Ecuador Population

Ecuador Population

Ecuador is the world’s largest banana producer, but the country lives on oil revenues. Economic crises and political turmoil have characterized politics for many years, but the country has experienced political stability since Rafael Correa became president (2007-2017).

Key figures and facts

  • Capital: Quito
  • Ethnic groups: Fertilizers (mixed; Amerindian origin and European origin) 71.9%, Montubio 7.4%, Amerindians 7%, European origin 6.1%, Afro-Ecuadorian 4.3%, other 3.3% (2010)
  • Language: Spanish (official) 93%, quechua (native) 4.1%, other 2.9% (2010)
  • Religion: Roman Catholic 74%, evangelists 10.4%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1.2%, atheists 7.9%, agnostics 0.1%, others 6.4% (2012)
  • Population: 16 625 000
  • Control Form: Republic
  • Area: 256 370 km2
  • Currency: USD
  • GNP per capita: 11 242 PPP $
  • National Day: August 10th

Ecuador’s Population

The population of Ecuador is 17 138 617 (December 2018). The population density is 53.6 residents per km². Life expectancy is 82.9 years for women and 79.9 years for men.

Ecuador Country Population

The population is relatively young, but the average age is rising. Fewer children are born and people are living longer. After many years of large population growth, it has stagnated, and every woman gives birth to an average of 1.8 children (2010). Ecuador holds third place for high life expectancy on the American continent after Canada and Chile, but ahead of the US. The village of Vilcabamba in the southern part of the Andean region has attracted international attention for its high number of active hundreds of years.

The proportion of illiterate people over the age of 15 is estimated at 6.8 percent.

Population of Ecuador by Year (Historical)

Year Population Annual Growth Rate Population Density Global Rank
2020 17,642,943 1.550% 71.0382 67
2019 17,373,551 1.690% 69.9535 67
2018 17,084,247 1.780% 68.7887 67
2017 16,785,250 1.780% 67.5848 69
2016 16,491,005 1.720% 66.4000 68
2015 16,211,909 1.550% 65.2763 68
2010 15,011,006 1.660% 60.4410 66
2005 13,825,736 1.740% 55.6686 63
2000 12,681,012 2.050% 51.0594 63
1995 11,455,093 2.290% 46.1234 63
1990 10,230,823 2.450% 41.1940 67
1985 9,065,998 2.560% 36.5039 71
1980 7,989,075 2.700% 32.1678 72
1975 6,994,223 2.880% 28.1621 73
1970 6,069,265 2.970% 24.4378 73
1965 5,243,866 2.910% 21.1144 75
1960 4,543,555 2.810% 18.2947 77
1955 3,956,509 2.660% 15.9310 78
1950 3,470,048 0.000% 13.9723 80

Major Cities in Ecuador by Population

Rank City Population
1 Guayaquil 1,951,918
2 Quito 1,399,703
3 Cuenca 276,853
4 Santo Domingo de los Colorados 200,310
5 Machala 198,012
6 Manta 183,055
7 Portoviejo 170,215
8 Eloy Alfaro 167,673
9 Esmeraldas 165,105
10 Ambato 154,258
11 Tutamandahostel 139,889
12 Milagro 133,397
13 Ibarra 132,866
14 Riobamba 124,367
15 Quevedo 119,325
16 Loja 117,685
17 Tulcan 86,387
18 Babahoyo 76,168
19 La Libertad 75,770
20 Latacunga 51,606
21 Velasco Ibarra 48,643
22 Puerto Francisco de Orellana 48,033
23 Ventanas 46,597
24 Pasaje 44,749
25 Chone 44,640
26 Salinas 43,751
27 Santa Elena 42,103
28 Rosa Zarate 42,010
29 Santa Rosa 41,705
30 Balzar 40,004
31 Huaquillas 39,646
32 Bahia de Caraquez 36,945
33 La Troncal 36,242
34 Jipijapa 35,790
35 Azogues 34,766
36 Naranjito 34,095
37 Vinces 32,386
38 Otavalo 32,219
39 El Triunfo 32,171
40 Naranjal 31,934
41 Playas 30,453
42 Yaguachi Nuevo 27,836
43 Cayambe 26,471
44 Machachi 25,631
45 Puyo 24,770
46 Nueva Loja 24,100
47 Samborondon 24,007
48 Macas 23,576
49 Pedro Carbo 23,261
50 Guaranda 22,088
51 Boca Suno 20,202
52 San Lorenzo de Esmeraldas 20,098
53 Catamayo 18,454
54 Montecristi 18,240
55 Atuntaqui 17,345
56 Calceta 17,175
57 Tena 17,061
58 Gualaceo 17,011
59 Pinas 16,870
60 Cariamanga 16,751
61 Pelileo 16,461
62 La Mana 16,339
63 Pujili 16,057
64 Montalvo 15,436
65 Sucre 15,175
66 Zamora 15,165
67 San Gabriel 15,001
68 Tosagua 14,569
69 Alausi 14,183
70 Muisne 13,282
71 Macara 12,924
72 Santa Ana 12,722
73 Guano 12,548
74 Alfredo Baquerizo Moreno 12,506
75 San Miguel 12,464
76 Santa Lucia 12,412
77 Zaruma 12,394
78 Balao 12,094
79 Valdez 11,330
80 Catacocha 10,761
81 San Miguel de Salcedo 10,727
82 Rocafuerte 10,163
83 Yantzaza 9,859
84 Canar 9,789
85 Catarama 9,612
86 Portovelo 9,597
87 Banos 9,390
88 Colimes 9,273
89 Palestina 9,253
90 Pajan 9,072
91 Junin 9,017
92 Palenque 8,972
93 Puerto Ayora 8,885
94 Puerto Bolivar 8,189
95 Cotacachi 8,127
96 Lomas de Sargentillo 7,431
97 Pillaro 7,351
98 Sucua 7,302
99 Pimampiro 7,297
100 Archidona 7,198
101 Coronel Marcelino Mariduena 7,192
102 Palora 6,361
103 Pedernales 5,872
104 Celica 5,388
105 Sangolqui 5,003
106 Puerto Baquerizo Moreno 4,103


Ecuador is the most densely populated country in South America. Most live in the coastal region (La Costa) and the duck region (Las Sierras) which make up about half the country. The region east of the Andes (El Oriente), which makes up the other half, consists largely of rainforest and is sparsely populated.

78 percent of the population lives in urban areas. Movement from the countryside to the cities and from the smaller towns to the larger ones is steadily increasing. Every third Ecuadorian lives in Quito (2.2 million residents) or Guayaquil (2.5 million residents).

From the late 1990s, many Ecuadorians, mainly to Europe, Spain and Italy, but also to the United States and Canada, emigrated to find work. After the economic crisis in 2009, many have returned. At the same time, there are migrations to Ecuador from other South American countries, especially neighboring Colombia and Peru. It is estimated that half a million Colombians and approximately 200,000 Peruvians live in the country. Many have fled the riots in Colombia. The dollar as a currency also makes it attractive to look for work in Ecuador.

In 2017 and 2018, there has been a huge influx of Venezuelans who have left their country due to the economic crisis. They usually arrive in Ecuador from the Colombian border in the north. Authorities estimate that by the fall of 2018, there were 250,000 Venezuelans in Ecuador. However, many of them are considered to be traveling to Peru or Chile.

Ethnic conditions

The Constitution of 1998 states that Ecuador is multiethnic and multicultural. The aim is that most of the population is descendants of both indigenous and Europeans. There are also African-related features. The cultural picture is broken between the different regions; coast, mountains and rainforest.

According to the 2010 census, 71.9 percent identified themselves as mastics, 7 percent as indigenous people, 6.1 percent as white, 7.2 percent as Afro-Ecuadorians, and 7.4 percent as Montubios. This census encouraged people to state first and foremost where they felt culturally at home. It may have been a tendency to designate white or mestizo, as these are at the top of the traditional social ladder. More technical studies have estimated that the number of indigenous peoples is higher, without being able to give a good explanation.

The aphids, which nevertheless make up the vast majority, have both native American and European genes. They are dominant throughout the country, but the proportion is highest in the mountain region. The Spanish conquerors and immigrants who arrived in the mid-1500s were largely men. They made connections with women from the indigenous population and had children with them. Later, many were born under extramarital circumstances. Some of them were included in the father’s family as second-class members. Others were referred to live with their mother in her village. Eventually, the Mistis manifested themselves as a separate group. In the colonial period, they were a middle class working on crafts; carpenters, tailors and masons, or they were businessmen on a smaller scale. On the large farms – the hacienda– they often served as administrators or printers. There were also many talented artists among them who did outstanding work on the construction and decoration of the numerous churches in the country. During the Liberal Revolution of 1895, the idea of ​​Ecuador as a Mistisian nation was born.

The whites are of European, mainly Spanish origin.

The Montubians (los montubios), a separate Ecuadorian group, are relatively white in skin but with mostly Mistonian features. They are mostly farmers living in the lowlands between the coast and the Andes.

Africans were transported as slaves to replace indigenous people as labor in the hottest areas. Some also made their way to the Ecuadorian coast of Esmeraldas after a shipwreck and established freedom there. Slavery was officially abolished in 1851. Most Afro-Ecuadorians still live in the province of Esmeraldas northwest of the country, but there is also a significant settlement in the highlands around Zamora.

The indigenous population, as previously, denoted as “Indians” (indios), the country’s original residents when the Spaniards arrived, ushering in the European immigration. It is believed that the indigenous population was significantly reduced following battles against the Spaniards and diseases they brought with them. The indigenous people today live in the rural areas of the mountains and in the Amazon. There are different tribes, or nations, with their own languages ​​and customs. The largest nation is Kichwa, which is located in different areas throughout the Andean region. Chachi, Awà and Tsàchila hold to the north of the coastal region. In the Amazon region we find Shuar, Cofan, Achuar, Siona, Amazonaskichwaer and Huaroani. In the rainforest there are also people without contact with the rest of the community. These are called Taromenane or Tagaeri. We know little about these, but there have been violent conflicts, including killings, between the Taromenans and the Huaroanis. The progressive oil recovery in the rainforest threatens their isolated existence.


In a survey conducted in 2012, 91.55 percent of respondents said they perceived themselves as religious, 7.94 percent were atheists and 0.11 percent were agnostics.

Of the religious, 80.4 percent were Catholics and 11.3 percent were Evangelical Christians (Protestants). Of the others, there were Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and Buddhists.

The Catholic Church and Catholicism have had and have a significant role in Ecuador. Until 1895, it had a religious monopoly until “The Liberal Revolution” dissolved the state church and introduced religious freedom. At the same time, the state created public registries for censorship and marriage.

The church nevertheless maintained a good grip on people’s daily lives. Most private schools and universities are Catholic. 60.2 percent state that they attend church regularly. The support of religious celebrations and the celebration of religious patron saints is formidable. Thousands gather for progressions on Good Friday and in honor of the Virgin of Cisne in Loja in September.

Nevertheless, evangelical missionaries, mainly from the United States, have made progress. They work in poor areas in the cities and among the indigenous people in the countryside. They are actively pursuing welfare work for poor families, which has contributed to their success. Some of the reasons may also be the Catholic Church’s conservatism and support for large landowners in their conflicts with the indigenous people.


Spanish is the official language. In addition, 13 different languages ​​are still practiced among the indigenous people. Several of these describe researchers as endangered. In the rainforest areas, there are languages ​​spoken by only about 300 people. Spanish is the only language taught in schools. The urbanization and modernization of the country, television and the internet have made Spanish even more dominant and displaced the other native languages.

In a 2010 survey, 691,000 minority linguists were listed. That is, about 4.6 percent of the country’s population.

Of the minority languages, kichwa is by far the largest group of 591 448 practitioners. This is a variant of the Peruvian quechua that was the language of the Incas. Ecuador is spoken in the mountainous regions with a center of gravity in the provinces of Chimborazo and Imbabura. A national plan has been made to strengthen kichwa as part of indigenous culture. Among other things, it will be introduced as a third language in 605 schools. Over the course of ten years, the authorities want to set up a school with Kichwa as their language of instruction.