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Discover South America’s 10 Largest Countries Today and in 50 Years

South America is one of the least populated continents on Earth. Despite their incredible history, culture, and natural life, only 5.47% of the world’s population lives on the continent.

However, the population has been rapidly expanding. The majority of the continent’s population lives in a concentrated few countries. Brazil makes up about half of South America’s population!

Get to know South America by understanding its ten most populous countries today and in fifty years.

10. Uruguay

Wonderful panoramic view of Punta del Este main avenue and the seashore. Punta del Este, Uruguay

The country of Uruguay is the tenth-most populous country in South America. The country doesn’t see substantial yearly change, and it has a much higher population than the eleventh-most populous country on the continent, so it’s expected to stay around the tenth spot.

9. Paraguay

Aerial view of the Paraguayan city of Ciudad del Este and Friendship Bridge

The ninth-most populous country in South America is Paraguay. Paraguay has a population of 6,861,524 residents in 2023 and sees some slight growth yearly. However, the growth isn’t substantial enough to move it up the ranks, so Paraguay is expected to stay in the ninth spot for the next few decades.

8. Bolivia

Santa Cruz City in Bolivia on a map

Bolivia sits in the eighth spot for the most populated country on the continent of South America. In 2023, it had a population of 12,388,571. While it sees some positive yearly change in population growth, it’s not very significant, so Bolivia will likely remain in the eighth spot for the next fifty years at least.

7. Ecuador

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador A place that is considered a paradise for adventurous travelers. There are natural diversity here, whether large or small islands or all sorts of animals that are rare only

The country of Ecuador is the seventh-most populous country in South America. However, Ecuador is close to Chile in population size, but sees more annual population growth. Therefore, Ecuador may overtake Chile for the sixth-place spot in time.

6. Chile

Countryside and desert landscape in the Elqui Valley

Chile currently sits in the sixth-place spot for the most populous country in South America. However, due to its slower growth rate, Ecuador will likely take Chile’s sixth-place spot in the next few years.

5. Venezuela

Venezuela on a map

The fifth-most populous country in South America is Venezuela. The country has a 1.9% growth rate as of 2023 but has seen some population decline in the prior few years. However, if Venezuela continues growing at its 2023 rate, it will likely overtake Peru in the next fifty years or so.

4. Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru.

The country of Peru currently sits in the fourth-place spot for the most populous country in South America. Its 2023 population was 34,352,719. Its growth rate in 2023 is much smaller than Venezuela’s, so there’s potential for Venezuela to take Peru’s spot as the fourth-most populous country on the continent.

3. Argentina

Ushuaia aerial view, Argentina

Argentina presently sits in the third-place spot for the most populous country in South America. The population of Argentina in 2023 was 45,773,884. Argentina has seen some steadily positive changes in population over the years, so it’s likely its growth rate will remain around 1% annually. That may be enough to overtake Colombia, but it will likely remain in the third-place spot. Colombia’s growth rates are generally equal to or higher than Argentina’s.

2. Colombia

View of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

The second-most populous country on the continent of South America is Colombia. Colombia’s population in 2023 is 52,085,168 residents. Colombia has had a steadily positive population growth rate over many years, so while its population is close to Argentina’s, it’ll likely continue to grow. However, Argentina has a lot more land area than Colombia. If residents become overly cramped, they may quit moving to the country. Colombia presently has the second-highest density of any South American country, behind only Ecuador.

1. Brazil

Taquaral lagoon in Campinas, view from above, Portugal park, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Finally, the most populous country in South America is Brazil. In 2023, Brazil’s population rested at 216,422,446 residents. Brazil’s population is over four times as large as the population of the second-most populous country in South America, Colombia. It would be nearly impossible for another country to overtake this difference in population in the next fifty years. However, Brazil’s growth rate has been declining in the last fifty years, so it’s possible that trend will continue.

Source: AZ Animals