Demographics of Nicaragua

Nicaragua is an interesting and diverse country with varied nationalities, cultures, languages and religious groups. Thus it may help you to learn something about Nicaragua’s demographics. The largest nationality groups in the country are Caucasians and Mestizos with some 69% being Mestizos and 17% being Caucasian. The majority of the Mestizo population originates from the original native inhabitants of the country, while most of the Caucasian population have their origins with the Spanish, German, Italian or French immigrants who may have settled here many hundreds of years ago. A large portion of the Caucasian population emigrated during the Sandinista revolution but a number have since returned. All together there are roughly nearly 5,600,000 people living in Nicaragua.

Roughly 9% of the population is black and live along the country’s Caribbean Coastline. These people descended from slaves who were brought from Jamaica and Haiti to work the farmlands. Other races found here in much smaller numbers are of Garifuna, Carib, Angolan, Congolese and Arawak descent. You will also find Miskitos, Sumos and Ramas living along the Caribbean Coast; these are the original, unmixed descendents of some of the country’s original ethnic groups. There are also small communities of Syrians, Armenians, Palestinians, Jews, Lebanese, Japanese, Taiwanese and Chinese people who contribute readily to the economy in whatever area they live. The majority of the country’s population is concentrated in Managua, Granada and Leon, with small numbers scattered sparsely in the other regions.

The main language in Nicaragua is Spanish and it is spoken by roughly 90% of the country’s inhabitants. Much of the black population of the east coast speak English, since they were brought to the country by the British, and several of the indigenous people still make use of their native tongue along with Spanish or English when speaking to people who are not of the same origin. The reasonably large Chinese population speak Chinese and there are an estimated 7,000 people in Nicaragua who speak Chinese sign language.

While Roman Catholicism has been the prevailing religion for many years there are several noteworthy religious groups. Currently 58.5% of the population professes to be Roman Catholic, 21.6% are Evangelical Protestant, 1.6 % are Moravian, 1.9 % are Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1.6% belong to other religious faiths such as Judaism and Buddhism and 15.7% do not claim to belong to any religious faith whatsoever. Roughly 67 percent of the population is literate and woman tend to have longer life expectancies (72 yrs) than men (68 yrs). The population’s sex ratio is also very balanced with approximately one male to every female.

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