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Central America :: Nicaragua Print
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NICARAGUA
  • Introduction :: Nicaragua
  • Background field listing
    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 led by Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra to power in 1979. Nicaraguan aid to leftist rebels in El Salvador prompted the US to sponsor anti-Sandinista contra guerrillas through much of the 1980s. After losing free and fair elections in 1990, 1996, and 2001, former Sandinista President Daniel ORTEGA was elected president in 2006, 2011, and most recently in 2016. Municipal, regional, and national-level elections since 2008 have been marred by widespread irregularities. Nicaragua's infrastructure and economy - hard hit by the earlier civil war and by Hurricane Mitch in 1998 - are being rebuilt, but democratic institutions have weakened under the ORTEGA administration as the president has garnered full control over all four branches of government: the executive, the judicial, the legislative, and the electoral.
    NICARAGUA SUMMARY: PDF
  • Geography :: Nicaragua
  • Location field listing
    Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Costa Rica and Honduras
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    13 00 N, 85 00 W
    Map references field listing
    Central America and the Caribbean
    Area field listing
    total: 130,370 sq km
    land: 119,990 sq km
    water: 10,380 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 99
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly larger than Pennsylvania; slightly smaller than New York state
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 1,253 km
    border countries (2): Costa Rica 313 km, Honduras 940 km
    Coastline field listing
    910 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    continental shelf: natural prolongation
    Climate field listing
    tropical in lowlands, cooler in highlands
    Terrain field listing
    extensive Atlantic coastal plains rising to central interior mountains; narrow Pacific coastal plain interrupted by volcanoes
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 298 m
    elevation extremes: 0 m lowest point: Pacific Ocean
    2085 highest point: Mogoton
    Natural resources field listing
    gold, silver, copper, tungsten, lead, zinc, timber, fish
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 42.2% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 12.5% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 2.5% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 27.2% (2011 est.)
    forest: 25.3% (2011 est.)
    other: 32.5% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    1,990 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    the overwhelming majority of the population resides in the western half of the country, with much of the urban growth centered in the capital city of Managua; coastal areas also show large population clusters
    Natural hazards field listing

    destructive earthquakes; volcanoes; landslides; extremely susceptible to hurricanes

    volcanism: significant volcanic activity; Cerro Negro (728 m), which last erupted in 1999, is one of Nicaragua's most active volcanoes; its lava flows and ash have been known to cause significant damage to farmland and buildings; other historically active volcanoes include Concepcion, Cosiguina, Las Pilas, Masaya, Momotombo, San Cristobal, and Telica

    Environment - current issues field listing
    deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; drought
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note field listing
    largest country in Central America; contains the largest freshwater body in Central America, Lago de Nicaragua
  • People and Society :: Nicaragua
  • Population field listing
    6,085,213 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Nicaraguan(s)
    adjective: Nicaraguan
    Ethnic groups field listing
    mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 69%, white 17%, black 9%, Amerindian 5%
    Languages field listing
    Spanish (official) 95.3%, Miskito 2.2%, Mestizo of the Caribbean coast 2%, other 0.5% (2005 est.)

    note: English and indigenous languages found on the Caribbean coast

    Religions field listing
    Roman Catholic 50%, Evangelical 33.2%, other 2.9%, unspecified 13.2%, none 0.7% (2017 est.)
    Demographic profile field listing

    Despite being one of the poorest countries in Latin America, Nicaragua has improved its access to potable water and sanitation and has ameliorated its life expectancy, infant and child mortality, and immunization rates. However, income distribution is very uneven, and the poor, agriculturalists, and indigenous people continue to have less access to healthcare services. Nicaragua's total fertility rate has fallen from around 6 children per woman in 1980 to below replacement level today, but the high birth rate among adolescents perpetuates a cycle of poverty and low educational attainment.

    Nicaraguans emigrate primarily to Costa Rica and to a lesser extent the United States. Nicaraguan men have been migrating seasonally to Costa Rica to harvest bananas and coffee since the early 20th century. Political turmoil, civil war, and natural disasters from the 1970s through the 1990s dramatically increased the flow of refugees and permanent migrants seeking jobs, higher wages, and better social and healthcare benefits. Since 2000, Nicaraguan emigration to Costa Rica has slowed and stabilized. Today roughly 300,000 Nicaraguans are permanent residents of Costa Rica - about 75% of the foreign population - and thousands more migrate seasonally for work, many illegally.

    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 26.65% (male 827,585 /female 794,086)
    15-24 years: 20.67% (male 632,847 /female 624,811)
    25-54 years: 41.04% (male 1,186,467 /female 1,310,957)
    55-64 years: 6.19% (male 173,674 /female 202,765)
    65 years and over: 5.46% (male 147,324 /female 184,697) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 54.1 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 46.3 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 7.8 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 12.8 (2015 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 26.2 years
    male: 25.3 years
    female: 27.1 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Population growth rate field listing
    0.97% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    Birth rate field listing
    17.5 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Death rate field listing
    5.2 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    Net migration rate field listing
    -2.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    Population distribution field listing
    the overwhelming majority of the population resides in the western half of the country, with much of the urban growth centered in the capital city of Managua; coastal areas also show large population clusters
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 58.5% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 1.45% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    1.048 million MANAGUA (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 0.9 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.86 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth field listing
    19.2 years (2011/12 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    150 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 17.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 20.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 15 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 73.7 years (2018 est.)
    male: 71.5 years (2018 est.)
    female: 76.1 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.87 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    80.4% (2011/12)
    Health expenditures field listing
    9% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    Physicians density field listing
    0.91 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    0.9 beds/1,000 population (2014)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 99.3% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 69.4% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 87% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 0.7% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 30.6% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 13% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 76.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 55.7% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 67.9% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 23.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 44.3% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 32.1% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    0.2% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    9,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    <500 (2017 est.)
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: high (2016)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2016)
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria (2016)

    note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus

    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    23.7% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    4.6% (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Education expenditures field listing
    4.5% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
    total population: 82.8% (2015 est.)
    male: 82.4% (2015 est.)
    female: 83.2% (2015 est.)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 8.5% (2014 est.)
    male: 6.4% (2014 est.)
    female: 12.9% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
  • Government :: Nicaragua
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Republic of Nicaragua
    conventional short form: Nicaragua
    local long form: Republica de Nicaragua
    local short form: Nicaragua
    etymology: Nicarao was the name of the largest indigenous settlement at the time of Spanish arrival; conquistador Gil GONZALEZ Davila, who explored the area (1622-23), combined the name of the community with the Spanish word "agua" (water), referring to the two large lakes in the west of the country (Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua)
    Government type field listing
    presidential republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Managua
    geographic coordinates: 12 08 N, 86 15 W
    time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    Administrative divisions field listing
    15 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 2 autonomous regions* (regiones autonomistas, singular - region autonoma); Boaco, Carazo, Chinandega, Chontales, Costa Caribe Norte*, Costa Caribe Sur*, Esteli, Granada, Jinotega, Leon, Madriz, Managua, Masaya, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia, Rio San Juan, Rivas
    Independence field listing
    15 September 1821 (from Spain)
    National holiday field listing
    Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
    Constitution field listing
    history: several previous; latest adopted 19 November 1986, effective 9 January 1987 (2018)
    amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or supported by at least half the National Assembly membership; passage requires approval by 60% of the membership of the next elected Assembly and promulgation by the president of the republic; amended several times, last in 2014 (2018)
    International law organization participation field listing
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: yes
    citizenship by descent only: yes
    dual citizenship recognized: no, except in cases where bilateral agreements exist
    residency requirement for naturalization: 4 years
    Suffrage field listing
    16 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Jose Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra (since 10 January 2007); Vice President Rosario MURILLO Zambrana (since 10 January 2017); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Jose Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra (since 10 January 2007); Vice President Rosario MURILLO Zambrana (since 10 January 2017)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 6 November 2016 (next to be held by November 2021)
    election results: Jose Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra reelected president; percent of vote - Jose Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra (FSLN) 72.4%, Maximino RODRIGUEZ (PLC) 15%, Jose del Carmen ALVARADO (PLI) 4.5%, Saturnino CERRATO Hodgson (ALN) 4.3%, other 3.7%
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (92 seats; 70 members in multi-seat constituencies and 20 members in a single nationwide constituency directly elected by proportional representation vote; 2 seats reserved for the previous president and the runner-up candidate in the previous presidential election; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: last held on 6 November 2016 (next to be held by November 2021)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FSLN 70, PLC 13, ALN 2, PLI 2, APRE 1, PC 1, YATAMA 1
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of 16 judges organized into administrative, civil, criminal, and constitutional chambers)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges elected by the National Assembly to serve 5-year staggered terms
    subordinate courts: Appeals Court; first instance civil, criminal, and military courts
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Alliance for the Republic or APRE [Carlos CANALES]
    Conservative Party or PC [Alfredo CESAR]
    Independent Liberal Party or PLI [Jose del Carmen ALVARADO]
    Liberal Constitutionalist Party or PLC [Maria Haydee OSUNA]
    Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance or ALN [Alejandro MEJIA Ferreti]
    Sandinista National Liberation Front or FSLN [Jose Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra]
    Sandinista Renovation Movement or MRS [Ana Margarita VIJIL]
    Sons of Mother Earth or YATAMA [Brooklin RIVERA]
    International organization participation field listing
    BCIE, CACM, CD, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, Petrocaribe, SICA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Francisco Obadiah CAMPBELL Hooker (since 28 June 2010)
    chancery: 1627 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 939-6570, 6573
    FAX: [1] (202) 939-6545
    consulate(s) general: Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Laura Farnsworth DOGU (since 9 November 2015)
    embassy: Kilometer 5.5 Carretera Sur, Managua
    mailing address: American Embassy Managua, APO AA 34021
    telephone: [505] 2252-7100, 2252-7888; 2252-7100 or 8767-7100 (after hours)
    FAX: [505] 2252-7250
    Flag description field listing
    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; 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

    note: 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

    National symbol(s) field listing
    turquoise-browed motmot (bird); national colors: blue, white
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Salve a ti, Nicaragua" (Hail to Thee, Nicaragua)
    lyrics/music: Salomon Ibarra MAYORGA/traditional, arranged by Luis Abraham DELGADILLO

    note: although only officially adopted in 1971, the music was approved in 1918 and the lyrics in 1939; the tune, originally from Spain, was used as an anthem for Nicaragua from the 1830s until 1876

  • Economy :: Nicaragua
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Nicaragua, the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the Western Hemisphere, has widespread underemployment and poverty. GDP growth of 4.5% in 2017 was insufficient to make a significant difference. Textiles and agriculture combined account for nearly 50% of Nicaragua's exports. Beef, coffee, and gold are Nicaragua’s top three export commodities.

    The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement has been in effect since April 2006 and has expanded export opportunities for many Nicaraguan agricultural and manufactured goods.

    In 2013, the government granted a 50-year concession with the option for an additional 50 years to a newly formed Chinese-run company to finance and build an inter-oceanic canal and related projects, at an estimated cost of $50 billion. The canal construction has not started.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $36.4 billion (2017 est.)
    $34.71 billion (2016 est.)
    $33.17 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 124
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $13.81 billion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    4.9% (2017 est.)
    4.7% (2016 est.)
    4.8% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $5,900 (2017 est.)
    $5,600 (2016 est.)
    $5,500 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 165
    Gross national saving field listing
    24% of GDP (2017 est.)
    23.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    23.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 69.9% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 15.3% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 28.1% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 1.7% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 41.2% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -55.4% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 15.5% (2017 est.)
    industry: 24.4% (2017 est.)
    services: 60% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    coffee, bananas, sugarcane, rice, corn, tobacco, cotton, sesame, soya, beans, beef, veal, pork, poultry, dairy products, shrimp, lobsters, peanuts
    Industries field listing
    food processing, chemicals, machinery and metal products, knit and woven apparel, petroleum refining and distribution, beverages, footwear, wood, electric wire harness manufacturing, mining
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    3.5% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Labor force field listing
    3.046 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 50% (2011 est.)
    industry: 18% (2011 est.)
    services: 50% (2011 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    6.4% (2017 est.)
    6.2% (2016 est.)

    note: underemployment was 46.5% in 2008

    country comparison to the world: 95
    Population below poverty line field listing
    29.6% (2015 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 47.1% (2014)
    highest 10%: 47.1% (2014)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index field listing
    47.1 (2014)
    45.8 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 3.871 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 4.15 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    28% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    Public debt field listing
    33.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
    31.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

    note: official data; data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by Government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as retirement, medical care, and unemployment, debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions; Nicaragua rebased its GDP figures in 2012, which reduced the figures for debt as a percentage of GDP

    country comparison to the world: 157
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    3.9% (2017 est.)
    3.5% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    Central bank discount rate field listing
    3% (31 December 2010)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Commercial bank prime lending rate field listing
    10.8% (31 December 2017 est.)
    11.44% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Stock of narrow money field listing
    $1.162 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.043 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    Stock of broad money field listing
    $1.162 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.043 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    Stock of domestic credit field listing
    $6.461 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $6.159 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    Market value of publicly traded shares field listing
    $1.568 billion (31 December 2016)
    $1.209 billion (31 December 2015)
    $995 million (31 December 2014)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    Current account balance field listing
    -$694 million (2017 est.)
    -$989 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Exports field listing
    $38.19 billion (2017 est.)
    $3.772 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Exports - commodities field listing
    coffee, beef, gold, sugar, peanuts, shrimp and lobster, tobacco, cigars, automobile wiring harnesses, textiles, apparel
    Exports - partners field listing
    US 44.2%, El Salvador 6.4%, Venezuela 5.5%, Costa Rica 5.5% (2017)
    Imports field listing
    $39.74 billion (2017 est.)
    $6.384 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    Imports - commodities field listing
    consumer goods, machinery and equipment, raw materials, petroleum products
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $2.758 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $2.448 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    Imports - partners field listing
    US 20.8%, China 14.3%, Mexico 11.1%, Costa Rica 7.9%, Guatemala 7%, El Salvador 5.6% (2017)
    Debt - external field listing
    $11.31 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $10.87 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    Exchange rates field listing
    cordobas (NIO) per US dollar -
    30.11 (2017 est.)
    28.678 (2016 est.)
    28.678 (2015 est.)
    27.257 (2014 est.)
    26.01 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Nicaragua
  • Electricity access field listing
    population without electricity: 1.4 million (2013)
    electrification - total population: 78% (2013)
    electrification - urban areas: 100% (2013)
    electrification - rural areas: 43% (2013)
    Electricity - production field listing
    3.218 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    3.177 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    Electricity - exports field listing
    17.87 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    Electricity - imports field listing
    109 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    1.395 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    59% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    8.4% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    36.1% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    14,180 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    0 bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    14,260 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    30,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    253 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    16,130 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    Natural gas - production field listing
    0 cu m (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    0 cu m (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    0 cu m (1 January 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    5.2 million Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
  • Communications :: Nicaragua
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 375,856 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 6 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 8,179,876 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 136 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    Telephone system field listing
    general assessment: system being upgraded by foreign investment; nearly all installed telecommunications capacity now uses digital technology, owing to investments since privatization of the formerly state-owned telecommunications company (2016)
    domestic: since privatization, access to fixed-line and mobile-cellular services has improved; fixed-line teledensity roughly 6 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone subscribership has increased to almost 130 per 100 persons (2016)
    international: country code - 505; the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) fiber-optic submarine cable provides connectivity to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth stations - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region) and 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2016)
    Broadcast media field listing
    multiple terrestrial TV stations, supplemented by cable TV in most urban areas; nearly all are government-owned or affiliated; more than 300 radio stations, both government-affiliated and privately owned (2016)
    Internet country code field listing
    .ni
    Internet users field listing
    total: 1,466,152 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 24.6% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 210,124 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
  • Transportation :: Nicaragua
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 1 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 2 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 61,031 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    YN (2016)
    Airports field listing
    147 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 12 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2017)
    under 914 m: 4 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 135 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 15 (2013)
    under 914 m: 119 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    54 km oil (2013)
    Roadways field listing
    total: 23,897 km (2014)
    paved: 3,346 km (2014)
    unpaved: 20,551 km (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    Waterways field listing
    2,220 km (navigable waterways as well as the use of the large Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua; rivers serve only the sparsely populated eastern part of the country) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 5 (2017)
    by type: general cargo 1, oil tanker 1, other 3 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Bluefields, Corinto
  • Military and Security :: Nicaragua
  • Military expenditures field listing
    0.55% of GDP (2016)
    0.78% of GDP (2015)
    0.69% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    Military branches field listing
    National Army of Nicaragua (Ejercito Nacional de Nicaragua, ENN; includes Navy, Air Force) (2013)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; tour of duty 18-36 months; requires Nicaraguan nationality and 6th-grade education (2012)
  • Transnational Issues :: Nicaragua
  • Disputes - international field listing
    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 PacificNicaragua and Costa Rica regularly file border dispute cases to the ICJ over the delimitations of the San Juan River and the northern tip of Calero Island; in Februay 2018, the ICJ determined Pacific and Atlantic ocean maritime borders as well as land borders, including the status of Calero Island; in 2009, the ICJ ruled that Costa Rican vessels carrying out police activities could not use the river, but official Costa Rican vessels providing essential services to riverside inhabitants and Costa Rican tourists could travel freely on the river; in 2011, the ICJ provisionally ruled that both countries must remove personnel from the disputed area; in 2013, the ICJ rejected Nicaragua's 2012 suit to halt Costa Rica's construction of a highway paralleling the river on the grounds of irreparable environmental damage; in 2013 regarding the disputed territory, the ICJ ordered that Nicaragua should refrain from dredging or canal construction and refill and repair damage caused by trenches connecting the river to the Caribbean and upheld its 2010 ruling that Nicaragua must remove all personnel; in early 2014, Costa Rica brought Nicaragua to the ICJ over offshore oil concessions in the disputed region; in 2015, the ICJ ruled that Costa Rica had sovereignty over the northern part of Isla Portillos and that Nicaragua was in breach of Costa Rican territorial sovereignty since 2010. The ICJ ordered Nicaragua to make reparations to Costa Rica, and after both parties failed to agree on the reparation sum, the ICJ ruled an amount in February 2018; Nicaragua filed a case against Colombia in 2013 over the delimitation of the continental shelf beyond the 200 nautical miles from the Nicaraguan coast, as well as over the alleged violation by Colombia of Nicaraguan maritime space in the Caribbean Sea
    Illicit drugs field listing
    transshipment point for cocaine destined for the US and transshipment point for arms-for-drugs dealing