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El Salvador (2006)

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 El Salvador
Administrative divisions 14 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Ahuachapan, Cabanas, Chalatenango, Cuscatlan, La Libertad, La Paz, La Union, Morazan, San Miguel, San Salvador, San Vicente, Santa Ana, Sonsonate, Usulutan
Age structure 0-14 years: 36.3% (male 1,265,080/female 1,212,216)

15-64 years: 58.5% (male 1,900,372/female 2,092,251)

65 years and over: 5.2% (male 156,292/female 196,167) (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products coffee, sugar, corn, rice, beans, oilseed, cotton, sorghum; beef, dairy products; shrimp
Airports 75 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways total: 4

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 71

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 14

under 914 m: 56 (2006)
Area total: 21,040 sq km

land: 20,720 sq km

water: 320 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than Massachusetts
Background El Salvador achieved independence from Spain in 1821 and from the Central American Federation in 1839. A 12-year civil war, which cost about 75,000 lives, was brought to a close in 1992 when the government and leftist rebels signed a treaty that provided for military and political reforms.
Birth rate 26.61 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Budget revenues: $2.84 billion

expenditures: $3.167 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Capital name: San Salvador

geographic coordinates: 13 42 N, 89 12 W

time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Climate tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April); tropical on coast; temperate in uplands
Coastline 307 km
Constitution 23 December 1983
Country name conventional long form: Republic of El Salvador

conventional short form: El Salvador

local long form: Republica de El Salvador

local short form: El Salvador
Death rate 5.78 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Debt - external $8.087 billion (2005 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador H. Douglas BARCLAY

embassy: Final Boulevard Santa Elena Sur, Antiguo Cuscatlan, La Libertad, San Salvador

mailing address: Unit 3116, APO AA 34023

telephone: [503] 2278-4444

FAX: [503] 2278-5522
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Rene Antonio LEON Rodriguez

chancery: 2308 California Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 265-9671

FAX: [1] (202) 234-3834

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Dallas, Elizabeth (New Jersey), Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York (2), Nogales (Arizona), Santa Ana (California), San Francisco, Washington, DC

consulate(s): Boston
Disputes - international in 1992, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on the delimitation of "bolsones" (disputed areas) along the El Salvador-Honduras boundary, but despite Organization of American States (OAS) intervention and a further ICJ ruling in 2003, full demarcation of the border remains stalled; the 1992 ICJ ruling advised a tripartite resolution to a maritime boundary in the Gulf of Fonseca advocating Honduran access to the Pacific; El Salvador continues to claim tiny Conejo Island, not identified in the ICJ decision, off Honduras in the Gulf of Fonseca
Economic aid - recipient $125 million of which, $53 million from US (2003)
Economy - overview The smallest country in Central America, El Salvador has the third largest economy, but growth has been minimal in recent years. Hoping to stimulate the sluggish economy, the government is striving to open new export markets, encourage foreign investment, and modernize the tax and healthcare systems. Implementation in 2006 of the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement, which El Salvador was the first to ratify, is viewed as a key policy to help achieve these objectives. The trade deficit has been offset by annual remittances from Salvadorans living abroad - 16.6% of GDP in 2005 - and external aid. With the adoption of the US dollar as its currency in 2001, El Salvador has lost control over monetary policy and must concentrate on maintaining a disciplined fiscal policy.
Electricity - consumption 4.45 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports 91 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports 473 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - production 4.158 billion kWh (2004)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Cerro El Pital 2,730 m
Environment - current issues deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; contamination of soils from disposal of toxic wastes
Environment - international agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Ethnic groups mestizo 90%, white 9%, Amerindian 1%
Exchange rates the US dollar became El Salvador's currency in 2001
Executive branch chief of state: President Elias Antonio SACA Gonzalez (since 1 June 2004); Vice President Ana Vilma DE ESCOBAR (since 1 June 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Elias Antonio SACA Gonzalez (since 1 June 2004); Vice President Ana Vilma DE ESCOBAR (since 1 June 2004)

cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the president

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held 21 March 2004 (next to be held March 2009)

election results: Elias Antonio SACA Gonzalez elected president; percent of vote - Elias Antonio SACA Gonzalez (ARENA) 57.7%, Schafik HANDAL (FMLN) 35.6%, Hector SILVA (CDU-PDC) 3.9%, other 2.8%
Exports 91 million kWh (2004)
Exports $3.586 billion (2005 est.)
Exports NA bbl/day
Exports - commodities offshore assembly exports, coffee, sugar, shrimp, textiles, chemicals, electricity
Exports - partners US 61%, Guatemala 12.1%, Honduras 7.4%, Nicaragua 4.2% (2005)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description 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 round emblem encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE EL SALVADOR EN LA AMERICA CENTRAL; similar to the flag of Nicaragua, which has a different coat of arms centered in the white band - it features a triangle encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE NICARAGUA on top and AMERICA CENTRAL on the bottom; also similar to the flag of Honduras, which has five blue stars arranged in an X pattern centered in the white band
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 9.9%

industry: 30.2%

services: 59.9% (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 2.8% (2005 est.)
Geographic coordinates 13 50 N, 88 55 W
Geography - note smallest Central American country and only one without a coastline on Caribbean Sea
Heliports 1 (2006)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 1.4%

highest 10%: 39.3% (2001)
Illicit drugs transshipment point for cocaine; small amounts of marijuana produced for local consumption; domestic cocaine abuse on the rise
Imports 473 million kWh (2004)
Imports $6.678 billion (2005 est.)
Imports NA bbl/day
Imports - commodities raw materials, consumer goods, capital goods, fuels, foodstuffs, petroleum, electricity
Imports - partners US 43.4%, Guatemala 8.2%, Mexico 7.8% (2005)
Independence 15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Industrial production growth rate 1.5% (2005 est.)
Industries food processing, beverages, petroleum, chemicals, fertilizer, textiles, furniture, light metals
Infant mortality rate total: 24.39 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 27.27 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 21.37 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 4.7% (2005 est.)
Irrigated land 450 sq km (2003)
Judicial branch Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges are selected by the Legislative Assembly)
Labor force 2.81 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 17.1%

industry: 17.1%

services: 65.8% (2003 est.)
Land boundaries total: 545 km

border countries: Guatemala 203 km, Honduras 342 km
Land use arable land: 31.37%

permanent crops: 11.88%

other: 56.75% (2005)
Languages Spanish, Nahua (among some Amerindians)
Legal system based on civil and Roman law with traces of common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court
Legislative branch unicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa (84 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve three-year terms)

elections: last held 12 March 2006 (next to be held in March 2009)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - ARENA 34, FMLN 32, PCN 10, PDC 6, CD 2
Life expectancy at birth total population: 71.49 years

male: 67.88 years

female: 75.28 years (2006 est.)
Literacy definition: age 10 and over can read and write

total population: 80.2%

male: 82.8%

female: 77.7% (2003 est.)
Location Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras
Map references Central America and the Caribbean
Maritime claims territorial sea: 200 nm
Military branches Salvadoran Army (ES), Salvadoran Navy (FNES), Salvadoran Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Salvadorena, FAS) (2006)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $161.7 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1% (2005 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Nationality noun: Salvadoran(s)

adjective: Salvadoran
Natural hazards known as the Land of Volcanoes; frequent and sometimes destructive earthquakes and volcanic activity; extremely susceptible to hurricanes
Natural resources hydropower, geothermal power, petroleum, arable land
Net migration rate -3.61 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Political parties and leaders Christian Democratic Party or PDC [Rodolfo PARKER, secretary general]; Democratic Convergence or CD (formerly United Democratic Center or CDU) [Ruben ZAMORA, secretary general]; Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front or FMLN [Medardo GONZALEZ, coordinator general]; National Conciliation Party or PCN [Ciro CRUZ ZEPEDA, president]; National Republican Alliance or ARENA [Elias Antonio SACA Gonzalez]; Popular Social Christian Party or PPSC [Rene AGUILUZ]; Revolutionary Democratic Front or FDR [Julio Cesar HERNANDEZ Carcamo, coordinator general]
Political pressure groups and leaders labor organizations - Electrical Industry Union of El Salvador or SIES; Federation of the Construction Industry, Similar Transport and other activities, or FESINCONTRANS; National Confederation of Salvadoran Workers or CNTS; National Union of Salvadoran Workers or UNTS; Port Industry Union of El Salvador or SIPES; Salvadoran Union of Ex-Petrolleros and Peasant Workers or USEPOC; Salvadoran Workers Central or CTS; Workers Union of Electrical Corporation or STCEL; business organizations - National Association of Small Enterprise or ANEP; Salvadoran Assembly Industry Association or ASIC; Salvadoran Industrial Association or ASI
Population 6,822,378 (July 2006 est.)
Population below poverty line 36.1% (2003 est.)
Population growth rate 1.72% (2006 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 61 (plus 24 repeaters), FM 30, shortwave 0 (1998)
Railways total: 283 km

narrow gauge: 283 km 0.914-m gauge

note: length of operational route reduced from 562 km to 283 km by disuse and lack of maintenance (2005)
Religions Roman Catholic 83%, other 17%

note: there is extensive activity by Protestant groups throughout the country; by the end of 1992, there were an estimated 1 million Protestant evangelicals in El Salvador
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: NA

domestic: nationwide microwave radio relay system

international: country code - 503; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to Central American Microwave System
Telephones - main lines in use 971,500 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular 2.412 million (2005)
Television broadcast stations 5 (1997)
Terrain mostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau
Total fertility rate 3.12 children born/woman (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate 6.5% official rate; but the economy has much underemployment (2005 est.)
Waterways Rio Lempa partially navigable (2004)
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