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White Venezuelans
Venezolanos Blancos
Total population
43.6% of the Venezuelan population[1]
Regions with significant populations
   Entire country; highest percents found in Andean, Central, Capital region and major urban-conglomerations.
Venezuelan Spanish
small minorities speak Italian, Catalan, Basque, Galician, Valencian, Aragonese, Occitan, Asturleonese, Portuguese, English, French, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Hungarian, Yiddish, and Alemán Coloniero, a dialect of German
Related ethnic groups
Spaniard Venezuelan, Italo-Venezuelans, Portuguese Venezuelans, German Venezuelans, Ukrainian Venezuelans, Russian Venezuelans, Polish Venezuelans, Hungarian Venezuelans, Jewish Venezuelans, White Colombians, White Latin Americans

European Venezuelans or White Venezuelans are Venezuelan citizens who self-identify in the national census as white,[1] tracing their heritage to European ethnic groups. According to the official census report, although "white" literally involves external issues such as light skin, shape and color of hair and eyes, among others, the term "white" has been used in different ways in different historical periods and places, and so its precise definition is somewhat confusing.[1]: 65 

According to the 2011 National Population and Housing Census, 43.6% of the population identified themselves as white people.[1] A genomic study shows that about 61.5% of the Venezuelan gene pool has European origin. Among the Latin American and Caribbean countries in the study (Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, El Salvador, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela), Brazil, Venezuela, and Argentina exhibit the highest European contribution.[2]

The ancestry of European Venezuelans is primarily Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.[3]

Other ancestries of European Venezuelans are: Germans, Poles, Greeks, Serbs and another minorities.


Italian explorer Christopher Columbus arrived in the Venezuela region in 1498. European explorers named Venezuela ("Little Venice") after observing local indigenous houses on stilts over water. During the first quarter-century of contact, the Europeans limited themselves to slave hunting and pearlfishing on the northeastern coast; the first permanent Spanish settlement in Venezuela, Cumaná, was not made until 1523.[4]

European colonization of Venezuela commenced with the arrival of the Spanish in the late 15th century, with settlers predominantly hailing from regions such as Andalusia, Galicia, the Basque Country, and the Canary Islands. The influence of the Canary Islands on Venezuelan culture and customs has been particularly significant, earning Venezuela the occasional nickname "the eighth island of the Canary archipelago".[5]

Throughout the colonial period, Spanish authorities discouraged non-Spanish migration to safeguard colonial territories from rival European claims, although exceptions existed. The influx of Germans began in the early 16th century, with King Carlos I granting colonization privileges to German families to offset certain debts.[6] This led to the renaming of the Province of Venezuela as Klein-Venedig, with its capital established as Neu-Augsburg (now Coro), and the founding of Neu-Nürnberg (now Maracaibo), the country's second-largest city. In 1542, the Dutch seized control of the Araya peninsula for its lucrative salt flats,[7] subsequently expanding their presence to other coastal areas such as Falcón, Carabobo, and Zulia due to economic ties with the nearby Netherlands Antilles. Until deep into the 19th century, the now Venezuelan islands of Aves, the Aves archipelago, Los Roques and La Orchila were also considered by the Dutch government to be part of the Dutch West Indies.

During the emergence of the independence movements in the Americas, Venezuela experienced a notable influx of White Dominicans.[8] This surge in migration was largely prompted by a genocide perpetrated by Afro-descendant Haitians following the capture of Hispaniola. As Venezuela pursued independence, it witnessed a significant arrival of Italian immigrants seeking better opportunities, with migration beginning in 1814 and intensifying around 1870 during Italy's unification. These Italian immigrants primarily concentrated in agricultural regions, particularly focusing on coffee and cocoa cultivation in the Andean and the Coastal Range area of the country.[9] Concurrently, volunteers from England, Scotland, and Ireland formed the "British Legion", actively engaging in the War of Independence, leaving a lasting impact and contributing to the enduring presence of British descendants in Venezuela.[10]

Following independence, Venezuela faced challenges attracting immigrants due to economic stagnation and internal conflicts. Despite this, small groups of French settlers,[10] particularly Corsicans, established themselves along the coast of the Paria Peninsula, contributing significantly to the cocoa industry.[11] Additionally, Italians were notably present in the Andean region,[12][13] while German immigrants formed communities such as Colonia Tovar in the center-north, they also played vital roles in commerce, particularly in Maracaibo's retail sector and informal banking systems.[14] Towards the late 19th century, White Americans and White Canadians relocated to Venezuela,[15] primarily as evangelical missionaries representing various Protestant denominations,[16] along with engineers drawn by the burgeoning oil industry.[17]

After 1935, Venezuela underwent a period of economic and social advancement with the discovery of oil, positioning itself as an attractive destination for immigrants. From 1940 to 1961, an estimated 900,000 European immigrants arrived in Venezuela, following the Second World War, the Francoist dictatorship and the policies of the governments of the Warsaw Pact.[18][19] Among them, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese migrants constituted the majority,[20] while smaller numbers included Germans, French, Swiss, Poles, Greeks, Czechs, Russians, Ukrainians, Serbs, Nordics, Romanians, Slovenes, Croats, Belgians, Austrians and Hungarians.[21][22]

During the 1970s and 1980s, Southern Cone nations like Argentina and Uruguay with a predominantly Spanish and Italian-descents population, were plagued by oppressive dictatorships. Consequently, many individuals from these countries sought refuge in Venezuela, attracted by the promise of safety and stability.[23] Additionally, Venezuela became a destination for other European Latin Americans communities, including Colombians, Chileans, Dominicans, Brazilians, Cubans, and others, fleeing economic struggles, political unrest, and autocratic regimes in their homelands.[10]


Around 42-43% of the population are identified as white Venezuelan. The highest concentrations, ranging from 65 to 80%, are found in the Venezuelan Andes (Mérida, San Cristóbal, Tovar, Valera, and numerous others towns), the Coastal Range (Eastern Caracas, San Antonio de Los Altos, El Junko, Colonia Tovar, among others) and areas of the north-eastern Caribbean coast (Lechería, Porlamar, Pampatar, Araya Peninsula).[1]

Census data reveals that in major urban areas like Maracaibo, Valencia, Maracay, Barquisimeto, Ciudad Guayana, Puerto La Cruz, among others, several districts or parishes boast white majorities exceeding 50%. These areas typically align with medium to higher socioeconomic levels, resembling Latin American cities of European descent such as Montevideo and Buenos Aires.[20] Conversely, regions like Amazonas state, Orinoco Delta, and Alta Guajira exhibit minimal white presence, often less than 1% of the local population.[1]

Geographic distribution

White Venezuelan population by Venezuelan state

The following is a sortable table of the white Venezuelan proportion of the population in each Venezuelan state, according to the 2011 Census data.[1]: table 2.12 on page 30 

Rank (by %) State White Venezuelan population (2011) % white[1]
1 Tachira 743,013 58.8%
2 Mérida 479,021 53.7%
3 Capital District 1,079,892 51.2%
4 Trujillo 369,961 48.3%
5 Nueva Esparta 217,828 47.1%
6 Zulia 1,799,760 46.3%
7 Miranda 1,387,265 45.8%
8 Vargas 153,252 44.7%
9 Aragua 763,351 43.4%
10 Carabobo 1,010,138 42.7%
11 Barinas 344,265 41.5%
12 Lara 800,225 41.9%
13 Anzoátegui 629,802 40.0%
14 Bolívar 646,059 39.2%
15 Falcón 375,823 38.9%
16 Monagas 359,473 38.8%
17 Sucre 375,688 38.5%
18 Portuguesa 348,745 37.0%
19 Delta Amacuro 62,457 36.4%
20 Cojedes 115,437 35.6%
21 Yaracuy 229,542 35.5%
22 Amazonas 54,102 34.4%
23 Guárico 264,036 32.9%
24 Apure 157,193 30.2%

Percentage of white Venezuelans in municipalities

The top 20 communities (municipalities) with the highest percentage of White Venezuelans according to the 2011 Census:[24]

  1. Chacao (Metropolitan District of Caracas) 72.20%
  2. Umuquena (San Judas Tadeo), Táchira 71.80%
  3. Cordero (Andrés Bello), Táchira 70.11%
  4. Lechería (Diego Bautista), Anzoátegui 70.10%
  5. El Hatillo (Metropolitan District of Caracas) 68.80%
  6. San Antonio de Los Altos (Los Salias), Miranda 66.90%
  7. Baruta (Metropolitan District of Caracas) 66.40%
  8. Canaguá (Arzobispo Chacón), Mérida and Lobatera (Lobatera), Táchira 65.50%
  9. La Grita (Jáuregui), Táchira 64.70%
  10. San Cristóbal, Táchira 64.50%
  11. El Junko (Metropolitan District of Caracas) 63.20%
  12. Táriba, Táchira 62.80%
  13. Michelena, Táchira 62.50
  14. Palmira (Guásimos), Táchira 62.30%
  15. Seboruco (Seboruco), Táchira 61.90%
  16. Pueblo Llano, Mérida 61.30
  17. Tovar, Mérida 60.90%
  18. Colonia Tovar (Tovar), Aragua 60.80%
  19. Capacho Nuevo (Independencia), Táchira 60.20%
  20. El Cobre (José María Vargas), Táchira 60.00%

Density of white Venezuelans in municipalities

The top 20 communities (municipalities) by population density (per km2) of white Venezuelans, according to the 2011 Census:[24]

  1. Chacao (Metropolitan District of Caracas) 3,962.69
  2. Santa Rita (Francisco Linares Alcántara), Aragua 2,604.25
  3. Carlos Soublette, Vargas 2,506.08
  4. Capital District (Metropolitan District of Caracas) 2,493.38
  5. Baruta (Metropolitan District of Caracas) 2,479.77
  6. Sucre (Metropolitan District of Caracas) 1,967.07
  7. Maracaibo, Zulia 1,835.49
  8. Lechería (Diego Bautista), Anzoátegui 1,668.23
  9. Porlamar (Mariño), Nueva Esparta 1,176.69
  10. San Francisco, Zulia 1,110.25
  11. Los Guayos, Carabobo 1,107.78
  12. Catia La Mar, Vargas 1,094.47
  13. San Antonio de Los Altos (Los Salias), Miranda 1065.68
  14. Carrizal, Miranda 970.25
  15. El Limón (Mario Briceño Iragorry), Aragua 944.04
  16. Palmira (Guásimos), Táchira 932.00
  17. Santa Cruz (José Angel Lamas), Aragua 800.90
  18. San Cristóbal, Táchira 766.64
  19. Cagua (Sucre), Aragua 761.63
  20. Pampatar (Maneiro), Nueva Esparta 749.08

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Resultado Básico del XIV Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda 2011 (Mayo 2014)" (PDF). p. 29. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  2. ^ Godinho, Neide Maria de Oliveira (2008). "O impacto das migrações na constituição genética de populações latino-americanas". Universidade de Brasília. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  3. ^ Wright, Winthrop R. (2013-08-28). Café con leche: Race, Class, and National Image in Venezuela. University of Texas Press. ISBN 9780292758407.
  4. ^ Sebastian, Emily (15 December 2016). Colonial and Postcolonial Latin America and the Caribbean. Encyclopaedia Britannica. ISBN 9781508103493.
  5. ^ Veloz, Alberto. "La octava isla de las Canarias se llama Venezuela". El Estimulo. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  6. ^ Cervera, Cesar (Nov 2016). "La historia olvidada de cómo Venezuela fue vendida por Carlos V a los banqueros alemanes". ABC. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  7. ^ Mirza, Rocky (2007). The Rise and Fall of the American Empire: A Re-Interpretation of History, Economics and Philosophy: 1492-2006. Trafford Publishing. p. 514. ISBN 9781425113834.
  8. ^ Soriano, Cristina (1 Dec 2018). Tides of Revolution: Information, Insurgencies, and the Crisis of Colonial Rule in Venezuela. University of New Mexico Press. p. 336. ISBN 9780826359872. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  9. ^ D'Elia, Pierina (2005). "La inmigración italiana en Venezuela" (PDF). Cuadernos Americanos. 6 (114): 103–110.
  10. ^ a b c Rey Gonzalez, Juan Carlos. Huellas de la inmigración en Venezuela. Fundación Empresas Polar. p. 296. ISBN 978-980-379-296-1. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  11. ^ Grisanti, Luis Xavier. "Venezuela y la imigración corsa". Analítica. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  12. ^ Colina de Dávila, Nancy (1999). Mérida : entre tiempos de cambios. Laboratorios Valmorca. p. 124.
  13. ^ Farias, Isabel. "Inmigrantes italianos en los Andes". Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  14. ^ Espinola, Ebelio (2002). Actividades del Banco Aleman antioqueno en Venezuela en el contexto de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Montalbán. p. 131.
  15. ^ Venezuela. Embajada (U.S.) (1954). Venezuela Up-to-date. Embassy of Venezuela. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  16. ^ Niki. "Presbyterian Mission to Venezuela: A Brief History". Presbyterian Historical Society. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  17. ^ Berglund, Susan (1980). The "Musiues" in Venezuela : immigration goals and reality, 1936-1961. University of Massachusetts Amherst.
  18. ^ Cruz, Edgar (1997-05-02). "La Iglesia ortodoxa rumana de Venezuela. UN TROZO DE LOS CÁRPATOS EN EL HATILLO". El Universal (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2015-07-22. Retrieved 2015-07-22.
  19. ^ La Comunidad Europea en Venezuela. Servicio de Prensa e Información, Delegación para América Latina de la Comisión de las Comunidades Europeas. 1985. p. 117.
  20. ^ a b Martinez, Helios; Rodriguez-Larralde, Alvaro; Castro de Guerra, Dinora; Izaguirre, Mary (May 2007). "Admixture Estimates for Caracas, Venezuela, Based on Autosomal, Y-Chromosome, and mtDNA Markers". Human Biology. 2 (79): 201–13. doi:10.1353/hub.2007.0032. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  21. ^ Banko, Catalina (2016). "Un refugio en Venezuela: los inmigrantes de Hungría, Croacia, Eslovenia, Rumania y Bulgaria". Tiempo y Espacio. 26 (65): 66–75. ISSN 1315-9496. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  22. ^ Lameda Luna, Hernán (2014). Foundational Cycles of cities in Venezuela. Urban settlements from the colony to the twentieth century (in Spanish). Maracaibo: Revista Arbitrada de la Facultad de Arquitectura y Diseño de la Universidad del Zulia. p. 24. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  23. ^ Markous, Paula (9 Nov 2018). "La Venezuela saudita: cómo era vivir en el país del "dame dos"". La Nación. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  24. ^ a b "Censo 2011 Redatam".