Statistical information Nicaragua 1989Nicaragua

Map of Nicaragua | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Nicaragua in the World
Nicaragua in the World


Nicaragua - Introduction 1989
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Background: Settled as a colony of Spain in the 1520s Nicaragua gained its independence in 1821. Violent opposition to governmental manipulation and corruption spread to all classes by 1978 and resulted in a short-lived civil war that brought the Marxist Sandinista guerrillas to power in 1979. Nicaraguan aid to leftist rebels in El Salvador caused the US to sponsor anti-Sandinista contra guerrillas through much of the 1980s.

Nicaragua - Geography 1989
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries:
1,231 km total
Costa Rica 309 km, Honduras 922 km

Coastline: 910 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: 200 meters depth
Territorial sea: 200 nm

Climate: tropical in lowlands, cooler in highlands

Terrain: extensive Atlantic coastal plains rising to central interior mountains; narrow Pacific coastal plain interrupted by volcanoes


Natural resources: gold, silver, copper, tungsten, lead, zinc, timber, fish
Land use

Land use: 9% arable land; 1% permanent crops; 43% meadows and pastures; 35% forest and woodland; 12% other; including 1% irrigated

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Nicaragua - People 1989
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Population: 3,503,103 (July 1989), growth rate 2.9% (1989)

Nationality: noun - Nicaraguan(s; adjective - Nicaraguan

Ethnic groups: 69% mestizo, 17% white, 9% black, 5% Indian

Languages: Spanish (official; English- and Indian-speaking minorities on Atlantic coast

Religions: 95% Roman Catholic, 5% Protestant

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 39 births/1000 population (1989)

Death rate: 8 deaths/1000 population (1989)

Net migration rate: - 2 migrants/1000 population (1989)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: subject to destructive earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, and occasional severe hurricanes; deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 65 deaths/1000 live births (1989)

Life expectancy at birth: 61 years male, 63 years female (1989)

Total fertility rate: 5.0 children born/woman (1989)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 88% (1981)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Nicaragua - Government 1989
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Nicaragua

Government type: republic

Capital: Managua

Administrative divisions: 16 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento; Boaco, Carazo, Chinandega, Chontales, Esteli, Granada, Jinotega, Leon, Madriz, Managua, Masaya, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia, Rio San Juan, Rivas, Zelaya

Dependent areas

Independence: 15 September 1821 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day, 15 September (1821)

Constitution: January 1987

Legal system

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal at age 16

Executive branch: Chief of State and Head of Government - President Cdte. (Jose) Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra (since 10 January 1985; Vice President Sergio RAMIREZ Mercado (since 10 January 1985)

Legislative branch: Sandinista Popular Army, Sandinista Navy, Sandinista Air Force/Air Defense, Sandinista People's Militia

Judicial branch

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: CACM, CEMA (observer), FAO, G-77, GATT, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAC, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IDB - Inter-American Development Bank, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IPU, IRC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAS, ODECA, PAHO, SELA, UN, UNESCO, UPEB, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: Charge d'Affaires Leonor de HUPER; Chancery at 1627 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington DC 20,009; telephone (202) 387-4,371 or 4,372; US - Charge d'Affaires John P. LEONARD; Embassy at Kilometer 4.5 Carretera Sur, Managua (mailing address is APO Miami 34,021; telephone Õ505å (2) 66,010 or 66,013, 66,015 through 66,018, 66,026, 66,027, 66,032 through 66,034; note - Nicaragua expelled the US Ambassador on 11 July 1988, and the US expelled the Nicaraguan Ambassador on 12 July 1988

Flag descriptionflag of Nicaragua: three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and blue with the national coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms features a triangle encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE NICARAGUA on the top and AMERICA CENTRAL on the bottom; similar to the flag of El Salvador which features a round emblem encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE EL SALVADOR EN LA AMERICA CENTRAL centered in the white band; also similar to the flag of Honduras, which has five blue stars arranged in an X pattern centered in the white band

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Nicaragua - Economy 1989
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Economy overview: Government control of the economy is extensive. The financial system is directly controlled by the state, which also regulates wholesale purchasing, production, sales, foreign trade, and distribution of most goods. Over 50% of the agricultural and industrial firms are state owned. Sandinista economic policies and the war have produced a severe economic crisis. The foundation of the economy continues to be the export of agricultural commodities, largely coffee and cotton. Farm production fell 5.4% in 1986, the third successive year of decline. The agricultural sector employs 44% of the work force and accounts for 23% of GDP and 86% of export earnings. Industry, which employs 13% of the work force and contributes 26% to GDP, showed a modest gain of only 1.6% in 1986 and remains below pre-1979 levels. External debt is one of the highest in the world on a per capita basis. In 1988 the inflation rate was estimated at 16,000% and growing. Shortages of basic consumer goods such as food and gasoline are severe.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: cotton, coffee, sugarcane, rice, corn, beans, cattle

Industries: food processing, chemicals, metal products, textiles, clothing, petroleum refining and distribution, beverages, footwear

Industrial production growth rate: 1.6% (1986)

Labor force:
1,086,000; 43% service, 44% agriculture, 13%
industry (1986)

Labor force

Unemployment rate: 22% (1987)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $0.9 billion; expenditures $1.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $0.15 billion (1987)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $240 million (f.o.b., 1988 est.)
Commodities: coffee, cotton, sugar, bananas, seafood, meat, chemicals
Partners: CEMA 40%, OECD 39%

Imports: $800 million (c.i.f., 1988 est.)
Commodities: petroleum, food, chemicals, machinery, clothing
Partners: CEMA 52%, EC 12%, Mexico 10%, CACM 6%

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $6 billion (December 1988)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: cordobas (C$) per US$1 - 4,200.00 (March 1989) is the market rate; official rate is 87.000 (August 1988), 0.070 (1987), 0.067 (1986), 0.027 (1985)

Nicaragua - Energy 1989
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Nicaragua - Communication 1989
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Nicaragua - Military 1989
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: NA

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Nicaragua - Transportation 1989
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 265 total, 178 usable; 9 with permanent-surface runways; 2 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 12 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: crude oil, 56 km



Waterways: 2,220 km, including 2 large lakes

Merchant marine: 2 cargo ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,161 GRT/2,500 DWT

Ports and terminals

Nicaragua - Transnational issues 1989
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Disputes international: territorial disputes with Colombia over the Archipelago de San Andres y Providencia and Quita Sueno Bank; Sandinista regime fighting armed opposition known as the Nicaraguan Resistance or Contras - a shortened form of contrarrevolucionarios or counterrevolutionaries

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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