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Here is a little information about Nicaragua Central America... I am still gathering data regarding Nicaragua and any comments or input you may have would be greatly appreciated and may be included at a later date as part of this section...
 
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Nicaragua, Central America
OFFICIAL NAME Republic of Nicaragua

CAPITAL CITY Managua

GEOGRAPHY

Location: Middle America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Costa Rica and Honduras

Area:
total area:129,494 sq km
land area: 120,254 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than New York State

Land boundaries: total 1,231 km, Costa Rica 309 km, Honduras 922 km

Coastline: 910 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 25-nm security zone
continental shelf: natural prolongation
territorial sea:200 nm

International disputes: 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 International Court of Justice (ICJ) referred the disputants to an earlier agreement in this century and advised that some tripartite resolution among El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua likely would be required

Climate: tropical in lowlands, cooler in highlands

Terrain: extensive Atlantic coastal plains rising to central interior mountains; narrow Pacific coastal plain interrupted by volcanoes

Natural resources: gold, silver, copper, tungsten, lead, zinc, timber, fish

Land use:
arable land: 9%
permanent crops: 1%
meadows and pastures: 43%
forest and woodland: 35%
other: 12%

Irrigated land: 850 sq km (1989 est.)

Environment:
current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution
natural hazards: destructive earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, and occasionally severe hurricanes
international agreements: party to - Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea

PEOPLE

Population: 4,206,353 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 44% (female 921,356; male 930,594)
15-64 years: 53% (female 1,146,485; male 1,097,811)
65 years and over: 3% (female 62,607; male 47,500) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.61% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 33.73 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 6.45 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.19 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 50.3 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 64.54 years
male: 61.67 years
female: 67.53 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.17 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Nicaraguan(s)
adjective: Nicaraguan

Ethnic divisions: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and Caucasian) 69%, white 17%, black 9%, Indian 5%

Religions: Roman Catholic 95%, Protestant 5%

Languages: Spanish (official)
note: English- and Indian-speaking minorities on Atlantic coast

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1971)
total population: 57%
male: 57%

female: 57%Literacy rates in Central America

Labor force: 1.086 million
by occupation: services 43%, agriculture 44%, industry 13% (1986)

GOVERNMENT

Names:
conventional long form: Republic of Nicaragua
conventional short form: Nicaragua
local long form: Republica de Nicaragua
local short form: Nicaragua

Digraph: NU

Type: republic

Capital: Managua

Administrative divisions: 16 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Boaco, Carazo, Chinandega, Chontales, Esteli, Granada, Jinotega, Leon, Madriz, Managua, Masaya, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia, Rio San Juan, Rivas, Zelaya

Independence: 15 September 1821 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day, 15 September (1821)

Constitution: 9 January 1987

Legal system: civil law system; Supreme Court may review administrative acts

Suffrage: 16 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state and head of government: President Violeta Barrios de CHAMORRO (since 25 April 1990); Vice President Virgilio GODOY Reyes (since 25 April 1990); election last held 25 February 1990 (next to be held November 1996); results - Violeta Barrios de CHAMORRO (UNO) 54.7%, Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra (FSLN) 40.8%, other 4.5%
cabinet: Cabinet

Legislative branch: unicameral
National Assembly (Asamblea Nacional): elections last held 25 February 1990 (next to be held November 1996); results - UNO 53.9%, FSLN 40.8%, PSC 1.6%, MUR 1.0%; seats - (92 total) UNO 41, FSLN 39, "Centrist" (Dissident UNO) 12

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Corte Suprema)

Political parties and leaders:
far right: Liberal Constitutionalist Party* (PLC), Arnold ALEMAN; Conservative Popular Alliance Party (APC), Myriam ARGUELLO; Central American Unionist Party (PUCA), Blanca ROJAS Echaverry; Independent Liberal Party for National Unity (PLUIN), Alfonso MOCADO Guillen; Conservative Party of Nicaragua (PCN - formed in 1992 by the merger of the Conservative Social Party (PSC) with the Democratic Conservative Party (PCD) and PCL, the Conservative party of Labor), Fernando AGUERO; National Justice Party (PJN), Jorge DIAZ Cruz; National Conservative Party* (PNC), Adolfo CALERO
center right: Neoliberal Party* (PALI), Adolfo GARCIA Esquivel; National Action Party* (PAN), Delvis MONTIEL; Independent Liberal Party* (PLI), Wilfredo NAVARRO
center left: Christian Democratic Union (UDC), Luis Humberto GUZMAN; Nicaraguan Democratic Movement (MDN), Roberto URROZ; Social Democratic Party (PSD), Adolfo JARQUIN; Movement of Revolutionary Unity (MUR), Pablo HERNANDEZ; Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS), Sergio RAMIREZ; Democratic Action Movement (MAD), Eden PASTORA; Communist Party of Nicaragua* (PCdeN), Eli ALTIMIRANO Perez
far left: Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), Daniel ORTEGA; Revolutionary Workers' Party (PRT), Bonifacio MIRANDA; Popular Action Movement-Marxist-Leninist (MAP-ML), Isidro TELLEZ; Nicaraguan Socialist Party (PSN), Gustavo TABLADA; Unidad Nicaraguense de Obreros, Campesinos, y Profesionales (UNOCP), Rosalio GONZALEZ Urbina
note: parties marked with an asterisk belong to the National Opposition Union (UNO), an alliance of moderate parties, which, however, does not always follow a unified political agenda

Other political or pressure groups: National Workers Front (FNT) is a Sandinista umbrella group of eight labor unions: Sandinista Workers' Central (CST); Farm Workers Association (ATC); Health Workers Federation (FETASALUD); National Union of Employees (UNE); National Association of Educators of Nicaragua (ANDEN); Union of Journalists of Nicaragua (UPN); Heroes and Martyrs Confederation of Professional Associations (CONAPRO); and the National Union of Farmers and Ranchers (UNAG); Permanent Congress of Workers (CPT) is an umbrella group of four non-Sandinista labor unions: Confederation of Labor Unification (CUS); Autonomous Nicaraguan Workers' Central (CTN-A); Independent General Confederation of Labor (CGT-I); and Labor Action and Unity Central (CAUS); Nicaraguan Workers' Central (CTN) is an independent labor union; Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP) is a confederation of business groups

Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Roberto Genaro MAYORGA Cortes
chancery: 1627 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 939-6570
consulate(s) general: Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador John F. MAISTO
embassy: Kilometer 4.5 Carretera Sur., Managua
mailing address: APO AA 34021
telephone: [505] (2) 666010, 666013, 666015 through 18, 666026, 666027, 666032 through 34
FAX: [505] (2) 666046

ECONOMY

Overview: Since March 1991, when President CHAMORRO began an ambitious economic stabilization program, Nicaragua has had considerable success in reducing inflation and obtaining substantial economic aid from abroad. Annual inflation fell from more than 750% in 1991 to less than 5% in 1992. Inflation rose again to an estimated 20% in 1993, although this increase was due almost entirely to a large currency devaluation in January. As of early 1994, the government was close to finalizing an enhanced structural adjustment facility with the IMF, after the previous standby facility expired in early 1993. Despite these successes, achieving overall economic growth in an economy scarred by misguided economic values and civil war during the 1980s has proved elusive. Economic growth was flat in 1992 and slightly negative in 1993. Nicaragua's per capita foreign debt is one of the highest in the world; nonetheless, as of late 1993, Nicaragua was current on its post-1988 debt as well as on payments to the international financial institutions. Definition of property rights remains a problem; ownership disputes over large tracts of land, businesses, and homes confiscated by the previous government have yet to be resolved. A rise in exports of coffee and other products led growth in 1994.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $6.4 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 3.2% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $1,570 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 19.5% (1994 est.)

Unemployment rate: 21.8%; underemployment 50% (1993)

Budget:
revenues: $375 million (1992)
expenditures: $410 million (1992), including capital expenditures of $115 million (1991 est.)

Exports: $329 million (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: meat, coffee, cotton, sugar, seafood, gold, bananas
partners: US, Central America, Canada, Germany

Imports: $786 million (c.i.f., 1994 est.)
commodities: consumer goods, machinery and equipment, petroleum products
partners: Central America, US, Venezuela, Japan

External debt: $11 billion (1993)

Industrial production: growth rate -0.8% (1993 est.); accounts for 26% of GDP

Electricity:
capacity: 460,000 kW
production: 1.6 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 376 kWh (1993)

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

Agriculture: crops account for about 15% of GDP; export crops - coffee, bananas, sugarcane, cotton; food crops - rice, corn, cassava, citrus fruit, beans; also produces a variety of animal products - beef, veal, pork, poultry, dairy products; normally self-sufficient in food

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for cocaine destined for the US

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-92), $620 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $1.381 billion

Currency: 1 gold cordoba (C$) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: gold cordobas (C$) per US$1 - 7.08 (December 1994), 6.72 (1994), 5.62 (1993), 5.00 (1992); note - gold cordoba replaced cordoba as Nicaragua's currency in 1991 (exchange rate of old cordoba had reached per US$1 - 25,000,000 by March 1992)

Fiscal year: calendar year

TRANSPORTATION

Railroads:
total: 376 km; note - majority of system is nonoperational
standard gauge: 3 km 1.435-m gauge line at Puerto Cabezas; note - does not connect with mainline
narrow gauge: 373 km 1.067-m gauge

Highways:
total: 15,286 km
paved: 1,598 km
unpaved: 13,688 km
note: there is a 368.5 km portion of the Pan-American Highway which is not in the total

Inland waterways: 2,220 km, including 2 large lakes

Pipelines: crude oil 56 km

Ports: Bluefields, Corinto, El Bluff, Puerto Cabezas, Puerto Sandino, Rama, San Juan del Sur

Merchant marine: none

Airports:
total: 198
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 3
with paved runways under 914 m: 149
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 2
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 39

COMMUNICATIONS

Telephone system: 60,000 telephones; low-capacity radio relay and wire system being expanded; connection into Central American Microwave System
local: NA

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