San Salvador Population 2021

1,107,305
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San Salvador (literally meaning “holy savior”) is the 4th most populous city of El Salvador and its capital. The Metropolitan Area of San Salvador, which is comprised of the capital itself and 13 other municipalities, is home to a population of over 2 million people. The city of San Salvador in 2019 has an estimated population of around 282,000.

Demographics

The ethnic and racial demographics of the city of San Salvador break down as follows:

  • Mestizo: 86% (persons of combined European and Indigenous American descent)
  • White or Creole: 12% (European descent)
  • 2% other

Virtually every citizen of San Salvador speaks Spanish. English is more widely spoken today than it has been in the past, due mainly to the import of entertainment and culture from the United States, and a large number of Salvadoran emigrants having moved to the United States and since returned.

History

Before the arrival of the Spanish, the native Pipil people a capital called Cuzcatlan, not too far from present-day San Salvador. Little is known about Cuzcatlan, as it was abandoned to prevent Spanish rule. The Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado ordered Cuzcatlan occupied and the abandoned city was further developed for Spanish use.

The town of San Salvador was founded in April of 1525, before it moved location twice, once in 1528 and again in 1545. The new site for San Salvador was picked for its fertile land along the Acelhuate River and larger amount of space. The population of the San Salvador remained low until early into the 20th century.

Population Growth

Until 2005, the population of San Salvador had been growing steadily. Between 2005 and 2007, however, San Salvador saw a huge decrease in population, going from 507,000 in 2005 to 316,000, dropping to almost 300,000 by the end of the decade.

While decline didn’t continue quite so extremely, it did nonetheless continue. 2013 saw the population fall from around 316,000 to just over 290,000, continuing over the year to fall to just below 282,000 in 2014. By 2016 this had fallen to 248,000, and in 2018 238,000. Until the sharp decline in 2005, San Salvador was well above El Salvador’s other cities, population wise. The second most populous city in El Salvador was Soyapango, with fewer than 295,000, compared to San Salvador’s nearly 508,000.

Come 2007, every major city of El Salvador had seen a sharp decline, but not nearly as severely as San Salvador. While still the most populous city as of 2007, where the 10 years that followed saw further decrease San Salvador’s population, the other cities saw growth, leaving San Salvador in 2017 the fourth most populous city in the country, behind Soyapango, Santa Ana and San Miguel, respectively.

This decline has been caused by widespread poverty and crime. Today, about 20% of El Salvador's population lives outside of the country.

Year Population
20351,241,903
20341,232,634
20331,222,880
20321,212,598
20311,201,718
20301,190,257
20291,178,346
20281,166,240
20271,154,273
20261,142,859
20251,132,425
20241,123,376
20231,116,052
20221,110,681
20211,107,305
20201,105,766
20191,105,662
20181,106,698
20171,104,147
20161,101,602
20151,099,055
20141,096,518
20131,093,987
20121,091,465
20111,088,941
20101,086,428
20091,083,919
20081,081,421
20071,078,921
20061,076,430
20051,073,945
20041,071,469
20031,068,992
20021,066,524
20011,064,062
20001,061,609
19991,059,155
19981,056,710
19971,054,270
19961,051,840
19951,049,408
19941,046,986
19931,044,569
19921,034,642
19911,001,587
1990969,631
1989938,695
1988908,787
1987879,752
1986851,684
1985824,511
1984798,240
1983772,738
1982748,084
1981724,216
1980701,141
1979678,741
1978657,085
1977636,121
1976615,853
1975596,178
1974577,156
1973558,742
1972540,940
1971523,658
1970499,507
1969476,412
1968454,415
1967433,376
1966413,339
1965394,228
1964376,025
1963358,616
1962342,035
1961326,221
1960311,194
1959296,828
1958283,144
1957270,091
1956257,656
1955245,761
1954234,431
1953223,624
1952213,328
1951203,480
1950194,099

San Salvador Population 2021

Year Population Growth Rate Growth
20351,241,9030.75%9,269
20341,232,6340.80%9,754
20331,222,8800.85%10,282
20321,212,5980.91%10,880
20311,201,7180.96%11,461
20301,190,2571.01%11,911
20291,178,3461.04%12,106
20281,166,2401.04%11,967
20271,154,2731.00%11,414
20261,142,8590.92%10,434
20251,132,4250.81%9,049
20241,123,3760.66%7,324
20231,116,0520.48%5,371
20221,110,6810.30%3,376
20211,107,3050.14%1,539
20201,105,7660.01%104
20191,105,662-0.09%-1,036
20181,106,6980.23%2,551
20171,104,1470.23%2,545
20161,101,6020.23%2,547
20151,099,0550.23%2,537
20141,096,5180.23%2,531
20131,093,9870.23%2,522
20121,091,4650.23%2,524
20111,088,9410.23%2,513
20101,086,4280.23%2,509
20091,083,9190.23%2,498
20081,081,4210.23%2,500
20071,078,9210.23%2,491
20061,076,4300.23%2,485
20051,073,9450.23%2,476
20041,071,4690.23%2,477
20031,068,9920.23%2,468
20021,066,5240.23%2,462
20011,064,0620.23%2,453
20001,061,6090.23%2,454
19991,059,1550.23%2,445
19981,056,7100.23%2,440
19971,054,2700.23%2,430
19961,051,8400.23%2,432
19951,049,4080.23%2,422
19941,046,9860.23%2,417
19931,044,5690.96%9,927
19921,034,6423.30%33,055
19911,001,5873.30%31,956
1990969,6313.30%30,936
1989938,6953.29%29,908
1988908,7873.30%29,035
1987879,7523.30%28,068
1986851,6843.30%27,173
1985824,5113.29%26,271
1984798,2403.30%25,502
1983772,7383.30%24,654
1982748,0843.30%23,868
1981724,2163.29%23,075
1980701,1413.30%22,400
1979678,7413.30%21,656
1978657,0853.30%20,964
1977636,1213.29%20,268
1976615,8533.30%19,675
1975596,1783.30%19,022
1974577,1563.30%18,414
1973558,7423.29%17,802
1972540,9403.30%17,282
1971523,6584.83%24,151
1970499,5074.85%23,095
1969476,4124.84%21,997
1968454,4154.85%21,039
1967433,3764.85%20,037
1966413,3394.85%19,111
1965394,2284.84%18,203
1964376,0254.85%17,409
1963358,6164.85%16,581
1962342,0354.85%15,814
1961326,2214.83%15,027
1960311,1944.84%14,366
1959296,8284.83%13,684
1958283,1444.83%13,053
1957270,0914.83%12,435
1956257,6564.84%11,895
1955245,7614.83%11,330
1954234,4314.83%10,807
1953223,6244.83%10,296
1952213,3284.84%9,848
1951203,4804.83%9,381
1950194,0990.00%

San Salvador Population Data (Urban Area)

Other Cities in El Salvador