Since the pre -Inca era, the Indian peoples had settled almost exclusively in the inter-Andean belt, where the incas arrived founded Quito, which remained the main city of the country even with the Spaniards. However, these began the population of the coast, which they endowed with various port centers, among which Guayaquil emerged, and where later they brought in groups of Africans, used to work on the plantations. Despite being considered a country with an Indian majority, Ecuador is basically experiencing a situation of equilibrium between the Quechua component (41%) and the mestizo component (42%), formed as a result of the long mixing between local tribes and European colonizers: overall, mestizos and Indians make up, therefore, over 80% of the population.
The Creoles, descendants of the ancient Spanish conquistadors, and the more recent immigrant whites (20th century; mainly from North America, as well as Europe) represent approx. 11% of the total, followed by blacks and mulattoes (5%) and small Asian minorities (Chinese, Japanese). Among the small indigenous groups, many are counted separately, such as the colorados of the Sierra, of Chibcha lineage, and the jívaros of the East, who lived in small tribal or family nuclei and were known for the practice of mummification. of the heads of the killed enemies: by now they are mostly assimilated by the process of enhancement of the Amazon region. According to itypetravel, population growth was relatively slow until the first decades of the twentieth century: compared to 500,000 residents in 1825, the population had tripled almost a hundred years later (1,500,000 residents in 1920), while, since then, the same multiplier was triggered again in just forty years, for the first time in 1960 (4,400,000 residents) and a second time in 2000 (12,646,000 residents). This is due not so much to the discontinuous migratory contributions, as to a natural movement among the most intense in the world: in the second half of the 1980s. the birth rate was still around 37% per year, against a mortality just above 5%. From the end of the nineties, on the other hand, the birth rate dropped to around 22 ‰ (22.7 ‰ in 2005), while mortality remained at values slightly lower than those of the previous decade (4.2 ‰). The average density value (54 residents / km²), although modest in absolute terms, is by far the highest among the continental states of South America, tending to configure, in the absence of decisive improvements in the use of resources, widespread situations of overpopulation, especially in the Sierra (98 residents / km²). From the latter region – particularly penalized by the archaism of the agrarian structures – an increasingly consistent emigration subsequently headed towards the coast (100 residents / km²), anthropic is supported by plantation agriculture and industry, and, albeit to a much lesser extent, towards the East (less than 6 residents / km²), whose considerable population capacities still remain at their potential stage. Internal migratory phenomena have been followed since the end of the twentieth century by waves of migration to other countries, directed towards the United States, Australia, Canada and some Western European states (Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden). It is estimated that around one million citizens left Ecuador following the economic crisis of the mid-1990s. Many of these emigrants have left their children in the country, with grandparents or other relatives, a fact that raises concern among international organizations dealing with UNICEF in particular)
The migratory balance is thus heavily negative (-7, 98 ‰ according to 2008 estimates) despite the entry into the country of a few hundred thousand Colombian immigrants. The urbanization processit has developed with considerable intensity, bringing the percentage of the urban population to exceed the rural one (62.8% in 2005). In reality, the urban plot is strongly unbalanced due to the excessive concentration in the only two fundamental polarities of Quito and Guayaquil: one, a lively commercial center but above all a political and cultural one, rich in ancient monuments in a splendid position at the foot of the Pichincha volcano, which holds the record of the highest capital in the world (2817 m); the other, a port metropolis, with the satellite city of Puerto Nuevo, and industrial of the country, although located in one of the most unhealthy areas of Ecuador, but at the outlet of a fertile hinterland in continuous economic expansion. They are followed, with eminently regional functions, Ambato and Riobamba, small “capitals” of their respective hoyas; these are agricultural and livestock markets, also the headquarters of traditional manufacturing activities, often at an artisanal level (weaving, hat manufacturing, food complexes). Finally, on the coast are the locality of Portoviejoand the port towns of Machala, Manta and Esmeraldas: the latter, already mainly used for the export of bananas, has become a port above all for oil, having been connected through a grandiose trans-Andean oil pipeline., at the Lago Agrio field (East).