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Nicaragua General Information

Nicaragua 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. Violent opposition to governmental manipulation and corruption spread to all classes by 1978 and resulted in a civil war that brought the Sandinista guerrillas to power in 1979.

Capital of Nicaragua

Managua

Currency Cordoba, exchange rate:

1 US$ = 22.72 Cordoba, C$ (1 January 2012).

Administrative divisions

15 departments: Boaco, Carazo, Chinandega, Chontales, Esteli, Granada, Jinotega, Leon, Madriz, Managua, Masaya, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia, Rio San Juan, Rivas. 2 autonomous regions: Atlantico Norte, Atlantico Sur.

Population

5.7 millions growth rate 2.2% (2007 est.). Ethnic groups: Mestizo (mixed Amerindian / white) 69%, white 17%, black 9%, Amerindian 5%.

Languages

Spanish 97.5% (official), English- and Amerindian-speaking minorities on Atlantic coast.

Religions

Roman Catholic 73%, Evangelical 15%, other 3.5%, none 8.5%.

Climate

Tropical in lowlands, cooler in highlands. Rainy season from June to October.

Geography

129,494 sq. km. Extensive Atlantic coastal plains rising to central interior mountains, narrow pacific coastal plain interrupted by volcanoes.

National Anthem

Listen to the National Anthem of Nicaragua

Public holidays

January 1 - New Years Day.
March/April - Holy Saturday and Good Friday.
May 1 - Labor Day.
July 19 - Sandinist Revolution Day.
August 1 - Battle of San Jacinto.
September 15 - Independence Day (1821 from Spain).
December 8 - Virgin Mary Day.
December 25 - Christmas Day.

Newspapers

Confidencial |  El Nuevo Diario |  El Observador Económico |  La Prensa |  Notifax |  Revista 7 dias |  Trinchera de la Noticia

Natural resources

Gold, silver, copper, tungsten, lead, zinc, timber, fish.

Industries

Food processing, chemicals, machinery and metal products, textiles, clothing, petroleum refining and distribution, beverages, footwear, wood.

Agriculture products

Coffee, bananas, sugarcane, cotton, rice, corn, tobacco, sesame, soya, beans; beef, veal, pork, poultry, dairy products; shrimp, lobsters.

GDP

US$ 17.1 billion, real growth rate 3.7%, per capita US$ 3,100 (2006 est.).

Exports

US$ 2 billion (f.o.b., 2006 est.). Coffee, beef, shrimp and lobster, tobacco, sugar, gold, peanuts.

Published: 2001-01-05
Map, Nicaragua