El Salvador Population 2020
El Salvador is the smallest but most densely populated country of Central America with a population estimated at 6.49 million in 2020, up from 2013's estimate of 6,140,000. This makes it the 108th largest country by population, but 153rd by total area.
El Salvador Area and Population Density
Located on the isthmus of Central America along the Pacific Coast, and sharing borders with both Guatemala and Honduras, El Salvador has a total surface area os 8,124 square miles (21,040 square kilometers). The area has a suffered from earthquakes and volcanoes for centuries, both of which have dealt the country fairly regular blows. El Salvador has a tropical climate and lots of water. Aside from the ocean along the coast, there are hundreds of rivers and lakes are scattered throughout the country's mountain ranges and coastal plains. Using the 2017 population of 6.378 million people, El Salvador has a population density of 785 people per square mile (303 people per square kilometer), which ranks 26th in the world in terms of population density.
Largest Cities in El Salvador
70% of people living in El Salvador live in or near a major metropolitan area, and there are several cities that are home to the majority of the population. The capital and largest city is San Salvador, with a city population of 568,000 and a metropolitan population of 2.4 million. Aside from being the nation's capital, it is also the political, cultural, educational, and financial hub in El Salvador. The second-largest city is the commercial center of Soyapango with a population of 329,708. Other notable cities with populations over 100,000 include Santa Ana, San Miguel, Mejicanos, Santa Tecla, and Apopa. There are also 3.2 million Salvadorans living outside the country, particularly in the United States.
El Salvador Demographics
El Salvador is comprised mostly of mestizos (people of European and Native American ancestry), whites and indigenous peoples, with 88% of the population claiming mixed ancestry. The mestizo population is mostly of Mediterranean descent, Afro-Salvadoran and Native Indigenous.
12% of the population is of Spanish descent, with small populations of German, Swiss, English, Irish, Italian and Danish ethnicity throughout the country. Only 1% of the country's population is completely indigenous, in part due to mass murders in 1932 during the Salvadoran peasant uprising. This is the only Central American country without a visible African population due to racial intermixing during its colonial days.
El Salvador Religion, Economy and Politics
Most people living in El Salvador practice follow a denomination of Christianity, but the tides are changing in regard to the proportions. As things stand presently, 47.5% of people are Catholic, and 35.1% are Protestant, however Protestantism is growing rapidly as Catholicism declines. An additional 14.5% of people are Atheist or Agnostic, and the remaining 2.9% practice another religion. San Salvador has the second-largest Jewish population in Central America.
Although they are technically considered a developing country, the GDP in El Salvador hasn't been growing as much as one might think, which is largely due to the extreme wealth inequality. One of the largest sources of income for the average Salvadorian are remittances from other Salvadorians working in the United States, making up nearly a fifth of the country's GDP. Other significant sectors include agriculture, manufacturing, and services. The economy is far from one of the world's strongest, but it has been doing much better since 1992 when their 12-year civil war finally ended.
As a presidential representative democratic republic, the people of El Salvador elect their president directly though a general election decided by the majority. The presidential period is five years and they can not be reelected. The rest of the government is split between a cabinet, which includes over a dozen separate departments and the military, the legislative branch made up of 84 deputies, and the judicial branch. The maximum personal income in El Salvador is 30%, and government spending accounts for 21.4% of their GDP.
El Salvador Population History
Indigenous people have been living in the area that is now El Salvador for longer than has been recorded. The native people were conquered in 1540 after years of fighting, to become a colony of Spain. Nearly three centuries later in 1821, El Salvador gained its independence before quickly becoming a member of the United Provinces of Central America.
in 1932 a peasant uprising led by Augustine Farabundo Marti was suppressed by the government, killing roughly 30,000 people. When the right-wing came to power in 1961, there began to be some civil strife, which came to a head between 1979 and 1981 when 30,000 people were killed by right-wing death squads backed by the army.
Two successive earthquakes killed 1,200 people in early 2001.
El Salvador Population Growth
El Salvador's population is on a modest upward trend, but the rate of growth has slowed significantly from years past. Despite tensions in the country at the time, El Salvador was growing at its fast rate ever in 1965 with the population was increasing at 2.97% annually. Since that time, the rate of increase has slowed significantly, which is largely due to large numbers of people regularly fleeing the country. The birth rate is close to the worldwide average with 2.08 children being born to the average woman. As of 2019 the annual growth rate in El Salvador was 0.53%.
El Salvador Population Projections
The declining growth rate is expected to slow to a halt by the year 2050 because of all the people leaving the region for largely political and economic reasons. There isn't any data available for years beyond 2050, but if the trend continues as it has been for quite some time, the population will eventually begin decreasing. Current projections believe the population in El Salvador will be 6,479,066 in 2020, 6,785,583 by 2030, 6,961,520 by 2040 and 6,997,410 by 2050.
Components of Population Change
|One birth every 5 minutes|
|One death every 11 minutes|
|One net migrant every 14 minutes|
|Net gain of one person every 17 minutes|