El Salvador

Country Summary

Introduction

Background

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.

Geography

Area

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

Climate

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

Population

6,602,370 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

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

Languages

Spanish (official), Nawat (among some Indigenous)

Religions

Roman Catholic 43.9%, Protestant 39.6% (Evangelical - unspecified 38.2%, Evangelical - Methodist 1.3%, Evangelical - Baptist 0.1%), none 16.3%, unspecified 0.2% (2023 est.)

Population growth rate

0.46% (2023 est.)

Government

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: San Salvador

Executive branch

chief of state: Acting President Claudia Juana RODRÍGUEZ DE GUEVARA (since 1 December 2023); note - parliament granted a six-month leave of absence to President Nayib Armando BUKELE Ortez and Vice President Félix Augusto Antonio ULLOA Garay (to allow them to participate in the 4 February 2024 presidential election) and approved the appointment of Claudia Juana RODRÍGUEZ DE GUEVARA as acting president from 1 December 2023 to 1 June 2024, when election winner Nayib Armando BUKELE Ortez will be sworn in for a second term
head of government: Acting President Claudia Juana RODRÍGUEZ DE GUEVARA (since 1 December 2023)

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)

Economy

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)

$59.537 billion (2022 est.)
$58.028 billion (2021 est.)
$52.195 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$9,400 (2022 est.)
$9,200 (2021 est.)
$8,300 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

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

Industries

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

Exports

$10.129 billion (2022 est.)
$8.33 billion (2021 est.)
$6.073 billion (2020 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)

Imports

$18.07 billion (2022 est.)
$15.459 billion (2021 est.)
$10.398 billion (2020 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)


Page last updated: Tuesday, April 16, 2024