macrohistory & world report

Republic of El Salvador

Map of El Salvador

El Salvador (capital San Salvador) and neighboring states

World Factbook as of November 2014: "Salvadorans fled during the 1979 to 1992 civil war mainly to the United States but also to Canada and to neighboring Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Emigration to the United States increased again in the 1990s and 2000s as a result of deteriorating economic conditions, natural disasters (Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and earthquakes in 2001), and family reunification. At least 20% of El Salvador's population lives abroad. The remittances they send home account for close to 20% of GDP, are the second largest source of external income after exports, and have helped reduce poverty... With the global recession, real GDP contracted in 2009 and economic growth has since remained low, averaging less than 2% from 2010 to 2013. Remittances accounted for 16% of GDP in 2013 and were received by about a third of all households."

Economic growth rate
2011: 2%
2010: 1.4%
2009: minus 3.1%

Labor force in agriculture
2011: 21%

Unemployment rate
2011: 7%

Public debt
2011: 57.1% of GDP

Export- commodities
Offshore assembly exports, coffee, sugar, textiles and apparel, gold, ethanol, chemicals, electricity, iron and steel manufactures

Export/import ratio
2011: exports a little more than half imports in cash value.

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 33rd among 140 countries (lower rank number is less equal). Less equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and the US, which ranks 45th.

Health expenditures
2009: 3.9% of GDP


World Factbook as of November 2014: Living in an urban area
2010: 64%
2008: 61%

birth / death rate per 1,000 population
2014: 16.79 / 5.67

urban population: 64.8% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 1.35% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
2014: 74.18 years

Density estimated in 2005: 323 per square kilometer.

Net migration rate
2012: Net loss of 8.78 persons per 1,000 population per year
2011: Net loss of 8.95 per 1,000 population.
2009: Net loss of 3.7 per 1,000 population.

Ethnic groups
Mestizo 90%, white 9%, Amerindian 1%

2003: Roman Catholic 57.1%, Protestant 21.2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.9%, Mormon 0.7%, other religions 2.3%, none 16.8%


South of Honduras and Guatemala. 307 kilometers of coastline along the Pacific Ocean. 90 kilometers wide. Tropical.


Presidents elected by popular vote for five-year terms. A unicameral legislature with members elected by popular vote for three year-terms. Capital: San Salvador.

Recent History

Wikipedia 2011: "Violent crime including armed robbery, banditry, assault, kidnapping, sexual assault, and carjacking is common, including in the capital, San Salvador. Downtown San Salvador is dangerous, particularly at night."

Wikipedia 2011: "In the past years El Salvador has experienced high crime rates including gang-related crimes and juvenile delinquency. Some say that this was a result of the deportation of thousands of Salvadorans from the U.S, the majority of whom were members of MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha, MS, or La Mara), in the mid-90s. The gangs in which Salvadorans had been involved in the United States began to show up in El Salvador."

The World Factbook

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