World Facts

The 5 Least Populated Countries Of South America

With a population of 558,370, Suriname is the least populated South American nation.

More than 420 million people live in South America with Brazil having the highest population among the South American countries. The population is unevenly distributed throughout the continent. Tropical rainforests, the Atacama Desert, Patagonia are some of the places with low population density. The continent also has some great urban centers that are heavily populated. Here we discuss the smallest countries in South America in terms of population. They are as follows:



5. Bolivia - 10 million

#5 Bolivia - 10 million

Surrounded by land on all sides, Bolivia is the fifth least populated country in South America. It is located in the west-central part of the continent. Nearly one-third of Bolivia’s land area is covered by the Andes mountains.The population of Bolivia is 10,887,880 people. In the past five years, the population has grown at a very high rate of 2.25% and tripled. The Quechua is the largest ethnic group and accounts for 45.6% of the Bolivian population. The Aymara make up 42.4% of the population.


4. Paraguay - 6.7 million

#4 Paraguay - 6.7 million

Surrounded by land on all sides, Paraguay is a country located in the central region of South America. The Paraguay River runs north to south through the central part of the country. Paraguay has a population of 6,725,310 people. The population is highly unevenly distributed in the country with the area in and around the capital city of Asunción in the eastern part of the country hosting the majority of the population. Although the Gran Chaco region occupies 60% of Paraguay’s territory, it is home to only 2% of the population. Paraguay has a nearly ethnically homogeneous population with 95% mestizos.

3. Uruguay - 3.4 million

#3 Uruguay - 3.4 million

Uruguay has the third lowest population in South America. This country, located in the southeastern part of the continent with a coastline along the Atlantic, has a population of 3,444,010. Uruguay also occupies an area of 176,000 square km, making it the continent’s second smallest country by size. The population of Uruguay is mainly concentrated around the metropolitan area of Montevideo, the capital of the nation. 87.7% of Uruguayans are of European descent.

2. Guyana - 700 thousand

#2 Guyana - 700 thousand

Located in northern South America with a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean, Guyana is the fourth smallest nation in the continent by size. It has an area of 215,000 square km. Guyana is the second smallest country by population. As of 2016, the population is 773,300 and the population density is quite low at 4 inhabitants per square km. The coastal areas account for 90% of the country’s population. The country has a rich ethnic diversity. The Indo-Guyanese constitute the largest ethnic group. The culture of the country is heavily influenced by the Caribbean culture. 57.4% of the population identify as Christians.


1. Suriname - 500 thousand

#1 Suriname - 500 thousand

Located on the Atlantic coast of northeastern South America, and occupying an area of 165,000 square km, Suriname is the smallest country in the continent by size. It is also the least populated country in South America. The population of Suriname is 558,370, as of 2016. Most of the people in the country inhabit the coastal areas. Amerindians, East Indians, Creoles, Maroons, Javanese are only some of the ethnic groups residing in this multicultural nation. Protestant Christianity, Hinduism, Roman Catholicism, and Islam are the top four religions by the number of followers in Suriname.

The 5 Least Populated Countries Of South America

RankCountryPopulation, 2016 (World Bank data)
1Suriname558,370
2Guyana773,300
3Uruguay3,444,010
4Paraguay6,725,310
5Bolivia10,887,880

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