To which language should you translate to localize in Bolivia?
Spanish, Aymara, Araona, Baure, Bésiro, Canichana (extinct), Cavineño, Cayubaba (extinct), Chácobo, Chimán, Ese Ejja, Guaraní, Guarasu’we (extinct), Guarayu, Itonama, Leco, Machajuyai-Kallawaya, Machineri, Maropa, Mojeño-Ignaciano, Mojeño-Trinitario, Moré, Mosetén, Movima, Pacawara, Puquina (extinct 18th century), Quechua, Sirionó, Tacana, Tapieté, Toromona, Uru-Chipaya (not a single language; only Chipaya is still spoken), Weenhayek, Yaminawa, Yuki, Yuracaré, Zamuco.
There are about 39 languages spoken in Bolivia today with about 50% of the population reporting an indigenous language as their mother tongue followed by 40% reporting Spanish as their mother tongue. Some of Bolivia’s official languages are considered extinct. Most languages in Bolivia are indigenous languages but there are some immigrant languages spoken, most notably Standard German.
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Standard German is the largest non-official language spoken in Bolivia with about 160,000 speakers. 70,000 of these speakers are Mennonites in the Santa Cruz area who speak a dialect of German called Plautdietsch and use Standard German for writing and reading.
High proficiency (EF) – 44 of 111 countries/regions in the world- 5/20 position in Latin America.
Capital: La Paz, Sucre
Population: 12,08 m
Population density: 11/km2
GDP: 40.41 billion USD (2021)
GDP per capita: 3,345.2 USD (2021)
Exports: $7.02 billion (2020)
Internet users: 55.1% penetration, 6.57 million
Unemployment rate: 5.1% (2021)
Urbanisation: 69.77% (2020)
Literacy: 94 % (2020)
Arabic numerals and comma as decimal separator
Date format: dd – mm – yyyy
Time: 24h time system
Country code: 00591
Language data sources: Worldatlas/Britannica//EF/Wikipedia; Demography data sources: IMF/Worldometers; Conventions data source: Wikipedia; Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal; Statistics data sources: Datareportal/WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF/Culturalatlas/Commisceoglobal
Facts and data
$6.52 billion (2020). Refined Petroleum ($510M), Cars ($233M), Pesticides ($173M), Delivery Trucks ($168M), and Raw Iron Bars ($147M), importing mostly from China ($1.26B), Brazil ($1.1B), Chile ($791M), Peru ($535M), and Argentina ($516M).
Financial inclusion factors (over 15 years of age)
• 51% have an account with a financial institution
• 7.2% have a credit card
• 7.1% have a mobile money account
• 9.0% make online purchases
Ease of doing business
Ease of conducting business is medium (rated 59 out of 100). Ranked 29th out of 32 Latin American and Caribbean countries. Ranked 150th out of 190 countries worldwide (2022, World Bank).
$7.02 billion (2020). Petroleum Gas ($2.02B), Gold ($1.23B), Zinc Ore ($566M), Precious Metal Ore ($517M), and Soybean Meal ($503M), exporting mostly to Brazil ($1.12B), Argentina ($1.03B), India ($719M), Peru ($477M), and China ($388M).
Main local online stores
‘Mostly not free’ (rated 43 out of 100). Ranked 30th out of 32 Latin American countries. Ranked 169th out of 186 countries worldwide (2022, Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal).
Service imports (2017)
Service exports (2017)
Most complex products by PCI
Product Complexity Index measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters
Most specialised products by RCA Index
Specialisation is measured using Revealed Comparative Advantage, an index that takes the ratio between Argentina observed and expected exports in each product
Export Opportunities by Relatedness
Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product, the barchart show only products that Argentina is not specialized in
Reach most of the online purchasing power
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Media language Spanish
Many media outlets are in private hands and ownership is highly concentrated.
The government operates a TV station and community radio.
Officials use legal, political, and economic means to pressure independent media, says Freedom House.
It says self-censorship is commonplace, with many journalists fearing that they could lose their jobs if their reporting is critical of the authorities.
Media deemed to “play party politics” or “insult” the government face being denied funding from state advertising, says Reporters Without Borders. Arbitrary arrests and impunity for violence against journalists are other problems.
Newspaper readership is limited by low literacy. Radio is important, especially in rural areas. There are hundreds of stations.
Unitel (Canal 9) – private, Santa Cruz
ATB (Canal 9) – private, La Paz
Red Uno (Canal 11) – private, La Paz
Bolivia TV (Canal 7) – government-run, commercial
TV Universitaria (Canal 13) – university station, La Paz
Media data source: BBC
55.1% penetration, 6.57 million
Share of web traffic by device
59.68% mobile phones, 38.86% computers (laptops and desktops), 1.43% tablet devices and 0.02% other devices
Median speed of mobile Internet connection
Median speed of fixed Internet connection
Mobile connection as a percentage of total population: 112.1%
Percentage of mobile connections that are broadband (3G-5G): 70.6%
Most popular web search engines
Google (97.83%), Bing (1.58%), Petal Search (0.18%), Yahoo (0.16%), DuckduckGo (0.1%), Yandex (0.09%)
Most used social media
Facebook (91.71%), Instagram (2.6%), Pinterest (2.09%), Twitter (1.27%), YouTube (1.92%), Reddit (0.26%)
76.52 yrs (2020)
Generally speaking, Bolivian society is patriarchal. However, in terms of the formalized rights structure, women and men have equal rights. Over the past ten years, there have been advances not only in the visible presence of women holding important political positions but also in the kinds of demands they have presented to the state. That being said, those advances may be limited to some institutional spaces whereas women’s negative experiences with patriarchy continue to persist with respect to economic, social and sexual violence. Since this often intersects with class and ethnicity, women who are poor and considered indigenous experience the brunt of gendered violence and discrimination.
In the workplace, this context affects the kinds of positions women occupy in public and private institutions (mainly as secretaries, or lower-paid support staff) and the kinds of interactions they have with their superiors. Many women still feel pressured to dress a certain way or act a certain way in order to maintain their positions or move forward in their careers.
The most common religion in Bolivia is Catholicism. However, Protestantism and Evangelism are gaining popularity in low-income neighborhoods of main cities and in rural areas. On Sundays, it is customary for people to attend mass. There are widely observed and recurrent practices of religious holidays in Bolivia. Some Bolivians maintain their native indigenous culture by mixing Catholic religious practices with Andean religious holidays, beliefs and traditions.
Bolivia is ethnically diverse, and many of the country’s citizens still continue to identify as indigenous. Indigeneity in some sectors of Bolivian society is embraced as a point of national pride and is expressed annually in parades, dances, folklore, and a large Carnival in Oruro. “Originarios” (originals) comprise descendants of the Pre-Hispanic cultures. Larger groups include the Aymaras and Quechua, many living in La Paz, Potosí, Oruro, Cochabamba, and Chuquisaca. Other important groups include the Guaraní and Moxos who reside in Santa Cruz, Beni, Tarija, and Pando. The indigenous people compose 60% of the Bolivian population.
Class boundaries are marked by a continued physical, social and geographical division between poor and rich. Even though over the past 10 years there has been an increased presence of public officials who come from rural areas, or peasant backgrounds, people’s day-to-day experience based on ethnicity continues to demonstrate that there is still a gap between a light-skinned middle-class Bolivian professional and rural or semi-rural workers or peasants. This demarcation intersects with class, with the most dangerous and precarious jobs being occupied by recent migrant workers from rural areas, for example.
There are visible distinctions in terms of where Bolivians without economic means live and the scarcity of access to basic necessities and services compared to wealthy Bolivians and foreigners who live in other, more central, areas of cities with better access to services and resources. Differences in class are evident in the presence or lack of access to services such as healthcare, education, and social security. A cycle of poverty is prevalent with low-income families often experiencing difficulty accessing basic needs, healthcare, and education.
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Languages in Bolivia
The geographical distribution of languages that you will find in the maps published in this section is a work in progress. Our community is helping us to fill it up with always new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
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