El Salvador Population: 6,156,670


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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.

Smallest Central American country and only one without a coastline on Caribbean Sea
Location: Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras
Geographic coordinates: 13 50 N, 88 55 W
Area: total: 21,041 sq km
land: 20,721 sq km
water: 320 sq km

Size comparison: about the same size as New Jersey
Land Boundaries: total: 590 km border countries (2): Guatemala 199 km, Honduras 391 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
Terrain: mostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau
Elevation extremes:
Natural resources: hydropower, geothermal power, petroleum, arable land
Land use: agricultural land: 74.7% arable land 33.1%; permanent crops 10.9%; permanent pasture 30.7% forest: 13.6%
other: 11.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 452 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: known as the Land of Volcanoes; frequent and sometimes destructive earthquakes and volcanic activity; extremely susceptible to hurricanes volcanism: significant volcanic activity; San Salvador (elev. 1,893 m), 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), 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
Current Environment Issues: deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; contamination of soils from disposal of toxic wastes
International Environment 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
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Nationality: noun: Salvadoran(s)
adjective: Salvadoran
Ethnic groups: mestizo 86.3%, white 12.7%, Amerindian 0.2% (includes Lenca, Kakawira, Nahua-Pipil), black 0.1%, other 0.6% (2007 est.)
Languages: Spanish (official), Nawat (among some Amerindians)
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.)
Population: 6,156,670 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 26.58% (male 839,392/female 797,323)
15-24 years: 20.51% (male 635,100/female 627,648)
25-54 years: 38.66% (male 1,098,619/female 1,281,822)
55-64 years: 6.96% (male 190,386/female 238,206)
65 years and over: 7.28% (male 197,945/female 250,229) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 54.3%
youth dependency ratio: 41.7%
elderly dependency ratio: 12.6%
potential support ratio: 7.9% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 26.6 years
male: 25.1 years
female: 28.1 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.25% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 16.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 5.7 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: -8.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 66.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: SAN SALVADOR (capital) 1.098 million (2015)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.86 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.8 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 20.8 note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2008 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 54 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 17.3 deaths/1,000 live births male: 19.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 74.7 years male: 71.4 years
female: 78.1 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.89 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 72.3% note: percent of women aged 15-44 (2008)
Health expenditures: 6.8% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 1.6 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
Hospital bed density: 1.1 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 97.5% of population
rural: 86.5% of population
total: 93.8% of population

urban: 2.5% of population
rural: 13.5% of population
total: 6.2% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 82.4% of population
rural: 60% of population
total: 75% of population

urban: 17.6% of population
rural: 40% of population
total: 25% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.51% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 19,800 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 400 (2015 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 20.1% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 5% (2014)
Education expenditures: 3.4% of GDP (2014)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 88%
male: 90.4%
female: 86% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 13 years male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2014)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 12.4% male: 11.8%
female: 13.6% (2013 est.)
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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
etymology: name is an abbreviation of the original Spanish conquistador designation for the area "Provincia de Nuestro Senor Jesus Cristo, el Salvador del Mundo" (Province of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World), which became simply "El Salvador" (The Savior)
Government type: presidential 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: many previous; latest drafted 16 December 1983, enacted 23 December 1983; amended many times, last in 2014 (2016)
Legal system: civil law system with minor common law influence; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Salvador SANCHEZ CEREN (since 1 June 2014); Vice President Salvador Oscar ORTIZ (since 1 June 2014); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Salvador SANCHEZ CEREN (since 1 June 2014); Vice President Salvador Oscar ORTIZ (since 1 June 2014)

cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the president elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a single 5-year term; election last held on 2 February 2014, with a runoff on 9 March 2014 (next to be held in February 2019)

election results: Salvador SANCHEZ CEREN elected president; percent of vote: first-round results - Salvador SANCHEZ CEREN (FMLN) 48.9%, Norman QUIJANO (ARENA) 39%, Antonio SACA (CN) 11.4%, other 0.7%; second-round results - Salvador SANCHEZ CEREN 50.1%, Norman QUIJANO 49.9%
Legislative branch: description: unicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa (84 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies and a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote to serve 3-year terms)

elections: last held on 1 March 2015 (next to be held in March 2018)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ARENA 35, FMLN 31, GANA 11, PCN 6, PDC 1
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court or Corte Suprema de Justicia (CSJ) (consists of 15 judges assigned to constitutional, civil, penal, and administrative conflict divisions) judge selection and term of office: judges elected by the Legislative Assembly on the recommendation of the National Council of the Judicature, an independent body elected by the Legislative Assembly; judges elected for a 9-year term, with renewal of one-third of judges every 3 years; consecutive re-election is allowed

subordinate courts: Appellate Courts; Courts of First Instance; Courts of Peace
Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Party or PDC [Rodolfo Antonio PARKER Soto] Democratic Change (Cambio Democratico) or CD [Douglas AVILES] (formerly United Democratic Center or CDU) Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front or FMLN [Medardo GONZALEZ] Great Alliance for National Unity or GANA [Jose Andres ROVIRA Caneles] National Conciliation Party or PCN [Manuel RODRIGUEZ] Nationalist Republican Alliance or ARENA [Jorge VELADO]
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 Trade Union Federation of Salvadoran Workers or FENASTRAS National Union of Salvadoran Workers or UNTS Port Industry Union of El Salvador or SIPES Salvadoran Workers Central or CTS Union of Judiciary Workers or SITTOJ Union of Workers of the Ministry of Treasury or SITRAMI Workers Union of Electrical Corporation or STCEL business organizations: American Chamber of Commerce in El Salvador National Association of Private Enterprise or ANEP Salvadoran Chamber of Commerce Salvadoran Chamber of the Construction Industry or CASALCO Salvadoran Industrial Association or ASI
International organization participation: BCIE, CACM, CD, CELAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, Petrocaribe, SICA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): turquoise-browed motmot (bird); national colors: blue, white
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; at 4:20 minutes the anthem of El Salvador is one of the world's longest
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Claudia Ivette CANJURA de Centeno (since 17 June 2016)
chancery: 1400 16th Street NW, Suite 100, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 595-7517
FAX: [1] (202) 232-1928
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Brentwood (NY), Chicago, Coral Gables (FL), Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas (NV), Los Angeles, McAllen (TX), New York, Nogales (AZ), San Francisco, Seattle, Tucson (AZ), Washington, DC, Woodbridge (VA), Woodstock (GA) consulate(s): Elizabeth (NJ), Newark (NJ)
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Jean MANES (since January 2016)
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
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The smallest country in Central America geographically, El Salvador has the fourth largest economy in the region. With the global recession, real GDP contracted in 2009 and economic growth has since remained low, averaging less than 2% from 2010 to 2014, but recovered somewhat in 2015. Remittances accounted for 17% of GDP in 2014 and were received by about a third of all households. In 2006, El Salvador was the first country to ratify the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement, which has bolstered the export of processed foods, sugar, and ethanol, and supported investment in the apparel sector amid increased Asian competition. In September 2015, El Salvador kicked off a five-year $277 million second compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation - a US Government agency aimed at stimulating economic growth and reducing poverty - to improve El Salvador's competitiveness and productivity in international markets.. The Salvadoran Government maintained fiscal discipline during post-war reconstruction and rebuilding following earthquakes in 2001 and hurricanes in 1998 and 2005, but El Salvador's public debt, estimated at 65% of GDP in 2015, has been growing over the last several years. Total external debt was nearly 60% of GDP in 2015.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $54.79 billion (2016 est.) $53.5 billion (2015 est.) $52.22 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $26.61 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.4% (2016 est.) 2.5% (2015 est.) 1.4% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $8,900 (2016 est.) $8,700 (2015 est.) $8,600 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 12.2% of GDP (2016 est.) 10.4% of GDP (2015 est.) 8.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 91.5%
government consumption: 12.3%
investment in fixed capital: 14.4%
investment in inventories: -0.1%
exports of goods and services: 26.2%
imports of goods and services: -44.3% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 91.5%
government consumption: 12.3%
investment in fixed capital: 14.4%
investment in inventories: -0.1%
exports of goods and services: 26.2%
imports of goods and services: -44.3% (2016 est.)
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: 2.4% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 2.788 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 21%
industry: 20%
services: 58% (2011 est.)
Unemployment rate: 5.5% (2016 est.) 5.5% (2015 est.) note: data are official rates; but underemployment is high
Population below poverty line: 36.5% (2010 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1%
highest 10%: 37% (2009 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 46.9 (2007) 52.5 (2001)
Budget: revenues: $5.443 billion
expenditures: $6.318 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 20.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 64.9% of GDP (2016 est.) 65.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

note: El Salvador's total public debt includes non-financial public sector debt, financial public sector debt, and central bank debt
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.1% (2016 est.) -0.7% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$549 million (2016 est.) -$920 million (2015 est.)
Exports: $4.556 billion (2016 est.) $4.381 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: offshore assembly exports, coffee, sugar, textiles and apparel, gold, ethanol, chemicals, electricity, iron and steel manufactures
Exports - partners: US 47.1%, Honduras 13.9%, Guatemala 13.6%, Nicaragua 6.6%, Costa Rica 4.5% (2015)
Imports: $9.444 billion (2016 est.) $9.321 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: raw materials, consumer goods, capital goods, fuels, foodstuffs, petroleum, electricity
Imports - partners: US 39.4%, Guatemala 9.6%, China 8.1%, Mexico 7.4%, Honduras 5.7% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $3.201 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $2.787 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $14.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $14.67 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $10.56 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $10.11 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $811.8 million (31 December 2016 est.) $951.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $10.74 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $5.474 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $4.227 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Exchange rates: note: the US dollar is used as a medium of exchange and circulates freely in the economy
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Electricity - production: 6.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 5.7 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 200 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports: 600 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 1.7 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 53.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 31.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 15.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 220 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 9,940 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 45,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 226.4 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 43,530 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 6.5 million Mt (2013 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total: 9.334 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 152 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: multiple mobile-cellular providers are expanding services rapidly; 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 (2015)
Broadcast media: multiple privately owned national terrestrial TV 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 users: total: 1.653 million percent of population: 26.9% (July 2015 est.)
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Airports: 68 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 5
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 63

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 51 (2013)
Heliports: 2 (2013)
Railways: total: 12.5 km
narrow gauge: 12.5 km 0.914-m gauge (2014)
Roadways: total 6,918 km
paved: 3,247 km (includes 341 km of expressways)
unpaved: 3,671 km (2010)
Waterways: (Rio Lempa is partially navigable by small craft) (2011)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Puerto Cutuco oil terminal(s): Acajutla offshore terminal
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Military branches: Salvadoran Armed Forces (Fuerza Armada de El Salvador, FAES): Salvadoran Army (Ejercito de El Salvador, ES), Salvadoran Navy (Fuerza Naval de El Slavador, FNES), Salvadoran Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Salvadorena, FAS) (2013)
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 is 12 months, with 11 months for officers and NCOs (2012)
Military expenditures: 0.99% of GDP (2012) 1.11% of GDP (2011) 0.99% of GDP (2010)
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 Transnational Issues
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 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
Refugees and internally displaced persons: IDPs: 289,000 (2015)
Illicit drugs: transshipment point for cocaine; small amounts of marijuana produced for local consumption; significant use of cocaine
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   Source: CIA - The World Factbook

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