Statistical information Nicaragua 2000Nicaragua

Map of Nicaragua | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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Nicaragua in the World
Nicaragua in the World

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Nicaragua - Introduction 2000
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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 and again in 1996 saw the Sandinistas defeated. The country has slowly rebuilt its economy during the 1990s but was hard hit by Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

Nicaragua - Geography 2000
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Location: Middle America bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean between Costa Rica and Honduras

Geographic coordinates: 13 00 N 85 00 W

Map referenceCentral America and the Caribbean

Total: 129,494 km²
Land: 120,254 km²
Water: 9,240 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than the state of New York

Land boundaries
Total: 1,231 km
Border countries: (2) Costa Rica 309 km; , Honduras 922 km

Coastline: 910 km

Maritime claims
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

Extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Mogoton 2,438 m

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

Land use
Arable land: 9%
Permanent crops: 1%
Permanent pastures: 46%
Forests and woodland: 27%
Other: 17% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 880 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: destructive earthquakes volcanoes landslides and occasionally severe hurricanes


Nicaragua - People 2000
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Population: 4,918,393 (July 2000 est.)
Growth rate: 2.15% (2000 est.)
Below poverty line: 50% (2000 est.)

Noun: Nicaraguan
Adjective: Nicaraguan

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

Note: English and indigenous languages on Atlantic coast

Religions: Roman Catholic 85% Protestant

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 38.98% (male 976,087; female 941,141)
15-64 years: 58.08% (male 1,418,555; female 1,438,096)
65 years and over: 2.94% (male 62,963; female 81,551) (2000 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 2.15% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 27.64 births/1000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 4.82 deaths/1000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.33 migrant(s)/1000 population (2000 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; Hurricane Mitch damage
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
International agreements signed but not ratified: Environmental Modification

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male/female
Total population: 1 male/female (2000 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 33.66 deaths/1000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 69.05 years
Male: 67.1 years
Female: 71.11 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.18 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: 0.2% (1999 est.)
People living with hivaids: 4,900 (1999 est.)
Deaths: 360 (1999 est.)

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 65.7%
Male: 64.6%
Female: 66.6% (1995 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Nicaragua - Government 2000
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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: 15 departments (departamentos singular - departamento) 2 autonomous regions* (regiones autonomistas singular - region autonomista); Boaco Carazo Chinandega Chontales Esteli Granada Jinotega Leon Madriz Managua Masaya Matagalpa Nueva Segovia Rio San Juan Rivas Atlantico Norte* Atlantico Sur*

Dependent areas

Independence: 15 September 1821 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day 15 September (1821)

Constitution: 9 January 1987 with reforms in 1995 and 2000

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: President Arnoldo ALEMAN Lacayo (since 10 January 1997); Vice President Leopoldo NAVARRO (since 24 October 2000); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President Arnoldo ALEMAN Lacayo (since 10 January 1997); Vice President Leopoldo NAVARRO (since 24 October 2000); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
Elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 20 October 1996 (next to be held 4 November 2000); note - in July 1995 the term of the office of the president was amended to five years
Election results: Arnoldo ALEMAN Lacayo (Liberal Alliance - ruling party - includes PLC, PALI, PLIUN, and PUCA) 51.03%, Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra (FSLN) 37.75%, Guillermo OSORNO (PCCN) 4.10%, Noel VIDAURRE (PCN) 2.26%, Benjamin LANZAS (PRONAL) 0.53%, other (18 other candidates) 4.33%

Legislative branch
Elections: last held 20 October 1996 (next to be held 4 November 2000)
Election results: percent of vote by party - Liberal Alliance (ruling party - includes PLC, PALI, PLIUN, and PUCA) 46.03%, FSLN 36.55%, PCCN 3.73%, PCN 2.12%, MRS 1.33%; seats by party - Liberal Alliance 42, FSLN 36, PCCN 4, PCN 3, PRONAL 2, MRS 1, PRN 1, PC 1, PLI 1, AU 1, UNO-96 Alliance 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (16 judges elected for seven-year terms by the National Assembly)

Political parties and leaders: Conservative Party of Nicaragua or PCN [Dr. Fernando AGUERO Rocha]; Independent Liberal Party or PLI [Virgilio GODOY]; Liberal Alliance (ruling alliance including Liberal Constitutional Party or PLC New Liberal Party or PALI Independent Liberal Party for National Unity or PLIUN and Central American Unionist Party or PUCA) [leader NA]; National Conservative Party or PC [Pedro SOLARZANO Noel VIDAURRE]; National Project or PRONAL [Benjamin LANZAS]; Nicaraguan Party of the Christian Path or PCCN [Guillermo OSORNO Roberto RODRIGUEZ]; Nicaraguan Resistance Party or PRN [Salvador TALAVERA]; Sandinista National Liberation Front or FSLN [Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra]; Sandinista Renovation Movement or MRS [Sergio RAMIREZ]; Unity Alliance or AU [Alejandro SERRANO]; Union Nacional Opositora 96 or UNO-96 [Alfredo CESAR Aguirre]


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Alfonso ORTEGA Urbina
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 fax: [1] (202) 939-6,542
In the us consulates general: Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Oliver P. GARZA
From the us embassy: Apartado Postal 327, Kilometer 4.5 Carretera Sur, Managua
From the us mailing address: APO AA 34,021
From the us telephone: [505] (2) 662,298, 666,010, 666,012, 666,013, 666,015, 666,018, 666,026, 666,027, 666,032, 666,033
From the us fax: [505] (2) 669,074

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 2000
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Economy overview: Nicaragua one of the hemisphere's poorest countries faces low per capita income flagging socio-economic indicators and huge external debt. While the country has made progress toward macro-economic stabilization over the past few years a banking crisis and scandal has shaken the economy. Managua will continue to be dependent on international aid and debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Donors have made aid conditional on improving governability the openness of government financial operation poverty alleviation and human rights. Nicaragua met the conditions for additional debt service relief in December 2000. Growth should remain moderate to high in 2000.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 5% (2000 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: 31.6%
Industry: 22.8%
Services: 45.6% (1999)

Agriculture products: coffee bananas sugarcane cotton rice corn tobacco sesame soya beans; beef veal pork poultry dairy products

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

Industrial production growth rate: 4.4% (2000 est.)

Labor force: 1.7 million (1999)
By occupation services: 43%
By occupation agriculture: 42%
By occupation industry: 15% (1999 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 20% plus considerable underemployment (1999 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 50% (2000 est.)

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: 1.6%
Highest 10: 39.8% (1993)

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $734 million
Expenditures: $836 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 11% (2000 est.)

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: $631 million (f.o.b. 2000 est.)
Commodities: coffee shrimp and lobster cotton tobacco beef sugar bananas; gold
Partners: US 37.7% El Salvador 12.5% Germany 9.8% Costa Rica 5.1% Spain 2.5% France 2.1% (1999)

Imports: $1.6 billion (f.o.b. 2000 est.)
Commodities: machinery and equipment raw materials petroleum products consumer goods
Partners: US 34.5% Costa Rica 11.4% Guatemala 7.3% Panama 6.9% Venezuela 5.9% El Salvador 5.5% (1999)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $6.4 billion (2000 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: gold cordobas per US dollar - 12.96 (November 2000) 12.69 (2000 est.) 11.81 (1999) 10.58 (1998) 9.45 (1997) 8.44 (1996)

Nicaragua - Energy 2000
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 2.349 billion kWh (1999)
By source fossil fuel: 67.26%
By source hydro: 17.71%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 15.03% (1999)

Electricity consumption: 2.265 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity exports: 20 million kWh (1999)

Electricity imports: 100 million kWh (1999)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Nicaragua - Communication 2000
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 7,911 (1997)

Telephone system
General assessment: inadequate system being upgraded by foreign investment
Domestic: low-capacity microwave radio relay and wire system being expanded; connected to Central American Microwave System
International: satellite earth stations - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region) and 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .ni

Internet users: 20,000 (2000)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Nicaragua - Military 2000
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $26 million (FY98)
Percent of gdp: 1.2% (FY98)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Nicaragua - Transportation 2000
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 182 (2000 est.)
With paved runways total: 11
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 2
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 3
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 3
With paved runways under 914 m: 3 (2000 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 171
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 25
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 145 (2000 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 11
2438 to 3047 m: 2
15-24 to 2437 m: 3
914 to 1523 m: 3
Under 914 m: 3 (2000 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 171
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 25
Under 914 m: 145 (2000 est.)


Pipelines: crude oil 56 km



Waterways: 2,220 km (including 2 large lakes)

Merchant marine: none (2000 est.)

Ports and terminals

Nicaragua - Transnational issues 2000
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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 ICJ referred to the line determined by the 1900 Honduras-Nicaragua Mixed Boundary Commission and advised that some tripartite resolution among El Salvador Honduras and Nicaragua likely would be required; maritime boundary dispute with Honduras in the Caribbean Sea is before the ICJ; legal dispute over navigational rights of San Juan River on border with Costa Rica

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

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