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Venezuela

Population

Venezuela has a population density of 32 residents per km2, but the majority of the population lives in the coastal inland. The urbanization rate is one of the continent's highest (88 percent, 2017). The largest cities are Maracaibo (1.9 million, 2012), Caracas (1.9 million), and Valencia (1.4 million).

Religion and Languages of Venezuela

According to Countryaah, Venezuela has one of the continent's more mixed populations. As many as 67 percent are considered mastics, and of these, a great deal is called pardos, which suggests that they also have African roots. 21 percent are of European origin while 10 percent are of African descent. The majority of the latter group is concentrated on the coast.

Only 2 percent can be counted as Indians today. They are divided into some forty people, some of them very small, who live in marginal areas. Some of them have become particularly well known through ethnographic works, such as the guajiro cattle (45,000) and the motilón (850 in Venezuela) gatherers and hunters in the northwest, on the border with Colombia. The only major Native American people in the Northeast are warao (15,000), a hunter and fisherman known among others as skilled canoe builders and living in the inaccessible Orinoco Delta. In central Venezuela, there are almost no Indians at all. An exception is the acculturated caribou(10,000). Most peoples are in the south, in the tab that penetrates the Amazon. Among the larger groups there are hunters and gatherers piaroa (12,000) and yanomamo (10,000 in Venezuela).

Language

Spanish is the official language and majority language. Of the 40 native languages ​​still spoken in the country (by about 2% of the population), Wayuu (Guajiro) and other Arawak languages ​​have by far the highest number of speakers. Other indigenous languages ​​include the language isolate warao and yanoma, guahibo and piaroa. In the 1999 constitution, the indigenous languages ​​have gained a stronger position and in the areas where they are spoken have been given the status of official language alongside Spanish.

Religion

The Spanish colonial church persecuted Native American religions. After independence, during a liberalization process, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists and followers of Pentecostal communities came to Venezuela, a total of about 40,000 people. There are (1999) about 16,000 Orthodox Christians, 8,500 Jews and a lower number of Muslims. 80% of the population are Catholics, persecuted during General Guzman's dictatorship (1870–88). Under the influence of the Latin American Episcopal Conferences (CELAM), a church renewal is underway. Ecumenical work takes place between the churches mainly in the fight against poverty, against marginalization and for human rights. Afro-Indian traditions are alive, mainly as widespread spiritualism and popular Catholicism. Evangelical and charismatic groups from the United States are increasing the most.

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