Nicaragua

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION -

• Lo­ca­tion – Cen­tral Amer­ica, bor­der­ing both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pa­cific Ocean, be­tween Costa Rica and Hon­duras; • Lan­guages — Span­ish is the of­fi­cial lan­guage, though English and indige­nous lan­guages are found on the At­lantic Coast; • Re­li­gions — Ro­man Catholic (58.5 per cent), and Protes­tant (23.2 per cent), none (15.7 per cent); • Pop­u­la­tion — 5.66 mil­lion ( July 2011 es­ti­mate); • Cap­i­tal city — Managua (pop­u­la­tion of roughly 935,000); • Ed­u­ca­tion ex­pen­di­tures — 3.1 per cent of GDP, com­pared to 4.9 per cent in Canada; • Lit­er­acy rate — 67.5 per cent (def­i­ni­tion: age 15 and over can read and write); • Gov­ern­ment type — repub­lic (gained in­de­pen­dence from Spain in 1821); • Lead­er­ship — Pres­i­dent Daniel Ortega; • Econ­omy — is con­sid­ered the poor­est coun­try in Cen­tral Amer­ica, and the sec­ond poor­est in the hemi­sphere, with wide­spread un­der­em­ploy­ment and poverty. An es­ti­mated 48 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion live be­low the poverty line; • In­dus­tries — food pro­cess­ing, chem­i­cals, ma­chin­ery and me­tal prod­ucts, knit and wo­ven ap­parel, petroleum re­fin­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion, bev­er­ages, footwear and wood.

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