Uruguay People - 2021


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


3,398,239 (July 2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 132


noun: Uruguayan(s)

adjective: Uruguayan

Ethnic groups

White 87.7%, Black 4.6%, Indigenous 2.4%, other 0.3%, none or unspecified 5% (2011 est.)

note: data represent primary ethnic identity


Spanish (official)

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 47.1%, non-Catholic Christians 11.1%, nondenominational 23.2%, Jewish 0.3%, atheist or agnostic 17.2%, other 1.1% (2006 est.)

Demographic profile

Uruguay rates high for most development indicators and is known for its secularism, liberal social laws, and well-developed social security, health, and educational systems. It is one of the few countries in Latin America and the Caribbean where the entire population has access to clean water. Uruguay's provision of free primary through university education has contributed to the country's high levels of literacy and educational attainment. However, the emigration of human capital has diminished the state's return on its investment in education. Remittances from the roughly 18% of Uruguayans abroad amount to less than 1 percent of national GDP. The emigration of young adults and a low birth rate are causing Uruguay's population to age rapidly.

In the 1960s, Uruguayans for the first time emigrated en masse - primarily to Argentina and Brazil - because of economic decline and the onset of more than a decade of military dictatorship. Economic crises in the early 1980s and 2002 also triggered waves of emigration, but since 2002 more than 70% of Uruguayan emigrants have selected the US and Spain as destinations because of better job prospects. Uruguay had a tiny population upon its independence in 1828 and welcomed thousands of predominantly Italian and Spanish immigrants, but the country has not experienced large influxes of new arrivals since the aftermath of World War II. More recent immigrants include Peruvians and Arabs.

Age structure

0-14 years: 19.51% (male 336,336/female 324,563)

15-24 years: 15.14% (male 259,904/female 252,945)

25-54 years: 39.86% (male 670,295/female 679,850)

55-64 years: 10.79% (male 172,313/female 193,045)

65 years and over: 14.71% (male 200,516/female 297,838) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 54.9

youth dependency ratio: 31.5

elderly dependency ratio: 23.4

potential support ratio: 4.3 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 35.5 years

male: 33.8 years

female: 37.3 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 85

Population growth rate

0.26% (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 173

Birth rate

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

country comparison to the world: 145

Death rate

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

country comparison to the world: 51

Net migration rate

-0.88 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 139

Population distribution

most of the country's population resides in the southern half of the country; approximately 80% of the populace is urban, living in towns or cities; nearly half of the population lives in and around the capital of Montevideo


urban population: 95.6% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 0.4% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

1.760 million MONTEVIDEO (capital) (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female

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

15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

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

country comparison to the world: 134

Infant mortality rate

total: 8.48 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 9.65 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 7.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 149

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 78.19 years

male: 75.06 years

female: 81.42 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 72

Total fertility rate

1.76 children born/woman (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 156

Contraceptive prevalence rate

79.6% (2015)

note: percent of women aged 15-44

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 93.9% of population

total: 99.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 95% of population

total: 100% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

9.2% (2018)

Physicians density

5.08 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

2.4 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 99% of population

rural: 98.3% of population

total: 98.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 1% of population

rural: 1.7% of population

total: 2.1% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.4% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 79

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

12,000 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 100

HIV/AIDS - deaths

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

27.9% (2016)

country comparison to the world: 34

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

1.8% (2018)

country comparison to the world: 114

Education expenditures

5% of GDP (2018)

country comparison to the world: 62


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98.7%

male: 98.4%

female: 99% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 17 years

male: NA

female: NA (2017)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 28.7%

male: 24.8%

female: 33.9% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 35

NOTE: The information regarding Uruguay 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 Uruguay 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Uruguay 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.