Statistical information Nicaragua 1995Nicaragua

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 1995
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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. Free elections in 1990 saw the Sandinistas defeated. The country has slowly rebuilt its economy during the 1990s.

Nicaragua - Geography 1995
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Location: Middle America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Costa Rica and Honduras

Geographic coordinates

Map referenceCentral America and the Caribbean

Total area total: 129,494 km²
Land: 120,254 km²
Comparative: slightly larger than New York State

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

Coastline: 910 km

Maritime claims
Contiguous zone: 25-nm security zone
Continental shelf: natural prolongation
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
Arable land: 9%
Permanent crops: 1%
Meadows and pastures: 43%
Forest and woodland: 35%
Other: 12%

Irrigated land: 850 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Nicaragua - People 1995
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Population: 4,206,353 (July 1995 est.)
Growth rate: 2.61% (1995 est.)

Noun: Nicaraguan(s)
Adjective: Nicaraguan

Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and Caucasian) 69%, white 17%, black 9%, Indian 5%

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

Religions: Roman Catholic 95%, Protestant 5%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 44% (female 921,356; male 930,594)
15-64 years: 53% (female 1,146,485; male 1,097,811)
65 years and over: 3% (female 62,607; male 47,500) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 2.61% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 33.73 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 6.45 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.19 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution
Current issues natural hazards: destructive earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, and occasionally severe hurricanes
Current issues international agreements: party to - Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 50.3 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 64.54 years
Male: 61.67 years
Female: 67.53 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.17 children born/woman (1995 est.)

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: age 15 and over can read and write (1971)
Total population: 57%
Male: 57%
Female: 57%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Nicaragua - Government 1995
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Nicaragua
Conventional short form: Nicaragua
Local long form: Republica de Nicaragua
Local short form: 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: 9 January 1987

Legal system: civil law system; Supreme Court may review administrative acts

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 16 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state and head of government: President Violeta Barrios de CHAMORRO (since 25 April 1990); Vice President Virgilio GODOY Reyes (since 25 April 1990); election last held 25 February 1990 (next to be held November 1996); results - Violeta Barrios de CHAMORRO (UNO) 54.7%, Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra (FSLN) 40.8%, other 4.5%
Cabinet: Cabinet

Legislative branch: unicameral
National Assembly Asamblea Nacional: elections last held 25 February 1990 (next to be held November 1996); results - UNO 53.9%, FSLN 40.8%, PSC 1.6%, MUR 1.0%; seats - (92 total) UNO 41, FSLN 39, "Centrist" (Dissident UNO) 12

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Corte Suprema)

Political parties and leaders


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Roberto Genaro MAYORGA Cortes
In the us chancery: 1627 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,009
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 939-6,570
In the us consulates general: Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador John F. MAISTO
From the us embassy: Kilometer 4.5 Carretera Sur., Managua
From the us mailing address: APO AA 34,021
From the us telephone: [505] (2) 666,010, 666,013, 666,015 through 18, 666,026, 666,027, 666,032 through 34
From the us FAX: [505] (2) 666,046

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 1995
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Economy overview: Since March 1991, when President CHAMORRO began an ambitious economic stabilization program, Nicaragua has had considerable success in reducing inflation and obtaining substantial economic aid from abroad. Annual inflation fell from more than 750% in 1991 to less than 5% in 1992. Inflation rose again to an estimated 20% in 1993, although this increase was due almost entirely to a large currency devaluation in January. As of early 1994, the government was close to finalizing an enhanced structural adjustment facility with the IMF, after the previous standby facility expired in early 1993. Despite these successes, achieving overall economic growth in an economy scarred by misguided economic values and civil war during the 1980s has proved elusive. Economic growth was flat in 1992 and slightly negative in 1993. Nicaragua's per capita foreign debt is one of the highest in the world; nonetheless, as of late 1993, Nicaragua was current on its post-1988 debt as well as on payments to the international financial institutions. Definition of property rights remains a problem; ownership disputes over large tracts of land, businesses, and homes confiscated by the previous government have yet to be resolved. A rise in exports of coffee and other products led growth in 1994.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 3.2% (1994 est.)

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: crops account for about 15% of GDP; export crops - coffee, bananas, sugarcane, cotton; food crops - rice, corn, cassava, citrus fruit, beans; also produces a variety of animal products - beef, veal, pork, poultry, dairy products; normally self-sufficient in food

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

Industrial production growth rate: -0.8% (1993 est.), accounts for 26% of GDP

Labor force: 1.086 million
By occupation services: 43%
By occupation agriculture: 44%
By occupation industry: 13% (1986)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 21.8%; underemployment 50% (1993)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $375 million (1992)
Expenditures: $410 million (1992), including capital expenditures of $115 million (1991 est.)

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: $329 million (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
Commodoties: meat, coffee, cotton, sugar, seafood, gold, bananas
Partners: US, Central America, Canada, Germany

Imports: $786 million (c.i.f., 1994 est.)
Commodoties: consumer goods, machinery and equipment, petroleum products
Partners: Central America, US, Venezuela, Japan

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $11 billion (1993)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: gold cordobas (C$) per US$1 - 7.08 (December 1994), 6.72 (1994), 5.62 (1993), 5.00 (1992; note - gold cordoba replaced cordoba as Nicaragua's currency in 1991 (exchange rate of old cordoba had reached per US$1 - 25,000,000 by March 1992)

Nicaragua - Energy 1995
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 1.6 billion kWh
Consumption per capita: 376 kWh (1993)

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 1995
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 60,000 telephones; low-capacity radio relay and wire system being expanded; connection into Central American Microwave System
Local: NA
Intercity: wire and radio relay
International: 1 Intersputnik and 1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth station

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Nicaragua - Military 1995
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $32 million, 1.7% of GDP (1994), 8.1% of government budget

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Nicaragua - Transportation 1995
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 198
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 3
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 3
With paved runways under 914 m: 149
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2438 m: 2
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 39

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 1
2438 to 3047 m: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 3
914 to 1523 m: 3
Under 914 m: 149

Airports with unpaved runways
15-24 to 2438 m: 2
914 to 1523 m: 39


Pipelines: crude oil 56 km



Waterways: 2,220 km, including 2 large lakes

Merchant marine: none

Ports and terminals

Nicaragua - Transnational issues 1995
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Disputes international: territorial disputes with Colombia over the Archipelago de San Andres y Providencia and Quita Sueno Bank; with respect to the maritime boundary question in the Golfo de Fonseca, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) referred the disputants to an earlier agreement in this century and advised that some tripartite resolution among El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua likely would be required

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for cocaine destined for the US


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