title
macrohistory & world report

Republic of Honduras

Map of Honduras

Honduras (capital Tegucigalpa) and neighboring states

World Factbook as of October 2014: "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. Nearly half of Honduras's economic activity is directly tied to the US, with exports to the US accounting for 30% of GDP and remittances for another 20%. The US-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) 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."

July 9, 2013: Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world. Its most violent city is San Pedro Sula, where gangs fight for territory. Residents of the city pay the gangs for protection, "for everything from a safe bus ride to running a small shop," writes Carrie Kahn on June 12. And there is collusion between policemen on the take and the gangsters. The killings don't keep population figures down. A high birth rate contributes to a growth of youths who don't fit into Honduras' legitimate economy and are not about to become contributing educated professionals. Honduras' population is increasing at an estimated annual rate of 1.79 percent, just a little lower than the Philippines (at 1.84 percent). A more stable country like Iceland is growing at 0.66 percent, and Denmark at 0.23 percent. (US growth, by the way, is 0.9 percent.)

GDP real growth rate:
2013: 2.8%
2012: 3.9%
2011: 3.5%
2010: 2.8%
2000: - 2.1%

Labor force associated with agriculture:
2014: 39.2%

Population below the poverty line:
2010: 60%

Unemployment rate:
2011: 4.8%
2010: 5.1%

Export/import ratio
2011: exports $6.839 billion, imports $10.08 billion

Exporting workers who send back remittances helps to correct the export-import imbalance.

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 8th among 141 countries (lower rank number is less equal).

People

Population growth rate
2014: 1.74%, 71st among 233 countries

births /deaths per 1,000 population
2014: 23.66 / 5.13

rate of urbanization:
(2010-15) 3.06% annual rate of change (2010-15)

Living in an urban area:
2010: 52%
2008: 48%

Net migration rate:
2014: Net loss of 1.18 persons per 1,000 population
2012: Net loss of 1.22 persons per 1,000 population

Wikipedia as of November 2014: "Population growth and limited job prospects outside of agriculture will continue to drive emigration."

Ethnic groups
Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and European) 90%, Amerindian 7%, black 2%, white 1%

Religions
Roman Catholic 97%, Protestant 3%

Geography

Central America, south of Guatemala, north of Nicaragua. Slightly larger than Tennessee.

Government

Democratic and constitutional. Capital: Tegucigalpa.

History

November 29, 2014: An attempt to explain the high murder rate in Honduras, published on the website RawStory. At the beginning of the century the government of Honduras tried cracking down on crime with its "iron fist" (mano duro) campaign. There were mass arrests and a huge incease in the prison population, but gang culture consolidated. Honduras was a transport route for narcotics moving northward. Half of the police were corrupted by drug gangs. In 2009, troops arrested President Zelaya him while he was still in his pajamas and had him flown out of the country, to Costa Rica. According to United Nations figures political unrest was accompanied an increase in the murder rate, up from 60.8 per 100,000 in 2008 to 81.8 in 2010, 91.4 in 2011. Mo Hume of the University of Glasgow writes of an atmosophere of impunity. Wealthy groups have "consolidated channels of corruption." Criminal gangs and drug cartels have consolidated their position. Writes Hume: "Impunity and repression undermine the rule of law at every level and thus the cycle [of violence] perpetuates itself."

After two and a half decades of mostly military rule, a freely elected civilian government came to power in 1982."

 

SOURCES:
The World Factbook

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.