The population of Latin America is approximately 470 million people. This is the only region where per XX century, the population grew more than 8 times. This is due to several factors. First, it is natural growth, but it is not so high (2% per year). Second, migrations, which had a significant impact. This has long imported slaves, mostly blacks, who constitute 0.1 in Latin America, and, finally, the remaining settlers came here in search of work. Large increase in population causes the "young" population of most Latin American states and at the same time creates an additional burden on the working-age population, which can directly affect the level of life.

Ethnic composition and mixing of cultures


The ethnic composition of Latin America are very colorful, it can be divided into 3 groups. The first group comprises the Indian tribes, which represent the indigenous population (currently - 15% of the population). Most Indians are concentrated in Bolivia (63%) and Guatemala. The second group - that European settlers, primarily Spanish and Portuguese (Creole), because it is these 2 sea power before the rest started collecting expedition for the study and development of land and sea. Among the participants of Spanish and Portuguese expeditions were Vasco da Gama, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci and other famous explorers. The third group is formed negros, who were brought here as slaves to work on plantations.
More than half the inhabitants of Latin America - Metis (descendants of marriages of whites and Indians) and mulattos (descendants of marriages of whites and blacks). The most ethnically homogenous are such resettlement countries such as Uruguay, Chile, Argentina (a country of late colonization, their mass settlement began in the second half of the XIX century, in which most European immigrants). From the former Spanish and Portuguese colonies differ Suriname and Guyana, where many Asians (mostly Indians).
Latin America - is also a place of mixed cultures of many races, nations, ethnic groups and intertwining traditions and customs of different civilizations. In connection with this infringed upon the rights of some people, particularly Indians, people of mixed blood, and others, from the Europeans. This was a serious problem until February 15, 1819 It was then held Angostursky Congress on the initiative of Bolivar, which adopted a document proclaiming the equality of all citizens of former colonies. Since then, Latin America reigns tolerance for all peoples and religions.

Despite mixed national-ethnic composition, religious composition of Latin American uniform. It has long propagated Catholicism and was considered the only official religion, other religions and religion were persecuted by the Inquisition, so the majority of Hispanics in our time are Roman Catholic.

Latin America - is a highly urbanized region (average - 76%), although the majority of its constituent states are developing or economically backward. The most urbanized countries - Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and Venezuela (more than 80%). The colonial city built on a uniform plan: located in the center of the square, on which the different sides of the street apart, and at right angles. Now there is an active process of formation of urban agglomerations. Most clearly distinguished Mexico City, whose population has exceeded 23 million.
No less interesting phenomenon - a "false urbanization". Formally, urbanization, an increase in the number of cities and urban residents. But realistically, these new "citizens" - those same villagers who come to cities in search of a better life. However, even an economically powerful city can not provide jobs for all, so they do not represent the economically active population and only a burden for the city. In connection with this form so-called "belt of poverty" in the suburbs.

Placement of the population of Latin America are very specific. First, it is one of the most unpopulated regions of our planet (the average density - less than 30 people per 1 sq. km.). Secondly, the placement of non-uniform: the maximum density - on the shores of the oceans, some less - on the plateaux (resettlement plateaus is also one of the features) and in the valleys of some rivers (Amazon, São Francisco, Paraná). Most low-populated areas - it is the mountains and, strange as it may, the valleys of many rivers. Reasons for this - huge impenetrable forests, situated just in the main river valleys. In addition, historically, that the first assimilated and settled the coastal areas (meaning the coast of the oceans).

Enriched in the XIX century the newly created independent states of Latin America grew rich, but income distribution was uneven: the descendants of immigrants enriched, and the Aborigines remained poor. The difference between rich and poor has increased and reached its peak in 1929 (during the world economic crisis). At this time there were strikes, civil wars, rebellions, which led to the seizure of power by the military and the establishment of dictatorial power in virtually all countries of Latin America. In recent decades, more and more of these countries have elected a democratic way of development, trying to orient their policies to stabilize the society and improving living standards of the poor, which is still quite low.

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