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Total population
(c. 9.5–10 million)
Regions with significant populations
 El Salvador 6.29 million (2014)[1]
 United States 2,102,160 (2014)[2]
 Honduras 918,619 (2006)[3]
 Canada 107,620 (2011)[4]
 Guatemala 70,000 (2006)[3]
 Italy 32,130 (2006)[3]
 Belize 30,000 (2006)[3]
 Mexico 28,015 (2006)[3]
 Australia 17,135 (2014)[5]
 Costa Rica 15,000 (2006)[3]
 Panama 8,000 (2006)[3]
 Nicaragua 3,500 (2006)[3]
 Spain 3,200 (2006)[3]
 European Union
(excluding Italy and Spain)
6,824 (2006)[3]
Caribbean Community Caribbean 137,449 (2006)[3]
Rest of the world 19,285 (2006)[3]
Roman Catholicism, Protestantism[6]
Related ethnic groups
Salvadoran American

Salvadorans (Spanish: Salvadoreños) are people who identify with El Salvador. Most Salvadorans live in El Salvador, although there is also a significant Salvadoran diaspora, particularly in the United States, with smaller communities in other countries around the world.

El Salvador's population was 6,218,000 in 2010, compared to 2,200,000 in 1950.[7] 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.[7]

Growth of the population[edit]

El Salvador has the largest population density in Latin America, and is the third most populated country in Central America after Honduras and Guatemala, from the 2005 census, the population exceeds 6 million. 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.[8] in addition small Salvadoran communities sprung up in Canada, Australia, Belize, Panama, Costa Rica, Italy, and Sweden since the migration trend began in the early 1970s.[9] The 2010 U.S. Census counted 1,648,968 Salvadorans in the United States, up from 655,165 in 2000.[10] By 2014, the figured had risen to over 2.1 million.[2]

Total population
(x 1000)
aged 0–14
aged 15–64
aged 65+
1950 2 200 42.7 53.3 4.0
1955 2 433 43.6 52.6 3.8
1960 2 773 45.1 51.1 3.7
1965 3 244 46.3 50.1 3.7
1970 3 736 46.4 49.9 3.6
1975 4 232 45.8 50.5 3.7
1980 4 661 45.2 50.9 3.9
1985 5 004 44.1 51.8 4.2
1990 5 344 41.7 53.7 4.6
1995 5 748 39.6 55.5 4.9
2000 5 959 38.3 56.2 5.5
2005 6 073 35.7 58.1 6.2
2010 6 218 32.1 61.0 6.9

Racial and ethnic groups[edit]

The majority of the Salvadoran population is mestizo (a mixture of white or European and Amerindian) or white are 99% of the total population.


Salvadoran model Irma Dimas was crowned Miss El Salvador in 2005. She made headlines recently for her entry into Salvadoran politics.

In the 2007 census, 86.3% of the population self-identified as mestizo, having mixed indigenous and European ancestry.[11][12] In the mestizo population, Salvadorans who are racially European, especially Mediterranean, and the indigenous people in El Salvador who do not speak indigenous languages or have an indigenous culture, as well as Afro-Salvadoran, all identify themselves as being culturally mestizo.[13]

White and European[edit]

According to the official 2007 Census in El Salvador, 12.7% of Salvadorans self-identified with being white.[14] This population is mostly made up of ethnically Spanish people, while there are also Salvadorans of French, German, Swiss, English, Irish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch and Danish descent. A majority of Central European immigrants in El Salvador arrived during World War II as refugees from the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Switzerland. There are also a small community of Jews, Palestinian Christians, and Arab Muslims. Among the immigrant groups in El Salvador, Palestinian Christians stand out.[15] Though few in number, their descendants have attained great economic and political power in the country.

Indigenous and Amerindian[edit]

Main articles: Pipil people and Lenca people

The official 2007 Census 0.2% of the population are of full indigenous origin (Pipil (26.6%) and Lenca 15.1%, other 27.0%).[16] Very few Amerindians have retained their customs and traditions, having over time assimilated into the dominant Mestizo/Spanish culture.[17]

Black and African[edit]

Main article: Afro-Salvadoran

There is a small Afro-Salvadoran population, with 0.1% identifying as Black.[18] Many have traditionally been prevented from immigrating via government policies.[19][20]


In the 2007 census, 0.7% of the population was considered as "other".[21] There are up to 100,000 Nicaraguans living in El Salvador.[22]


Spanish is the language spoken by virtually all inhabitants. Spanish (official), Salvadoran Sign Language, Pipil (Nawat) , Kekchí. Immigrant languages include Chinese, Arabic, Poqomam, and American Sign Language.[23]


definition: age 10 and over can read and write
total: 95.0%[24]
male: 94.4%
female: 95.5%
urban: 97.2%
rural: 91.8%


Religious background in El Salvador
Religion Percent
Roman Catholic

There is diversity of religious beliefs in El Salvador. The majority of the population is Christian. Roman Catholics (47%) and Evangelicals (33%) are the two major denominations in the country.[6] Those not affiliated with any religious group amount to 17% of the population.[6] The remainder of the population (3%) is made up of Jehovah's Witnesses, Hare Krishnas, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Latter-day Saints, and those adhering to indigenous religious beliefs.[6]


The iconic statue of Christ on the globe sphere of planet earth is part of the Monumento al Divino Salvador del Mundo (Monument to the Divine Savior of the world) on Plaza El Salvador del Mundo (The Savior of the World Plaza), a landmark located in the country's capital, San Salvador.

Mestizo culture dominates the country, heavy in both Native American Indigenous and European Spanish influences. A new composite population was formed as a result of intermarrying between the native Mesoamerican population of Cuzcatlan with the European settlers. The Catholic Church plays an important role in the Salvadoran culture. Archbishop Óscar Romero is a national hero for his role in resisting human rights violations that were occurring in the lead-up to the Salvadoran Civil War.[25] Significant foreign personalities in El Salvador were the Jesuit priests and professors Ignacio Ellacuria, Ignacio Martín-Baró, and Segundo Montes, who were murdered in 1989 by the Salvadoran Army during the height of the civil war.

Painting, ceramics and textiles are the principal manual artistic mediums. Writers Francisco Gavidia (1863–1955), Salarrué (Salvador Salazar Arrué) (1899–1975), Claudia Lars, Alfredo Espino, Pedro Geoffroy Rivas, Manlio Argueta, José Roberto Cea, and poet Roque Dalton are among the most important writers from El Salvador. Notable 20th-century personages include the late filmmaker Baltasar Polio, female film director Patricia Chica, artist Fernando Llort, and caricaturist Toño Salazar.

Amongst the more renowned representatives of the graphic arts are the painters Augusto Crespin, Noe Canjura, Carlos Cañas, Julia Díaz, Mauricio Mejia, Maria Elena Palomo de Mejia, Camilo Minero, Ricardo Carbonell, Roberto Huezo, Miguel Angel Cerna, (the painter and writer better known as MACLo), Esael Araujo, and many others. For more information on prominent citizens of El Salvador, check the List of Salvadorans.


  1. ^ "El Salvador Survey Data". GeoHive. 2013. Retrieved 2014-09-14. 
  2. ^ a b US Census Bureau 2014 American Community Survey B03001 1-Year Estimates HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY SPECIFIC ORIGIN retrieved October 18, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Archivo El Salvador. 2006.
  4. ^ [1], National Household Survey (NHS) Profile, 2011
  5. ^ Australian Government - Department of Immigration and Border Protection. "Salvadoran Australians". Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d "International Religious Freedom Report for 2012". U.S. State Department. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  7. ^ a b Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision
  8. ^ INE 2010-Guatemala census.
  9. ^ "Mapa de las Migraciones Salvadoreñas". PNUD El Salvador. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Ethnic Groups -2007 official Census. Page 13.
  12. ^ "CIA - The World Factbook -- El Salvador". CIA. Archived from the original on 28 August 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  13. ^ EL SALVADOR Visa Application - Tourist Visas, Business Visas, Expedited Visas - El Salvador Page
  14. ^ Ethnic Groups -2007 official Census. Page 13.
  15. ^ Marín-Guzmán, Roberto (2000). A Century of Palestinian Immigration into Central America: A study of their economic and cultural contributions. San Jose, CR: Universidad de Costa Rica. 
  16. ^ Ethnic Groups -2007 official Census. Page 13.
  17. ^ Military Rule, 1931-1979 - History - El Salvador - Central America: 1979 history, center poverty, cause condition, party pdc, soccer war
  18. ^ Ethnic Groups -2007 official Census. Page 13.
  19. ^ Elena Salamanca (October 23, 2005). "NO a 'los otros'" (in Spanish). La Prensa Gráfica. Archived from the original on January 2, 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  20. ^ Montgomery, Tommie Sue (1995). Revolution in El Salvador: from civil strife to civil peace. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-0071-1. 
  21. ^ Ethnic Groups -2007 official Census. Page 13.
  22. ^ "The Nicaragua case_M Orozco2 REV.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  23. ^ Ethnologue: Languages of the World -- El Salvador
  24. ^
  25. ^ Eaton, Helen-May (1991). The impact of the Archbishop Óscar Romero's alliance with the struggle for liberation of the Salvadoran people: A discussion of church-state relations (El Salvador) (M.A. thesis) Wilfrid Laurier University