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Most of Colombia's population lives in cities and in the country's central highlands. The eastern lowlands, which mainly consist of savanna, llanos, and tropical rainforest, itself, on the other hand, are very sparsely populated. The largest cities in 2017 were Bogotá (8.1 million residents), Medellín (2.5 million) and Cali (2.4 million).

Religion and Languages of Colombia

The ethnic composition of the population is the result of generations of mixing Europeans, Africans and indigenous peoples. The proportion of whites and mites is estimated to be about 80 percent of the population, while blacks and Afrocolombians are estimated at just over 18 percent. The indigenous population today amounts to about 1.4 percent. The white and miserable majority population, who are descended from the Spanish conquerors and their gradual mixing with the indigenous population, live mainly in the highlands. The black population, descended from introduced African slaves, inhabits the lowlands along the coasts.

According to Countryaah, the indigenous people are scattered in enclaves all over the country. The majority are small farmers in the highlands, just under a third live as swine farmers, hunters and collectors in the eastern savannah and rainforest area and over 20 percent are nomadic livestock keepers in the dry areas of the Guajira Peninsula in the north. A little over a quarter of the total indigenous population lives in areas, travel guards, which are protected by special legislation.


The official language is Spanish. About 1% of the population speaks some of the 80 still living native languages. These include languages ​​of the Arawak and Chibcha families, as well as various Choco languages, Tucano languages ​​and Quechua languages. The native languages ​​have gained official status in the regions where they are spoken, and most are used in teaching, alongside Spanish.


The colonial church came to be devastating to indigenous religions. Independence in 1824 diminished the privileges of the church. Catholicism became a state religion in 1886, but was separated from the state in 1973. Today there is full religious freedom.

About 95 percent are Catholics and 4 percent are Lutherans, Presbyterians and Methodists. Pentecostal movements are fastest growing in the United States. Ecumenical cooperation takes place against poverty, violence and the drug industry. An interreligious dialogue with the indigenous and Afro-Colombian religious traditions is growing in importance.

Other Countries in South America

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