By mid-2016, the number of inhabitants in Latin America will rise to 625 million, more than six million above the estimated total population in mid-2015, according to the latest population projections made by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
This figure represents almost twice the population registered in 1975, when there were 316 million inhabitants, according to the most recent publication by the Demographic Observatory. Latin America population continued growing up to 512 million inhabitants in 2000 and it is estimated that it will rise to 680 million in 2025 and 779 million in 2050.
The document also indicates that by mid-2014, 612 million people lived in the region, of which 310 million were women, while men accounted for 302 million.
That same year, the total population growth rate, which represents an observed variation as the result of births, deceases and migration movements, was 11.4 for every thousand people at a regional level. By countries, the greatest rates were in Guatemala (20.8), Panama (16.4) and Bolivia (16.1).
Additionally, Latin America’s ageing index was 41.1 people of 60 years and over for every 100 people under15 years old. Cuba (113.8), Uruguay (87.9) and Chile (73.5) had the highest indexes, while on the opposite end were Guatemala (18.6), Haiti (20.0) and Honduras (21.5).
The report also states that by mid-2014 life expectancy at birth rose to 74.8 years on average in the whole region, with national variations that fluctuated between 62.6 years in the case of Haiti and 81 years in Chile.
On the other hand, the 2014 global fertility rate -understood as the average number of children born to a woman that during her fertile life was subjected to 2014 fertility rates by age- was 2.1 in the whole region. In the analysis by country, the rate was below 2 in the cases of Cuba, Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica and Colombia, and over 3 in Guatemala, Bolivia and Haiti.
In this edition, the Demographic Observatory dedicated a special chapter to analyze the drop of infant mortality in recent decades, in which there was more progress than expected. In that sense, the report recalls that the projections made in 1990 indicated that in 2015 Latin America would have a rate of around 29 deaths of children under 1 for every 1,000 born alive.
However, current estimates show that this rate would have dropped in 2015 to 19 deaths on a regional average, with variations from 5.4 in Cuba to 41.3 in Haiti.