About Nicaragua

Nicaragua is one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere. Despite improvements in the nation's economy and the implementation of government programs, almost half of the population lives in poverty. These factors have only reduced poverty in the nation from 50 percent of the population to 48 percent (or about 2.3 million people) since 1995. The nation's official poverty line is US$350 in income per year. Of the nation's poor, 17 percent live in extreme poverty, earning less than US$185 per year.



Nicaragua Facts


• Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America.


• Considered to be the second poorest country in the entire western hemisphere, the poorest spanish speaking country in the entire world.


• Borders Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south.


• 97.5% of the population speak Spanish 97.5% and 1.7% speak Miskito.


• Percentage of population living below $1 a day: 45% (1995-2005 study)


• 27% of the population is chronically undernourished, 19% do not have easy access to drinkable water


• Percentage of population using adequate sanitation facilities: 34% (Rural) 56% (Urban)


• 3 of 4 children suffer from malnutrition.


• One-third of Nicaraguan children fail to complete 6 years of elementary education


• Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the gross domestic product is 3%, and has gone down in recent years


• Of those heads of household with no education or who did not complete primary school, 86% live in poverty.


• More than half the deaths of children under the age of 4 are caused by preventable diseases (diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition, etc.)