Demographics of Ecuador

Those that think of Ecuador as a small country in South America will likely be surprised to learn that there are approximately 13,212,742 (2004 est.) people living in the country. Ecuador is by no means a small country and the vast majority (57%) of those living in the country live in urban areas. The remaining 43% live in rural areas and farming and ranching are big industries in Ecuador. The Demographics of Ecuador are somewhat diverse, with age, education and race being widely varied. If you are planning a trip to the country soon, you may want to take a quick look at Ecuador’s Demographics so that you can best prepare yourself for what you will find when you arrive.

The country of Ecuador enjoys an incredibly diverse population. By far the largest ethnic group is that of the Mestizos. These people of mixed Spanish and Amerindian descent make up approximately 65% of the population. Amerindians constitute roughly a quarter of the population while Caucasians of unmixed Spanish descent, known as criollos, make up only 7% of the population. The remaining 3% are Afro-Ecuadorian and include mulattos and zambos. It is interesting to note that Ecuador has experienced high levels of emigration and immigration in recent years and this has further diversified the population. To start with, approximately 1,700,000 Ecuadorians live in Spain, Italy and the US, while still more have moved to Latin America, Japan and Australia. However, this has not left a major gap in the local population as thousands of people from other South American countries, such as Peru, Colombia and Bolivia, have moved to Ecuador in search of better jobs and higher wages. The country has also seen an increase of immigration from the Middle East and Asia, including China, Japan, North America and Europe. This has led to the establishment of a large Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian, Indian and Pakistani communities in the country. There are also small communities of Jews and Greeks in the country. When it comes to religion in Ecuador, approximately 95% of Ecuadorians are Roman Catholic, 4% are Protestant and less than 1% are Jewish, Eastern Orthodox or Muslim.

Currently the population of Ecuador is growing at a ratio of 1.50% with 24.94 births taking place for every 1 000 people in the country each year. Despite the fact that there are more male babies and children under 15 years of age, there seem to be more women than men between the ages of 15 and 65 years of age. Currently the percentage of women is slightly higher than that of men in Ecuador. The current life expectancy at birth is 71.89 years with woman generally living longer. The HIV/AIDS rate was 0.3% in 2001 with only about 232 deaths occurring from the disease in that same year. According to statistics, approximately 92.5% of people over the age of 15 can read and write, so Ecuador enjoys quite a high literacy rate. The official language of the country is Spanish, though Quichua and other Amerindian languages are widely spoken.

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