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Venezuela: People & Society#

Population28,868,486 (July 2014 est.)
Population growth rate1.42% (2014 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 28.2% (male 4,143,840/female 3,985,489)
15-24 years: 18.8% (male 2,723,856/female 2,697,672)
25-54 years: 39.6% (male 5,614,922/female 5,818,903)
55-64 years: 5.9% (male 1,030,898/female 1,137,894)
65 years and over: 5.8% (male 755,183/female 959,829) (2014 est.)
Sex ratioat 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: 0.97 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
Birth rate19.42 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Death rate5.27 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Ethnic groupsSpanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, indigenous people
Infant mortality ratetotal: 19.33 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 22.73 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
LanguagesSpanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 74.39 years
male: 71.26 years
female: 77.67 years (2014 est.)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.5%
male: 95.7%
female: 95.4% (2009 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Venezuelan(s)
adjective: Venezuelan
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Religionsnominally Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%
Total fertility rate2.35 children born/woman (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.6%; note - no country specific models provided (2012)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS107,900 (2012)
HIV/AIDS - deaths3,800 (2012)
Median agetotal: 26.9 years
male: 26.1 years
female: 27.6 years (2014 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria (2013)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 14 years
13 years
15 years (2008)
Education expenditures6.9% of GDP (2009)
Urbanizationurban population: 93% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 1.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved: urban: 94.3% of population
rural: 75.3% of population
total: 92.9% of population
unimproved: urban: 5.7% of population
rural: 24.7% of population
total: 7.1% of population (2007 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: urban: 93.6% of population
rural: 56.9% of population
total: 90.9% of population
unimproved: urban: 6.4% of population
rural: 43.1% of population
total: 9.1% of population (2007 est.)
Major urban areas - populationCARACAS (capital) 3.051 million; Maracaibo 2.153 million; Valencia 1.738 million; Barquisimeto 1.159 million; Maracay 1.04 million (2009)
Maternal mortality rate92 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight2.9% (2009)
Health expenditures5.2% of GDP (2011)
Physicians density1.94 physicians/1,000 population (2001)
Hospital bed density0.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate30.3% (2008)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 17.1%
male: 14.3%
female: 22.6% (2012)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 404,092
percentage: 8 % (2000 est.)
Demographic profileAlthough poverty in Venezuela has declined during the CHAVEZ administration, dropping from nearly 50% in 1999 to about 27% in 2011, it remains high and some experts question how much of a role social expenditures have played in this poverty reduction. Progress in lowering poverty, income inequality, and unemployment may in fact be more closely linked to the rise and fall of prices for oil, Venezuela's dominant export. In the long-run, education and healthcare spending may increase economic growth and reduce income inequality, but rising costs and the staffing of new healthcare jobs with foreigners are slowing development. In the meantime, social investment has led to better living standards, including increased school enrollment, a substantial reduction in infant and child mortality, and greater access to potable water and sanitation.
Since CHAVEZ came to power in 1999, more than a 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 2002-2003 oil strike. Additionally, thousands of Venezuelans of European descent have taken up residence in their ancestral homelands. Nevertheless, Venezuela continues to attract immigrants from South America and southern Europe because of its lenient migration policy and the availability of education and healthcare. Venezuela also has been a fairly accommodating host to more than 200,000 Colombian refugees.
Contraceptive prevalence rate70.3% (1998)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 53.2 %
youth dependency ratio: 43.7 %
elderly dependency ratio: 9.5 %
potential support ratio: 10.6 (2013)