Demographics of Paraguay

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This article is about the demographic features of the population of Paraguay, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Paraguay's population is distributed unevenly throughout the country. The vast majority of the people live in the eastern region, most within 160 kilometres (99 mi) of Asunción, the capital and largest city faces Argentina to the south and west. The Gran Chaco, which accounts for about 60% of the territory, is home to less than 2% of the population. The Paraguay government encouraged massive settlement of the vast Gran Chaco.

Ethnically, culturally, and socially, Paraguay has one of the most homogeneous populations in South America. About 95% of the people are mestizo (mixed Spanish and Guaraní Native American descent. Little trace is left of the original Guaraní culture except the language, which is spoken by 90% of the population. About 75% of all Paraguayans also speak Spanish. Guaraní and Spanish are official languages.

Other demographers contend the total "mostly white" percentage has grown in the last century as a result of European immigration and "whites" are now estimated at 20% or one-fifth of the country's population.[citation needed]

Not completely homogeneous, Paraguay has a history of other settlement esp. in the 20th century: Germans, the majority are Mennonites with long-reigned dictator Alfredo Stroessner himself of German ancestry, Japanese with Okinawans, Koreans, ethnic Chinese, Arabs, Ukrainians, Southern Europeans, Brazilians, and Argentines are among those who have settled in Paraguay. There are also an estimated 63,000 Afro-Paraguayans, or 1% of the population.[1]

European and Middle Eastern immigrants began making their way to Paraguay in the decades following the Paraguayan War (1870 onward), in which aftermath only 28,000 men and 200,000 women had survived, the reason why Paraguay had since then a high rate of illegitimate births. The government pursued a pro-immigration policy in an effort to increase population. Government records indicated that approximately 12,000 immigrants entered the port of Asunción between 1882 and 1907, of that total, almost 9,000 came from Italy, Germany, France, and Spain. Migrants also arrived from neighboring Spanish American countries, especially Argentina.

The immigrant ethnic groups kept their cultures and languages to some extent, especially Brazilians known as "brancos" which is also the nickname for Brazilians in Bolivia.[citation needed]

In addition, official records gave an imprecise sense of the number of Brazilians who had come to the country. According to the 1982 census, there were 99,000 Brazilians residing in Paraguay. Most analysts discounted this figure, however, and contended that between 300,000 and 350,000 Brazilians lived in the eastern border region.

Analysts also rejected government figures on the number of immigrants from South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The 1982 census reported that there were 2,700 Koreans in Paraguay, along with another 1,100 non-Japanese or non-Korean Asian immigrants. The actual number of Koreans and ethnic Chinese, however, was believed to be between 30,000 and 50,000. Virtually all Koreans and ethnic Chinese lived in Ciudad del Este or Asunción and played a major role in the importation and sale of electronic goods manufactured in Asia.

Paraguay was the site of radical and progressive colonies by political thinkers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A group of radical socialist Australians in the 1890s voluntarily went to create a failed master-planned community, known as Nueva (New) Australia; and Elisabeth Nietzsche, a German racial ideologist and sister of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche came to Paraguay in her attempt to build a colony, Nueva Germania (Neues Deutschland) devoted to a hypothetical pure white "Nordic" society in the 1890s.

Population[edit]

Demographics of Paraguay, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.
Paraguay population density (people per km2)

According to the 2010 revison of the World Population Prospects the total population was 6,455,000 in 2010, compared to only 1,473,000 in 1950. The proportion of children below the age of 15 in 2010 was 33.5%, 61.4% was between 15 and 65 years of age, while 5.1% was 65 years or older .[2]

Total population
(x 1000)
Proportion
aged 0–14
(%)
Proportion
aged 15–64
(%)
Proportion
aged 65+
(%)
1950 1 473 47.0 50.1 2.9
1955 1 674 47.5 49.5 3.0
1960 1 906 47.8 49.0 3.2
1965 2 176 47.5 49.2 3.3
1970 2 483 46.1 50.4 3.5
1975 2 802 44.1 52.3 3.6
1980 3 195 42.5 53.8 3.8
1985 3 698 41.6 54.5 3.9
1990 4 244 41.4 54.6 4.0
1995 4 795 40.3 55.4 4.3
2000 5 344 38.2 57.5 4.4
2005 5 898 35.8 59.5 4.7
2010 6 455 33.5 61.4 5.1

Vital statistics[edit]

Registration of vital events is in Paraguay not complete. The Population Departement of the United Nations prepared the following estimates. [2]

Period Live births
per year
Deaths
per year
Natural change
per year
CBR* CDR* NC* TFR* IMR* Life expectancy
total
Life expectancy
males
Life expectancy
females
1950-1955 70 000 14 000 56 000 44.3 8.9 35.4 6.50 73 62.6 60.5 64.6
1955-1960 76 000 15 000 61 000 42.7 8.6 34.1 6.50 70 63.2 61.1 65.1
1960-1965 84 000 16 000 68 000 41.3 8.0 33.3 6.45 62 64.3 62.3 66.3
1965-1970 92 000 18 000 74 000 39.5 7.6 31.8 6.15 59 65.0 63.0 66.9
1970-1975 94 000 19 000 75 000 35.6 7.1 28.6 5.35 53 65.9 63.7 68.0
1975-1980 108 000 21 000 87 000 36.1 6.9 29.2 5.20 51 66.5 64.3 68.7
1980-1985 129 000 24 000 105 000 37.3 6.8 30.4 5.20 49 67.0 64.9 69.3
1985-1990 139 000 26 000 113 000 34.9 6.6 28.3 4.77 47 67.6 65.4 69.9
1990-1995 145 000 28 000 117 000 32.0 6.2 25.8 4.31 43 68.5 66.3 70.8
1995-2000 148 000 30 000 118 000 29.3 5.9 23.3 3.88 39 69.4 67.2 71.7
2000-2005 151 000 32 000 119 000 26.9 5.6 21.3 3.48 36 70.7 68.7 72.9
2005-2010 153 000 34 000 119 000 24.8 5.5 19.3 3.08 32 71.7 69.7 73.9
* 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)

Total fertility rate[edit]

[3]

Year TFR
1990 4,6
1995/96 4,3
1998 4,3
2004 2,9
2008 2,5

Ethnic groups[edit]

Mestizo (mixed European and Amerindian) 95%, European 3%, unmixed Amerindian 2%.[4]

Religions[edit]

Roman Catholic 89.6%, Protestant 6.2%, other Christian 1.1%, other or unspecified 1.9%, none 1.1% (2002 census)

Languages[edit]

Main article: Languages of Paraguay

Spanish (official), Guaraní (official)

Speakers as first and second language: Spanish-87 per cent, Guaraní - more than 90 per cent

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics[edit]

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.[5]

Median age[edit]

  • total: 21.6 years
  • male: 21.3 years
  • female: 21.8 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate[edit]

  • 1.284% (2011 est.)

Sex ratio[edit]

  • at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
  • under 15 years: 1.034 male(s)/female
  • 15–64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 0.857 male(s)/female
  • total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate[edit]

0.3% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS[edit]

13,000 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths[edit]

<500 (2009 est.)

Literacy[edit]

  • definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  • total population: 94%
  • male: 94.9%
  • female: 93% (2003 est.)

References[edit]