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El Salvador, See : Flags, Maps

El Salvador (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::El Salvador

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.

Geography ::El Salvador


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Location:

Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between
Guatemala and Honduras

Geographic coordinates:
13 50 N, 88 55 W

Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean

Area:

total: 21,041 sq km country comparison to the world: 153 land: 20,721 sq km

water: 320 sq km

el salvador

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Massachusetts

Land boundaries:

total: 545 km

border countries: Guatemala 203 km, Honduras 342 km

Coastline:

307 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate:

tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April); tropical on coast; temperate in uplands

El Salvador

Terrain:

mostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Cerro El Pital 2,730 m

Natural resources:

hydropower, geothermal power, petroleum, arable land

Land use:

arable land: 31.37%

permanent crops: 11.88%

other: 56.75% (2005)

Irrigated land:

450 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

25.2 cu km (2001)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 1.28 cu km/yr (25%/16%/59%)

per capita: 186 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

known as the Land of Volcanoes; frequent and sometimes destructive earthquakes and volcanic activity; extremely susceptible to hurricanes

volcanism: El Salvador experiences significant volcanic activity; San Salvador (elev. 1,893 m, 6,211 ft), which last erupted in 1917, has the potential to cause major harm to the country's capital, which lies just below the volcano's slopes; San Miguel (elev. 2,130 m, 6,988 ft), which last erupted in 2002, is one of the most active volcanoes in the country; other historically active volcanoes include Conchaguita, Ilopango, Izalco, and Santa Ana

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

Geography - note:

smallest Central American country and only one without a coastline on Caribbean Sea

People ::El Salvador

Population:

6,052,064 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 106

Age structure:

0-14 years: 35.4% (male 1,299,608/female 1,245,617)

15-64 years: 59.3% (male 2,033,423/female 2,225,810)

65 years and over: 5.3% (male 166,224/female 214,536) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 23.9 years

male: 22.5 years

female: 25.3 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.332% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 171

Birth rate:

18.06 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 109

Death rate:

5.61 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 174

Net migration rate:

-9.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 212

Urbanization:

urban population: 61% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female

total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 20.97 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 98 male: 23.01 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 18.82 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 73.18 years country comparison to the world: 116 male: 69.91 years

female: 76.62 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.12 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 119

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.8% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 61

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

35,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 67

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

1,700 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 64

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever

water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)

Nationality:

noun: Salvadoran(s)

adjective: Salvadoran

Ethnic groups:

mestizo 90%, white 9%, Amerindian 1%

Religions:

Roman Catholic 57.1%, Protestant 21.2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.9%,
Mormon 0.7%, other religions 2.3%, none 16.8% (2003 est.)

Languages:

Spanish (official), Nahua (among some Amerindians)

Literacy:

definition: age 5 and over can read and write

total population: 81.1%

male: 82.8%

female: 79.6% (2007 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 12 years

male: 12 years

female: 12 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

3.6% of GDP (2008) country comparison to the world: 128

Government ::El Salvador

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

Government type:

republic

Capital:

name: San Salvador

geographic coordinates: 13 42 N, 89 12 W

time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)

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

Independence:

15 September 1821 (from Spain)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 15 September (1821)

Constitution:

20 December 1983

Legal system:

based on civil and Roman law with traces of common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Mauricio FUNES Cartagena (since 1 June 2009); Vice President Salvador SANCHEZ CEREN (since 1 June 2009); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Mauricio FUNES Cartagena (since 1 June 2009); Vice President Salvador SANCHEZ CEREN (since 1 June 2009)

cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the president (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held on 15 March 2009 (next to be held in March 2014)

election results: Mauricio FUNES Cartagena elected president; percent of vote - Mauricio FUNES Cartagena 51.3%, Rodrigo AVILA 48.7%

Legislative branch:

unicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa (84 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote to serve three-year terms)

elections: last held on 18 January 2009 (next to be held in March 2012)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FMLN 35, ARENA 32, PCN 11, PDC 5, CD 1; note - as of 1 January 2011, the current composition of the legislature by seats is as follows: FMLN 35, ARENA 19, GANA 16, PCN 10, PDC 2, CD 1, Independent 1

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (15 judges are selected by the
Legislative Assembly; the 15 judges are assigned to four Supreme
Court chambers - constitutional, civil, penal, and administrative
conflict)

Political parties and leaders:

Christian Democratic Party or PDC [Rodolfo PARKER]; Democratic
Convergence or CD [Oscar KATTAN] (formerly United Democratic Center
or CDU); Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front or FMLN [Medardo
GONZALEZ]; National Conciliation Party or PCN [Ciro CRUZ ZEPEDA];
Nationalist Republican Alliance or ARENA [Alfredo CRISTIANI]; Great
Alliance for National Unity or GANA [Andres ROVIRA]

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

International organization participation:

BCIE, CACM, CD, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM,
IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO
(correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA,
MINURSO, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, SICA, UN,
UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI,
UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Francisco Robert ALTSCHUL Fuentes

chancery: Suite 100, 1400 16th Street, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 265-9671
FAX: [1] (202) 234-3763

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

consulate(s): Boston, Elizabeth (New Jersey)

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Robert BLAU

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

mailing address: Unit 3450, APO AA 34023; 3450 San Salvador Place, Washington, DC 20521-3450

telephone: [503] 2501-2999
FAX: [503] 2501-2150

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; the banner is based on the former blue-white-blue flag of the Federal Republic of Central America; the blue bands symbolize the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, while the white band represents the land between the two bodies of water, as well as peace and prosperity

note: 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

National anthem:

name: "Himno Nacional de El Salvador" (National Anthem of El Salvador)

lyrics/music: Juan Jose CANAS/Juan ABERLE

note: officially adopted 1953, in use since 1879; the anthem of El Salvador is one of the world's longest

Economy ::El Salvador

Economy - overview:

Despite being the smallest country geographically in Central America, El Salvador has the third largest economy in the region. The economy took a hit from the global recession and real GDP contracted by 3.5% in 2009. The economy began a slow recovery in 2010 on the back of improved export and remittances figures. Remittances accounted for 16% of GDP in 2009, and about a third of all households receive these transfers. In 2006 El Salvador was the first country to ratify the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), which has bolstered the export of processed foods, sugar, and ethanol, and supported investment in the apparel sector amid increased Asian competition and the expiration of the Multi-Fiber Agreement in 2005. El Salvador has promoted an open trade and investment environment, and has embarked on a wave of privatizations extending to telecom, electricity distribution, banking, and pension funds. In late 2006, the government and the Millennium Challenge Corporation signed a five-year, $461 million compact to stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty in the country's northern region, the primary conflict zone during the civil war, through investments in education, public services, enterprise development, and transportation infrastructure. With the adoption of the US dollar as its currency in 2001, El Salvador lost control over monetary policy. Any counter-cyclical policy response to the downturn must be through fiscal policy, which is constrained by legislative requirements for a two-thirds majority to approve any international financing.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$43.98 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 94 $43.46 billion (2009 est.)

$45.04 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$21.8 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

1.2% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 174 -3.5% (2009 est.)

2.4% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$7,300 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 129 $7,200 (2009 est.)

$7,500 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 11%

industry: 29.1%

services: 59.9% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

2.94 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 104

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 19%

industry: 23%

services: 58% (2006 est.)

Unemployment rate:

7% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 72 7.2% (2009 est.)

note: data are official rates; but the economy has much underemployment

Population below poverty line:

30.7% (2006 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1%

highest 10%: 37% (2005)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

52.4 (2002) country comparison to the world: 18 52.5 (2001)

Investment (gross fixed):

13.7% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 140

Public debt:

55% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 45 52.3% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

0.8% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 16 -0.2% (2009)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

12.33% (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 120 7.81% (31 December 2007)

Stock of narrow money:

$2.534 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 117 $2.153 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$9.666 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 101 $9.011 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$10.01 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 95 $9.867 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$4.432 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 82 $4.656 billion (31 December 2008)

$6.743 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

coffee, sugar, corn, rice, beans, oilseed, cotton, sorghum; beef, dairy products

Industries:

food processing, beverages, petroleum, chemicals, fertilizer, textiles, furniture, light metals

Industrial production growth rate:

0.9% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 149

Electricity - production:

5.559 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 110

Electricity - consumption:

4.676 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 111

Electricity - exports:

7 million kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports:

38 million kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 179

Oil - consumption:

46,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 98

Oil - exports:

1,927 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 114

Oil - imports:

46,310 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 87

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 184

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 176

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 189

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 62

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 86

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 184

Current account balance:

-$907 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 132 -$374 million (2009)

Exports:

$4.377 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 113 $3.797 billion (2009)

Exports - commodities:

offshore assembly exports, coffee, sugar, textiles and apparel, gold, ethanol, chemicals, electricity, iron and steel manufactures

Exports - partners:

US 43.86%, Guatemala 13.92%, Honduras 13.22%, Nicaragua 5.65% (2009)

Imports:

$7.98 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 99 $7.255 billion (2009)

Imports - commodities:

raw materials, consumer goods, capital goods, fuels, foodstuffs, petroleum, electricity

Imports - partners:

US 29.79%, Mexico 10.26%, Guatemala 9.7%, China 4.5%, Honduras 4.4% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$2.819 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 86 $2.985 billion (31 December 2009)

Debt - external:

$11.45 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 87 $10.83 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$7.522 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 82 $7.132 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$273 million (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 77 $333 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

the US dollar became El Salvador's currency in 2001

Communications ::El Salvador

Telephones - main lines in use:

1.099 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 75

Telephones - mobile cellular:

7.566 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 78

Telephone system:

general assessment: multiple mobile-cellular providers are expanding services rapidly and in 2009 teledensity exceeded 100 per 100 persons; growth in fixed-line services has slowed in the face of mobile-cellular competition

domestic: nationwide microwave radio relay system

international: country code - 503; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to Central American Microwave System (2009)

Broadcast media:

multiple privately-owned national terrestrial television networks, supplemented by cable TV networks that carry international channels; hundreds of commercial radio broadcast stations and 1 government-owned radio broadcast station (2007)

Internet country code:

.sv

Internet hosts:

13,849 (2010) country comparison to the world: 119

Internet users:

746,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 107

Transportation ::El Salvador

Airports:

65 (2010) country comparison to the world: 75

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 4

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 61

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 13

under 914 m: 47 (2010)

Heliports:

1 (2010)

Railways:

total: 283 km country comparison to the world: 122 narrow gauge: 283 km 0.914-m gauge

note: railways have been inoperable since 2005 because of disuse and high costs that led to a lack of maintenance (2008)

Roadways:

total: 10,886 km country comparison to the world: 134 paved: 2,827 km (includes 327 km of expressways)

unpaved: 8,059 km (2000)

Waterways:

Rio Lempa is partially navigable for small craft (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Acajutla, Puerto Cutuco

Military ::El Salvador

Military branches:

Salvadoran Army (ES), Salvadoran Navy (FNES), Salvadoran Air Force
(Fuerza Aerea Salvadorena, FAS) (2008)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for selective compulsory military service; 16-22 years of age for voluntary male or female service; service obligation - 12 months, with 11 months for officers and NCOs (2009)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,426,142

females age 16-49: 1,590,778 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,056,532

females age 16-49: 1,356,824 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 71,292

female: 68,821 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

0.6% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 160

Transnational Issues ::El Salvador

Disputes - international:

International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on the delimitation of "bolsones" (disputed areas) along the El Salvador-Honduras boundary, in 1992, with final agreement by the parties in 2006 after an Organization of American States (OAS) survey and a further ICJ ruling in 2003; 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

Illicit drugs:

transshipment point for cocaine; small amounts of marijuana produced for local consumption; significant use of cocaine

World

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