Central America Population 2016

Central America is a region located at the southernmost point of North America. To the north, it is bordered by Mexico, and to the south, it connects to South America through Colombia. Seven countries make up the area of Central America, which has an estimated 2016 population of over 44.5 million.

Central America is a region that is comprised of the southermost countries in North America. These countries are bordered by Mexico, connect North America to South America. A total of seven countries make up Central America: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The total area of Central America is 202,230 square miles, or 523,780 square kilometers, and the average population density is 210 people per square mile, or 81 per square kilometer. The total population, based on 2015 estimates, is 44.53 million.

Central America is a very ethnically diverse area, with the majority of the population made up of mestizo people. There are also high populations of White and Mayan residents spread throughout the seven countries. The official language spoken through the majority of Central America is Spanish, although English is the official language in Belize. Mayan languages are also spoken in some regions. Over 95% of Central American's residents are Christian, with the majority practicing Roman Catholicism. Central America has very unique geographic features spread across its land mass, such as high mountains and fertile valleys, which is where coffee, tobacco, beans and other crops are grown.

Populations of Central American Countries

The population of Central America exceeds 43 million, and this number is spread across just seven countries. Guatemala is by far the most populous, almost doubling the population of 2nd-ranked Honduras. The populations of each Central American country based on 2015 estimates are:

  • Guatemala: 14,918,999
  • Honduras: 8,746,673
  • El Salvador: 6,141,350
  • Nicaragua: 5,907,881
  • Costa Rica: 4,814,144
  • Panama: 3,657,024
  • Belize: 347,369

Despite being the most populous country, Guatemala is only the 3rd largest country by area, at just 108,890 square kilometers. The largest Central American country by area is Nicaragua, which spans across 130,373 square kilometers.

Largest Central American Cities

With a total population of over 44 million across seven countries, it only makes sense that Central America has multiple cities that exceed the one million population milestone, at least in the most populous countries. The five largest cities by population located in Central America are: (according to the last census data from each country)

  • Guatemala City, Guatemala: 3,700,000
  • San Salvador, El Salvador: 2,415,217
  • Managua, Nicaragua: 1,918,000
  • Tegucigalpa, Honduras: 1,819,000
  • San Pedro Sula, Honduras: 1,600,000

Population Growth in Central America

Central America has faced problems with its population in past decades with soaring population growth and an economy and infrastructure that was struggling to keep up with the rising population. However, in recent years, the economy has stabilized as the region has integrated with the US market, regional GDP has risen and Central America has outperformed Latin America. There are multiple opportunities for economic growth, particularly seen in Nicaragua and Panama. The region does still face some challenges, however, including the lack of transportation networks, high rates of drug crimes and violence and even difficulty meeting electricity demands for industrial expansion. However, the region has made significant progress in bouncing back from economic downturns and overcoming challenges in the past, so it will be interesting to see just how much the area grows over the next few decades.

Central America Population History

Year Population Density (km²) Growth Rate World %
2016 175,005,481 71,365 1.2741% 2.5%
2015 172,740,074 70,441 1.3029% 2.47%
2010 161,117,094 65,701 1.4747% 2.3%
2005 148,988,548 60,755 1.5235% 2.13%
2000 138,780,471 56,593 1.4957% 1.98%
1995 127,032,420 51,802 1.8991% 1.81%
1990 114,822,516 46,823 2.0676% 1.64%
1985 103,422,024 42,174 2.1304% 1.48%
1980 92,425,091 37,690 2.3623% 1.32%
1975 81,138,247 33,086 2.7907% 1.16%
1970 69,701,584 28,423 3.0886% 1%
1965 59,974,752 24,456 3.0158% 0.86%
1960 51,399,629 20,960 3.105% 0.73%
1955 44,054,574 17,965 3.064% 0.63%
1950 38,028,823 15,508 2.7933% 0.54%

Central America Population Projections

Year Population Density (km²) Growth Rate World %
2020 183,823,948 74,961 1.1521% 2.63%
2025 194,119,813 79,158 0.9957% 2.77%
2030 203,400,535 82,944 0.8438% 2.91%
2035 211,555,667 86,268 0.7021% 3.02%
2040 218,533,884 89,115 0.5723% 3.12%
2045 224,330,337 91,479 0.4516% 3.2%
2050 228,924,706 93,352 0.3377% 3.27%
2055 232,307,585 94,732 0.2267% 3.32%
2060 234,442,552 95,602 0.1182% 3.35%
2065 235,342,979 95,969 0.0156% 3.36%
2070 235,084,765 95,863 -0.0746% 3.36%
2075 233,829,135 95,352 -0.1547% 3.34%
2080 231,678,751 94,475 -0.2293% 3.31%
2085 228,731,183 93,273 -0.293% 3.27%
2090 225,170,433 91,821 -0.342% 3.22%
2095 221,186,754 90,197 -0.3767% 3.16%