Approximately 18% of the population in Latin America identifies as black or of African descent.
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Approximately 18% of the population in Latin America identifies as black or of African descent. This percentage represents a significant portion of the region’s multicultural society. While Latin America is often recognized for its rich indigenous heritage and the influence of European colonization, it is important to acknowledge and celebrate the African roots that have shaped its diverse demographics.
Latin America’s African diaspora dates back to the colonial era when millions of Africans were forcibly brought to the region as slaves. This led to the establishment of Afro-Latin American communities, which have since contributed immensely to the cultural fabric of the region.
Despite the historical presence of African descendants, it is essential to highlight that the percentage can vary across different countries in Latin America. Some nations have larger populations of Afro-Latinos, while others have smaller numbers. For instance, countries like Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela have relatively larger Afro-Latin American populations, while countries such as Argentina and Chile have smaller percentages.
To gain a better understanding of the diversity within Latin America, it can be interesting to examine some interesting facts on the topic:
- Brazil is home to the largest population of Afro-Latinos in the world, with an estimated 56% of its population identifying as black or mixed-race.
- Colombia has a vibrant Afro-Colombian community, primarily concentrated in the Pacific coastal region. This population is known for its vibrant music, dance, and cultural traditions.
- The Garifuna people, descended from West African, Carib, and Arawak indigenous populations, have a unique presence in countries like Honduras, Belize, and Guatemala. Their cultural heritage adds richness to the Afro-Latin American identity.
- Many Afro-Latinos have made significant contributions to the fields of politics, arts, and sports. Prominent figures such as Brazilian soccer legend Pelé, Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez, and Cuban musician Celia Cruz have had a powerful impact globally.
Although Afro-Latinos have faced historical and ongoing challenges related to discrimination and inequality, their resilience and cultural contributions continue to shape the identity of Latin America. As scholar Maya Angelou once said, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” This quote aptly captures the journey and transformation of Afro-Latinos, highlighting their importance and value within Latin American society.
The table below provides a brief overview of the percentage of black people in Latin America’s selected countries:
|Country||Percentage of Black Population|
|Dominican Republic||Approximately 12%|
Video answer to “What is the percentage of black people in Latin America?”
This video discusses the historical background of Brazil, with a focus on the importation of African slaves and the existence of communal settlements for escaped slaves. Despite Brazil’s reputation as a country where color does not determine social status, the video highlights the challenges that black people in Brazil face, including violence and police brutality, illustrated by the deaths of Marielle Franco and Agatha. Franco, a counselor and activist for black and LGBTQ+ rights, was murdered in a manner similar to Eric Garner, while Agatha, an eight-year-old girl, was killed by police violence.
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One in four Latin Americans identify themselves as people of African descent. They are one of the largest, yet least visible minorities in the region, comprising over 133 million people, the majority living in Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela.
According to estimates from the Project on Ethnicity and Race in Latin America (PERLA) at Princeton University, about 130 million people of African descent live in Latin America, making up roughly a quarter of the total population. ECLAC estimates that the Afrodescendent population of the region amounted to 130 million people, representing 21.1% of the total population. These estimates were made in May 2022.
Today, about 130 million people of African descent live in Latin America, making up roughly a quarter of the total population, according to estimates from the Project on Ethnicity and Race in Latin America (PERLA) at Princeton University.
The population of African descent in Latin America According to ECLAC, in 2015 the Afrodescendent population of the region amounted to 130 million people, representing 21.1% of the total population.
In May 2022, the Project on Ethnicity and Race in Latin America (PERLA) at Princeton University estimated that about 130 million people in Latin America are of African descent.