Venezuela Table of Contents
Before the oil era began in the mid-1920s, about 70 percent of the Venezuelan population was rural, illiterate, and poor. Over the next fifty years, the ratios were reversed so that over 88 percent of the population became urban and literate. No group has escaped the impact of this modernization process. Even the most isolated peasants and tribal Indians felt some effects of this economic growth, which opened up access to the elite stature, expanded opportunities for large numbers of immigrants, increased the size, power, and cohesiveness of the middle class, and created a sector of organized workers within the lower class.
Data as of December 1990