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El Salvador Geography Profile 2017

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LocationCentral America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras
Geographic coordinates13 50 N, 88 55 W
Map referencesCentral America and the Caribbean
Areatotal: 21,041 sq km
land: 20,721 sq km
water: 320 sq km
Area - comparativeabout the same size as New Jersey
Land boundariestotal: 590 km
border countries (2): Guatemala 199 km, Honduras 391 km
Coastline307 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climatetropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April); tropical on coast; temperate in uplands
Terrainmostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 442 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Cerro El Pital 2,730 m
Natural resourceshydropower, geothermal power, petroleum, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 74.7%
arable land 33.1%; permanent crops 10.9%; permanent pasture 30.7%
forest: 13.6%
other: 11.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land452 sq km (2012)
Population distributionathough it is the smallest country in land area in Central America, El Salvador has a population that is 18 times larger than Belize; at least 20% of the population lives abroad; high population density country-wide, with particular concentration around the capital of San Salvador
Natural hazardsknown as the Land of Volcanoes; frequent and sometimes destructive earthquakes and volcanic activity; extremely susceptible to hurricanes
volcanism: significant volcanic activity; San Salvador (elev. 1,893 m), which last erupted in 1917, has the potential to cause major harm to the country's capital, which lies just below the volcano's slopes; San Miguel (elev. 2,130 m), which last erupted in 2002, is one of the most active volcanoes in the country; other historically active volcanoes include Conchaguita, Ilopango, Izalco, and Santa Ana
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; contamination of soils from disposal of toxic wastes
Environment - international agreementsparty 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 - notesmallest Central American country and only one without a coastline on Caribbean Sea

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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