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Ethnic groups in Central America: Wikis


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Central America is a region formed by 6 Latin American countries and one Anglo American nation (Belize). This isthmus unites North America with South America and it comprises the following countries, from north to south:

Central America has a population of approximately 40 million in 2007 in an area of 523,780 km², with a 77.3 density of hab/km² although its population is not distributed equally. For example, Belize is larger than El Salvador in area by 1,924 km², but El Salvador has 30 times the population of Belize. As with Panama and Costa Rica, Costa Rica has more population than Panama, but Panama has more surface than Costa Rica. The following table shows the population and surface of each country with its respective density:

COUNTRY Surface Population Density
Guatemala 108,890 13,276,517 [1] 116.8
Belize 22,966 307,899 [2] 13
Honduras 112,090 7,792,854 [3] 66.7
El Salvador 21,040 7,185,218 [4] 330.2
Nicaragua 129,494 5,891,199 [5] 43.8
Costa Rica 51,100 4,509,290 [6] 70.8
Panama 78,200 3,360,474 [7] 41.4
Total 523,780 42,071,038 77.3


The White Population

The white ethnic group, or White Latin Americans, have an approximate population of 5,380,885 inhabitants, but there is not a certain numbers because Costa Rican and Guatemalan governments put white and mestizos in the same category. Besides of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala also have a significant white population.

COUNTRY %local Population % Regional
Guatemala N/A N/A [8][1]
Belize 0.0 0.0 [9][2]
Honduras 1.0 77,928 [3]
El Salvador 9.0 646,669 [4]
Nicaragua 17.0 1.001,503 [5]
Costa Rica 85.0 3,898,644 [10][6]
Panama 10.0 336,047 [7]

The Mestizo Population

The mestizo population (mixed Amerindian and white) is formed by 27,456,772 inhabitants, occupying the majority of the Central American population. All the republics have significant Mestizo populations.

COUNTRY %local Population % Regional
Guatemala 59.4 7,866,251 [1]
Belize 48.7 149,946 [2]
Honduras 90.0 7,013,568 [3]
El Salvador 90.0 6,466,696 [4]
Nicaragua 69.0 4,064,927 [5]
Costa Rica N/A N/A [11][6]
Panama 70.0 2,353,331 [7]

The Black population

The Creole, Afro-Caribbean, and Garifuna populations form the majority of the Afro-Latin Americans in Central America, of which the majority is concentrated on the Caribbean coasts of the region. It is important to note that all these groups are distinct, speaking English, English creoles, Garifuna, Miskito, and Spanish. The highest percentage is 31% in Belize, where Kriols and Garifuna were once the majority of the nation that has seen heavy emigration and immigration in the last 30 years.[12][13] The largest population, however, is in Nicaragua of Creole, Afro-Caribbean, and to a lesser degree of Miskito and Garifuna descent, of which the majority is concentrated on the Caribbean coast in the area often referred to as the Mosquito Coast. In Panama people of African descent were already present when the construction of an inter-oceanic channel saw the large arrival of immigrant afro-Caribbeans. Honduras has a small population of creole people, but the overwhelming majority of blacks are Garifuna. Although El Salvador is the only Central American country with no official black percentage, Salvadorans with some African heritage are present.[14]

The Raizal ethnic group in the San Andrés y Providencia Department, an archipelago under Colombian sovereignty but geographically close to Nicaragua's shores, is another Afro-Caribbean group in Central America, speaking the San Andrés-Providencia Creole. In 2005, they constituted 57% of the 60,000 inhabitants of the islands, according to official statistics [15].

COUNTRY %local Population % Regional
Guatemala 0.0 0.0 [16][1]
Belize 31.0 95,488 [17] [2]
Honduras 2.0 155,857 [3]
El Salvador 0.0 0.0 [18][4]
Nicaragua 9.0 530,207 [5]
Costa Rica 3.0 127,616 [6]
Panama 14.0 470,466 [7]

The Amerindian Population

The only plurality of Indigenous people located in Central America is in Guatemala. Amerindians are small minorities in the rest of Central America.

COUNTRY %local Population % Regional
Guatemala 40.5 5,376,989 [1]
Belize 10.6 32,637 [2]
Honduras 7.0 545,499 [3]
El Salvador 1.0 71,852 [4]
Nicaragua 5.0 294,559 [5]
Costa Rica 1.0 42,538 [6]
Panama 6.0 201,628 [7]


  1. ^ a b c d e "CIA World Factbook - Guatemala July 2009 Estimate".  
  2. ^ a b c d e "CIA World Factbook - Belize July 2009 Estimate".  
  3. ^ a b c d e "CIA World Factbook - Honduras July 2009 Estimate".  
  4. ^ a b c d e "CIA World Factbook - El Salvador July 2009 Estimate".  
  5. ^ a b c d e "CIA World Factbook - Nicaragua July 2009 Estimate".  
  6. ^ a b c d e "CIA World Factbook - Costa Rica July 2009 Estimate".  
  7. ^ a b c d e "CIA World Factbook - Panama July 2009 Estimate".  
  8. ^ White population included in Mestizo count below.
  9. ^ no white population listed.
  10. ^ Includes both white and mestizo population.
  11. ^ Count included in white population above.
  12. ^ "Mestizo location in Belize; Location". Retrieved 2008-02-14.  
  13. ^ "Diaspora of Belize" Council on Diplomacy, Washington, DC and Consulate General of Belize.
  14. ^ Montgomery, Tommie Sue (1995). Revolution in El Salvador: from civil strife to civil peace. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-0071-1.  
  15. ^ Fernando Urrea Giraldo (2007-10-12). "La visibilidad estadística de la población negra o afrodescendiente en Colombia, 1993-2005: entre lo étnico y lo racial" (in Spanish). 12º Congreso de Antropología, Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Retrieved 2007-12-29.  
  16. ^ No black population listed.
  17. ^ 31% is the combined from the Creoles and Garifuna in Belize
  18. ^ No black population listed


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