||5 744 113||100|
|0-4||283 272||272 621||555 893||9.68|
|5-9||349 150||335 577||684 727||11.92|
|10-14||359 523||346 824||706 347||12.30|
|15-19||298 384||302 181||600 565||10.46|
|20-24||228 001||258 541||486 542||8.47|
|25-29||206 963||250 927||457 890||7.97|
|30-34||178 400||223 849||402 249||7.00|
|35-39||156 514||196 633||353 147||6.15|
|40-44||132 218||171 413||303 631||5.29|
|45-49||109 957||142 165||252 122||4.39|
|50-54||95 275||120 459||215 734||3.76|
|55-59||81 718||101 357||183 075||3.19|
|60-64||68 207||83 657||151 864||2.64|
|65-69||55 781||69 376||125 157||2.18|
|70-74||43 449||54 008||97 457||1.70|
|75-79||33 658||42 326||75 984||1.32|
|80-84||20 401||26 469||46 870||0.82|
|85+||18 500||26 359||44 859||0.78|
|0-14||991 945||955 022||1 946 967||33.89|
|15-64||1 555 637||1 851 182||3 406 819||59.31|
|65+||171 789||218 538||390 327||6.80|
Structure of the population (July 2011; estimates based on the 2007 census trends):
|Total||2 925 284||3 290 858||6 216 143||100|
|0-4||309 786||296 430||606 216||9.75|
|5-9||308 052||294 483||602 535||9.69|
|10-14||362 232||348 111||710 343||11.43|
|15-19||352 598||350 791||703 389||11.32|
|20-24||276 109||305 559||581 668||9.36|
|25-29||209 615||261 340||470 955||7.58|
|30-34||180 198||235 412||415 609||6.69|
|35-39||168 638||219 197||387 835||6.24|
|40-44||149 955||194 952||344 907||5.55|
|45-49||127 846||167 719||295 565||4.75|
|50-54||108 714||140 978||249 692||4.02|
|55-59||93 682||119 911||213 593||3.44|
|60-64||78 899||100 625||179 525||2.89|
|65-69||65 846||82 450||148 295||2.39|
|70-74||52 993||66 934||119 928||1.93|
|75-79||38 678||49 603||88 281||1.42|
|80+||41 443||56 363||97 806||1.57|
|0-14||980 070||939 024||1 919 094||30.87|
|15-64||1 746 254||2 096 484||3 842 738||61.82|
|65+||198 960||255 350||454 310||7.31|
Demographic statistics according to the World Population Review in 2019.
El 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.
Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 36%, other 2%, none 12% (2014 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
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