Paraguay People - 2021


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


7,272,639 (July 2021 est.)


noun: Paraguayan(s)

adjective: Paraguayan

Ethnic groups

Mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) 95%, other 5%


Spanish (official) and Guarani (official) 46.3%, only Guarani 34%, only Spanish 15.2%, other (includes Portuguese, German, other indigenous languages) 4.1% , no response 0.4%; note - data represent predominant household language (2012 est.)

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

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.


Roman Catholic 89.6%, Protestant 6.2%, other Christian 1.1%, other or unspecified 1.9%, none 1.1% (2002 est.)

Demographic profile

Paraguay falls below the Latin American average in several socioeconomic categories, including immunization rates, potable water, sanitation, and secondary school enrollment, and has greater rates of income inequality and child and maternal mortality. Paraguay's poverty rate has declined in recent years but remains high, especially in rural areas, with more than a third of the population below the poverty line. However, the well-being of the poor in many regions has improved in terms of housing quality and access to clean water, telephone service, and electricity. The fertility rate continues to drop, declining sharply from an average 4.3 births per woman in the late 1990s to about 2 in 2013, as a result of the greater educational attainment of women, increased use of contraception, and a desire for smaller families among young women.

Paraguay is a country of emigration; it has not attracted large numbers of immigrants because of political instability, civil wars, years of dictatorship, and the greater appeal of neighboring countries. Paraguay first tried to encourage immigration in 1870 in order to rebound from the heavy death toll it suffered during the War of the Triple Alliance, but it received few European and Middle Eastern immigrants. In the 20th century, limited numbers of immigrants arrived from Lebanon, Japan, South Korea, and China, as well as Mennonites from Canada, Russia, and Mexico. Large flows of Brazilian immigrants have been arriving since the 1960s, mainly to work in agriculture. Paraguayans continue to emigrate to Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, the United States, Italy, Spain, and France.

Age structure

0-14 years: 23.41% (male 857,303/female 826,470)

15-24 years: 17.71% (male 640,400/female 633,525)

25-54 years: 42.63% (male 1,532,692/female 1,532,851)

55-64 years: 8.37% (male 306,100/female 295,890)

65 years and over: 7.88% (male 267,351/female 299,103) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 55.5

youth dependency ratio: 49.9

elderly dependency ratio: 10.6

potential support ratio: 9.4 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 29.7 years

male: 29.5 years

female: 29.9 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

1.15% (2021 est.)

Birth rate

16.43 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

Death rate

4.84 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

Net migration rate

-0.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

Population distribution

most of the population resides in the eastern half of the country; to the west lies the Gran Chaco (a semi-arid lowland plain), which accounts for 60% of the land territory, but only 2% of the overall population


urban population: 62.5% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.64% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

3.394 million ASUNCION (capital) (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

22.9 years (2008 est.)

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

Maternal mortality rate

84 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 23.83 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 28.23 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 19.21 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 78.13 years

male: 75.46 years

female: 80.93 years (2021 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.89 children born/woman (2021 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

68.4% (2016)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

6.7% (2018)

Physicians density

1.35 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Hospital bed density

0.8 beds/1,000 population (2016)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 98.4% of population

rural: 84.8% of population

total: 93.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.6% of population

rural: 15.2% of population

total: 6.8% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.3% (2020 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

19,000 (2020 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: intermediate (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

20.3% (2016)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

1.3% (2016)

Education expenditures

3.4% of GDP (2016)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 94%

male: 94.5%

female: 93.5% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 12 years

male: 12 years

female: 13 years (2010)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 15.3%

male: 12.1%

female: 20.1% (2019 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Paraguay on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Paraguay 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Paraguay 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.