Venezuela People - 2023


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


30,518,260 (2023 est.)


noun: Venezuelan(s)

adjective: Venezuelan

Ethnic groups

unspecified Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, Indigenous


Spanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects

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 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%

Demographic profile

Social investment in Venezuela during the CHAVEZ administration reduced poverty from nearly 50% in 1999 to about 27% in 2011, increased school enrollment, substantially decreased infant and child mortality, and improved access to potable water and sanitation through social investment. "Missions" dedicated to education, nutrition, healthcare, and sanitation were funded through petroleum revenues. The sustainability of this progress remains questionable, however, as the continuation of these social programs depends on the prosperity of Venezuela's oil industry. In the long-term, education and health care spending may increase economic growth and reduce income inequality, but rising costs and the staffing of new health care jobs with foreigners are slowing development.

While CHAVEZ was in power, more than one million predominantly middle- and upper-class Venezuelans are estimated to have emigrated. The brain drain is attributed to a repressive political system, lack of economic opportunities, steep inflation, a high crime rate, and corruption. Thousands of oil engineers emigrated to Canada, Colombia, and the United States following CHAVEZ's firing of over 20,000 employees of the state-owned petroleum company during a 2002-03 oil strike. Additionally, thousands of Venezuelans of European descent have taken up residence in their ancestral homelands. Nevertheless, Venezuela has attracted hundreds of thousands of immigrants from South America and southern Europe because of its lenient migration policy and the availability of education and health care. Venezuela also has been a fairly accommodating host to Colombian refugees, numbering about 170,000 as of year-end 2016. However, since 2014, falling oil prices have driven a major economic crisis that has pushed Venezuelans from all walks of life to migrate or to seek asylum abroad to escape severe shortages of food, water, and medicine; soaring inflation; unemployment; and violence. As of September 2022, an estimated 7.1 million Venezuelans were refugees or migrants worldwide, with almost 80% taking refuge in Latin America and the Caribbean (notably Colombia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, and Brazil, as well as the Dominican Republic, Aruba, and Curacao). Asylum applications increased significantly in the US and Brazil in 2016 and 2017. Several receiving countries are making efforts to increase immigration restrictions and to deport illegal Venezuelan migrants - Ecuador and Peru in August 2018 began requiring valid passports for entry, which are difficult to obtain for Venezuelans. Nevertheless, Venezuelans continue to migrate to avoid economic collapse at home.

Age structure

0-14 years: 25.13% (male 3,920,774/female 3,748,241)

15-64 years: 65.98% (male 10,029,127/female 10,105,332)

65 years and over: 8.9% (2023 est.) (male 1,239,205/female 1,475,581)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 57.5

youth dependency ratio: 44.4

elderly dependency ratio: 13.1

potential support ratio: 7.6 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 30 years

male: 29.4 years

female: 30.7 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

2.4% (2023 est.)

Birth rate

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

Death rate

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

Net migration rate

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

Population distribution

most of the population is concentrated in the northern and western highlands along an eastern spur at the northern end of the Andes, an area that includes the capital of Caracas


urban population: 88.4% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.16% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

2.972 million CARACAS (capital), 2.368 million Maracaibo, 1.983 million Valencia, 1.254 million Barquisimeto, 1.243 million Maracay, 964,000 Ciudad Guayana (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

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

15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

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

Infant mortality rate

total: 14.1 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 15.67 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 12.46 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 74.25 years

male: 71.19 years

female: 77.45 years (2023 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.2 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

1.07 (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

75% (2010)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: N/A

rural: N/A

total: 94.2% of population

unimproved: urban: N/A

rural: N/A

total: 5.8% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

3.8% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

1.73 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

0.9 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: N/A

rural: N/A

total: 95.8% of population

unimproved: urban: N/A

rural: N/A

total: 4.2% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: high (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

note: as of 30 September 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Venezuela; the country is experiencing outbreaks of infectious diseases, and adequate health care is currently not available in most of the country; there are shortages of food, water, electricity, medicine, and medical supplies that have contributed to an increasing humanitarian crisis affecting much of the country

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

25.6% (2016)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 2.51 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 1.54 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.01 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.92 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.03 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight


Currently married women (ages 15-49)

51.5% (2023 est.)

Education expenditures

1.3% of GDP (2017 est.)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97.5%

male: 97.4%

female: 97.7% (2021)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 14.9%

male: 13.4% NA

female: 19.3% (2021 est.) NA

NOTE: The information regarding Venezuela on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Venezuela 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Venezuela 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.