Facts & Figures

Map of Nicaragua
  • President: Daniel Ortega (2007)

    Land area: 46,430 sq mi (120,254 sq km); total area: 49,998 sq mi (129,494 sq km)

    Population (2014 est.): 5,848,641 (growth rate: 1.02%); birth rate: 18.41/1000; infant mortality rate: 20.36/1000; life expectancy: 72.72

    Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Managua, 970,000

    Monetary unit: Gold cordoba

    National name: República de Nicaragua

    Current government officials

    Languages: Spanish (official) 95.3%, Miskito 2.2%, Mestizo of the Caribbean coast 2%, other 0.5%; English and indigenous languages on Atlantic coast (2005)

    Ethnicity/race: mestizo 69%, white 17%, black 9%, Amerindian 5%

    Religions: Roman Catholic 58.5%, Protestant 23.2% (Evangelical 21.6%, Moravian 1.6%), Jehovah's Witnesses 0.9%, other 1.6%, none 15.7% (2005 est.)

    National Holiday: Independence Day, September 15

    Literacy rate: 78% (2005 est.)

    Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2013 est.): $27.97 billion; per capita $4,500. Real growth rate: 4.6%. Inflation: 5.7%. Unemployment: 7.2% (2013) note: underemployment was 46.5% in 2008. Arable land: 14.57%. Agriculture: coffee, bananas, sugarcane, cotton, rice, corn, tobacco, sesame, soya, beans; beef, veal, pork, poultry, dairy products; shrimp, lobsters. Labor force: 3.039 million; agriculture 31%, industry 18%, services 50% (2006 est.). Industries: food processing, chemicals, machinery and metal products, textiles, clothing, petroleum refining and distribution, beverages, footwear, wood. Natural resources: gold, silver, copper, tungsten, lead, zinc, timber, fish. Exports: $2.401 billion (2013 est.): coffee, beef, shrimp and lobster, tobacco, sugar, gold, peanuts. Imports: $5.65 billion (2013 est.): consumer goods, machinery and equipment, raw materials, petroleum products. Major trading partners: U.S., El Salvador, Canada, Costa Rica, Venezuela (2013).

    Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 320,000 (2012); mobile cellular: 5.346 million (2012). Broadcast media:multiple privately owned terrestrial TV networks, supplemented by cable TV in most urban areas; of more than 100 radio stations, nearly all are privately owned; Radio Nicaragua is government-owned and Radio Sandino is controlled by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) (2007). Internet hosts: 296,068 (2012). Internet users: 199,800 (2009).

    Transportation: Railways: 6 km (2006). Roadways: total: 23,897 km; paved: 3,282 km; unpaved: 20,615 km (2011). Waterways: 2,220 km (including 2 large lakes). Ports and harbors: Bluefields, Corinto. Airports: 147 (2013).

    International disputes: the 1992 (International Court of Justice) ICJ ruling for El Salvador and Honduras advised a tripartite resolution to establish a maritime boundary in the Gulf of Fonseca, which considers Honduran access to the Pacific; Nicaragua and Costa Rica regularly file border dispute cases over the delimitations of the San Juan River and the northern tip of Calero Island to the ICJ; in 2009, the ICJ ruled that Costa Rican vessels carrying out police activities could not use the river, but official Costa Rican vessels providing essential services to riverside inhabitants and Costa Rican tourists could travel freely on the river; in 2011, the ICJ provisionally ruled that both countries must remove personnel from the disputed area; in 2013, the ICJ rejected Nicaragua's 2012 suit to halt Costa Rica's construction of a highway paralleling the river on the grounds of irreparable environmental damage; in 2013, the ICJ, regarding the disputed territory, ordered that Nicaragua should refrain from dredging or canal construction and refill and repair damage caused by trenches connecting the river to the Caribbean and upheld its 2010 ruling that Nicaragua must remove all personnel; in early 2014, Costa Rica brought Nicaragua to the ICJ over offshore oil concessions in the disputed region.

    Major sources and definitions

Flag of Nicaragua