Bolivia Country Overview
Where is Bolivia located? The landlocked city of Bolivia is located in southern America. On the time zone map, which divides the countries of the world into world time zones along the lines of longitude, Bolivia can be found in a time zone called “Bolivia Time” (BOT). In this time zone, the regional time is always 4 hours behind the coordinated world time (UTC -4). In summer there is no time shift to daylight saving time.
Bordering Countries of Bolivia
According to abbreviationfinder, Bolivia is a landlocked country located in the heart of South America. It is bordered by five countries: Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay to the southeast, Argentina to the south, Chile to the southwest, and Peru to the northwest. Each of these countries has its own unique culture, history, and geography which contribute to Bolivia’s overall identity.
The northern border with Brazil is 1,080 km long and runs from Río Grande de Matará in Beni Department all the way up to Corumbiara River in Pando Department. This border is marked by dense Amazonian rainforest on both sides which provides a unique habitat for many species of flora and fauna that are endemic to this region. The largest city along this border is Cobija which serves as an important economic center for Bolivia as it provides access to Brazil’s sea ports for exports.
The eastern border with Paraguay is 750 km long and runs from Río Grande de Matará in Beni Department all the way up to Paraguarí River in Tarija Department. This border marks a transition from Amazonian rainforest on the Bolivian side over savannahs on both sides near its center point before transitioning back into Amazonian rainforest on both sides near its northernmost point. The largest city along this border is Villamontes which serves as an important economic center for Bolivia as it provides access to Paraguay’s sea ports for exports.
The southern border with Argentina is 832 km long and runs from Bermejo River in Tarija Department all the way up to Pilcomayo River in Santa Cruz Department. This border marks a transition from dry grasslands on both sides near its center point before transitioning into subtropical forests on both sides near its southernmost point. The largest city along this border is Yacuiba which serves as an important economic center for Bolivia as it provides access to Argentina’s sea ports for exports.
The western border with Chile is 861 km long and runs from Salar de Uyuni in Potosí Department all the way up to Gran Chaco region in Chuquisaca Department. This border marks a transition from high Andean mountains on both sides near its center point before transitioning over high plateaus into Gran Chaco region near its westernmost point. The largest cities along this border are Oruro and Potosí which serve as important economic centers for Bolivia providing access not only Chilean sea ports but also Pacific Ocean trade routes through Chile’s canal systems connecting it with other Pacific Rim countries like China & Japan among others.
Finally, there’s also Peru which borders Bolivia’s entire length of 1,072 km running along Lake Titicaca between Puno Region & La Paz Department before continuing eastward all the way up until Acre Region at their tri-border intersection with Brazil & Peru respectively. The largest cities along this border are El Alto & La Paz providing access not only Peruvian sea ports but also Pacific Ocean trade routes through Peru’s canal systems connecting it with other Pacific Rim countries like China & Japan among others.
As of 2023, the latest population of Bolivia is 11,639,909, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).
|Population growth rate
|22.00 births per 1,000 people
|Overall life expectancy
|Men life expectancy
|Women life expectancy
|65 years and above
|Gender ratio (Male to Female)
|10.60 residents per km²
|49% indigenous (mainly Quechua, Aimará – a total of 36 ethnic groups), 30% European-indigenous, 15% of European origin
|Catholics (Roman Catholic) 95%, Protestants (Evangelical Methodists) 5%
|Human Development Index (HDI)
|114th out of 194
People in Bolivia
More than 11 million people live in Bolivia. The largest city is Santa Cruz de la Sierra with 1.4 million residents. It is located in the eastern lowlands of the country. Most people, however, live on the Altiplano, the plateau in the Andes.
68 percent of the population are joint descendants of Indians and whites, mostly Spaniards. They are also called mestizos – although the German translation “Mestizos” is perceived as degrading and is therefore rarely used. 20 percent belong to indigenous peoples. Many mestizos, however, also see themselves as belonging to an indigenous group. According to this, the proportion is even 40 percent of the population. In any case, Bolivia has one of the highest proportions of indigenous population in the population in South America. Most are Quechua (2.5 million) and Aymara (2 million). You live in the Altiplano.
Indigenous peoples in Bolivia
The next largest ethnic groups are the Chiquitanos (180,000), the Guaraní (130,000) and the Moxos (80,000). These three peoples live in the eastern lowlands. The Urus live on Lake Titicaca (at the mouth of the Desaguadero River) and in the highlands, but in Bolivia they live in the countryside and not on floating islands like in Peru. Some small Indian peoples are threatened with extinction.
5 percent of whites live in Bolivia. They also include around 40,000 Mennonites who live in twelve communities in the southeast of the country in the Santa Cruz Department. 1 percent are black, the Afro-Bolivians. They are descendants of slaves brought here from the 17th century until the abolition of slavery in 1831. They were mainly used for work in the silver mines. Most Afro-Bolivians now live in the Yungas east of La Paz. Their culture includes saya, a music and dance that developed in the 19th century and mixes elements of the Aymara and Africa.
Around 7 percent of the population live abroad. You have mainly gone to Argentina, Spain or the USA to work there.
- Children: Every woman in Bolivia has an average of 2.4 children. With us, every woman has an average of 1.4 children.
- Urban and rural: 70 percent of the population of Bolivia live in cities. So 30 percent, almost a third of the population, live in rural areas.
Languages in Bolivia
Spanish is the official language in Bolivia. 60 percent of Bolivians speak it as their mother tongue. Overall, almost 90 percent of the population speak Spanish as a first or second language. 21 percent speak Quechua and 15 percent speak Aymara, making them the most widely spoken indigenous languages. A total of 36 indigenous languages are recognized in Bolivia, but some of them have already died out and are no longer spoken. The Mennonites of German descent, incidentally, speak a kind Platt German, called Plautdietsch.
Spanish in Bolivia
The Spanish spoken in Bolivia is different from the Spanish spoken in Spain. For example, while in Spain the c is usually pronounced like an English th, i.e. between the teeth (as in through), in Bolivia (and throughout Latin America) the c is pronounced like a sharp s (as in see). This is called Seseo.
There are also many regional specialties and dialects. The Spanish in the lowlands sounds different from that in the Andes.
Words from Quechua have also found their way into Bolivian Spanish. The use of the Voseo is typical for large parts of the country: One says vos instead of tu for “you”. In the eastern part of the country this is even used in writing. The verb form is then also a little different.
Religions in Bolivia
76 percent of the population are Catholics (Roman Catholic). 17 percent belong to a Protestant church. So the vast majority of Bolivians are Christians.