Country Listing

Colombia Table of Contents



Population: In 1988 estimated at 28 million; rate of annual growth approximately 2 percent in late 1980s.

Education and Literacy: In late 1980s, about 90 percent of children between seven and eleven years of age attended primary school in urban areas; number often fell below 70 percent in many rural areas and below 50 percent in more isolated communities. Approximately 30 percent of twelve-year-old population attended secondary school in 1985; significant urban-rural variations. Estimated 80 percent of all university students attended programs in just five cities. Literacy rate estimated at 88 percent in 1987.

Health: Access to and availability of health care and medical services improved substantially in 1970s and 1980s; nonetheless, rural and urban poor continued to suffer from higher mortality and morbidity rates. In 1988 life expectancy at birth estimated at sixty-eight years for females and sixty-four years for males.

Language: Spanish.

Ethnic Groups: In late 1980s, mestizos constituted approximately 50 percent of population, whites 25 percent, mulattoes and zambos (black-Indian mix) 20 percent, blacks 4 percent, and Indians 1 percent.

Religion: Over 95 percent of population Roman Catholic in late 1980s; remainder primarily various Protestant groups.

Data as of December 1988