Countries in South America

According to national estimates and statistical calculations, South America is a subcontinent of the Americas situated in the Southern, Western, and Northern Hemispheres, with a population of 386,000,000 in 2013.

South America is surrounded to the northwest by North America and the Caribbean Sea, east and north by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the west by the Pacific Ocean. It consists of 12 sovereign nations and two non-sovereign territories: French Guiana (a French overseas territory) and the Falkland Islands, a British Overseas Territory. Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the Dutch ABC islands, are often regarded to be part of South America.

Brazil is by far the most populous nation in South America, with a population of 201 million people for the first time in 2013. After China, India, the United States, and Indonesia, Brazil is the fifth most populated nation. Brazil is now growing faster than predicted, but by 2060, it is expected to settle at roughly 218 million people.

South America’s top five most populated nations are:

  • Brazil’s population is 201 million.
  • Colombians number 47 million.
  • Argentina’s population is 41 million people.
  • Peru is home to 31 million people.
  • 30 million people live in Venezuela.

Countries with the Fewest People

The non-sovereign Falkland Islands of the United Kingdom, which had a population of just 3,000 people in 2013, is the least populated nation in South America. This archipelago covers 12,173 square kilometers (4,700 square miles), and its population is largely made up of native Falkland Islanders, the majority of whom are of British heritage. With 259,000 people in 2013, French Guiana is the continent’s second least populated nation, behind the Falkland Islands.

Suriname (or Surinam) is the least populated sovereign nation in South America, with 539,000 people in 2013. The nation is located in northern South America and is bordered on the south by Brazil, the east by French Guiana, the west by Guyana, and the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname is also the smallest sovereign state in the region, with a geographical area of just 165,000 square kilometers (64,000 square miles) and the only independent republic in the Americas that speaks Dutch.

The following are South America’s five least populated countries:

  • 3,000 people live on the Falkland Islands (UK).
  • 259,000 people live in French Guiana.
  • Suriname has a population of 539,000 people.
  • Guyana has a population of 798,000 people.
  • Uruguay has a population of 3.297 million people.

Other Continents in Comparison

South America has a total land area of 17.84 million square kilometers (6.89 square miles), placing it fourth in terms of size and fifth in terms of population (after Asia, Africa, and North America) (after Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America).

South America is the third most populated continent while being one of the smallest and least inhabited. It has an average of 73 people per square mile. Asia has a population density of 203 people per square mile, whereas Europe has a population density of 134 people per square mile. The population density of South America is 76 people per square mile, compared to 76 people per square mile in the United States.

Population Growth in South America

South America is seeing robust growth, with an annual growth rate of above 1%. The area has a low migration rate and a high fertility and birth rate.

South America now has a relatively high number of children under the age of 15, and several of its nations are seeing strong yearly economic growth rates, up to 8% in Argentina, while unemployment remains low.

As a whole, only Bolivia has a population growth rate higher than 1%, while the vast majority of South American countries are growing at a rate of 1% per year. Meanwhile, the Falkland Islands, Guyana, and Uruguay are all growing at zero percent.

This suggests that the population of South America will continue to expand consistently and slowly until 2060 when it will settle at about 218 million people.

Countries in South America

Country2022 Population Density (km²)
Brazil215,353,59325.29
Colombia51,512,76245.12
Argentina46,010,23416.55
Peru33,684,20826.21
Venezuela29,266,99131.94
Chile19,250,19525.46
Ecuador18,113,36165.43
Bolivia11,992,65610.92
Paraguay7,305,84317.96
Uruguay3,496,01619.31
Guyana794,0453.69
Suriname596,8313.64
French Guiana314,1693.76
Falkland Islands3,5390.29
 

Territories/Dependencies in South America

 

South America Population History 

Year PopulationDensity (km²)Growth Rate
2022437,694,44324.540.80%
2020430,759,76624.150.88%
2015412,362,68123.120.99%
2010392,543,70922.011.09%
2005371,804,65520.841.31%
2000348,411,88319.531.57%
1995322,302,31218.071.76%
1990295,398,20516.561.97%
1985267,951,84815.022.18%
1980240,515,25013.482.26%
1975215,134,41112.062.29%
1970192,073,93510.772.49%
1965169,823,1819.522.69%
1960148,685,6938.342.70%
1955130,120,2027.292.72%
1950113,765,2066.380.00%
 
 

South America Population Projections

Year PopulationDensity (km²)Growth Rate
2095439,337,23024.63-0.45%
2090449,327,15225.19-0.43%
2085459,062,16625.74-0.40%
2080468,263,11026.25-0.35%
2075476,568,19626.72-0.29%
2070483,492,89527.11-0.21%
2065488,686,26327.40-0.13%
2060491,847,23127.57-0.04%
2055492,798,91227.630.05%
2050491,471,89727.550.15%
2045487,829,39627.350.25%
2040481,836,85027.010.36%
2035473,256,07326.530.49%
2030461,853,87025.890.63%
2025447,509,55925.090.00%