Indigenous peoples in Paraguay

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Indigenous people in Paraguay
Contemporary Paraguayan Indian village, 2003

The Indigenous peoples in Paraguay include 17 ethnic groups belonging to five language families.[1][2] While only a 1.7% of Paraguay's population is fully indigenous, 95% of the population is partially of native heritage;[3] however, the majority do not identify as being indigenous but as Mestizos. Most of the Indian population lives in the northwestern part of the country, the Gran Chaco.

Population[edit]

The Second National Indigenous Census, conducted in 2002, recording approximately 87,099 people, or 1.7% of the country's population, as being indigenous;[1] however, as many as 95% of the Paraguayan population is mestizo, that of partial Indian descent.[3] Since the late 20th century, the indigenous population is growing faster than the rest of the population. As of 2002, 47.1% of the native population was 14 years old or younger.[1]

Settlement[edit]

Toba chief, wives, and child, Paraguai River, 1892

An increasing percentage of the registered indigenous population lives in the northwestern region of Paraguay. The 1981 census reported 32.8% of the indigenous peoples living there, while 44.2% lived there in 1992, and 50.7% in 2002. The majority of indigenous peoples live in rural areas in 412 indigenous communities.[1]

Languages[edit]

Further information: Languages of Paraguay

Indigenous Paraguayan languages belong to five language families: Guarani, Guaycuru, Maskoy, Mataco-Mataguayo, and Zamuco.[1] The Guarani language, along with Spanish, is an official language of Paraguay and is spoken by 90% of the population.

Social issues[edit]

Literacy rates are low among indigenous peoples in Paraguay, who have an illiteracy rate of 51% compared to the 7.1% rate of the general population.[1]

Access to clean drinking water is a major challenge. Only 2.5% of Paraguay's indigenous population has access to drinking water and only 9.5% have electricity.[1]

Tribes[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Paraguay." Pan-American Health Organization. (retrieved 12 July 2011)
  2. ^ a b c d e "Paraguay." Countries and Their Cultures. (retrieved 12 July 2011)
  3. ^ a b "Paraguay: Ethnic Groups." CIA: The World Factbook. (retrieved 12 July 2011)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Native American Tribes of Paraguay." Native Languages. (retrieved 12 July 2011)

External links[edit]