Population of Bolivia 2017


Population: Current population of Bolivia is 11,138,234 people (July 2017 est.).


noun: Bolivian(s)
adjective: Bolivian

Ethnic Groups

mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 68%, indigenous 20%, white 5%, cholo/chola 2%, black 1%, other 1%, unspecified 3% ; 44% of respondents indicated feeling part of some indigenous group, predominantly Quechua or Aymara

note: results among surveys vary based on the wording of the ethnicity question and the available response choices; the 2001 national census did not provide “mestizo” as a response choice, resulting in a much higher proportion of respondents identifying themselves as belonging to one of the available indigenous ethnicity choices; the use of “mestizo” and “cholo” varies among response choices in surveys, with surveys using the terms interchangeably, providing one or the other as a response choice, or providing the two as separate response choices (2009 est.)


Spanish (official) 60.7%, Quechua (official) 21.2%, Aymara (official) 14.6%, foreign languages 2.4%, Guarani (official) 0.6%, other native languages 0.4%, none 0.1%

note: Bolivia’s 2009 constitution designates Spanish and all indigenous languages as official; 36 indigenous languages are specified, including some that are extinct (2001 est.)


Roman Catholic 76.8%, Evangelical and Pentecostal 8.1%, Protestant 7.9%, other 1.7%, none 5.5% (2012 est.)

Demographic Profile

Bolivia ranks at or near the bottom among Latin American countries in several areas of health and development, including poverty, education, fertility, malnutrition, mortality, and life expectancy. On the positive side, more children are being vaccinated and more pregnant women are getting prenatal care and having skilled health practitioners attend their births. Bolivia’s income inequality is the highest in Latin America and one of the highest in the world. Public education is of poor quality, and educational opportunities are among the most unevenly distributed in Latin America, with girls and indigenous and rural children less likely to be literate or to complete primary school. The lack of access to education and family planning services helps to sustain Bolivia’s high fertility rate – approximately three children per woman. Bolivia’s lack of clean water and basic sanitation, especially in rural areas, contributes to health problems.

Almost 7% of Bolivia’s population lives abroad, primarily to work in Argentina, Brazil, Spain, and the United States. In recent years, more restrictive immigrationpolicies in Europe and the United States have increased the flow of Bolivian emigrants to neighboring Argentina and Brazil.

Age Structure

0-14 years: 31.85% (male 1,807,735/female 1,739,763)
15-24 years: 19.46% (male 1,098,097/female 1,069,950)
25-54 years: 37.48% (male 2,041,866/female 2,133,065)
55-64 years: 5.9% (male 303,409/female 353,598)
65 years and over: 5.3% (male 260,424/female 330,327) (2017 est.)

Dependency Ratios

total dependency ratio: 63.7
youth dependency ratio: 53.1
elderly dependency ratio: 10.6
potential support ratio: 9.4 (2015 est.)

Median Age

total: 24 years
male: 23.3 years
female: 24.7 years (2016 est.)

Population Growth Rate

1.5% (2017 est.)

Birth Rate

22 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Death Rate

6.4 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Net Migration Rate

-0.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Population Distribution

a high altitude plain in the west between two cordillera of the Andes, known as the Altiplano, is the focal area for most of the population; a dense settlement pattern is also found in and around the city of Santa Cruz, located on the eastern side of the Andes


urban population: 69.3% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 2.11% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major Urban Areas – Population:

Santa Cruz 2.107 million; LA PAZ (capital) 1.816 million; Cochabamba 1.24 million; Sucre (constitutional capital) 372,000 (2015)

Sex Ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.86 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Mother’s Mean Age at First Birth

21.2 years

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2008 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate

206 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate

total: 36.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 39.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 32.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth

total population: 69.2 years
male: 66.4 years
female: 72.1 years (2016 est.)

Total Fertility Rate

2.63 children born/woman (2017 est.)

Contraceptive Prevalence Rate

60.5% (2008)

Health Expenditures

6.3% of GDP (2014)

Physicians Density

0.47 physicians/1,000 population (2011)

Hospital Bed Density

1.1 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking Water Source

urban: 96.7% of population
rural: 75.6% of population
total: 90% of population

urban: 3.3% of population
rural: 24.4% of population
total: 10% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation Facility Access

urban: 60.8% of population
rural: 27.5% of population
total: 50.3% of population

urban: 39.2% of population
rural: 72.5% of population
total: 49.7% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate

0.3% (2016 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS

19,000 (2016 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths

<1000 (2016 est.)

Major Infectious Disease

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever

note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)

Obesity – Adult Prevalence Rate

15.8% (2014)

Children Under the Age of 5 Years Underweight

4.5% (2008)

Education Expenditures

7.3% of GDP (2014)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.5%
male: 96.5%
female: 88.6% (2015 est.)

School Life Expectancy (Primary to Tertiary Education)

total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2007)

Child Labor – Children Ages 5-14

total number: 757,352
percentage: 26.4%

note: data represent children ages 5-17 (2008 est.)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24

total: 6.9%
male: 6.4%
female: 7.6% (2013 est.)