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Nicaragua Geography Profile 2017

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LocationCentral America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Costa Rica and Honduras
Geographic coordinates13 00 N, 85 00 W
Map referencesCentral America and the Caribbean
Areatotal: 130,370 sq km
land: 119,990 sq km
water: 10,380 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than Pennsylvania; slightly smaller than New York state
Land boundariestotal: 1,253 km
border countries (2): Costa Rica 313 km, Honduras 940 km
Coastline910 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: natural prolongation
Climatetropical in lowlands, cooler in highlands
Terrainextensive Atlantic coastal plains rising to central interior mountains; narrow Pacific coastal plain interrupted by volcanoes
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 298 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mogoton 2,438 m
Natural resourcesgold, silver, copper, tungsten, lead, zinc, timber, fish
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.)
Irrigated land1,990 sq km (2012)
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
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
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; soil erosion; water pollution
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
Geography - notelargest country in Central America; contains the largest freshwater body in Central America, Lago de Nicaragua

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

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