Yesterday Venezuela’s Instituto Nacional de Estadística (National Institute of Statistics—INE) presented the preliminary results of its 2011 Census, revealing an estimated population of 28,946,101—a 25-percent increase from the previous demographic measure in 2001.
In presenting some of the preliminary results, INE director Elias Eljuri noted that the population under the age of 15 had diminished, while the population of women—especially above the age of 64—had increased. The average age in Venezuela today is 27 years, compared with 18 years in 1950.
In reporting the findings, Eljuri also highlighted that 50.3 percent of Venezuela’s population is female and 49.7 percent is male, and that the majority of Venezuelan households are headed by men.
Even with most households still being headed by men, data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s May 2012 Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) indicates that women’s role in Venezuelan households has changed due to economic necessity and a shift of attitudes toward gender equality. For instance, the percentage of women aged 15 or over who did not work outside the home fell from 46 percent to 31 percent between 1994 and 2007.
Venezuela is ranked number 16 of 86 non-OECD countries in the 2012 SIGI Index. Although countries in Latin America tend to perform well on this index, certain laws, regulations and practices still obstruct women’s equality and rights in the region.
Read more about why it is critical to increase women’s political representation and economic empowerment in Latin America in Michelle Bachelet’s article in AQ’s Summer issue.