Introduction ::Honduras

    Once part of Spain's vast empire in the New World, Honduras became an independent nation in 1821. After two and a half decades of mostly military rule, a freely elected civilian government came to power in 1982. During the 1980s, Honduras proved a haven for anti-Sandinista contras fighting the Marxist Nicaraguan Government and an ally to Salvadoran Government forces fighting leftist guerrillas. The country was devastated by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, which killed about 5,600 people and caused approximately $2 billion in damage. Since then, the economy has slowly rebounded.

Geography ::Honduras

    Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Nicaragua and bordering the Gulf of Fonseca (North Pacific Ocean), between El Salvador and Nicaragua
    15 00 N, 86 30 W
    total: 112,090 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 103
    land: 111,890 sq km
    water: 200 sq km
    slightly larger than Tennessee
    total: 1,520 km
    border countries: Guatemala 256 km, El Salvador 342 km, Nicaragua 922 km
    Caribbean Sea 669 km; Gulf of Fonseca 163 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: natural extension of territory or to 200 nm
    subtropical in lowlands, temperate in mountains
    mostly mountains in interior, narrow coastal plains
    lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
    highest point: Cerro Las Minas 2,870 m
    timber, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, iron ore, antimony, coal, fish, hydropower
    arable land: 9.07%
    permanent crops: 3.91%
    other: 87.02% (2011)
    878.5 sq km (2007)
    95.93 cu km (2011)
    total: 2.12 cu km/yr (16%/23%/61%)
    per capita: 295.6 cu m/yr (2006)
    frequent, but generally mild, earthquakes; extremely susceptible to damaging hurricanes and floods along the Caribbean coast
    urban population expanding; deforestation results from logging and the clearing of land for agricultural purposes; further land degradation and soil erosion hastened by uncontrolled development and improper land use practices such as farming of marginal lands; mining activities polluting Lago de Yojoa (the country's largest source of fresh water), as well as several rivers and streams, with heavy metals
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    has only a short Pacific coast but a long Caribbean shoreline, including the virtually uninhabited eastern Mosquito Coast

People and Society ::Honduras

    noun: Honduran(s)
    adjective: Honduran
    mestizo (mixed Amerindian and European) 90%, Amerindian 7%, black 2%, white 1%
    Spanish (official), Amerindian dialects
    Roman Catholic 97%, Protestant 3%
    Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and has the world's highest murder rate. More than half of the population lives in poverty and per capita income is one of the lowest in the region. Poverty rates are higher among rural and indigenous people and in the south, west, and along the eastern border than in the north and central areas where most of Honduras' industries and infrastructure are concentrated. The increased productivity needed to break Honduras' persistent high poverty rate depends, in part, on further improvements in educational attainment. Although primary-school enrollment is near 100%, educational quality is poor, the drop-out rate and grade repetition remain high, and teacher and school accountability is low.
    Honduras' population growth rate has slowed since the 1990s, but it remains high at nearly 2% annually because the birth rate averages approximately three children per woman and more among rural, indigenous, and poor women. Consequently, Honduras' young adult population - ages 15 to 29 - is projected to continue growing rapidly for the next three decades and then stabilize or slowly shrink. Population growth and limited job prospects outside of agriculture will continue to drive emigration. Remittances represent about a fifth of GDP.
    8,448,465 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
    0-14 years: 35.5% (male 1,530,385/female 1,466,136)
    15-24 years: 21.2% (male 913,818/female 878,340)
    25-54 years: 34.8% (male 1,482,548/female 1,459,341)
    55-64 years: 4.6% (male 178,514/female 208,243)
    65 years and over: 3.9% (male 145,626/female 185,514) (2013 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 65.8 %
    youth dependency ratio: 58.4 %
    elderly dependency ratio: 7.4 %
    potential support ratio: 13.6 (2013)
    total: 21.6 years
    male: 21.3 years
    female: 22 years (2013 est.)
    1.79% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    24.16 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    5.09 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    -1.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    urban population: 52% of total population (2010)
    rate of urbanization: 3.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    TEGUCIGALPA (capital) 1 million (2009)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.85 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
    20.1 (2006 est.)
    100 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    total: 19.28 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 96
    male: 21.83 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 16.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total population: 70.81 years
    country comparison to the world: 148
    male: 69.14 years
    female: 72.56 years (2013 est.)
    2.94 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    65.2% (2005/06)
    6.8% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    0.57 physicians/1,000 population (2000)
    0.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    urban: 95% of population
    rural: 79% of population
    total: 87% of population
    urban: 5% of population
    rural: 21% of population
    total: 13% of population (2010 est.)
    urban: 85% of population
    rural: 69% of population
    total: 77% of population
    urban: 15% of population
    rural: 31% of population
    total: 23% of population (2010 est.)
    0.8% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    39,000 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    2,500 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    degree of risk: high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria (2013)
    18.4% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    8.6% (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 85.1%
    male: 85.3%
    female: 84.9% (2011 est.)
    total: 12 years
    male: 11 years
    female: 12 years (2010)
    total number: 280,809
    percentage: 16 % (2002 est.)
    total: 7%
    country comparison to the world: 126
    male: 5.2%
    female: 11.2% (2005)

Government ::Honduras

    conventional long form: Republic of Honduras
    conventional short form: Honduras
    local long form: Republica de Honduras
    local short form: Honduras
    democratic constitutional republic
    name: Tegucigalpa
    geographic coordinates: 14 06 N, 87 13 W
    time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: none scheduled for 2013
    18 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Atlantida, Choluteca, Colon, Comayagua, Copan, Cortes, El Paraiso, Francisco Morazan, Gracias a Dios, Intibuca, Islas de la Bahia, La Paz, Lempira, Ocotepeque, Olancho, Santa Barbara, Valle, Yoro
    15 September 1821 (from Spain)
    Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
    11 January 1982, effective 20 January 1982; amended many times
    civil law system
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal and compulsory
    chief of state: President Porfirio LOBO Sosa (since 27 January 2010); Vice President Maria Antonieta GUILLEN de Bogran (since 27 January 2010); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Porfirio LOBO Sosa (since 27 January 2010); Vice President Maria Antonieta GUILLEN de Bogran (since 27 January 2010)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by president
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held on 29 November 2009 (next to be held in November 2013)
    election results: Porfirio LOBO Sosa elected president; percent of vote - Porfirio LOBO Sosa 56.3%, Elvin SANTOS Lozano 38.1%, other 5.6%
    unicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional (128 seats; members elected proportionally by department to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held on 29 November 2009 (next to be held in November 2013)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PNH 71, PL 45, DC 5, UD 4, PINU 3
    highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (9 principal judges - including the court president - and 7 alternates; court organized into civil, criminal, and labor chambers); note - the court has both judicial and constitutional jurisdiction
    judge selection and term of office: court president elected by his peers; judges elected by the National Congress from candidates proposed by the Nominating Board, a diverse 7-member group of judicial officials, other government and non-government officials selected by each of their organizations; judges elected by Congress for renewable, 7-year terms
    subordinate courts: courts of appeal; courts of first instance; peace courts
    Anti-Corruption Party or PAC [Salvador NASRALLA]
    Christian Democratic Party or DC [Felicito AVILA Ordonez]
    Broad Political Electoral Front in Resistance or FAPER [Andres PAVON]
    Democratic Unification Party or UD [Cesar HAM]
    Freedom and Refounding Party or LIBRE [Jose Manuel ZELAYA Rosales]
    Liberal Party or PL [Elvin SANTOS Brito]
    National Party of Honduras or PNH [Ricardo ALVAREZ]
    Social Democratic Innovation and Unity Party or PINU [Jorge Rafael AGUILAR Paredes]
    Beverage and Related Industries Syndicate or STIBYS
    Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras or CODEH
    Confederation of Honduran Workers or CTH
    Coordinating Committee of Popular Organizations or CCOP
    General Workers Confederation or CGT
    Honduran Council of Private Enterprise or COHEP
    National Association of Honduran Campesinos or ANACH
    National Union of Campesinos or UNC
    Popular Bloc or BP
    United Confederation of Honduran Workers or CUTH
    United Farm Workers' Movement of the Aguan (MUCA)
    BCIE, CACM, CD, CELAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC (suspended), IOM, IPU, ISO (subscriber), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, NAM, OAS (suspended), OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, Petrocaribe, SICA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO (suspended), WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Jorge Ramon HERNANDEZ Alcerro
    chancery: Suite 4-M, 3007 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 966-2604
    FAX: [1] (202) 966-9751
    consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Belmont (MA), Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco
    chief of mission: Ambassador Lisa J. KUBISKE
    embassy: Avenida La Paz, Apartado Postal No. 3453, Tegucigalpa
    mailing address: American Embassy, APO AA 34022, Tegucigalpa
    telephone: [504] 2236-9320, 2238-5114
    FAX: [504] 2236-9037
    three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and blue, with five blue, five-pointed stars arranged in an X pattern centered in the white band; the stars represent the members of the former Federal Republic of Central America - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua; the blue bands symbolize the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea; the white band represents the land between the two bodies of water and the peace and prosperity of its people
    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 Nicaragua, which features a triangle encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE NICARAGUA on top and AMERICA CENTRAL on the bottom, centered in the white band
    scarlet macaw; white-tailed deer
    name: "Himno Nacional de Honduras" (National Anthem of Honduras)

    lyrics/music: Augusto Constancio COELLO/Carlos HARTLING
    note: adopted 1915; the anthem's seven verses chronicle Honduran history; on official occasions, only the chorus and last verse are sung

Economy ::Honduras

    Honduras, the second poorest country in Central America, suffers from extraordinarily unequal distribution of income, as well as high underemployment. While historically dependent on the export of bananas and coffee, Honduras has diversified its export base to include apparel and automobile wire harnessing. Nearly half of Honduras's economic activity is directly tied to the US, with exports to the US accounting for 30% of GDP and remittances for another 20%. The US-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) came into force in 2006 and has helped foster foreign direct investment, but physical and political insecurity, as well as crime and perceptions of corruption, may deter potential investors; about 70% of FDI is from US firms. The economy registered modest economic growth of 3.0%-4.0% from 2010 to 2012, insufficient to improve living standards for the nearly 65% of the population in poverty. An 18-month IMF Standby Arrangement expired in March 2012 and was not renewed, due to the country's growing budget deficit and weak current account performance. Public sector workers complained of not receiving their salaries in November and December 2012, and government suppliers are owed at least several hundred million dollars in unpaid contracts. The government announced in January 2013 that loss-making public enterprises will be forced to submit financial rescue plans before receiving their budget allotments for 2013.
    $38.42 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    $37.2 billion (2011 est.)
    $35.86 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $18.39 billion (2012 est.)
    3.3% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    3.7% (2011 est.)
    3.7% (2010 est.)
    $4,700 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    $4,600 (2011 est.)
    $4,600 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    16% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    18.9% of GDP (2011 est.)
    16.6% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 78.6%
    government consumption: 16.2%
    investment in fixed capital: 25.4%
    investment in inventories: 0.1%
    exports of goods and services: 49%
    imports of goods and services: -69.4%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 13.9%
    industry: 27.7%
    services: 58.4% (2012 est.)
    bananas, coffee, citrus, corn, African palm; beef; timber; shrimp, tilapia, lobster
    sugar, coffee, woven and knit apparel, wood products, cigars
    1.6% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    3.437 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    agriculture: 39.2%
    industry: 20.9%
    services: 39.8% (2005 est.)
    4.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    4.9% (2011 est.)
    note: about one-third of the people are underemployed
    60% (2010 est.)
    lowest 10%: 0.4%
    highest 10%: 42.4% (2009 est.)
    57.7 (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    53.8 (2003)
    revenues: $3.074 billion
    expenditures: $4.169 billion (2012 est.)
    16.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    -6% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    34.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    32.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
    calendar year
    5.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    6.8% (2011 est.)
    6.25% (31 December 2010 est.)
    NA% (31 December 2009 est.)
    18.45% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    18.56% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $1.913 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    $2.154 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $9.112 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    $8.127 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $10.5 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    $9.576 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    -$1.661 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    -$1.503 billion (2011 est.)
    $7.931 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    $7.8 billion (2011 est.)
    apparel, coffee, shrimp, automobile wire harnesses, cigars, bananas, gold, palm oil, fruit, lobster, lumber
    US 40%, Germany 9.7%, El Salvador 6%, Belgium 5.9%, Guatemala 4.5%, Nicaragua 4.1% (2012)
    $11.18 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    $10.99 billion (2011 est.)
    machinery and transport equipment, industrial raw materials, chemical products, fuels, foodstuffs
    US 44.3%, Guatemala 8.5%, China 6%, El Salvador 5.6%, Mexico 5.5% (2012)
    $2.533 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    $2.793 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $4.782 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    $4.452 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    lempiras (HNL) per US dollar -
    19.638 (2012 est.)
    19.051 (2011 est.)
    18.9 (2010 est.)
    18.9 (2009)
    18.983 (2008)

Energy ::Honduras

Communications ::Honduras

    609,200 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    8.062 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    general assessment: fixed-line connections are increasing but still limited; competition among multiple providers of mobile-cellular services is contributing to a sharp increase in subscribership
    domestic: beginning in 2003, private sub-operators allowed to provide fixed-lines in order to expand telephone coverage contributing to a small increase in fixed-line teledensity; mobile-cellular subscribership is roughly 100 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 504; landing point for both the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) and the MAYA-1 fiber-optic submarine cable system that together provide connectivity to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to Central American Microwave System (2011)
    multiple privately owned terrestrial TV networks, supplemented by multiple cable TV networks; Radio Honduras is the lone government-owned radio network; roughly 300 privately owned radio stations (2007)
    30,955 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    731,700 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 108

Transportation ::Honduras

    103 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    total: 13
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
    914 to 1,523 m: 4
    under 914 m: 3 (2013)
    total: 90
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 16
    under 914 m:
    73 (2013)
    total: 44 km
    country comparison to the world: 131
    narrow gauge: 44 km 1.067-m gauge
    note: (4 km are in use) (2012)
    total: 14,742 km
    country comparison to the world: 123
    paved: 3,367 km
    unpaved: 11,375 km (1,543 km summer only)
    note: there are another 8,951 km of non-offical roads used by the coffee industry (2012)
    465 km (most navigable only by small craft) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    total: 88
    country comparison to the world: 55
    by type: bulk carrier 5, cargo 39, carrier 2, chemical tanker 5, container 1, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 21, refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 3
    foreign-owned: 47 (Bahrain 5, Canada 1, Chile 1, China 2, Egypt 2, Greece 4, Israel 1, Japan 4, Lebanon 2, Montenegro 1, Panama 1, Singapore 11, South Korea 6, Taiwan 1, Thailand 2, UAE 1, UK 1, US 1) (2010)
    major seaport(s): La Ceiba, Puerto Cortes, San Lorenzo, Tela

Military ::Honduras

Transnational Issues ::Honduras

    International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on the delimitation of "bolsones" (disputed areas) along the El Salvador-Honduras border in 1992 with final settlement 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 with consideration of Honduran access to the Pacific; El Salvador continues to claim tiny Conejo Island, not mentioned in the ICJ ruling, off Honduras in the Gulf of Fonseca; Honduras claims the Belizean-administered Sapodilla Cays off the coast of Belize in its constitution, but agreed to a joint ecological park around the cays should Guatemala consent to a maritime corridor in the Caribbean under the OAS-sponsored 2002 Belize-Guatemala Differendum
    current situation: Honduras is a source and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; Honduran women and girls, and, to a lesser extent, women and girls from neighboring countries, are forced into prostitution in urban and tourist centers; Honduran women and girls are also exploited in sex trafficking in other countries in the region, including Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and the US; Honduran adults and children are subjected to forced labor in Guatemala, Mexico, and the US and domestically in agriculture and domestic service; gangs coerce some young men to transport drugs or be hit men
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Honduras does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government maintains limited law enforcement efforts against child sex trafficking offenders but has held no offenders accountable for the forced labor or forced prostitution of adults; most trafficking offenders are prosecuted under non-trafficking statutes that prescribe lower penalties; government efforts to identify, refer, and assist trafficking victims are inadequate, and most services for victims are provided by NGOs without government funding (2013)
    transshipment point for drugs and narcotics; illicit producer of cannabis, cultivated on small plots and used principally for local consumption; corruption is a major problem; some money-laundering activity