Population in Urban Area, now
- World: 29th
- South America: 4th
- Colombia: 1st
Population in City Area, 2019-10-08
- World: 23rd
- South America: 4th
- Colombia: 1st
Bogota Urban Area Population Graph
Bogota Population Review
Bogoto, or the Bogotá, Distrito Capital, is the capita and largest city in the country of Colombia. Located in the center of Colombia on a high plateau, the city is home to 11 million people in the greater urban area and 7.6 million within the city. Founded in 1538, Bogota is home to the Office of the President and many other executive, legislative, and judicial branches for the country.
Bogota is home to the largest number of universities and research centres in the country and is considered an important cultural centre for the country, with many libraries, museums, and theatres. It has the highest GDP in the country and is responsible for almost a quarter of Colombia’s total GDP.
The third-highest capital in the world
The plateau that Bogota sits on is located 2,850 meters above sea level, making it one of the highest capital cities in the world, after La Paz in Bolivia and Quito in Ecuador. The altitude in Bogota is so extreme that visitors and tourists are warned to be prepared for side effects and to take steps to prevent altitude sickness. Newcomers to the city may notice that things like their luggage will feel lighter as their blood starts to adapt to the different oxygen levels. As people adapt, it’s recommended that for the first three days visitors avoid strenuous activity and limit alcohol intake to lower their risk of injury or illness.
A history of violence
Bogota has an infamous past steeped in violence and crime. The Medellín Cartel founded by the notorious Pablo Escobar was one of the largest cocaine trafficking rings in the world from the early 1970s to the early 1990s. The cartel was also known for using violence to influence political decisions by waging a war against the Colombian government using kidnappings, bombings, and murder of law enforcement and political assassinations.
When Escobar was killed by DEA in 1993, a power vacuum was created that resulted in a fragmented system. There are still many powerful players controlling the cocaine trade in Colombia, though they no longer flaunt their wealth the way the Medellín Cartel once did. Instead, they use anonymity as their protection.
Crime in Bogota
Bogota has done much in the past three decades to change its crime rate and public image. In the mid-90s, the city was one of the most violent cities in the world. In 1993—the year of Pablo Escobar’s death—there were 4,352 intentional homicides, a rate of 81 per 100,000. By 2007, this number has dropped to 1,401 murders with a rate of 19 per 100,000 people.
Much of this drop is attributed to an integrated security policy adopted in 1995 called the “Communidad Segura”. Due to this, the violent crime rate is lower in Bogota than it is in many large US cities. However, street muggings and thefts on public transportation have begun to surge, causing some people to question whether Bogota is poised to become more violent again.
Demographics of Bogota
Much of Bogota’s population is of European descent, though it is difficult to get reliable figures on ethnicity after the national census dropped references to race in 1918. The city has an almost even split between men and women, with 52% of the population being male and 47% being female. The city’s population is mostly made up of working ages, with 71% of Bogota’s residents being between the ages of 15 to 64 years old.