South America Population

With a territorial extension of 17.8 million square kilometers, South America consists of a subdivision of the American continent. The countries that make up this continental portion are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela, in addition to the territory of French Guiana.

South America is bordered by Central America, through the border between Colombia and Panama. This subcontinent is joined to North America by the central isthmus and is separated from Antarctica by the Drake Strait.

South America Countries

Its territory has large plains in the central portion, where the Amazon, Orinoco and Prata watersheds are located. The plateaus and ancient massifs are predominant in the eastern portion. The Andes mountain range, whose highest point is the peak of Aconcagua (6,960 meters), is located in the western region of South America. In the north, with a predominance of the equatorial climate, there are humid tropical forests. The southern portion is influenced by the desert climate (Atacama desert), in addition to housing the Argentine pampas and subtropical forests.

The South American population is very mixed, with emphasis on the influence of Indians, Blacks, Portuguese and Spanish. Due to the colonization process, the most common languages are Spanish and Portuguese, in addition to Dutch (Suriname).

South America has 393 million inhabitants, whose demographic density is 22 inhabitants per square kilometer. Most of the inhabitants live in urban areas: 84%. South American demographic growth is one of the highest in the world: 1.1% per year. However, its territory has large demographic voids, such as the Atacama desert and Patagonia. On the other hand, some cities are extremely populated: Brasília, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Lima, Bogota, Santiago, Caracas, among others.

The economies of the countries that make up this subcontinent are based on agricultural production and the processing of these products. Therefore, agriculture is an activity of fundamental importance for revenue collection in most of these nations, with emphasis on the cultivation of coffee, coca, cocoa, sugarcane, bananas, cereals, cotton, etc.

South America has many natural resources of commercial value, and several countries exploit this economic potential. Oil is mined in Brazil, Ecuador and, mainly, in Venezuela. Mining stands out for its deposits of gold, silver, copper, tin, manganese, iron, zinc, lead, aluminum, among others.

The industrial sector is more developed in Argentina, Chile and Brazil, with emphasis on the oil refining, steel, metallurgy, food, automobile, electronics and chemical segments. The industry in Brazil is responsible for 60% of South American production in this sector of the economy.

This American subcontinent presents major socioeconomic problems: illiteracy affects 11% of the population; the infant mortality rate is 20 deaths per thousand live births; environmental sanitation services do not serve most households and a large part of the world’s production of drugs is carried out in South America, a fact that intensifies crime.

South America Population Growth Rate

South America countries

There are twelve independent states on the South American continent. By far the largest and most populous is Brazil with 8,547,400 square kilometers and 182.2 million inhabitants . The country is fifth in both categories worldwide.

Countries Area (km²) Residents Capital
Argentina 2,766,890 39,400,000 Buenos Aires
Bolivia 1,098,580 9,340,000 Sucre
Brazil 8,547,400 182,190,000 Brasilia
Chile 756.950 16,000,000 Santiago
Colombia 272.045 13,350,000 Quito
Ecuador 214,969 769,000 Georgetown
Guyana 1,138,910 45,310,000 Bogota
Paraguay 406.752 6,190,000 Asuncion
Peru 1,285,216 27,910,000 Lima
Suriname 163,465 440,000 Paramaribo
Uruguay 176,215 3,420,000 Montevideo
Venezuela 912.050 25,390,000 Caracas