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El Salvador People - 2024


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


6,602,370 (2023 est.)


noun: Salvadoran(s)

adjective: Salvadoran

Ethnic groups

Mestizo 86.3%, White 12.7%, Indigenous 0.2% (includes Lenca, Kakawira, Nahua-Pipil), Black 0.1%, other 0.6% (2007 est.)


Spanish (official), Nawat (among some Indigenous)

major-language sample(s):
La Libreta Informativa del Mundo, la fuente indispensable de información básica. (Spanish)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Spanish audio sample:


Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 36%, other 2%, none 12% (2014 est.)

Demographic profile

El Salvador is the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America. It is well into its demographic transition, experiencing slower population growth, a decline in its number of youths, and the gradual aging of its population. The increased use of family planning has substantially lowered El Salvador's fertility rate, from approximately 6 children per woman in the 1970s to replacement level today. A 2008 national family planning survey showed that female sterilization remained the most common contraception method in El Salvador - its sterilization rate is among the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean - but that the use of injectable contraceptives is growing. Fertility differences between rich and poor and urban and rural women are narrowing.

Salvadorans fled during the 1979 to 1992 civil war mainly to the United States but also to Canada and to neighboring Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Emigration to the United States increased again in the 1990s and 2000s as a result of deteriorating economic conditions, natural disasters (Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and earthquakes in 2001), and family reunification. At least 20% of El Salvador's population lives abroad. The remittances they send home account for close to 20% of GDP, are the second largest source of external income after exports, and have helped reduce poverty.

Age structure

0-14 years: 25.4% (male 857,304/female 819,670)

15-64 years: 66.39% (male 2,072,784/female 2,310,573)

65 years and over: 8.21% (2023 est.) (male 232,684/female 309,355)

2023 population pyramid:

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 51.3

youth dependency ratio: 39

elderly dependency ratio: 12.3

potential support ratio: 8.1 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 29.2 years (2023 est.)

male: 27.7 years

female: 30.7 years

Population growth rate

0.46% (2023 est.)

Birth rate

17.5 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Death rate

5.9 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Net migration rate

-7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Population distribution

athough it is the smallest country in land area in Central America, El Salvador has a population that is 18 times larger than Belize; at least 20% of the population lives abroad; high population density country-wide, with particular concentration around the capital of San Salvador


urban population: 75.4% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.33% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

1.116 million SAN SALVADOR (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female

total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

20.8 years (2008 est.)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 25-29

Maternal mortality ratio

43 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 11.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 13.6 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.2 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 75.6 years (2023 est.)

male: 72.2 years

female: 79.3 years

Total fertility rate

2.04 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

0.99 (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

71.9% (2014)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 99.6% of population

rural: 94.2% of population

total: 98.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.4% of population

rural: 5.8% of population

total: 1.8% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

9.9% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

2.87 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Hospital bed density

1.2 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 97.1% of population

total: 99.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 2.9% of population

total: 0.8% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: high (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

24.6% (2016)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 2.94 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 1.5 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.06 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 1.37 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Tobacco use

total: 7.9% (2020 est.)

male: 14.1% (2020 est.)

female: 1.7% (2020 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

5% (2014)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

55% (2023 est.)

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 4.3%

women married by age 18: 19.7% (2021 est.)

Education expenditures

4.1% of GDP (2020 est.)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 89.1%

male: 91.3%

female: 87.3% (2019)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 12 years

male: 12 years

female: 12 years (2018)

NOTE: The information regarding El Salvador on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of El Salvador 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about El Salvador 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.