El Salvador

Map El Salvador
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of El Salvador


Background: 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.
Location: Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras
Area land: 20,721 sq km
Area water: 320 sq km
Coastline: 307 km
Country name conventional long form: Republic of El Salvador
Country name conventional short form: El Salvador
Country name former: Republic of El Salvador
Population: 6,071,774 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 30.6% (male 953,842/female 905,688); 15-64 years: 63% (male 1,802,113/female 2,021,191); 65 years and over: 6.4% (male 173,363/female 215,577) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 0.318% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 17.75 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 5.62 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -8.95 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female; total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 20.3 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 22.36 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 18.15 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 73.44 years; male: 70.16 years; female: 76.87 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 2.08 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.8% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 34,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 1,400 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Salvadoran(s); adjective: Salvadoran;
Ethnic groups: mestizo 90%, white 9%, Amerindian 1%;
Religions: Roman Catholic 57.1%, Protestant 21.2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.9%, Mormon 0.7%, other religions 2.3%, none 16.8% (2003 est.);
Languages: Spanish (official), Nahua (among some Amerindians);
Literacy: definition: age 5 and over can read and write; total population: 81.1%; male: 82.8%; female: 79.6% (2007 census);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $43.98 billion (2010 est.); $43.46 billion (2009 est.); $45.04 billion (2008 est.);

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $21.8 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 1.2% (2010 est.); -3.5% (2009 est.); 2.4% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $7,300 (2010 est.); $7,200 (2009 est.); $7,500 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 11%; industry: 29.1%; services: 59.9% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 37.8% (2009 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1%; highest 10%: 37% (2005);
Labor force: 2.94 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 19%; industry: 23%; services: 58% (2006 est.);
Unemployment rate: 7% (2010 est.); 7.2% (2009 est.);
note: data are official rates; but the economy has much underemployment

Budget: revenues: $3.894 billion; expenditures: $4.915 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: food processing, beverages, petroleum, chemicals, fertilizer, textiles, furniture, light metals;
Industrial production growth rate: 0.9% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 5.445 billion kWh (2009 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 4.524 billion kWh (2009 est.);
Electricity - exports: 78.7 million kWh (2009 est.);
Electricity - imports: 208.4 million kWh (2009 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.


Diario Co-Latino

(Leftist), San Salvador

El Diario de Hoy

(Conservative), San Salvador


(Online publication), San Salvador

La Pagina

(Digital Daily News), San Salvador

El Salvador in the News

Aiding Central America's "Women on the Run"

By issuing tourist and humanitarian visas to migrants, the Mexican government could begin to move past the failures of U.S.-backed border militarization.

Privatizing Water and the Criminalization of Protest

Water privatization has been problematic in El Salvadore.

F.M.L.N. Resists Wave of Repression

Salvadorans are accustomed to violent military dictatorships and coups, as this tiny and very picturesque Central American nation was ruled by dictators for most of the 20th century.

Another Revolution

Eight years after El Salvador’s leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) signed a peace agreement that ended its 12-year armed struggle, the FMLN has conquered the Salvadoran legislature at the ballot box.

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