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What is the Black Population in Spanish Speaking Countries?




several years ago when we were planning our relocation, I came across some information, that pointed out that there are more black people who speak Spanish than English.


With 22 Spanish-speaking countries with black populations that outnumber the English speaking countries in the west, I thought it would be interesting to share the info with you.


The sources for the information for each country are listed without the links, as I am posting this from my archives. A BIG THANK YOU to the original poster. I am sorry that I do not have the link from the original article which I am posting in it's entirety. You are welcome to do additional research on your own if you are interested.


Below is a list of the 22 counties with (estimated numbers - I first read the article in 2013). The list is in order of the greatest number of black people to the least.


Unlike the USA many of these countries, like Bolivia, got a late start in documenting racial statistics, especially in regards to black people, and there are other countries, like Mexico, that don’t document racial statistics at all.
We also need to consider those black people who do not identify as black because they have a drop or two of Indigenous or white blood. Unlike the USA, there is no one-drop-of black-blood rule making you black in Latin America. You may have noticed in Latin American in marriages and relationships between blacks, browns, and whites, their children can be easily assimilated into the Mestizo community. So, the numbers listed from research below are not exact but will give you some indication as to the population makeup.

Photo courtesy Jorge Gardner

Here is the article --

Colombia—4,944,400, mostly concentrated on the northwest Caribbean coast and the Pacific coast in such departments (what we call ‘states’ in the US) as Chocó, which, is 95.3% Afro-Colombian. A Taste of Black Colombia


Perú—1,500,000, and if you count the one-drop rule, we could be talking about -2,700,000, largely concentrated along the coast. Apart from Lima with the largest concentration of black people, Lambayeque in the north and Ica and Tacna in the south also hold a large concentration of black people. My Valued Souvenir from Perú


Cuba—1,100,000 million describe themselves as black. Those with one-drop or more with black blood, consider themselves to be mulatto or mestizo, which accounts for 1,800,00. A fair number of black people locate their origins in specific African tribes or regions, particularly Yoruba (or Lucumi), Igbo and others. One of my favorite choruses to a Cuban song goes Yoruba soy (I am), Soy (I am) Lucumí, Congo, Mandingo, y (and) Carabalí. A Naive Trip to Havana


Dominican Republic—1,001,990, and can be as high as 9,109,000 with the one drop rule. The interesting fact here is that in the Dominican Republic, many of your darker skinned black people do not consider themselves black if they have one drop of blood other than African. For example, Sammy Sosa, before he changed his skin color with bleaching cream allegedly has “Taino” Indian as his race on his passport. What is Sammy Sosa's Problem?


Venezuela—1,000,000 million in the Region of  Barlovento in Venezuela's State of Miranda. Due to high rates of interracial marriages, the black population has dwindled. Just Five Days in Venezuela Spain—683,000 African descent. In fact, there were black people among the Spanish conquistadors who invaded what we know today as Latin America.


Ecuador—604,009, according to the 2001 census blacks live mostly in the northern coastal province of Esmeraldas and in the south-central coastal region. About two-thirds of Afro-Ecuadorians now live in urban areas like Quito, the nation’s capital and Guayaquil, Ecuador’s second largest city. However, Afro-Ecuadorian organizations argue that this number is inaccurate due to those blacks who don't want to be acknowledged as black. National Day of Black Ecuadorians


Honduras—600, 000. The Afro-Honduran organizations contend that this number is higher. Black people in Honduras, known as Garífunas, are descendants of Africans who were never slaves. After arriving by slave ships to the island of St. Vincent, they revolted and made their way over to the Central American coastline, mainly Honduras, but also Belize, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Meeting a Black Carib from Honduras


Bolivia—500,000. The majority of the black people live in the Yungas region. Afro-Bolivians are proud of their culture and have fought very hard to preserve it. Black Bolivia 


Panama 476,000—but it is estimated that 50% of Panamanians have varying drops of African ancestry. The Afro-Panamanian population can be broken into three groups; the "Afro-Colonials", Afro-Panamanians (descended from slaves), and the Afro-Antillean (those who migrated from Trinidad, Barbados, Martinique and Jamaica, to build the Panama Canal). Layover in Panama City 


Puerto Rico –461,997 of those easily identifiable as black, and 1,713,862 represents everybody mixed with African ancestry. Afro-Puerto Ricans are more heavily concentrated in coastal east regions of the island. Borcuas Africanas: Afro Puerto Ricans 


Mexico--450,000 of those are visibly of African ancestry. Most will be found in the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Veracruz. In Mexico’s state of Coahuila, there are descendants of African-American slaves who escaped slavery by crossing the Rio Grande from Texas, and intermarrying with the Indigenous population. However, during Mexico’s colonial period and its slave trade, there were more African people than Spaniards. And due to interracial marriages over a period of 500 years, it has been estimated by the Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture in New York, NY, that 75% of Mexican citizens have some African ancestry in their bloodline. Mexico's “Dark” Secret


Costa Rica—384,000. Most are English-speaking descendants of 19th century black Jamaican immigrant workers, and are found in the Limón Province on the East Coast.


Uruguay—302,460. When slavery in Uruguay ended, Barrio Sur, a community in  Montevideo, the nation's capital, became a predominantly black community where a revival took place of some of the rituals of their African heritage, which eventually evolved into what is known as Candombé. Black Uruguay 


Argentina—149,493. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, blacks comprised up to 50% of the population in some provinces before declining sharply in number as a result of the War of Independence, high infant mortality rates, low numbers of married couples, the Paraguayan War, and cholera and yellow fever epidemics. Lately, there has been an influx of black immigrants from Uruguay and Brazil. Argentina's Black Population


Paraguay--133740. Paraguay was the last port of arrival of African slaves in Americas, and they, mostly of Angolan origin, first arrived Paraguay in 1556. According the Afro Paraguayan Association Kamba Cuá, in 1782, the black population represented 11.2 percent of the total population. In 1811 half of the Paraguayan population was of African descent. Paraguay's African Heritage Nicaragua—25,000 according to the Nicaraguan national census. They are concentrated on the southeastern coast.


Chile--Unknown The Afro-Chilean community is invisible and ignored at the national level.. Chileans who identify as Black live mainly in the northern region of Arica y Parinacota, Chile's small Black population is seeking formal recognition as an ethnic group and inclusion. Also, the famous Historian Francisco Antonio Encina once wrote that 13 percent of the explorers that came to Chile with Diego de Almagro were black.” African Heritage in Chile 


Guatemala—15,000 - 30,000 black people are found in the Caribbean coast of Livingston, Puerto Barrios and Santo Tomas. African slaves were brought in during the colonial period, but have mixed with the general population and can be referred to as Afro-mestizos. Due to intermarriage, the majority of black people eventually assimilated as Mulattos and Amerindian.

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