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Nicaragua (2005)

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Nicaragua 2005 year

Administrative divisions 15 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 2 autonomous regions* (regiones autonomistas, singular - region autonomista); Atlantico Norte*, Atlantico Sur*, Boaco, Carazo, Chinandega, Chontales, Esteli, Granada, Jinotega, Leon, Madriz, Managua, Masaya, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia, Rio San Juan, Rivas
Age structure 0-14 years: 37.2% (male 1,036,487/female 999,226)

15-64 years: 59.7% (male 1,623,065/female 1,638,017)

65 years and over: 3.1% (male 73,935/female 94,370) (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products coffee, bananas, sugarcane, cotton, rice, corn, tobacco, sesame, soya, beans; beef, veal, pork, poultry, dairy products
Airports 176 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 11

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 3 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 165

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 23

under 914 m: 141 (2004 est.)
Area total: 129,494 sq km

land: 120,254 sq km

water: 9,240 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than the state of New York
Background The Pacific Coast of Nicaragua was settled as a Spanish colony from Panama in the early 16th century. Independence from Spain was declared in 1821 and the country became an independent republic in 1838. Britain occupied the Caribbean Coast in the first half of the 19th century, but gradually ceded control of the region in subsequent decades. 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, 1996, and again in 2001 saw the Sandinistas defeated. The country has slowly rebuilt its economy during the 1990s, but was hard hit by Hurricane Mitch in 1998.
Birth rate 24.88 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Budget revenues: $725.5 million

expenditures: $1.039 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)
Capital Managua
Climate tropical in lowlands, cooler in highlands
Coastline 910 km
Constitution 9 January 1987; reforms in 1995 and 2000
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Nicaragua

conventional short form: Nicaragua

local long form: Republica de Nicaragua

local short form: Nicaragua
Death rate 4.49 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Debt - external $4.573 billion (2004 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Barbara Calandra MOORE

embassy: Kilometer 4.5 Carretera Sur, Managua

mailing address: APO AA 34021

telephone: [505] 266-6010

FAX: [505] 266-9074
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Salvador STADTHAGEN (since 5 December 2003)

chancery: 1627 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 939-6570, [1] (202) 939-6573

FAX: [1] (202) 939-6545

consulate(s) general: Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
Disputes - international Nicaragua filed a claim against Honduras in 1999 and against Colombia in 2001 at the ICJ over disputed maritime boundary involving 50,000 sq km in the Caribbean Sea, including the Archipelago de San Andres y Providencia and Quita Sueno Bank; the 1992 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; legal dispute over navigational rights of San Juan River on border with Costa Rica
Economic aid - recipient $541.8 million (2003)
Economy - overview Nicaragua, one of the hemisphere's poorest countries, faces low per capita income, massive unemployment, and huge external debt. Distribution of income is one of the most unequal on the globe. While the country has made progress toward macroeconomic stability over the past few years, GDP annual growth has been far too low to meet the country's needs. As a result of successful performance under its International Monetary Fund policy program and other efforts, Nicaragua qualified in early 2004 for some $4 billion in foreign debt reduction under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Even after this reduction, however, the government continues to bear a significant foreign and domestic debt burden. If ratified, the US-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) will provide an opportunity for Nicaragua to attract investment, create jobs, and deepen economic development. While President BOLANOS enjoys the support of the international financial bodies, his internal political base is meager.
Electricity - consumption 2.318 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports 6.8 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports 15.3 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - production 2.553 billion kWh (2002)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mogoton 2,438 m
Environment - current issues deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution
Environment - international agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Ethnic groups mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 69%, white 17%, black 9%, Amerindian 5%
Exchange rates gold cordobas per US dollar - 15.937 (2004), 15.105 (2003), 14.251 (2002), 13.372 (2001), 12.684 (2000)
Executive branch chief of state: President Enrique BOLANOS Geyer (since 10 January 2002); Vice President Jose RIZO Castellon (since 10 January 2002); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Enrique BOLANOS Geyer (since 10 January 2002); Vice President Jose RIZO Castellon (since 10 January 2002); 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 4 November 2001 (next to be held by November 2006)

election results: Enrique BOLANOS Geyer (PLC) elected president - 56.3%, Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra (FSLN) 42.3%, Alberto SABORIO (PCN) 1.4%; Jose RIZO Castellon elected vice president
Exports 6.8 million kWh (2002)
Exports $750 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports 738 bbl/day (2003)
Exports - commodities coffee, beef, shrimp and lobster, tobacco, sugar, gold, peanuts
Exports - partners US 64.8%, El Salvador 7%, Mexico 3.6% (2004)
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 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
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 20.7%

industry: 24.7%

services: 54.6% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $2,300 (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 4% (2004 est.)
Geographic coordinates 13 00 N, 85 00 W
Geography - note largest country in Central America; contains the largest freshwater body in Central America, Lago de Nicaragua
Highways total: 18,712 km

paved: 2,126 km

unpaved: 16,586 km (2002)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 1.2%

highest 10%: 45% (2001)
Illicit drugs transshipment point for cocaine destined for the US and transshipment point for arms-for-drugs dealing
Imports 15.3 million kWh (2002)
Imports $2.02 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports 27,950 bbl/day (2003)
Imports - commodities consumer goods, machinery and equipment, raw materials, petroleum products
Imports - partners US 22.6%, Costa Rica 8.5%, Venezuela 8.4%, Guatemala 6.8%, Mexico 5.8%, El Salvador 4.9%, South Korea 4.5% (2004)
Independence 15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Industrial production growth rate 4.4% (2000 est.)
Industries food processing, chemicals, machinery and metal products, textiles, clothing, petroleum refining and distribution, beverages, footwear, wood
Infant mortality rate total: 29.11 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 32.6 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 25.44 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 9.3% (2004 est.)
International organization participation BCIE, CACM, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Irrigated land 880 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (16 judges elected for five-year terms by the National Assembly)
Labor force 1.93 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 30.5%, industry 17.3%, services 52.2% (2003 est.)
Land boundaries total: 1,231 km

border countries: Costa Rica 309 km, Honduras 922 km
Land use arable land: 15.94%

permanent crops: 1.94%

other: 82.12% (2001)
Languages Spanish 97.5% (official), Miskito 1.7%, other 0.8% (1995 census)

note: English and indigenous languages on Atlantic coast
Legal system civil law system; Supreme Court may review administrative acts
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (92 seats; members are elected by proportional representation and party lists to serve five-year terms; one seat for previous President, one seat for runner-up in previous Presidential election

elections: last held 4 November 2001 (next to be held by November 2006)

election results: percent of vote by party - Liberal Alliance (ruling party - includes PCCN, PLC, PALI, PLIUN, and PUCA) 46.03%, FSLN 36.55%, PCN 2.12%; seats by party - Liberal Alliance 53, FSLN 38, PCN 1
Life expectancy at birth total population: 70.33 years

male: 68.27 years

female: 72.49 years (2005 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 67.5%

male: 67.2%

female: 67.8% (2003 est.)
Location Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Costa Rica and Honduras
Map references Central America and the Caribbean
Maritime claims territorial sea: 200 nm

continental shelf: natural prolongation
Military branches Army (includes Navy, Air Force)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $32.8 million (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 0.7% (2004)
National holiday Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Nationality noun: Nicaraguan(s)

adjective: Nicaraguan
Natural hazards destructive earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides; extremely susceptible to hurricanes
Natural resources gold, silver, copper, tungsten, lead, zinc, timber, fish
Net migration rate -1.19 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Pipelines oil 54 km (2004)
Political parties and leaders Alliance for the Republic or APRE [Miguel LOPEZ Baldizon, Oscar WENDOLYN Vargas, Karla WHITE]; Central American Unionist Party or PUCA [leader NA]; Christian Alternative Party or AC [Orlando TARDENCILLA Espinoza]; Conservative Party of Nicaragua or PCN [Mario RAPPACCIOLI]; Independent Liberal Party or PLI [Anibal MARTINEZ Nunez, Pedro REYES Vallejos]; Independent Liberal Party for National Unity or PLIUN [leader NA]; Liberal Constitutional Party or PLC [Jorge CASTILLO Quant]; Liberal Salvation Movement or MSL [Eliseo NUNEZ Hernandez]; New Liberal Party or PALI [leader NA]; Nicaraguan Party of the Christian Path or PCCN [Guillermo OSORNO Molina]; Nicaraguan Resistance Party or PRN [Salvador TALAVERA]; Sandinista National Liberation Front or FSLN [Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra]; Sandinista Renovation Movement or MRS [leader NA]; Unity Alliance or AU [leader NA]
Political pressure groups and leaders National Workers Front or FNT is a Sandinista umbrella group of eight labor unions including - Farm Workers Association or ATC, Health Workers Federation or FETASALUD, Heroes and Martyrs Confederation of Professional Associations or CONAPRO, National Association of Educators of Nicaragua or ANDEN, National Union of Employees or UNE, National Union of Farmers and Ranchers or UNAG, Sandinista Workers Central or CST, and Union of Journalists of Nicaragua or UPN; Permanent Congress of Workers or CPT is an umbrella group of four non-Sandinista labor unions including - Autonomous Nicaraguan Workers Central or CTN-A, Confederation of Labor Unification or CUS, Independent General Confederation of Labor or CGT-I, and Labor Action and Unity Central or CAUS; Nicaraguan Workers' Central or CTN is an independent labor union; Superior Council of Private Enterprise or COSEP is a confederation of business groups
Population 5,465,100 (July 2005 est.)
Population below poverty line 50% (2001 est.)
Population growth rate 1.92% (2005 est.)
Ports and harbors Bluefields, Corinto, El Bluff
Radio broadcast stations AM 63, FM 32, shortwave 1 (1998)
Railways total: 6 km

narrow gauge: 6 km 1.067-m gauge (2004)
Religions Roman Catholic 72.9%, Evangelical 15.1%, Moravian 1.5%, Episcopal 0.1%, other 1.9%, none 8.5% (1995 census)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Suffrage 16 years of age; universal
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: country code - 505; satellite earth stations - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region) and 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 171,600 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular 202,800 (2002)
Television broadcast stations 3 (plus seven low-power repeaters) (1997)
Terrain extensive Atlantic coastal plains rising to central interior mountains; narrow Pacific coastal plain interrupted by volcanoes
Total fertility rate 2.81 children born/woman (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate 7.8% plus underemployment of 46.5% (2003 est.)
Waterways 2,220 km (including lakes Managua and Nicaragua) (1997)
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