El Salvador Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > El Salvador > Map Economy History

El Imposible National Park
SalvaNatura Salvadoran environmental organization

Facts About El Salvador

Background: El Salvador achieved independence from Spain in 1821 and from the Central American Federation in 1839. A 12-year civil war, which cost the lives of some 75,000 people, was brought to a close in 1992 when the government and leftist rebels signed a treaty that provided for military and political reforms.
Government type: republic
Capital: San Salvador
Currency: 1 Salvadoran colon (C) = 100 centavos

Geography of El Salvador

Location: Middle America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras
Geographic coordinates: 13 50 N, 88 55 W
Area:
total: 21,040 sq km
land: 20,720 sq km
water: 320 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 545 km
border countries: Guatemala 203 km, Honduras 342 km
Coastline: 307 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 200 nm
Climate: tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April); tropical on coast; temperate in uplands
Terrain: mostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Cerro El Pital 2,730 m
Natural resources: hydropower, geothermal power, petroleum, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 27%
permanent crops: 8%
permanent pastures: 29%
forests and woodland: 5%
other: 31% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 1,200 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: known as the Land of Volcanoes; frequent and sometimes very destructive earthquakes and volcanic activity
Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; contamination of soils from disposal of toxic wastes; Hurricane Mitch damage.
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note: smallest Central American country and only one without a coastline on Caribbean Sea

More Geography

People of El Salvador

El Salvador's population numbers about 6.2 million; almost 90% is of mixed Indian and Spanish extraction. About 1% is indigenous; very few Indians have retained their customs and traditions. The country's people are largely Roman Catholic--though Protestant groups are growing--and Spanish is the language spoken by virtually all inhabitants. The capital city of San Salvador has about 1.7 million people; an estimated 42% of El Salvador's population live in rural areas.

Population: 6,704,932 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  37.68%
15-64 years:  57.27%
65 years and over:  5.05% 
Population growth rate: 1.85% 
Birth rate: 28.67 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 6.18 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: -3.95 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 28.4 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  70.03 years
male:  66.43 years
female:  73.81 years 
Total fertility rate: 3.34 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Salvadoran(s)
adjective: Salvadoran
Ethnic groups: mestizo 90%, Amerindian 1%, white 9%
Religions: Roman Catholic 86%
note: there is extensive activity by Protestant groups throughout the country; by the end of 1992, there were an estimated 1 million Protestant evangelicals in El Salvador
Languages: Spanish, Nahua (among some Amerindians)
Literacy:
definition: age 10 and over can read and write
total population: 71.5%
male: 73.5%
female: 69.8% (1995 est.)

More about the Population

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > El Salvador > Map Economy History