Photos of Honduras

Entrance way and carvings at the Mayan ruins of Copan.



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.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Nicaragua and bordering the Gulf of Fonseca (North Pacific Ocean), between El Salvador and Nicaragua

Geographic coordinates

15 00 N, 86 30 W

Map references

Central America and the Caribbean


total: 112,090 sq km

land: 111,890 sq km

water: 200 sq km

country comparison to the world: 103

Area - comparative

slightly larger than Tennessee

<p>slightly larger than Tennessee</p>

Land boundaries

total: 1,575 km

border countries (3): Guatemala 244 km, El Salvador 391 km, Nicaragua 940 km


823 km (Caribbean Sea 669 km, Gulf of Fonseca 163 km)

Maritime claims

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


highest point: Cerro Las Minas 2,870 m

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

mean elevation: 684 m

Natural resources

timber, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, iron ore, antimony, coal, fish, hydropower

Land use

agricultural land: 28.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 9.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 4% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 15.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 45.3% (2018 est.)

other: 25.9% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

900 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

most residents live in the mountainous western half of the country; unlike other Central American nations, Honduras is the only one with an urban population that is distributed between two large centers - the capital of Tegucigalpa and the city of San Pedro Sula; the Rio Ulua valley in the north is the only densely populated lowland area

Natural hazards

frequent, but generally mild, earthquakes; extremely susceptible to damaging hurricanes and floods along the Caribbean coast

Geography - note

has only a short Pacific coast but a long Caribbean shoreline, including the virtually uninhabited eastern Mosquito Coast

People and Society


9,346,277 (July 2021 est.)

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

country comparison to the world: 95


noun: Honduran(s)

adjective: Honduran

Ethnic groups

Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and European) 90%, Amerindian 7%, African descent 2%, White 1%


Spanish (official), Amerindian dialects

major-language sample(s):
La Libreta Informativa del Mundo, la fuente indispensable de información básica. (Spanish)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Spanish audio sample:


Roman Catholic 46%, Protestant 41%, atheist 1%, other 2%, none 9% (2014 est.)

Demographic profile

Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and has one of the world's highest murder rates. 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 and is now 1.2% annually with a birth rate that averages 2.1 children per woman and more among rural, indigenous, and poor women. 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.

Age structure

0-14 years: 30.2% (male 1,411,537/female 1,377,319)

15-24 years: 21.03% (male 969,302/female 972,843)

25-54 years: 37.79% (male 1,657,260/female 1,832,780)

55-64 years: 5.58% (male 233,735/female 281,525)

65 years and over: 5.4% (male 221,779/female 277,260) (2020 est.)

This is the population pyramid for Honduras. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends. <br/><br/>For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 55.2

youth dependency ratio: 47.5

elderly dependency ratio: 7.7

potential support ratio: 13 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 24.4 years

male: 23.5 years

female: 25.2 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 165

Birth rate

18.19 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 83

Death rate

4.67 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 202

Net migration rate

-1.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 152

Population distribution

most residents live in the mountainous western half of the country; unlike other Central American nations, Honduras is the only one with an urban population that is distributed between two large centers - the capital of Tegucigalpa and the city of San Pedro Sula; the Rio Ulua valley in the north is the only densely populated lowland area


urban population: 59% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 2.48% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

1.485 million TEGUCIGALPA (capital), 929,000 San Pedro Sula (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.9 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.83 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

20.3 years (2011/12 est.)

note: median age a first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality ratio

65 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 86

Infant mortality rate

total: 15.39 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 17.52 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 13.19 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 101

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 74.9 years

male: 71.34 years

female: 78.58 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 133

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 88.9% of population

total: 94.8% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 11.1% of population

total: 5.2% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

0.31 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

0.6 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 95.4% of population

rural: 83.5% of population

total: 90.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 4.6% of population

rural: 16.5% of population

total: 9.8% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

<1000 (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 87.2%

male: 87.1%

female: 87.3% (2016)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 10 years

male: 10 years

female: 11 years (2017)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 10.9%

male: 7.6%

female: 17.6% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 118


Environment - current issues

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

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 20.12 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 9.81 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 7.72 megatons (2020 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 315 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 114 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 1.178 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

92.164 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)


subtropical in lowlands, temperate in mountains

Land use

agricultural land: 28.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 9.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 4% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 15.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 45.3% (2018 est.)

other: 25.9% (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 111


urban population: 59% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 2.48% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 2,162,028 tons (2016 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Honduras

conventional short form: Honduras

local long form: Republica de Honduras

local short form: Honduras

etymology: the name means "depths" in Spanish and refers to the deep anchorage in the northern Bay of Trujillo

Government type

presidential republic


name: Tegucigalpa; note - article eight of the Honduran constitution states that the twin cities of Tegucigalpa and Comayaguela, jointly, constitute the capital of the Republic of Honduras; however, virtually all governmental institutions are on the Tegucigalpa side, which in practical terms makes Tegucigalpa the capital

geographic coordinates: 14 06 N, 87 13 W

time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)

etymology: while most sources agree that Tegucigalpa is of Nahuatl derivation, there is no consensus on its original meaning

Administrative divisions

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)

National holiday

Independence Day, 15 September (1821)


history: several previous; latest approved 11 January 1982, effective 20 January 1982

amendments: proposed by the National Congress with at least two-thirds majority vote of the membership; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of Congress in its next annual session; constitutional articles, such as the form of government, national sovereignty, the presidential term, and the procedure for amending the constitution, cannot be amended; amended several times, last in 2021

Legal system

civil law system

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 1 to 3 years


18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch

chief of state: President Juan Orlando HERNANDEZ Alvarado (since 27 January 2014); Vice Presidents Ricardo ALVAREZ, Maria RIVERA, and Olga ALVARADO (since 26 January 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Juan Orlando HERNANDEZ Alvarado (since 27 January 2014); Vice Presidents Ricardo ALVAREZ, Maria RIVERA, and Olga ALVARADO (since 26 January 2018)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 4-year term; election last held on 26 November 2017 (next to be held in November 2021); note - in 2015, the Constitutional Chamber of the Honduran Supreme Court struck down the constitutional provisions on presidential term limits

election results:
2017: Juan Orlando HERNANDEZ Alvarado reelected president; percent of vote - Juan Orlando HERNANDEZ Alvarado (PNH) 43%, Salvador NASRALLA (Alianza de Oposicion contra la Dictadura) 41.4%, Luis Orlando ZELAYA Medrano (PL) 14.7%, other 0.9%

2013: Juan Orlando HERNANDEZ Alvarado elected president; percent of vote - Juan Orlando HERNANDEZ Alvarado (PNH) 36.9%, Xiomara CASTRO (LIBRE) 28.8%, Mauricio VILLEDA (PL) 20.3%, Salvador NASRALLA (PAC) 13.4%, other 0.6%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional (128 seats; members directly elected in 18 multi-seat constituencies by closed party-list proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 27 November 2017 (next to be held on 27 November 2021)

election results: percent of vote by party - PNH 47.7%, LIBRE 23.4%, PL 20.3%, AP 3.1%, PINU 3.1%, DC 0.8%, PAC 0.8%, UD 0.8%; seats by party - PNH 61, LIBRE 30, PL 26, AP 4, PINU 4, DC 1, PAC 1, UD 1; composition - men 101, women 27, percent of women 21.1%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (15 principal judges, including the court president, and 7 alternates; court organized into civil, criminal, constitutional, 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 and other government and non-government officials nominated by each of their organizations; judges elected by Congress for renewable, 7-year terms

subordinate courts: courts of appeal; courts of first instance; justices of the peace

Political parties and leaders

Anti-Corruption Party or PAC [Marlene ALVARENGA]
Christian Democratic Party or DC [Lucas AGUILERA]
Democratic Unification Party or UD [Alfonso DIAZ]
Freedom and Refoundation Party or LIBRE [Jose Manuel ZELAYA Rosales]
Honduran Patriotic Alliance or AP [Romeo VASQUEZ Velasquez]
Innovation and Unity Party or PINU [Guillermo VALLE]
Liberal Party or PL [Luis Orlando ZELAYA Medrano]
National Party of Honduras or PNH [Reinaldo SANCHEZ Rivera]
Opposition Alliance against the Dictatorship or Alianza de Oposicion contra la Dictadura [Salvador NASRALLA] (electoral coalition)

International organization participation

BCIE, CACM, CD, CELAC, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC (suspended), IOM, IPU, ISO (subscriber), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, Petrocaribe, SICA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO (suspended), WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Luis Fernando SUAZO BARAHONA (since 17 September 2020)

chancery: 1220 19th Street NW, Suite #320, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 966-7702

FAX: [1] (202) 966-9751

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco

consulate(s): Dallas, McAllen (TX)

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Colleen A. HOEY (since August 2019)

embassy: Avenida La Paz, Tegucigalpa M.D.C.

mailing address: 3480 Tegucigalpa Place, Washington DC  20521-3480

telephone: [504] 2236-9320,

FAX: [504] 2236-9037

email address and website:

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of cerulean blue (top), white, and cerulean blue, with five cerulean, 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

National symbol(s)

scarlet macaw, white-tailed deer; national colors: blue, white

National anthem

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


Economic overview

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.

Honduras’s economy depends heavily on US trade and remittances. The US-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement 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 15% of foreign direct investment is from US firms.

The economy registered modest economic growth of 3.1%-4.0% from 2010 to 2017, insufficient to improve living standards for the nearly 65% of the population in poverty. In 2017, Honduras faced rising public debt, but its economy has performed better than expected due to low oil prices and improved investor confidence. Honduras signed a three-year standby arrangement with the IMF in December 2014, aimed at easing Honduras’s poor fiscal position.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$55.825 billion (2019 est.)

$54.382 billion (2018 est.)

$52.444 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 111

Real GDP growth rate

4.8% (2017 est.)

3.8% (2016 est.)

3.8% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 53

Real GDP per capita

$5,728 (2019 est.)

$5,672 (2018 est.)

$5,562 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 168

GDP (official exchange rate)

$25.145 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

4.3% (2019 est.)

4.3% (2018 est.)

3.9% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 173

Credit ratings

Moody's rating: B1 (2017)

Standard & Poors rating: BB- (2017)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 14.2% (2017 est.)

industry: 28.8% (2017 est.)

services: 57% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 77.7% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 13.8% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 23.1% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.7% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 43.6% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -58.9% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

sugarcane, oil palm fruit, milk, bananas, maize, coffee, melons, oranges, poultry, beans


sugar processing, coffee, woven and knit apparel, wood products, cigars

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 39.2%

industry: 20.9%

services: 39.8% (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate

5.6% (2017 est.)

6.3% (2016 est.)

note: about one-third of the people are underemployed

country comparison to the world: 89

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.2%

highest 10%: 38.4% (2014)


revenues: 4.658 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 5.283 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

39.5% of GDP (2017 est.)

38.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 131

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$380 million (2017 est.)

-$587 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 113


$8.675 billion (2017 est.)

$7.841 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 105

Exports - partners

United States 53%, El Salvador 8%, Guatemala 5%, Nicaragua 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

clothing and apparel, coffee, insulated wiring, bananas, palm oil (2019)


$11.32 billion (2017 est.)

$10.56 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 103

Imports - partners

United States 42%, China 10%, Guatemala 8%, El Salvador 8%, Mexico 6% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, clothing and apparel, packaged medicines, broadcasting equipment, insulated wiring (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$4.708 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$3.814 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 96

Debt - external

$9.137 billion (2019 est.)

$8.722 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 117

Exchange rates

lempiras (HNL) per US dollar -

23.74 (2017 est.)

22.995 (2016 est.)

22.995 (2015 est.)

22.098 (2014 est.)

21.137 (2013 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 81% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 91% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 68% (2019)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 490,103

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 5.38 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 93

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 7,559,829

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 82.92 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 102

Telecommunication systems

general assessment:

among the poorest countries in Central America, Honduras has a neglected telecom sector complicated by political stalemate and geographic challenges; mobile subscribership is growing; DSL and cable Internet available in urban areas but expensive; government proposed ICT master plan to boost e-government and business, including free Internet to households; US based network ready to deploy 5G (2021)


domestic: private sub-operators allowed to provide fixed lines in order to expand telephone coverage contributing to a small increase in fixed-line teledensity 5 per 100; mobile-cellular subscribership is roughly 73 per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 504; landing points for both the ARCOS and the MAYA-1 fiber-optic submarine cable systems 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 (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

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

Internet users

total: 2,853,505

percent of population: 31.7% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 101

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 390,377

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 4.28 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 95


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 4 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 26

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 251,149 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 450,000 mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

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 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 90

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 16

under 914 m: 73 (2013)


total: 699 km (2014)

narrow gauge: 164 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)

115 km 1.057-m gauge
420 km 0.914-m gauge

country comparison to the world: 101


total: 14,742 km (2012)

paved: 3,367 km (2012)

unpaved: 11,375 km (1,543 km summer only) (2012)

note: an additional 8,951 km of non-official roads used by the coffee industry

country comparison to the world: 126


465 km (most navigable only by small craft) (2012)

country comparison to the world: 84

Merchant marine

total: 514

by type: general cargo 246, oil tanker 83, other 185 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 42

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): La Ceiba, Puerto Cortes, San Lorenzo, Tela

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Honduran Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras, FFAA): Army (Ejercito), Honduran Naval Force (FNH; includes marines), Honduran Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Hondurena, FAH), Honduran Public Order Military Police (PMOP); Security Secretariat: Public Security Forces (includes Honduran National Police paramilitary units) (2021)

note - the PMOP was created in 2013 as part of an effort by the Honduran Government to expand the military’s role in law enforcement alongside the Honduran National Police (HNP), particularly against narcotics trafficking and organized crime; since its creation, the PMOP’s role in internal security has expanded; it was used against election protesters in 2017, for example, and it has been accused of human rights violations; as of 2021, the PMOP was composed of 8 battalions of military personnel (approximately 5,000 troops) who have undergone some police training; it reported to military authorities but conducts operations sanctioned by both civilian security officials and military leaders

Military expenditures

1.7% of GDP (2020 est.)

1.6% of GDP (2019)

1.6% of GDP (2018)

1.7% of GDP (2017)

1.7% of GDP (2016)

country comparison to the world: 74

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Honduran Armed Forces (FFAA) have approximately 16,000 active personnel (7,500 Army; 1,500 Navy, including about 1,000 marines; 2,000 Air Force; 5,000 Public Order Military Police); approximately 18,000 National Police (2021)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the FFAA's inventory is comprised of mostly older imported equipment from Israel, the UK, and the US; since 2010, Honduras has received limited amounts of military equipment from Colombia, Israel, Netherlands, Taiwan, and the US (2020)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary 2- to 3-year military service; no conscription (2019)

Military - note

the armed forces, including the PMOP, are subordinate to the Secretariat of Defense, while the HNP reports to the Secretariat of Security; the National Interinstitutional Security Force is an interagency command that coordinates the overlapping responsibilities of the HNP, PMOP, National Intelligence Directorate, and Public Ministry (public prosecutor), but exercises coordination, command, and control responsibilities only during interagency operations involving those forces; as of 2021, civilian authorities at times reportedly did not maintain effective control over security forces

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

IDPs: 247,000 (violence, extortion, threats, forced recruitment by urban gangs between 2004 and 2018) (2020)

Illicit drugs

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