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definition - Demographics of Honduras

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Demographics of Honduras


This article is about the demographic features of the population of Honduras, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.


  Population Breakdown

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.

Population: 8,143,564 (July 2011 est.)

Age structure:
0–14 years: 36.7% (male 1,528,271/female 1,464,428)
15–64 years: 59.5% (male 2,431,607/female 2,412,951)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 136,03/female 170,272) (2011 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.888% (2011 est.)

Birth rate: 25.14 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death rate: 5.02 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15–64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 20.44 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 70.61 years
male: 68.93 years
female: 72.37 years (2011 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.09 children born/woman (2011 est.)

noun: Honduran(s)
adjective: Honduran

Ethnic groups: Mestizo or white (mixed Amerindian and European) 86%, Amerindian 7%, black 4%, white 3%

Religions: Roman Catholic 48%, Protestant 38%, other 14%.

Languages: Spanish, Amerindian languages

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 76.2%
male: 76.1%
female: 76.3% (2003 est.)


The population of Honduras is 8.1 million. 86% of the population is Mestizo or white (mixture Amerindian and European), 7% Amerindian, 4% Afro Honduran and 3 white.[1]


The 7% of the Amerindian population in Honduras include groups which were not integrated fully into colonial Honduras, and most, with the exception of the Lenca, still keep their language. For the most part, these tribes live in rural areas and deal with extreme poverty. The Confederation of Autochthonous Peoples of Honduras (CONPAH) and the government of Honduras count seven different indigenous groups:

  • the Ch'orti' (25,000 hab.), a Mayan group living in the northwest on the border with Guatemala;
  • the Garifuna speaking an Arawakan language. They live along the entire Caribbean coastline of Honduras, and in the Bay Islands;
  • the Pech or Paya Indians (2,500) living in a small area in the Olancho department;
  • the Tolupan (also called Jicaque, "Xicaque", or Tol), living in the Department of Yoro and in the reserve of the Montaña de la Flor and parts of the department of Yoro;
  • the Lenca(100,000 hab.) Indians living in the Valle and Choluteca departments;
  • the Miskito (40,000 hab.)Indians living on the northeast coast along the border with Nicaragua, many of whom are mixed-race and descend from the Miskito-Sambu.

In addition, there are the Sumo or Tawahka (1,000)

The confederation and each separate group of indigenous people have worked, since the 1980s, for bettering the life of the aboriginal peoples. Change, however, has been elusive as these peoples still face violence and discrimination[citation needed].


About 4% of Honduras's population is officially recognized in the census as black, or Afro-Honduran, and mainly reside on the country's Caribbean or Atlantic coast. A good many other Hondurans, the descendents of African slaves brought into Honduras during the colonial period, especially during the mining boom of the late sixteenth century have been absorbed as "mestizos" though there are pockets of visibly African descended people in the south.

As in other Latin American countries, the question of racial breakdown of a national population is problematic. Since the beginning of the twentieth century at least, Honduras has framed itself as a "mestizo" country, ignoring and at times disparaging both the African component of the population and often also the surviving indigenous population that was still regarded as pure blood.[2][3] Because of social stigmas attached, many people denied having African ancestry, and after African descended Caribbean workers arrived in Honduras, an active campaign to denigrate all people of African descent, made persons of mixed race anxious to deny any African ancestry. Hence official statistics quite uniformly under represent those people who have ancestry in favor of a "two race" solution.[4]

The black population is mostly Garifuna (people of African ancestry) live along the coast and islands. This ethnic group, estimated at 150,000 people, has it origin is a group from St Vincent islands in the caribbeans, they came in 1797. Garífunas are part of Honduran identity through theatrical presentations such as Louvavagu, and soccer.

  Other World Regions

Some Honduran families have roots in the Middle East, specifically Palestine. These Arab-Hondurans are sometimes called "Turcos", because they arrived in Honduras using Turkish travel documents, as their homeland was then under the control of the Ottoman Empire. The Arab-Hondurans, who tend to cluster in the city of San Pedro Sula, alongside a tiny Jewish minority population (from Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Russia) exert considerable influence on Honduran economics and politics through their industrial and financial interests.[citation needed]

Asians in Honduras are mostly people of Chinese descent, and to a lesser extent Japanese. In the 1980s and 1990s when the US army was stationed in Honduras, a quantity of Korean, some of whom own or work in management of maquiladoras, Ryukyuan, Filipino and Vietnamese came as contract laborers.[citation needed] A considerable amount of Chinese immigrated through a controversy known as "El Pasaportazo", where Honduran documents were sold in China to fleeing Chinese.

  Distribution of Population

According to the Honduras 2001 Census of Population, the most populous Departments are: Cortés (1,2 million), Francisco Morazán (1,2 million), Yoro (466,000), Olancho (420,000), Choluteca (391,000) and Comayagua (353,000). The least populous are Islas de la Bahia and Gracias a Dios. According to the same source, the main cities are: Tegucigalpa (894,000 hab.-Distrito Central only-), San Pedro Sula (517,000 hab.), Choloma (160,000 hab.), La Ceiba (140,00 hab.), El Progreso (106,000 hab.), Choluteca, Comayagua, Puerto Cortes, La Lima and Danli. However, the main metropolitan areas are Tegucigalpa (1,200,000 hab. -est. 2007-) and San Pedro Sula (900,000 hab. -same year-). Between the 1988 and 2001 Census, San Pedro Sula doubled its population. The country has 20 cities above 20,000 inhabitants. Honduras is the only Central American country which its second most important city has half the population of the city-capital. Considering metropolitan areas only, the Honduran capital is the third largest Central American urban agglomeration, after Guatemala City and San Salvador.


  Catedral de San Pedro Apóstol in San Pedro Sula

The Spanish language is the predominant language, while (pidgin) English is spoken along the Caribbean and the Islas de la Bahia Department. Indigenous Amerindian languages (in several dialects) and Garifuna is also spoken, though English is becoming more popular everywhere where it was not widely spoken, due to efforts by the government, including making English the second language . Along the northern coast live communities of Garifuna speakers who maintained a separate culture.

The Spanish spoken in Honduras is part of the Central American varieties of Spanish, which includes the widespread use of voseo and usted (with their respective conjugations) in informal situations.


The majority of Hondurans are Roman Catholic or Evangelical Protestants. In the most recent countrywide survey taken in 2007, the CID-Gallup reported that 47 percent of respondents identify themselves as Catholics, 36 percent as evangelical Protestant Christians, and 17 percent as "other" or provide no answer.[5]

  Crime in Honduras

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Honduras has the highest rate of intentional homicide in the world, with 6,239 intentional homicides, or 82.1 per 100,000 of population in 2010. This is significantly higher than the rate in El Salvador, which at 66.0 per 100,000 in 2010, has the second highest rate of intentional homicide in the world.[6]

  Honduran diaspora

Since 1975, emigration from Honduras has accelerated as job-seekers and political refugees sought a better life elsewhere. Although many Hondurans have relatives in Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Canada, the majority of expatriate Hondurans live in the United States.

In Spain, the Honduran community is the largest amongst the Central American people living there, with an estimated 8,500, according to Spanish statistics for 2006.[7] The main figures indicate that 2,130 live in Barcelona and 1,100 in Madrid. In addition Catalonia has 4,854 Hondurans; Comunidad de Madrid, 1,086; Comunidad Valenciana, 556; and Castilla y Leon, 524.

According to CELADE (Investigación Migración Internacional de Latinoamérica)'s figures, by 1992, more than 8,700 Hondurans were living in El Salvador; 9,700 in Nicaragua (1995), 5,500 in Guatemala (2002), 3,000 in Costa Rica (by 2000); and 2,400 in Belize (1990). Note: figures are not comparable. Additionally, according to UN Demographic Yearbook (2000) 8,700 Honduran live in Canada.[8]

Recent State Department estimates[9] suggest there are between 800,000 and 1 million Hondurans living in the United States, nearly 15% of the Honduran domestic population. The large uncertainty is due to the substantial number of undocumented Honduran immigrants currently believed to be residing in the United States.

  See also


  1. ^ CIA - The World Factbook - Honduras
  2. ^ Dario Euraque, "The Threat of Blackness to the Mestizo Nation: Race and Ethnicity in the Honduran Banana Economy, 1920s and 1930s," in Steve Striffler and Mark Moberg, eds. Banana Wars: Power, Production and History in the Americas (Duke University Press, 2003), pp. 229-49.
  3. ^ Dario Euraque, "Antropólogos, archaeólogos, imperialismo y la mayanicación de Honduras, 1890-1940," Revista Historia 45 (2002): 73-103
  4. ^ Dario Euraque, "The Threat of Blackness to the Mestizo Nation: Race and Ethnicity in the Honduran Banana Economy, 1920s and 1930s," in Steve Striffler and Mark Moberg, eds. Banana Wars: Power, Production and History in the Americas (Duke University Press, 2003), pp. 229-49.
  5. ^ International Religious Freedom Report 2008
  6. ^ United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2011) (in English), 2011 Global Study on Homicide - Trends, Context, Data, Vienna, Austria: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, p. 93, Table 8.1, https://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/statistics/Homicide/Globa_study_on_homicide_2011_web.pdf, retrieved 30 March 2012 
  7. ^ INEbase: Lista de operaciones estadísticas incluídas
  8. ^ United Nations Statistics Division - Demographic and Social Statistics
  9. ^ Honduras (06/07)


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