Country Listing

Bolivia Table of Contents



Population: Estimated 6.6 million in mid-1989 with 2.1 percent growth rate; projected annual growth rate of up to 2.6 percent to year 2000.

Education and Literacy: Compulsory attendance between ages seven and fourteen followed by three years of intermediate school. Four-year secondary education consisted of two-year general program followed by two-year specialized program. Higher education consisted of University of Bolivia and variety of public and private institutes. Estimated 75 percent literacy rate in mid-1980s.

Health: In mid-1980s Bolivia continued to record some of worst health indicators in Western Hemisphere. Life expectancy in 1989 fifty-two years for males and fifty-six years for females. Infant mortality 124.4 per 1,000 live births. Nutritional deficiencies affected 70 percent of population. Potable water inaccessible to 57 percent; adequate sanitary facilities unavailable to 76 percent.

Religion: Ninety-five percent Roman Catholic, but many only nominal adherents. Active Protestant minority, especially Evangelical Methodists. In 1980s Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, and various Pentecostal denominations gained increasing adherents. Other denominations included Mennonites and Bahai faith and small Jewish community.

Language: Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara (all official).

Ethnic Groups: Quechua, 30 percent; Aymara, 25 percent; mixed, 25 to 30 percent; and whites (blanco), 5 to 15 percent. Lowland Indians, numbering about 100,000 in early 1980s, divided into nine major linguistic groups and nearly thirty subgroups.

Data as of December 1989