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Languages of El Salvador

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Title: Languages of El Salvador  
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Languages of El Salvador

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

Demographics of El Salvador
Salvadoran Children
Population 6,071,774 (2011 est.)[1]
Male population 3,440,918
Female population 3,625,485
Population growth 1.68%
Birth rate 25.72/1,000
Death rate 5.53/1,000
Infant mortality rate 22.19/1,000
Life expectancy 73.44 years [2]
Nationality Salvadoran
Demographic bureaus INEC

El Salvador's population numbers about 6,071,774 with 86% of Salvadorans are mixed (mixed Native American Indigenous and European Spanish origin by majority. The Salvadorans of mixed ancestry vary in their Native American Indigenous and European ancestry.[3]

Ethnic groups

12% of Salvadorans are white; population is mostly of Spanish, while there is also of French, German, Swiss, English, Irish, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch and Danish descent. The majority of Central European immigrants arrived during World War II as refugees Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Switzerland are scattered in different communities of El Salvador. About 1% is of indigenous origin (Mayan, Pipil and Lenca). Very few Amerindians have retained their customs and traditions, having over time assimilated into the dominant Mestizo/Spanish culture. In the Mestizo population, Salvadorans who are racially European, especially Mediterranean, as well as Afro-Salvadoran, and the indigenous people in El Salvador who do not speak indigenous languages or have and indigenous culture, all identify themselves as Mestizo culturally.[4]

The low numbers of indigenous people may be partly explained by mass murder during the 1932 Salvadoran peasant uprising (or La Matanza) which saw (estimates of) up to 30,000 peasants killed in a short period of time (nowadays this would be considered a genocide by the army's methods to exterminate a certain racial group). Many authors note that since La Matanza the indigenous in El Salvador have been very reluctant to describe themselves as such (in census declarations for example) or to wear indigenous dress or be seen to be taking part in any cultural activities or customs that might be understood as indigenous.[5]

There is a significant population of Palestinian Christian, Turkish and Chinese immigrants. There is also a small community of Jews and Muslims. A small portion of Salvadorans have Middle Eastern and Arab ancestries that include Lebanon, Syria, and the majority come from Palestine especially from Bethlehem, that emmigrated to El Salvador.


Catholicism is the majority religion in El Salvador at 57.1%.[2] Protestant groups compromise 21.2% of the population.[2] Individual groups that constitute less than 5 percent of the population include Jehovah's Witnesses 1.9%, and Mormons 0.7%.[2] A sizable 16.8% population claim no religious affiliation in El Salvador.[2]


Spanish is the language spoken by virtually all inhabitants.

Population distribution

The capital city of San Salvador and the other thirteen municipalities that have joined as a metropolitan area have a population of 2.3million people; an estimated 30.3% of El Salvador's population live in rural areas.[6]


The total impact of civil wars, dictatorships and socioeconomics drove over a million Salvadorans (both as immigrants and refugees) into the US; in addition small Salvadoran communities sprung up in Canada, Panama, Costa Rica, Europe and Australia since the migration trend began in the early 1970s. The 2010 U.S. Census counted 1,648,968 Salvadorans in the United States, up from 655,165 in 2000.[7]

Cities and metropolitan areas

Municipalities of El Salvador

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics

Ethnic groups
Salvadoran women
Group Number
Mestizo (86%) 4,210,000
White (12%) 621,000
Native American (1%) 69,000
Source: CDI (2006)
Ethnic groups
group percent
Native American

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


6,071,774 (July 2011 est.)

2013 6.3 million


Age structure

0-14 years: 35.4% (male 1,299,608/female 1,245,617)
15-64 years: 59.3% (male 2,033,423/female 2,225,810)
65 years and over: 5.3% (male 166,224/female 214,536) (2010 est.)

Population growth rate

0.318% (2011 est.)

Birth rate

29.02 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)
25.72 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
18.06 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)

Death rate

6.27 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)
5.53 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
5.61 deaths/1,000 population (2010 est.)

Net migration rate

-4.0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)
-3.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
-9.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate

29.22 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)
22.19 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
20.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 74.5 years
male: 70.16 years
female: 78.9 years

Total fertility rate

3.38 children born/woman (2000 est.)
3.04 children born/woman (2008 est.)
2.12 children born/woman (2010 est.)
2.08 children born/woman (2011 est.) (below the sub-replacement fertility threshold of 2.1)


noun: Salvadoran(s)
adjective: Salvadoran
noun: Central American(s)
adjective: Central American

Ethnic groups

Mestizo: 86%
White: 12%
Native American: >1% The very low numbers of Native indigenous people may be explained by mass murder during the 1932 Salvadoran peasant uprising (or La Matanza) which saw (estimates of) up to 30,000 peasants killed in a short period of time (nowadays this would be considered a genocide by the army's methods to exterminate a certain racial group)[8] The Native American population consists primary of Pipils and Lencas (the latter confined to the Eastern regions of the country) although smaller communities of Kakawira and Xinca also exist.


Roman Catholic: 57.1%%
Protestant: 21.2%%
No Affiliation: 16.8%


Spanish (official), English, French, Pipil a local indigenous Language, Nahua Languages and Mayan Languages.


definition: age 10 and over can read and write
total: 95.0%[9]
male: 94.4%
female: 95.5%
urban: 97.2%
rural: 91.8%

See also


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