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Nicaragua Demographics Profile

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Population6,243,931 (July 2021 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Nicaraguan(s)

adjective: Nicaraguan
Ethnic groupsMestizo (mixed Amerindian and White) 69%, White 17%, Black 9%, Amerindian 5%
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.)

major-language sample(s):
La Libreta Informativa del Mundo, la fuente indispensable de información básica. (Spanish)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.
ReligionsRoman Catholic 50%, Evangelical 33.2%, other 2.9%, none 0.7%, unspecified 13.2% (2017 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 25.63% (male 811,731/female 777,984)

15-24 years: 19.51% (male 609,962/female 600,567)

25-54 years: 42.41% (male 1,254,683/female 1,376,052)

55-64 years: 6.63% (male 188,591/female 222,766)

65 years and over: 5.82% (male 159,140/female 201,965) (2020 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 54.3

youth dependency ratio: 45.5

elderly dependency ratio: 8.8

potential support ratio: 11.4 (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 27.3 years

male: 26.4 years

female: 28.2 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate0.93% (2021 est.)
Birth rate16.71 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate5.16 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate-2.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
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
Urbanizationurban population: 59.3% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.45% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
Major cities - population1.073 million MANAGUA (capital) (2021)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.91 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.85 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth19.2 years (2011/12 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29
Maternal mortality rate198 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 19.57 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 22.83 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 16.16 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 74.51 years

male: 72.28 years

female: 76.86 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate1.81 children born/woman (2021 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate80.4% (2011/12)
Drinking water sourceimproved: urban: 97.6% of population

rural: 62.6% of population

total: 83.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 2.4% of population

rural: 37.4% of population

total: 16.9% of population (2017 est.)
Health expenditures8.6% (2018)
Physicians density0.98 physicians/1,000 population (2018)
Hospital bed density0.9 beds/1,000 population (2017)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: urban: 89.8% of population

rural: 66.5% of population

total: 80.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 10.2% of population

rural: 33.5% of population

total: 19.9% of population (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.2% (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS12,000 (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths<500 (2020 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
Obesity - adult prevalence rate23.7% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight4.6% (2011/12)
Education expenditures4.4% of GDP (2017)
Demographic profile

Despite 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 below 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.

Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 82.6%

male: 82.4%

female: 82.8% (2015)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on September 18, 2021

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