macrohistory & world report

Republic of Nicaragua

Map of Nicaragua

Nicaragua (capital Managua) and neighboring states

World Factbook as of November 2014: "Nicaragua, the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the Western Hemisphere, has widespread underemployment and poverty. 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 agricultural and manufactured goods. Textiles and agriculture combined account for nearly 50% of Nicaragua's exports. In 2013, the government granted a 100-year concession to a newly formed Chinese-run company to finance and build an inter-oceanic canal and related projects, at an estimated cost of $40 billion. The economy grew 4.6% in 2013, despite a 33% decline in coffee export revenues due to a coffee rust fungus."

Economic growth rate
2011: 4%
2010: 4.5%
2009: minus 1.5%

Work force in agriculture
2003: 30.5%

Unemployment rate
2011: 7.3%

Public debt
2011: 70.5% of GDP

Export commodities
Coffee, beef, shrimp and lobster, tobacco, sugar, g

Export partners
2011: US 28.7%, El Salvador 19.1%, Venezuela 13.4%, Canada 12.1%

Export/import ratio
2011: exports $4.071 billion, imports $6.466

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 60th among 140 countries (lower rank number is less equal).

Health expenditures
2009: 9.5% of GDP


Living in an urban area
2010: 57%

Ethnic groups
Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 69%, white 17%, black 9%, Amerindian 5%

2005 census: Roman Catholic 58.5%, Protestant 23.2% (Evangelical 21.6%, Moravian 1.6%), Jehovah's Witnesses 0.9%, other 1.7%, none 15.7%

Net migration rate
2012: Net loss of 3.4 persons per 1,000 population per year

Literacy, Age 15 and Older
2003: males 67.2%, females 67.8%


Central America, between Honduras and Costa Rica. Capital: Managua.


President and vice-president elected on same ticket by popular vote to a five-year term. Unicameral legislature, members elected by proportional representation and party lists to five-year term. 

Recent History

January 10, 2007: Sandanista leader Daniel Ortega assumes the office of President after winning an election in November.

October 8, 2011: President Ortega's family was subjected to the brutalities of the Somoza dictatorship. He was tortured by the Somoza regime, and he knows about the lies of dictatorial regimes. Today, however, his foreign minister is in Syria offering his support for the brutal, lying Assad dictatorship. To now, Ortega has also been a supporter of Libya's Qaddafi. He sees Assad and Qaddafi as victims of imperialist aggressions.

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