El Salvador

Country Summary



El Salvador achieved independence from Spain in 1821 and from the Central American Federation in 1839. A 12-year civil war was brought to a close in 1992 when the government and leftist rebels signed a treaty that provided for military and political reforms.



total: 21,041 sq km
land: 20,721 sq km
water: 320 sq km


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

Natural resources

hydropower, geothermal power, petroleum, arable land

People and Society


6,602,370 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

Mestizo 86.3%, White 12.7%, Amerindian 0.2% (includes Lenca, Kakawira, Nahua-Pipil), Black 0.1%, other 0.6% (2007 est.)


Spanish (official), Nawat (among some Amerindians)


Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 36%, other 2%, none 12% (2014 est.)

Population growth rate

0.46% (2023 est.)


Government type

presidential republic


name: San Salvador

Executive branch

chief of state: President Nayib Armando BUKELE Ortez (since 1 June 2019); Vice President Félix Augusto Antonio ULLOA Garay (since 1 June 2019); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Nayib Armando BUKELE Ortez (since 1 June 2019); Vice President Félix Augusto Antonio ULLOA Garay (since 1 June 2019)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa (84 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies and a single nationwide constituency by open-list proportional representation vote to serve 3-year terms)


Economic overview

growth-challenged Central American economy buttressed via remittances; dense labor force; fairly aggressive COVID-19 stimulus plan; new and lower banking reserve requirements; earthquake, tropical storm, and crime disruptions; widespread corruption

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$57.371 billion (2021 est.)
$52.024 billion (2020 est.)
$56.657 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$9,100 (2021 est.)
$8,300 (2020 est.)
$9,000 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, maize, milk, poultry, sorghum, beans, coconuts, eggs, apples, oranges


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


26.06% of GDP (2021 est.)
24.15% of GDP (2020 est.)
21.04% of GDP (2019 est.)


$8.491 billion (2021 est.)
$6.295 billion (2020 est.)
$8.057 billion (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

United States 40%, Guatemala 15%, Honduras 15%, Nicaragua 6% (2019)

Exports - commodities

clothing, electrical capacitors, plastic lids, sugar, packaged medicines, toilet paper (2021)


$15.754 billion (2021 est.)
$10.764 billion (2020 est.)
$12.469 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

United States 30%, China 14%, Guatemala 13%, Mexico 8%, Honduras 6% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, packaged medicines, clothing, broadcasting equipment, natural gas (2019)

Exchange rates

note: the US dollar is used as a medium of exchange and circulates freely in the economy
Exchange rates:
1 (2021 est.)
1 (2020 est.)
1 (2019 est.)
1 (2018 est.)
1 (2017 est.)

Page last updated: Tuesday, September 26, 2023