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Nicaragua vs. Honduras

Introduction

NicaraguaHonduras
BackgroundThe Pacific coast of Nicaragua was settled as a Spanish colony from Panama in the early 16th century. Independence from Spain was declared in 1821 and the country became an independent republic in 1838. Britain occupied the Caribbean Coast in the first half of the 19th century, but gradually ceded control of the region in subsequent decades. Violent opposition to governmental manipulation and corruption spread to all classes by 1978 and resulted in a short-lived civil war that brought the Marxist Sandinista guerrillas led by Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra to power in 1979. Nicaraguan aid to leftist rebels in El Salvador prompted the US to sponsor anti-Sandinista contra guerrillas through much of the 1980s. After losing free and fair elections in 1990, 1996, and 2001, former Sandinista President Daniel ORTEGA was elected president in 2006, 2011, and most recently in 2016. Municipal, regional, and national-level elections since 2008 have been marred by widespread irregularities. Nicaragua's infrastructure and economy - hard hit by the earlier civil war and by Hurricane Mitch in 1998 - are being rebuilt, but democratic institutions have weakened under the ORTEGA administration as the president has garnered full control over all four branches of government: the presidency, the judicial, the National Assembly, and the Supreme Electoral Council.
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.

Geography

NicaraguaHonduras
LocationCentral America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Costa Rica and Honduras
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 coordinates13 00 N, 85 00 W
15 00 N, 86 30 W
Map referencesCentral America and the Caribbean
Central America and the Caribbean
Areatotal: 130,370 sq km
land: 119,990 sq km
water: 10,380 sq km
total: 112,090 sq km
land: 111,890 sq km
water: 200 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than Pennsylvania; slightly smaller than New York state
slightly larger than Tennessee
Land boundariestotal: 1,253 km
border countries (2): Costa Rica 313 km, Honduras 940 km
total: 1,575 km
border countries (3): Guatemala 244 km, El Salvador 391 km, Nicaragua 940 km
Coastline910 km
823 km (Caribbean Sea 669 km, Gulf of Fonseca 163 km)
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: natural prolongation
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: natural extension of territory or to 200 nm
Climatetropical in lowlands, cooler in highlands
subtropical in lowlands, temperate in mountains
Terrainextensive Atlantic coastal plains rising to central interior mountains; narrow Pacific coastal plain interrupted by volcanoes
mostly mountains in interior, narrow coastal plains
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 298 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mogoton 2,438 m
mean elevation: 684 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Cerro Las Minas 2,870 m
Natural resourcesgold, silver, copper, tungsten, lead, zinc, timber, fish
timber, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, iron ore, antimony, coal, fish, hydropower
Land useagricultural land: 42.2%
arable land 12.5%; permanent crops 2.5%; permanent pasture 27.2%
forest: 25.3%
other: 32.5% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 28.8%
arable land 9.1%; permanent crops 4%; permanent pasture 15.7%
forest: 45.3%
other: 25.9% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land1,990 sq km (2012)
900 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsdestructive earthquakes; volcanoes; landslides; extremely susceptible to hurricanes
volcanism: significant volcanic activity; Cerro Negro (elev. 728 m), which last erupted in 1999, is one of Nicaragua's most active volcanoes; its lava flows and ash have been known to cause significant damage to farmland and buildings; other historically active volcanoes include Concepcion, Cosiguina, Las Pilas, Masaya, Momotombo, San Cristobal, and Telica
frequent, but generally mild, earthquakes; extremely susceptible to damaging hurricanes and floods along the Caribbean coast
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; soil erosion; water pollution
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 agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notelargest country in Central America; contains the largest freshwater body in Central America, Lago de Nicaragua
has only a short Pacific coast but a long Caribbean shoreline, including the virtually uninhabited eastern Mosquito Coast
Population distributionthe overwhelming majority of the population resides in the western half of the country, with much of the urban growth centered in the capital city of Managua; coastal areas also show large population clusters
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

Demographics

NicaraguaHonduras
Population5,966,798 (July 2016 est.)
8,893,259
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 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 27.88% (male 848,537/female 815,032)
15-24 years: 21.78% (male 653,113/female 646,497)
25-54 years: 39.42% (male 1,113,772/female 1,238,550)
55-64 years: 5.79% (male 160,165/female 185,385)
65 years and over: 5.12% (male 136,661/female 169,086) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 33.55% (male 1,524,195/female 1,459,679)
15-24 years: 21.09% (male 956,315/female 918,925)
25-54 years: 36.19% (male 1,627,072/female 1,591,025)
55-64 years: 4.99% (male 207,821/female 235,776)
65 years and over: 4.19% (male 161,734/female 210,717) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 25.2 years
male: 24.3 years
female: 26 years (2016 est.)
total: 22.6 years
male: 22.3 years
female: 23 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate0.99% (2016 est.)
1.64% (2016 est.)
Birth rate17.9 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
22.8 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate5.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
5.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-2.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-1.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.86 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 19 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 21.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 17.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 20 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 73.2 years
male: 71.1 years
female: 75.5 years (2016 est.)
total population: 71.1 years
male: 69.5 years
female: 72.8 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate1.92 children born/woman (2016 est.)
2.72 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.27% (2015 est.)
0.37% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Nicaraguan(s)
adjective: Nicaraguan
noun: Honduran(s)
adjective: Honduran
Ethnic groupsmestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 69%, white 17%, black 9%, Amerindian 5%
mestizo (mixed Amerindian and European) 90%, Amerindian 7%, black 2%, white 1%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS9,900 (2015 est.)
20,000 (2015 est.)
ReligionsRoman Catholic 51.6%, Evangelical 33.9%, other 1.5%, unspecified 12.9%, none 0.2% (2016 est.)
Roman Catholic 97%, Protestant 3%
HIV/AIDS - deaths300 (2015 est.)
1,000 (2015 est.)
LanguagesSpanish (official) 95.3%, Miskito 2.2%, Mestizo of the Caribbean coast 2%, other 0.5%
note: English and indigenous languages found on the Caribbean coast (2005 est.)
Spanish (official), Amerindian dialects
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 82.8%
male: 82.4%
female: 83.2% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 88.5%
male: 88.4%
female: 88.6% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: dengue fever and malaria
note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
Education expenditures4.5% of GDP (2010)
5.9% of GDP (2013)
Urbanizationurban population: 58.8% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.96% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 54.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.14% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 99.3% of population
rural: 69.4% of population
total: 87% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.7% of population
rural: 30.6% of population
total: 13% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 97.4% of population
rural: 83.8% of population
total: 91.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.6% of population
rural: 16.2% of population
total: 8.8% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 76.5% of population
rural: 55.7% of population
total: 67.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 23.5% of population
rural: 44.3% of population
total: 32.1% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 86.7% of population
rural: 77.7% of population
total: 82.6% of population
unimproved:
urban: 13.3% of population
rural: 22.3% of population
total: 17.4% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationMANAGUA (capital) 956,000 (2015)
TEGUCIGALPA (capital) 1.123 million; San Pedro Sula 852,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate150 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
129 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight5.7% (2007)
7.1% (2012)
Health expenditures9% of GDP (2014)
8.7% of GDP (2014)
Hospital bed density0.9 beds/1,000 population (2012)
0.7 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate15.5% (2014)
16.3% (2014)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 223,992
percentage: 14%
note: data represent children ages 5-17 (2005 est.)
total number: 280,809
percentage: 16% (2002 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth19.2 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2011/12 est.)
20.4 years
note: median age a first birth among women 25-29 (2011-12 est.)
Demographic profileDespite being one of the poorest countries in Latin America, Nicaragua has improved its access to potable water and sanitation and has ameliorated its life expectancy, infant and child mortality, and immunization rates. However, income distribution is very uneven, and the poor, agriculturalists, and indigenous people continue to have less access to healthcare services. Nicaragua's total fertility rate has fallen from around 6 children per woman in 1980 to just above replacement level today, but the high birth rate among adolescents perpetuates a cycle of poverty and low educational attainment.
Nicaraguans emigrate primarily to Costa Rica and to a lesser extent the United States. Nicaraguan men have been migrating seasonally to Costa Rica to harvest bananas and coffee since the early 20th century. Political turmoil, civil war, and natural disasters from the 1970s through the 1990s dramatically increased the flow of refugees and permanent migrants seeking jobs, higher wages, and better social and healthcare benefits. Since 2000, Nicaraguan emigration to Costa Rica has slowed and stabilized. Today roughly 300,000 Nicaraguans are permanent residents of Costa Rica - about 75% of the foreign population - and thousands more migrate seasonally for work, many illegally.
Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and has the world's highest murder rate. 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, but it remains high at nearly 2% annually because the birth rate averages approximately three children per woman and more among rural, indigenous, and poor women. Consequently, 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.
Contraceptive prevalence rate80.4% (2011/12)
73.2% (2011/12)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 54.1
youth dependency ratio: 46.3
elderly dependency ratio: 7.8
potential support ratio: 12.8 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 57.8
youth dependency ratio: 50.1
elderly dependency ratio: 7.7
potential support ratio: 13.1 (2015 est.)

Government

NicaraguaHonduras
Country name"conventional long form: Republic of Nicaragua
conventional short form: Nicaragua
local long form: Republica de Nicaragua
local short form: Nicaragua
etymology: Nicarao was the name of the largest indigenous settlement at the time of Spanish arrival; conquistador Gil GONZALEZ Davila, who explored the area (1622-23), combined the name of the community with the Spanish word ""agua"" (water), referring to the two large lakes in the west of the country (Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua)
"
"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 typepresidential republic
presidential republic
Capitalname: Managua
geographic coordinates: 12 08 N, 86 15 W
time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Tegucigalpa
geographic coordinates: 14 06 N, 87 13 W
time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: none scheduled for 2013
Administrative divisions15 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 2 autonomous regions* (regiones autonomistas, singular - region autonoma); Boaco, Carazo, Chinandega, Chontales, Costa Caribe Norte*, Costa Caribe Sur*, Esteli, Granada, Jinotega, Leon, Madriz, Managua, Masaya, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia, Rio San Juan, Rivas
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
Independence15 September 1821 (from Spain)
15 September 1821 (from Spain)
National holidayIndependence Day, 15 September (1821)
Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Constitutionseveral previous; latest adopted 19 November 1986, effective 9 January 1987; amended several times, last in 2014 (2016)
several previous; latest approved 11 January 1982, effective 20 January 1982; amended many times, last in 2012; note - in 2015, the Honduran Supreme Court struck down several constitutional articles on presidential term limits (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system; Supreme Court may review administrative acts
civil law system
Suffrage16 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branchchief of state: President Jose Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra (since 10 January 2007); Vice President Rosario MURILLO Zambrana (since 10 January 2017); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Jose Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra (since 10 January 2007); Vice President Rosario MURILLO Zambrana (since 10 January 2017)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 6 November 2016 (next to be held by November 2021)
election results: Jose Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra reelected president; percent of vote - Jose Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra (FSLN) 72.4%, Maximino RODRIGUEZ (PLC) 15%, Jose del Carmen ALVARADO (PLI) 4.5%, Saturnino CERRATO Hodgson (ALN) 4.3%, other 3.7%
chief of state: President Juan Orlando HERNANDEZ Alvarado (since 27 January 2014); Vice Presidents Ricardo ALVAREZ, Rossana GUEVARA, and Lorena HERRERA (since 27 January 2014); 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, Rossana GUEVARA, and Lorena HERRERA (since 27 January 2014)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a single 4-year term; election last held on 24 November 2013 (next to be held in November 2017)
election results: 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 branchdescription: unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (92 seats; 70 members in multi-seat constituencies and 20 members in a single nationwide constituency directly elected by proportional representation vote; 2 seats reserved for the previous president and the runner-up candidate in the previous presidential election; members serve 5-year terms;)
elections: last held on 6 November 2016 (next to be held by November 2021)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FSLN 71, PLC 14, ALN 2, PLI 2, APRE 1, PC 1, YATAMA 1
description: unicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional (128 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 24 November 2013 (next to be held in November 2017)
election results: percent of vote by party - PNH 33.6%, LIBRE 27.5%, PL 17.0%, PAC 15.2%, PINU 1.9%, UD 1.7%, DC 1.6%, other 1.5%; seats by party - PNH 48, LIBRE 37, PL 27, PAC 13, PINU 1, UD 1, DC 1; note - as of 6 January 2016, seats by party are as follows: PNH 49, PL 27, LIBRE 31, PAC 13, VAMOS 4, PINU 1, UD 1, independents 2
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of 16 judges organized into administrative, civil, criminal, and constitutional chambers)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges elected by the National Assembly to serve 5-year staggered terms
subordinate courts: Appeals Court; first instance civil, criminal, and military courts
highest court(s): 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, other government and non-government officials selected by each of their organizations; judges elected by Congress for renewable, 7-year terms
subordinate courts: courts of appeal; courts of first instance; peace courts
Political parties and leadersAlliance for the Republic or APRE [Carlos CANALES]
Conservative Party or PC [Erick CABEZAS and Alfredo CESAR]
Independent Liberal Party or PLI [vacant]
Liberal Constitutionalist Party or PLC [Maria Haydee OSUNA]
Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance or ALN [Alejandro MEJIA Ferreti]
Sandinista National Liberation Front or FSLN [Jose Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra]
Sandinista Renovation Movement or MRS [Ana Margarita VIJIL]
Sons of Mother Earth or YATAMA [Brooklin RIVERA]
Anti-Corruption Party or PAC [Salvador NASRALLA]
Christian Democratic Party or DC [Felicito AVILA Ordonez]
Democratic Unification Party or UD [Cesar HAM]
Freedom and Refounding Party or LIBRE [Jose Manuel ZELAYA Rosales]
Go Solidarity Movement or VAMOS [Augusto CRUZ Asensio]
Liberal Party or PL [Mauricio VILLEDA Bermudez]
National Party of Honduras or PNH [Gladys Aurora LOPEZ]
Social Democratic Innovation and Unity Party or PINU [Jorge Rafael AGUILAR Paredes]
Political pressure groups and leadersNational Workers Front or FNT (a Sandinista umbrella group of eight labor unions including: Farm Workers Association or ATC, Health Workers Federation or FETASALUD, Heroes and Martyrs Confederation of Professional Associations or CONAPRO, National Association of Educators of Nicaragua or ANDEN, National Union of Employees or UNE, National Union of Farmers and Ranchers or UNAG, Sandinista Workers Central or CST, and Union of Journalists of Nicaragua or UPN)
Nicaraguan Workers' Central or CTN (an independent labor union)
Permanent Congress of Workers or CPT (an umbrella group of four non-Sandinista labor unions including: Autonomous Nicaraguan Workers Central or CTN-A, Confederation of Labor Unification or CUS, Independent General Confederation of Labor or CGT-I, and Labor Action and Unity Central or CAUS)
Superior Council of Private Enterprise or COSEP (a confederation of business groups)
Beverage and Related Industries Syndicate or STIBYS
Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras or CODEH
Commiittee of the Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras or COFADEH
Confederation of Honduran Workers or CTH
Coordinating Committee of Popular Organizations or CCOP
General Workers Confederation or CGT
Honduran Council of Private Enterprise or COHEP
National Association of Honduran Campesinos or ANACH
National Union of Campesinos or UNC
Popular Bloc or BP
United Confederation of Honduran Workers or CUTH
United Farm Workers' Movement of the Aguan OR MUCA
International organization participationBCIE, CACM, CD, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, Petrocaribe, SICA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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 UShief of mission: Ambassador Francisco Obadiah CAMPBELL Hooker (since 23 June 2010)
chancery: 1627 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 939-6570, 6573
FAX: [1] (202) 939-6545
consulate(s) general: Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
chief of mission: Ambassador Marlon Ramsses TABORA Munoz (since 24 April 2017)
chancery: Suite 4-M, 3007 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 966-2604
FAX: [1] (202) 966-9751
consulate(s): Dallas, McAllen (TX0
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Laura F. DOGU (since 2 September 2015)
embassy: Kilometer 5.5 Carretera Sur, Managua
mailing address: American Embassy Managua, APO AA 34021
telephone: [505] 2252-7100, 2252-7888; 2252-7634 (after hours)
FAX: [505] 2252-7250
chief of mission: Ambassador James D. NEALON (since 21 August 2014)
embassy: Avenida La Paz, Apartado Postal No. 3453, Tegucigalpa
mailing address: American Embassy, APO AA 34022, Tegucigalpa
telephone: [504] 2236-9320, 2238-5114
FAX: [504] 2236-9037
Flag descriptionthree 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 triangle encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE NICARAGUA on the top and AMERICA CENTRAL on the bottom; the banner is based on the former blue-white-blue flag of the Federal Republic of Central America; the blue bands symbolize the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, while the white band represents the land between the two bodies of water
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 Honduras, which has five blue stars arranged in an X pattern centered in the white band
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 anthem"name: ""Salve a ti, Nicaragua"" (Hail to Thee, Nicaragua)
lyrics/music: Salomon Ibarra MAYORGA/traditional, arranged by Luis Abraham DELGADILLO
note: although only officially adopted in 1971, the music was approved in 1918 and the lyrics in 1939; the tune, originally from Spain, was used as an anthem for Nicaragua from the 1830s until 1876
"
"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
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)turquoise-browed motmot (bird); national colors: blue, white
scarlet macaw, white-tailed deer; national colors: blue, white
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: no, except in cases where bilateral agreements exist
residency requirement for naturalization: 4 years
citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 1 to 3 years

Economy

NicaraguaHonduras
Economy - overviewNicaragua, the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the Western Hemisphere, has widespread underemployment and poverty. GDP growth of 4.7% in 2016 was insufficient to make a significant difference. Textiles and agriculture combined account for nearly 50% of Nicaragua's exports. Beef, coffee, and gold are Nicaragua’s top three export commodities.

The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) has been in effect since April 2006 and has expanded export opportunities for many Nicaraguan agricultural and manufactured goods.

In 2013, the government granted a 50-year concession with the option for an additional 50 years to a newly formed Chinese-run company to finance and build an inter-oceanic canal and related projects, at an estimated cost of $50 billion. The canal construction has not started.
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%-3.6% from 2010 to 2016, insufficient to improve living standards for the nearly 65% of the population in poverty. In 2016, Honduras faced rising public debt but its economy has performed better than expected due to low oil prices and improved investor confidence. The IMF continues to monitor the three-year standby arrangement signed in December 2014, aimed at easing Honduras’s poor fiscal position.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$33.55 billion (2016 est.)
$32.04 billion (2015 est.)
$30.54 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$43.19 billion (2016 est.)
$41.68 billion (2015 est.)
$40.22 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate4.7% (2016 est.)
4.9% (2015 est.)
4.6% (2014 est.)
3.6% (2016 est.)
3.6% (2015 est.)
3.1% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$5,300 (2016 est.)
$5,100 (2015 est.)
$4,900 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$5,300 (2016 est.)
$5,200 (2015 est.)
$5,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 14.2%
industry: 19.3%
services: 66.7% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 13.8%
industry: 26.6%
services: 59.6% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line29.6% (2015 est.)
29.6% (2014)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.8%
highest 10%: 47.1% (2014)
lowest 10%: 1.2%
highest 10%: 38.4% (2014)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)3.1% (2016 est.)
3.1% (2015 est.)
2.9% (2016 est.)
3.2% (2015 est.)
Labor force3.013 million (2016 est.)
3.625 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 31%
industry: 18%
services: 50% (2011 est.)
agriculture: 39.2%
industry: 20.9%
services: 39.8% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate6% (2016 est.)
6.1% (2015 est.)
note: underemployment was 46.5% in 2008
3.9% (2016 est.)
4.1% (2015 est.)
note: about one-third of the people are underemployed
Distribution of family income - Gini index47.1 (2014)
45.8 (2009)
47.1 (2014)
45.7 (2009)
Budgetrevenues: $3.661 billion
expenditures: $3.442 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $3.982 billion
expenditures: $4.384 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesfood processing, chemicals, machinery and metal products, knit and woven apparel, petroleum refining and distribution, beverages, footwear, wood, electric wire harness manufacturing, mining
sugar, coffee, woven and knit apparel, wood products, cigars
Industrial production growth rate3.5% (2016 est.)
3.3% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscoffee, bananas, sugarcane, rice, corn, tobacco, cotton, sesame, soya, beans, beef, veal, pork, poultry, dairy products, shrimp, lobsters, peanuts
bananas, coffee, citrus, corn, African palm; beef; timber; shrimp, tilapia, lobster, sugar, oriental vegetables
Exports$3.108 billion (2016 est.)
$3.341 billion (2015 est.)
$8.165 billion (2016 est.)
$8.041 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiescoffee, beef, gold, sugar, peanuts, shrimp and lobster, tobacco, cigars, automobile wiring harnesses, textiles, apparel
coffee, apparel, coffee, shrimp, automobile wire harnesses, cigars, bananas, gold, palm oil, fruit, lobster, lumber
Exports - partnersUS 54.1%, Mexico 11%, Venezuela 6.2%, El Salvador 5.5% (2015)
US 36%, Germany 8.7%, El Salvador 8.5%, Guatemala 6%, Nicaragua 5.6%, Netherlands 4.1% (2015)
Imports$6.039 billion (2016 est.)
$6.083 billion (2015 est.)
$11.25 billion (2016 est.)
$11.1 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesconsumer goods, machinery and equipment, raw materials, petroleum products
communications equipment, machinery and transport, industrial raw materials, chemical products, fuels, foodstuffs
Imports - partnersUS 18.1%, China 14.4%, Mexico 10.4%, Costa Rica 8.2%, Guatemala 6.9%, Netherlands Antilles 6.1%, El Salvador 5.2% (2015)
US 35.2%, China 13.6%, Guatemala 9.2%, Mexico 6.6%, El Salvador 5.1% (2015)
Debt - external$11.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$10.64 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$8.042 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$7.649 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratescordobas (NIO) per US dollar -
28.68 (2016 est.)
27.257 (2015 est.)
27.257 (2014 est.)
26.01 (2013 est.)
23.55 (2012 est.)
lempiras (HNL) per US dollar -
23.07 (2016 est.)
22.098 (2015 est.)
22.098 (2014 est.)
21.137 (2013 est.)
19.64 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt45% of GDP (2016 est.)
45.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: official data; data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by Government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as retirement, medical care, and unemployment, debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions; Nicaragua rebased its GDP figures in 2012, which reduced the figures for debt as a percentage of GDP
47.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
45.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$2.442 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.492 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$3.846 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.755 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$1.24 billion (2016 est.)
-$1.045 billion (2015 est.)
-$810 million (2016 est.)
-$1.291 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$13.41 billion (2016 est.)
$20.93 billion (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.568 billion (31 December 2016)
$1.209 billion (31 December 2015)
$995 million (31 December 2014)
$NA
Central bank discount rate3% (31 December 2010)
6.25% (31 December 2010)
Commercial bank prime lending rate15% (31 December 2016 est.)
12.05% (31 December 2015 est.)
20.8% (31 December 2016 est.)
20.66% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$5.732 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.677 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$12.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$11.84 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.228 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.093 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.51 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.326 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$5.528 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.311 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$8.486 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$8.042 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues27.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
19% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)1.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
-1.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 11.9%
male: 9.8%
female: 15.6% (2010 est.)
total: 8%
male: 5.5%
female: 13.8% (2011 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 79.4%
government consumption: 7.2%
investment in fixed capital: 32.1%
investment in inventories: 1.6%
exports of goods and services: 36.2%
imports of goods and services: -54.9% (2015 est.)
household consumption: 81.3%
government consumption: 15.2%
investment in fixed capital: 23.3%
investment in inventories: 1%
exports of goods and services: 43.1%
imports of goods and services: -63.9% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving22.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
23.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
19.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
20.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
18.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
14.6% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

NicaraguaHonduras
Electricity - production3.218 billion kWh (2016 est.)
7.7 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption3.177 billion kWh (2016 est.)
5.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports17.87 million kWh (2016 est.)
500 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports109 million kWh (2016 est.)
800 million kWh (2014 est.)
Oil - production0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports13,440 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves0 cu m (1 January 2015 es)
0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Natural gas - production0 cu m (2016 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption0 cu m (2016 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2016 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2016 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity1.395 million kW (2016 est.)
2.1 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels48.8% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
60.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants7.8% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
28.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources43.4% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
10.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production14,260 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption30,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
53,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports396 bbl/day (2014 est.)
13,160 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports16,500 bbl/day (2014 est.)
64,820 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy5.2 million Mt (2013 est.)
10 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 1,400,000
electrification - total population: 78%
electrification - urban areas: 100%
electrification - rural areas: 43% (2013)
population without electricity: 900,000
electrification - total population: 82%
electrification - urban areas: 97%
electrification - rural areas: 66% (2013)

Telecommunications

NicaraguaHonduras
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 354,017
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 6 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 497,072
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 6 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 7.264 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 123 (July 2015 est.)
total: 8.048 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 92 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: system being upgraded by foreign investment; nearly all installed telecommunications capacity now uses digital technology, owing to investments since privatization of the formerly state-owned telecommunications company
domestic: since privatization, access to fixed-line and mobile-cellular services has improved; fixed-line teledensity roughly 6 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone subscribership has increased to about 125 per 100 persons
international: country code - 505; the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) fiber-optic submarine cable provides connectivity to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth stations - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region) and 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
general assessment: fixed-line connections are increasing but still limited; competition among multiple providers of mobile-cellular services is contributing to a sharp increase in subscribership
domestic: beginning in 2003, private sub-operators allowed to provide fixed lines in order to expand telephone coverage contributing to a small increase in fixed-line teledensity; mobile-cellular subscribership is roughly 90 per 100 persons
international: country code - 504; landing point for both the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) and the MAYA-1 fiber-optic submarine cable system 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 (2015)
Internet country code.ni
.hn
Internet userstotal: 1.164 million
percent of population: 19.7% (July 2015 est.)
total: 1.781 million
percent of population: 20.4% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediamultiple terrestrial TV stations, supplemented by cable TV in most urban areas; nearly all are government-owned or affiliated; more than 300 radio stations, both government-affiliated and privately owned (2016)
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 (2007)

Transportation

NicaraguaHonduras
Roadwaystotal: 23,897 km
paved: 3,346 km
unpaved: 20,551 km (2014)
total: 14,742 km
paved: 3,367 km
unpaved: 11,375 km (1,543 km summer only)
note: an additional 8,951 km of non-official roads used by the coffee industry (2012)
Waterways2,220 km (navigable waterways as well as the use of the large Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua; rivers serve only the sparsely populated eastern part of the country) (2011)
465 km (most navigable only by small craft) (2012)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Bluefields, Corinto
major seaport(s): La Ceiba, Puerto Cortes, San Lorenzo, Tela
Airports147 (2013)
103 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 12
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 4 (2013)
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 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 135
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 15
under 914 m: 119 (2013)
total: 90
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 16
under 914 m: 73 (2013)

Military

NicaraguaHonduras
Military branchesNational Army of Nicaragua (Ejercito Nacional de Nicaragua, ENN; includes Navy, Air Force) (2013)
Honduran Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras, FFAA): Army, Navy (includes Naval Infantry), Honduran Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Hondurena, FAH) (2012)
Military service age and obligation18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; tour of duty 18-36 months; requires Nicaraguan nationality and 6th-grade education (2012)
18 years of age for voluntary 2- to 3-year military service; no conscription (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP0.65% of GDP (2016)
0.78% of GDP (2015)
0.69% of GDP (2014)
0.69% of GDP (2013)
0.67% of GDP (2012)
1.55% of GDP (2015)
1.64% of GDP (2014)
1.55% of GDP (2013)
1.15% of GDP (2012)
1.13% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

NicaraguaHonduras
Disputes - internationalthe 1992 ICJ ruling for El Salvador and Honduras advised a tripartite resolution to establish a maritime boundary in the Gulf of Fonseca, which considers Honduran access to the Pacific; Nicaragua and Costa Rica regularly file border dispute cases over the delimitations of the San Juan River and the northern tip of Calero Island to the ICJ; there is an ongoing case in the ICJ to determine Pacific and Atlantic ocean maritime borders as well as land borders; in 2009, the ICJ ruled that Costa Rican vessels carrying out police activities could not use the river, but official Costa Rican vessels providing essential services to riverside inhabitants and Costa Rican tourists could travel freely on the river; in 2011, the ICJ provisionally ruled that both countries must remove personnel from the disputed area; in 2013, the ICJ rejected Nicaragua's 2012 suit to halt Costa Rica's construction of a highway paralleling the river on the grounds of irreparable environmental damage; in 2013, the ICJ, regarding the disputed territory, ordered that Nicaragua should refrain from dredging or canal construction and refill and repair damage caused by trenches connecting the river to the Caribbean and upheld its 2010 ruling that Nicaragua must remove all personnel; in early 2014, Costa Rica brought Nicaragua to the ICJ over offshore oil concessions in the disputed region; Nicaragua filed a case against Colombia in 2013 over the delimitation of the Continental shelf beyond the 200 nautical miles from the Nicaraguan coast, as well as over the alleged violation by Colombia of Nicaraguan maritime space in the Caribbean Sea
"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
"
Illicit drugstransshipment point for cocaine destined for the US and transshipment point for arms-for-drugs dealing
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

Source: CIA Factbook