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Nicaragua Facts
• Introduction
• People
• Government
• Communications
• Transportation
• Military
• Transnational Issues

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Introduction Nicaragua
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 2001, saw the Sandinistas defeated, but voting in 2006 announced the return of former Sandinista President Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra. Nicaragua's infrastructure and economy - hard hit by the earlier civil war and by Hurricane Mitch in 1998 - are slowly being rebuilt.
People Nicaragua
Population:
5,675,356 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 35.5% (male 1,025,426/female 988,148)
15-64 years: 61.3% (male 1,734,153/female 1,746,574)
65 years and over: 3.2% (male 79,589/female 101,466) (2007 est.)
Median age:
total: 21.3 years
male: 20.9 years
female: 21.7 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.855% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:
24.12 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:
4.42 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:
-1.15 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.038 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.993 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.784 male(s)/female
total population: 1.001 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 27.14 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 30.45 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 23.67 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 70.92 years
male: 68.82 years
female: 73.13 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.69 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
6,400 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 500 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
noun: Nicaraguan(s)
adjective: Nicaraguan
Ethnic groups:
mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 69%, white 17%, black 9%, Amerindian 5%
Religions:
Roman Catholic 72.9%, Evangelical 15.1%, Moravian 1.5%, Episcopal 0.1%, other 1.9%, none 8.5% (1995 census)
Languages:
Spanish 97.5% (official), Miskito 1.7%, other 0.8% (1995 census)
note: English and indigenous languages on Atlantic coast
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 67.5%
male: 67.2%
female: 67.8% (2003 est.)
Government Nicaragua
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:
name: Managua
geographic coordinates: 12 09 N, 86 17 W
time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
15 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 2 autonomous regions* (regiones autonomistas, singular - region autonoma); Atlantico Norte*, Atlantico Sur*, Boaco, Carazo, Chinandega, Chontales, Esteli, Granada, Jinotega, Leon, Madriz, Managua, Masaya, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia, Rio San Juan, Rivas
Independence:
15 September 1821 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Constitution:
9 January 1987; reforms in 1995, 2000, and 2005
Legal system:
civil law system; Supreme Court may review administrative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
16 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra (since 10 January 2007); Vice President Jaime MORALES Carazo (since 10 January 2007); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra (since 10 January 2007); Vice President Jaime MORALES Carazo (since 10 January 2007)
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 (eligible for a second term so long as it is not consecutive); election last held 5 November 2006 (next to be held by November 2011)
election results: Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra elected president - 38.07%, Eduardo MONTEALEGRE 29%, Jose RIZO 26.21%, Edmundo JARQUIN 6.44%
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 the previous president, one seat for the runner-up in previous presidential election)
elections: last held 5 November 2006 (next to be held by November 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FSLN 38, PLC 25, ALN 23 (22 plus one for presidential candidate Eduardo MONTEALEGRE, runner-up in the 2006 presidential election), MRS 5, APRE 1 (outgoing President Enrique BOLANOS)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (16 judges elected for five-year terms by the National Assembly)
Political parties and leaders:
Alliance for the Republic or APRE [Miguel LOPEZ Baldizon]; Central American Unionist Party or PUCA [Blanca ROJAS]; Christian Alternative Party or AC [Orlando TARDENCILLA Espinoza]; Conservative Party or PC [Azalia AVILES Salmeron]; Independent Liberal Party or PLI [Anibal MARTINEZ Nunez, Pedro REYES Vallejos]; Independent Liberal Party for National Unity or PLIUN [Carlos GUERRA Gallardo]; Liberal Constitutional Party or PLC [Jorge CASTILLO Quant]; Liberal Salvation Movement or MSL [Eliseo NUNEZ Hernandez]; New Liberal Party or PALI [Adolfo GARCIA Esquivel]; Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance or ALN [Eduardo MONTEALEGRE]; 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 [Dora Maria TELLEZ]; Unity Alliance or AU
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
International organization participation:
BCIE, CACM, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Arturo CRUZ Sequeira, Jr.
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
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Paul A. TRIVELLI
embassy: Kilometer 4.5 Carretera Sur, Managua
mailing address: P.O. Box 327
telephone: [505] 266-6010
FAX: [505] 266-3861
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
Communications Nicaragua
Telephones - main lines in use:
220,900 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
1.119 million (2005)
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)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 63, FM 32, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios:
1.24 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
3 (plus 7 repeaters) (1997)
Televisions:
320,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
.ni
Internet hosts:
24,452 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
3 (2000)
Internet users:
140,000 (2005)
Transportation Nicaragua
Airports:
176 (2006)
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 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 165
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 23
under 914 m: 141 (2006)
Pipelines:
oil 54 km (2006)
Railways:
total: 6 km
narrow gauge: 6 km 1.067-m gauge (2005)
Roadways:
total: 19,036 km
paved: 2,299 km
unpaved: 16,737 km (2005)
Waterways:
2,220 km (including lakes Managua and Nicaragua) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Bluefields, Corinto, El Bluff
Military Nicaragua
Military branches:
Army (includes Navy, Air Force) (2007)
Military service age and obligation:
17 years of age for voluntary military service (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 17-49: 1,309,970
females age 17-49: 1,315,186 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 17-49: 1,051,425
females age 17-49: 1,129,649 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 65,170
females age 17-49: 63,133 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$32.27 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
0.7% (2006 est.)
Transnational Issues Nicaragua
Disputes - international:
memorials and countermemorials were filed by the parties in Nicaragua's 1999 and 2001 proceedings against Honduras and Colombia at the ICJ over the maritime boundary and territorial claims in the western Caribbean Sea, final public hearings are scheduled for 2007; 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
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for cocaine destined for the US and transshipment point for arms-for-drugs dealing

This page was last updated on 17 April, 2007


 

Source: CIA World Factbook










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