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Map of Latin America and the Caribbean

The term Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC[1]) is an English-language acronym referring to the Latin American and the Caribbean region. The term LAC covers an extensive region, extending from The Bahamas and Mexico to Argentina and Chile. The region has over 670,230,000 people as of 2016,[citation needed] and spanned for 21,951,000 square kilometres (8,475,000 sq mi).[citation needed]

List of countries and territories by subregion[citation needed]

Various countries within the Latin American and the Caribbean region do not use either Spanish, Portuguese or French as official languages, but rather English or Dutch.[citation needed]


Main article: Caribbean

See also: Southern Caribbean

Scattered island in the Caribbean Sea

Further information: List of Caribbean islands

West Indies

Main article: West Indies


Main article: Antilles

Greater Antilles

Main article: Greater Antilles

* Disputed territory administered by the United States, claimed by Haiti.

Lesser Antilles

Main article: Lesser Antilles

See also: Leeward Antilles, Leeward Islands, and Windward Islands

Lucayan Archipelago

Main article: Lucayan Archipelago

Latin America

Main article: Latin America

Central America

Main article: Central America

See also: Middle America

The UN geoscheme includes Mexico in Central America.[2]

Offshore islands

Further information: List of islands of Central America

* Disputed territories administered by Colombia, claimed by the United States.

South America

Main article: South America

The UN geoscheme includes Bouvet Island in South America instead of Antarctica or Africa.

* Disputed territories administered by the United Kingdom, claimed by Argentina.

Somewhat are included


The region has a unique history and varied between stability to instability, included various deadly conflicts, though its level remains conflicted. The two deadliest conflicts in the region are the Colombian conflict and the Mexican drug war; and more recently, the crisis in Venezuela and Gang war in Haiti. Some other bloody conflicts include the internal conflict in Peru and gang wars in Argentina, Brazil, and Honduras. Other conflicts include the Mapuche conflict in Argentina and Chile; and the Insurgency in Paraguay. These conflicts, however, have received lesser attentions from international media, and varied by time.[citation needed]

The Latin American and Caribbean countries with the most representative democracy were Costa Rica, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, and Jamaica and least democratic were Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela according to 2024 V-Dem Democracy Report.[3]

Map of V-Dem Electoral Democracy Index in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2023



See also: Religion in Latin America, Religion in the Caribbean, Religion in South America, List of religious populations, and List of Gurdwaras in South America

Most countries are dominated by Christianity, the largest being Roman Catholic. Smaller groups include Protestantism (including Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses) and Orthodoxy and other forms of Christianity. There are many venerated folk saints and folk religions namely folk catholicism as well as african diaspora religions (syncretic african traditional religions) as well as Native American religions including shamanism. Many folk healers also practice folk magic. Specific Creole peoples often have their own religions/spiritual practices like the Maroons's Rastafari and Garifuna's belief system (or New Orleans Voodoo and Melungeon in North America).[citation needed]

Especially in the Caribbean, Central America and Brasil, there are Jewish (including Messianic Jews), Muslim, Hindu, Baháʼí Faith (especially in Panama, Bolivia and Belize), Buddhist, Shinto and Romani mythology, Chinese folk religion, Dravidian folk religion (among others) practitioners. The Muslims and especially Jews and Gitanos are often descendants of the peoples forced into Crypto-Judaism and Crypto-Islam (and even Crypto-Paganism, for lack of a better term) from the Reconquista. There most likely is Sikh and Jainist groups (and possibly even smaller Zoroastrianism, Samaritan and Druze groups). There is also a growing movement of unitarian universalism/new age/neo-paganism-type unorganized spirituality; goddess worship is especially popular with younger, often progressive people like feminists. Again, these movements are often also syncretic, such as Pachamama or other Pre-Columbian Deity worship. Atheism/Agnosticism is quite dichotomous with a few countries having high percentages, but most are small and may be growing slowly.[citation needed]


See also: Music of Latin America and List of Caribbean music genres

The region is extremely popular for its own distinct music which can not be found somewhere in the world. Began since the conquest of Spain, France, Britain, the Netherlands and Portugal in 15th century, due to the greater diversification including indigenous, Asian, African and European population merged, it expanded popularity of their music, dated from 1950s and rampant globalization, music from the region has become widely noticed, and has been nominated for several music awards.[4]


The region is rich at sporting activities, especially in association football, which have some of the world's strongest football teams, including Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and others. Baseball, tennis, cycling, volleyball, rugby union, basketball, hockey, and cricket are also popular.[citation needed]

The region is known for producing significant mixed martial-arts fighters, notably competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Mexico and Brazil being the ones that stand out in this sport.[5][6]

See also


  1. ^ "UNESCO in LAC". Archived from the original on 2022-04-09. Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  2. ^ "UNSD Methodology – Standard country or area codes for statistical use (M49)". Archived from the original on 2017-08-30. Retrieved 2020-04-08.
  3. ^ Democracy Report 2024, Varieties of Democracy
  4. ^ "MUS305H1: Latin American and Caribbean Music". Archived from the original on 2020-01-02. Retrieved 2020-01-20.
  5. ^ Gross, Josh. "Latin America, like China before it, is becoming an untapped MMA market". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2021-05-10. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  6. ^ "UFC, Hispanics helping to grow MMA". 10 October 2014. Archived from the original on 2021-05-10. Retrieved 2021-05-10.