The World Factbook (1982)/Nicaragua

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The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency


World Factbook (1982) Nicaragua.jpg
(See reference map III)


147,900 km2; 7% arable, 7% prairie and pasture, 50% forest, 36% urban, waste, or other

Land boundaries: 1,220 km


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 200 nm (fishing, 200 nm; continental shelf, including sovereignty over superjacent waters)

Coastline: 910 km


Population: 2,643,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 3.2%

Nationality: noun—Nicaraguan(s); adjective—Nicaraguan

Ethnic divisions: 69% mestizo, 17% white, 9% Negro, 5% Indian

Religion: 95% Roman Catholic

Language: Spanish (official); English and Indian-speaking minorities on Atlantic coast

Literacy: 87% of population 10 years of age and over

Labor force: 850,000 (1981 est.); 42% agriculture, 13% industry, 23% service industries, 3% construction, 14% commerce, 5% other; 25% unemployment

Organized labor: almost 39% of Nicaragua's 850,000 economically active citizens are organized; of the seven confederations, five are Sandinista or Marxist oriented; they are—the government-sponsored Sandinista Workers' Central (CST), with over 125,000 members, including state and municipal employees; the Association of Campesino Workers (ATC), which also has 125,000 members; the General Confederation of Independent Workers (CGI-I), with approximately 15,000 members; the Workers Front, with a small membership of about 100; and the Central for Labor Action and Unity (CAUS), with about 3,000 members; the other two unions are the Nicaraguan Workers' Central (CTN), with 25,000 members, and the Confederation of Labor Unification (CUS), with 12,000 members


Official name: Republic of Nicaragua

Type: republic

Capital: Managua

Political subdivisions: 1 national district and 16 departments

Legal system: the Sandinista-appointed Government of National Reconstruction revoked the constitution of 1974 and issued a Fundamental Statute and a Program of the Government of National Reconstruction to guide its actions until a new constitution is drafted

National holiday: Independence Day, 15 September

Branches: executive and administrative responsibility formally reside in the three-member junta of the Government of National Reconstruction; in reality, the junta shares power with, and in fact is dominated by, the nine-member Sandinista National Directorate; a 51-member quasi-legislative Council of State was established in May 1980; the country's highest judicial authority is the junta-appointed Supreme Court, comprised of six members

Government leader: Coordinator of the Junta Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra often acts as government leader on official occasions

Elections: the Sandinistas announced in August 1980 that neither national nor municipal elections would be held until 1985

Political parties and leaders: all political parties except those favoring a return to Somozaism are permitted to function; only the Liberal Party, because of its ties to the Somoza family, has been specifically banned; among the parties that have been active under the new government are the Nicaraguan Democratic Movement (Alfonso Robelo), the Social Democratic Party (Wilfredo Montalván), the Social Christian Party (Adán Fletes), and the Democratic Conservative Party (Emilio Alvarez Montalván); the Sandinistas have made major strides toward developing a grassroots party apparatus and have formalized their alliance with other leftist parties by creating the Revolutionary Patriotic Front

Communists: the Nicaraguan Socialist Party (PSN), founded in 1944, has served as Nicaragua's Moscow-line Communist party; it is allied with the Sandinistas; the Nicaraguan Communist Party (Eli Altamirano)—formed in 1967 when it broke with the PSN, splinter Trotskyite and Maoist groups, including the Workers Front and the Movement for Popular Action—have all been viewed as opponents by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN)

Other political or pressure groups: the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP) is an umbrella group comprising 11 different chambers of associations, including such groups as the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Industry, and the Nicaraguan Institute of Development

Member of: CACM, FAO, G-77, GATT, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAC, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IPC, ILO, IMF, INTELSAT, IPU, ISO, ITU, NAM, NAMUCAR (Caribbean Multinational Shipping Line—Naviera national del Caribe) OAS, ODECA, SELA, UN, UNESCO, UPEB, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTO


GDP: $L8 billion (1980), $692 per capita; 71% private consumption, 11% government consumption, 14% domestic investment, 4% net foreign balance (1979); real growth rate 1980, -10.0%

Agriculture: main crops—cotton, coffee, sugarcane, rice, corn, beans, cattle; caloric intake, 2,446 calories per day per capita (1977)

Major industries: food processing chemicals, metal products, textiles and clothing

Electric power: 385,000 kW capacity (1981); 1.35 billion kWh produced (1981), 550 kWh per capita

Exports: $450 million (f.o.b., 1980); cotton, coffee, chemical products, meat, sugar

Imports: $822 million (f.o.b., 1980); food and nonfood agricultural products, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, transportation equipment, machinery, construction materials, clothing, petroleum

Major trade partners: exports—21% US, 23% CACM, 28% EC, 28% other; imports—31% US, 23% CACM, 17% EC, 29% other (1978)

Aid and Ex-Im Credits: economic—extensions (FY70–80) from US, $223,4 million; other Western countries, ODA and OOF (1970-79), $144.6 million; military—(FY70-79) from US, $20 million

Budget: 1980 expenditures $622 million

Monetary conversion rate: 10.0 cordobas=US$1 {official)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 344 km 1.067-meter gauge, government owned

Highways: 24.126 km total; 1,654 km paved, 2,711 km gravel or crushed stone, 5.427 km earth or graded earth, 14,334 km unimproved

Inland waterways: 2,220 km, including 2 large lakes

Pipelines: crude oil, 56 km

Ports: 1 major (Corinto), 7 minor

Civil air: 7 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 349 total, 326 usable; 9 with permanent-surface runways; 11 with runways 1,220-2.439 m

Telecommunications: low-capacity radio-relay and wire system being replaced after war damage; connection into Central American microwave net; Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT station; 55,800 telephones (2,2 per 100 popl.); 85 AM, 30 FM, and 6 TV stations


Military manpower: males 15-49, 573,000; 353,000 fit for military service; 3G reach military age (18) annually