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16.08.2007

Demography

According to the latest data, the population of Ecuador is about 15 million people.

Historically, the administrative centre of the country has located in the mountain region of Sierra where the most part of the population has concentrated. The present period is characterized with the population shift from the mountain area to the coast and from the countryside to town. Now there are about 4 million people living at the coast, the population density of Costa is higher than in other places; numerous cities are developing here. The share of urban population of the country has grown up to 59 %.

Ethnic structure and language

At the recent censuses the ethnic characteristic, language, religion and birthplace (country) were not registered. Approximately 40% of the inhabitants are Indians, metises (descendants of mixed marriages of Indians with white people) make another 40%, Negroes make 10%, and 10% are the share of Ecuadorians of the Spanish origin (living in cities Quito,  Cuenka and Guayaquil) and immigrants from Europe countries (Italy and Germany) and Asia (Lebanon, China, Korea and Japan).

The number of the people speaking various Indian languages was 700 thousand in the middle of 1980ths. The most numerous are those speaking Quechua and calling themselves runî ("people" in the language Quechua), their highly developed national consciousness is their distinguishing feature. The plains of the Amazon basin are inhabited by the Indians shuara (hivaro) and achuara, small groups of the tribes kofan, siona and sekoja and living in the special protected reservation vaorani (auka). Single groups of the indigenous inhabit the Ecuador coast.  

The Ecuadorians of the African origin, considering themselves a special cultural group, are descendants of the slaves that were taken out from Africa. They live in the province of Esmeraldas on northeast of the country and in the valley of the river Chota in the north of the mountain area.

Metises settle both in the mountains, and in the coastal areas. Metises of Sierra differ greatly from metises of Costa in the way of life, food and dialect.

 

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