What are the major cities of Bolivia? When we talk about the main cities of a country we’re usually referring to the cities with the largest populations or the cities that are most important for other reasons. It could be because they are capital cities, or very well-known cities, or simply the most visited cities in a specific country.
Bolivia has 9 states (which we call departments) and each has a capital city. Therefore, as each is the major city of its state in terms of importance, we’ll tell you about our 9 state capitals first.
In terms of population, there are other major cities of Bolivia that are larger than some of our state capitals. Therefore, we’ll list fun facts about the 10 largest cities in Bolivia.
Bolivia's Major Cities for Tourism
There are cities that, regardless of their size, are the most “known” around the world. You'll find information here on the major cities of Bolivia that are most recognized or visited by foreigners.
Tourism Home Page Best Attractions
National Population of Bolivia
Here we're classifying the major cities of Bolivia by population. As of the 2010 population census, Bolivia had a population of 10, 426,154 inhabitants according to INE statistics. It had 5,201,974 male and 5,224,180 female inhabitants. Another census was done in 2012 to measure certain sectors of the population. See the population maps here:
2012 Population Census in Bolivia
Source of all population statistics:
INE, National Institute of Statistics of Bolivia
The Nine Capital Cities of Bolivia
The major cities of Bolivia in terms of being capital cities: Bolivia is divided into 9 states which we call departments. This is the population of each department in 2010. These are population projections. A census was taken in 2012 covering certain sectors of the population.
Only one of these cities is the capital of Bolivia. Do you know which?
The department of La Paz has 2,839,946 inhabitants.
The capital city of La Paz is La Paz. It has 840,209 people.
The department of Santa Cruz has 2,785,762 inhabitants.
The capital city of Santa Cruz is Santa Cruz de la Sierra. It has 1,841,282 people.
The department of Cochabamba has 1,861,924 inhabitants.
The capital city of Cochabamba is Cochabamba. It has 618,384 people
The department of Potosí has 788,406 inhabitants.
The capital city of Potosí is Potosí. It has 167,439 people.
The department of Chuquisaca has 650,570 inhabitants.
The capital city of Chuquisaca is Sucre. It has 306,754 people.
Sucre is also the capital city of Bolivia.
The department of Tarija has 522,339 inhabitants.
The capital city of Tarija is Tarija. It has 211,018 people.
The department of Oruro has 450,814 inhabitants.
The capital city of Oruro is Oruro. It has 232,265 people.
The department of Pando has 81,160 inhabitants.
The capital city of Pando is Cobija. It has 43,323 people.
The department of Beni has 445,234 inhabitants.
The capital city of Beni is Trinidad. It has 97,625 people.
The 10 Largest Cities in Bolivia
1 Santa Cruz de la Sierra – Department of Santa Cruz
This is the largest city in Bolivia, and also the fastest growing city of Bolivia
Santa Cruz was named the world's 14th fastest growing city
2 El Alto – Department of La Paz
Once a suburb of La Paz, it became an autonomous city in the 1980’s
3 La Paz – Department of La Paz
Seat of two of Bolivia’s branches of government, and called our defacto capital
4 Cochabamba – Department of Cochabamba
This city is considered to have the best climate in the country
5 Sucre – Department of Chuquisaca
Sucre is the capital city of Bolivia, and seat of the judicial branch of government
6 Oruro – Department of Oruro
Known as the folklore capital of Bolivia, for its famous Carnaval de Oruro
7 Tarija – Department of Tarija
Known for having some of the highest vineyards in the world
8 Potosí – Department of Potosí
In 1574 it was the largest city in the world with 120,000 inhabitants
9 Sacaba – Department of Cochabamba
Located in the Chapare, it is Bolivia’s coca growing capital
10 Montero – Department of Santa Cruz
Has experienced rapid growth. Known for its Expo Norte agricultural fair