Demographics of Uruguay
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Uruguay, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
According to the 2010 revison of the World Population Prospects the total population was 3,369,000 in 2010, compared to only 2,239,000 in 1950. The proportion of children below the age of 15 in 2010 was 22.5%, 63.7% was between 15 and 65 years of age, while 13.8% was 65 years or older .
|1950-1955||49 000||24 000||25 000||21.2||10.5||10.7||2.73||57||66.0||63.3||69.3|
|1955-1960||54 000||25 000||29 000||21.9||10.0||11.9||2.83||53||67.0||64.2||70.3|
|1960-1965||57 000||25 000||32 000||21.9||9.5||12.4||2.90||48||68.3||65.3||71.5|
|1965-1970||56 000||26 000||30 000||20.5||9.6||10.8||2.80||47||68.5||65.5||71.8|
|1970-1975||60 000||28 000||32 000||21.1||10.0||11.1||3.00||46||68.7||65.6||72.1|
|1975-1980||58 000||29 000||29 000||20.2||10.1||10.1||2.89||42||69.5||66.3||73.1|
|1980-1985||54 000||29 000||25 000||18.3||9.8||8.5||2.57||34||70.9||67.6||74.5|
|1985-1990||56 000||30 000||26 000||18.2||9.8||8.4||2.53||23||72.1||68.6||75.7|
|1990-1995||58 000||31 000||27 000||18.2||9.7||8.5||2.49||20||73.0||69.2||76.8|
|1995-2000||55 000||31 000||24 000||16.9||9.5||7.4||2.30||16||74.2||70.4||77.9|
|2000-2005||53 000||31 000||22 000||15.9||9.5||6.5||2.20||14||75.3||71.6||78.9|
|2005-2010||51 000||31 000||20 000||15.1||9.3||5.8||2.12||13||76.4||72.7||79.9|
|* 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)|
Origins and Ethnicity
Uruguay is a multiethnical society, which means that it is home to people of many different ethnical backgrounds. In that case, Uruguyans usually treat their nationality as a citizenship rather than an ethnicity.
Uruguayans share a Spanish linguistic and heavily Spanish cultural background with its neighbour Argentina. Most Uruguayans are descended from colonial-era settlers and immigrants from Europe with almost 88% of the population being of European descent, The majority of these European immigrants were mainly Spaniards, followed closely by Italians, including numbers of French, Germans, Portuguese, British (English or Scots), Irish, Swiss, Russians, Poles, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Estonians, Latvians, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Belgians, Austrians, Croats, Greeks and Scandinavians. There are also smaller numbers of Turkish, Armenian, Serbs, Georgian and Lebanese people.
Almost the entire ethnic-European population has at least partial Spanish and/or Italian roots, with many having ancestry from various other ethnic groups, e.g. Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French and English descent.
Many Swiss settlements (colonias or "colonies") such as Colonia Suiza, Colonia Valdense and Nueva Helvecia were founded in the department of Colonia. Also, there are towns founded by early British settlers, such as Conchillas and Barker. A Russian colony called San Javier, is found in the department of Río Negro. Also there are Mennonite colonies in the department of Río Negro and in the department of Canelones.
Many of the European immigrants arrived in the late 19th century and have heavily influenced the architecture and culture of Montevideo and other major cities. For this reason, Montevideo and life within the city are very reminiscent of Western Europe.
The rest of the Uruguayan population is Black/Afro-Uruguayan of African descent and about 1 or 2% are of Asian descent, mostly are Lebanese/Syrian Arab, and Chinese or Japanese ancestry (see Bárbara Mori).
Metropolitan Montevideo, with about one and a half million inhabitants, is the capital and largest city. The rest of the urban population lives in about 20 towns. Montevideo is about 200 kilometers (120 mi) away from Buenos Aires in neighboring Argentina.
Uruguay is distinguished by its high literacy rate (97.3%) and a large urban middle class. During the 1970s and 1980s, an estimated six-hundred thousand Uruguayans emigrated, principally to Spain, Italy, Argentina and Brazil. Other Uruguayans went to various countries in Europe, Australia and the USA.
As a result of the low birth rate, high life expectancy, and relatively high rate of emigration of younger people, Uruguay's population is quite mature. In 2006, the country had a birth rate of 13.91 births per thousand population, lower than neighboring countries Argentina (16.73 births/1000 population) and Brazil (16.56 births/1,000 population).
Church and state are officially separated. While the Government keeps no statistics concerning religious affiliation, a 2004 survey published in the daily newspaper El Pais reported that 54% of those interviewed designated themselves as Roman Catholics, 11% as Protestants, 9% as believers without a religious affiliation, and 26% as nonbelievers.
Although the majority of Uruguayans do not actively practice a religion, they are nominally members of the Catholic Church and other communities. Political observers consider Uruguay to be the most secular country in South America.
Uruguay has a traditional socialist welfare state program yet in need of improvement since the 1990s. The average Uruguayan and neighbour country Argentina can be compared with some of the western countries of Europe, and ranks behind that of North American giants the US and Canada.
During the past two decades, an estimated 500,000 Uruguayans had emigrated, principally to Brazil, Argentina and Europe. (Spain is the main destination for Uruguayans, but they are also drawn to the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Germany). There are 500,000 Uruguayans in Brazil, the largest community of this group and many came there to escape political persecution in the 1970s.
Neighboring ties and short distances between Uruguayan cities and Argentine capital Buenos Aires, have drawn a path of success for very talented Uruguayans who settled in the neighbor country and became famous and locally accepted. Some famous Uruguayans who excelled in Argentina are entrepreneur and financier Juan Navarro, sports journalist Victor Hugo Morales, singer and actress Natalia Oreiro, soccer players Antonio Alzamendi, Enzo Francescoli and Carlos Goyen, actor Daniel Hendler, actress China Zorrilla, entertainer Carlos Perciavalle and former playboy and journalist Luis César Avilés.
Emigration to the United States also rose recently, but remains a small part of the US population. The majority of Uruguayans in the US live in New York City, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and urban areas of California.
Uruguay has no official religion, church and state are officially separated and religious freedom is guaranteed. A 2008 survey by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística of Uruguay gave Catholicism as the main religion, with 45.7% of the population, 9.0% are non-Catholic Christians, 0.6% are Animists or Umbandists (an Afro-Brazilian religion) and 0.4% Jewish. 30.1% reported believing in a god, but not belonging to any religion, while 14% were Atheist or Agnostic. Among the sizeable Armenian community in Montevideo the dominant religion is Christianity, specifically Armenian Apostolic.
Political observers consider Uruguay the most secular country in the Americas. Uruguay's secularization began with the relatively minor role of the church in the colonial era, compared with other parts of the Spanish Empire. The small numbers of Uruguay's Indians and their fierce resistance to proselytism reduced the influence of the ecclesiastical authorities.
After independence, anticlerical ideas spread to Uruguay, particularly from France, further eroding the influence of the church. In 1837, civil marriage was recognized and in 1861 the state took over the running of public cemeteries. In 1907, divorce was legalized and in 1909, all religious instruction was banned from state schools. Under the influence of the radical Colorado reformer José Batlle y Ordóñez (1903–1911) complete separation of church and state was introduced with the new constitution of 1917.
3,316,328 (July 2011 est.)
Note: The 2011 Census of the National Statistics Institute of Uruguay has started in September 2011 and the preliminary results, stating population of departments, were announced in December 2011. Final results with numbers for localities are still pending (26 June 2012).
- total: 33.64013 years
- male: 32 years
- female: 35.2 years (2011 est.)
Population growth rate
0.24% (2011 est.)
Net migration rate
-1.45 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
- urban population: 92% of total population (2010)
- rate of urbanization: 0.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
- at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
- under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
- 15–64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
- 65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
- total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
0.5% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
9,900 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
fewer than 500 (2007 est.)
Spanish, Portuñol, or Portuguese.
- definition: age 15 and over can read and write
- total population: 98%
- male: 97.6%
- female: 98.4% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
- total: 16 years
- male: 14 years
- female: 17 years (2008)
2.9% of GDP (2006)
- Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision
- Constituciones Hispanoamericanas - Constituciones - Uruguay
- International Religious Freedom Report 2007
- UMM | Latin American Area Studies - Countries
- "Encuesta Continua de Hogares 2008 — Religion". Instituto Nacional de Estadística. Retrieved 2010-12-02.
- 1/0 Technology Corp. – Paul R. Williams,John BUDDAY Running. "Armenian General Benevolent Union – Publications". Agbu.org. Retrieved 2010-12-02.
- "UMM | Latin American Area Studies – Countries". Morris.umn.edu. 2009-08-27. Retrieved 2010-06-26.
- "Religion — Uruguay". Library of Congress Country Studies. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- "Explore Uruguay - About Uruguay Government". Explore Uruguay. Retrieved 23 mar 2011.
- Central Intelligence Agency. "People :: Uruguay". The World Factbook. Retrieved January 5, 2010.