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  El Salvador  
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

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Map of El Salvador

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    El Salvador
Background:
Definition Field Listing
El Salvador achieved independence from Spain in 1821 and from the Central American Federation in 1839. A 12-year civil war, which cost about 75,000 lives, was brought to a close in 1992 when the government and leftist rebels signed a treaty that provided for military and political reforms.

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   Geography    El Salvador
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
13 50 N, 88 55 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Central America and the Caribbean
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 21,040 sq km
land: 20,720 sq km
water: 320 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Massachusetts
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 545 km
border countries: Guatemala 203 km, Honduras 342 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
307 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April); tropical on coast; temperate in uplands
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Cerro El Pital 2,730 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
hydropower, geothermal power, petroleum, arable land
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 31.85%
permanent crops: 12.07%
other: 56.08% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
360 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
known as the Land of Volcanoes; frequent and sometimes very destructive earthquakes and volcanic activity; extremely susceptible to hurricanes
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; contamination of soils from disposal of toxic wastes
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
smallest Central American country and only one without a coastline on Caribbean Sea

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   People    El Salvador
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6,587,541 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 36.8% (male 1,237,262; female 1,185,750)
15-64 years: 58.1% (male 1,819,035; female 2,009,032)
65 years and over: 5.1% (male 150,221; female 186,241) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 21.4 years
male: 20.2 years
female: 22.5 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.78% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
27.48 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.93 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-3.74 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 25.93 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 28.79 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 22.92 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 70.92 years
male: 67.31 years
female: 74.7 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.2 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.7% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
29,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,200 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Salvadoran(s)
adjective: Salvadoran
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
mestizo 90%, Amerindian 1%, white 9%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic 83%
note: there is extensive activity by Protestant groups throughout the country; by the end of 1992, there were an estimated 1 million Protestant evangelicals in El Salvador
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Spanish, Nahua (among some Amerindians)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 10 and over can read and write
total population: 80.2%
male: 82.8%
female: 77.7% (2003 est.)

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   Government    El Salvador
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of El Salvador
conventional short form: El Salvador
local long form: Republica de El Salvador
local short form: El Salvador
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
San Salvador
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
14 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Ahuachapan, Cabanas, Chalatenango, Cuscatlan, La Libertad, La Paz, La Union, Morazan, San Miguel, San Salvador, Santa Ana, San Vicente, Sonsonate, Usulutan
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
15 September 1821 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
23 December 1983
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on civil and Roman law, with traces of common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Elias Antonio SACA (since 1 June 2004); Vice President Ana Vilma DE ESCOBAR (since 1 June 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Elias Antonio SACA (since 1 June 2004); Vice President Ana Vilma DE ESCOBAR (since 1 June 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms; election last held 21 March 2004 (next to be held NA March 2009)
election results: Elias Antonio SACA elected president; percent of vote - Elias Antonio SACA (ARENA) 57.7%, Schafik HANDAL (FMLN) 35.6%, Hector SILVA (CDU-PDC) 3.9%, other 2.8%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa (84 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve three-year terms)
elections: last held 16 March 2003 (next to be held NA March 2006)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FMLN 31, ARENA 28, PCN 15, PDC 5, CD 5
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges are selected by the Legislative Assembly)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Christian Democratic Party or PDC [Rodolfo PARKER]; United Democratic Center or CDU [Ruben ZAMORA, secretary general]; Democratic Party or PD [Jorge MELENDEZ]; Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front or FMLN [Fabio CASTILLO]; Liberal Democratic Party or PLD [Kirio Waldo SALGADO, president]; National Action Party or PAN [Gustavo Rogelio SALINAS, secretary general]; National Conciliation Party or PCN [Ciro CRUZ ZEPEDA, president]; National Republican Alliance or ARENA [Walter ARAUJO]; Social Christian Union or USC (formed by the merger of Christian Social Renewal Party or PRSC and Unity Movement or MU) [Abraham RODRIGUEZ, president]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Juan MEDRANO]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
labor organizations - Electrical Industry Union of El Salvador or SIES; Federation of the Construction Industry, Similar Transport and other activities, or FESINCONTRANS; National Confederation of Salvadoran Workers or CNTS; National Union of Salvadoran Workers or UNTS; Port Industry Union of El Salvador or SIPES; Salvadoran Union of Ex-Petrolleros and Peasant Workers or USEPOC; Salvadoran Workers Central or CTS; Workers Union of Electrical Corporation or STCEL; business organizations - National Association of Small Enterprise or ANEP; Salvadoran Assembly Industry Association or ASIC; Salvadoran Industrial Association or ASI
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
BCIE, CACM, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), MINURSO, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Rene Antonio LEON Rodriguez
chancery: 2308 California Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-9671
FAX: [1] (202) 234-3834
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador H. Douglas BARCLAY
embassy: Final Boulevard Santa Elena Sur, Antiguo Cuscatlan, La Libertad, San Salvador
mailing address: Unit 3116, APO AA 34023
telephone: [503] 278-4444
FAX: [503] 278-6011
Flag description:
Definition 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 round emblem encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE EL SALVADOR EN LA AMERICA CENTRAL; similar to the flag of Nicaragua, which has a different coat of arms centered in the white band - it features a triangle encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE NICARAGUA on top and AMERICA CENTRAL on the bottom; also similar to the flag of Honduras, which has five blue stars arranged in an X pattern centered in the white band

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   Economy    El Salvador
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
With the adoption of the US dollar as its currency, El Salvador has lost control over monetary policy and must concentrate on maintaining a disciplined fiscal policy. GDP per capita is roughly only half that of Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, and the distribution of income is highly unequal. The trade deficit has been offset by annual remittances of almost $2 billion from Salvadorans living abroad and external aid. The government is striving to open new export markets, encourage foreign investment, modernize the tax and healthcare systems, and stimulate the sluggish economy.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $30.99 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.4% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $4,800 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 9.4%
industry: 31.2%
services: 59.3% (2003)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
16.2% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
48% (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 1.4%
highest 10%: 39.3% (2001)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
52.2 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.1% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.62 million (2003)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 30%, industry 15%, services 55% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.5% - but the economy has much underemployment (2003 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $2.434 billion
expenditures: $2.625 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2003 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
43.7% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
coffee, sugar, corn, rice, beans, oilseed, cotton, sorghum; shrimp; beef, dairy products
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
food processing, beverages, petroleum, chemicals, fertilizer, textiles, furniture, light metals
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.6% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.729 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.777 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
44 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
353 million kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
39,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$-734 million (2003)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$3.162 billion (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
offshore assembly exports, coffee, sugar, shrimp, textiles, chemicals, electricity
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 57.5%, Guatemala 13.5%, Honduras 7.7%, Nicaragua 5%, Costa Rica 4% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$5.466 billion (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
raw materials, consumer goods, capital goods, fuels, foodstuffs, petroleum, electricity
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 36.4%, Guatemala 10.4%, Mexico 5.7% (2003 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2.061 billion (2003)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$6.575 billion (2003 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
total $252 million; $57 million from US (1995)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
US dollar (USD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
USD
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
the US dollar is the legal tender
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year

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   Communications    El Salvador
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
752,600 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,149,800 (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
domestic: nationwide microwave radio relay system
international: country code - 503; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to Central American Microwave System
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 61 (plus 24 repeaters), FM 30, shortwave 0 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
5 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.sv
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4,084 (2003)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
550,000 (2003)

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   Transportation    El Salvador
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 283 km
narrow gauge: 283 km 0.914-m gauge
note: length of operational route reduced from 562 km to 283 km by disuse and lack of maintenance (2003)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 10,029 km
paved: 1,986 km (including 327 km of expressways)
unpaved: 8,043 km (1999 est.)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
Rio Lempa partially navigable (2004)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Acajutla, Puerto Cutuco, La Libertad, La Union, Puerto El Triunfo
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
none
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
73 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 69
914 to 1,523 m: 15
under 914 m: 54 (2003 est.)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2003 est.)

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   Military    El Salvador
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy (FNES), Air Force
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,571,299 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 995,672 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 69,993 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$157 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.1% (2003)

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   Transnational Issues    El Salvador
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
in 1992, the ICJ ruled on the delimitation of "bolsones" (disputed areas) along the El Salvador-Honduras boundary, and the OAS is assisting with a technical resolution of undemarcated bolsones; in 2003, the ICJ rejected El Salvador's request to revise its decision on one part of the bolsones; 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 by the ICJ, off Honduras in the Gulf de Fonseca
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
transshipment point for cocaine; small amounts of marijuana produced for local consumption; domestic cocaine abuse on the rise

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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