Nicaragua Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022
Basic data
Capital Managua
Population miles (2021)
Language Spanish
Religion Christianity
State system presidential republic
Head of State José Daniel Ortega Saavedra
Head of government José Daniel Ortega Saavedra
Currency name Nicaraguan Córdoba (NIO)

Nicaragua Basic Information

Travel
Time shift -7h (in summer -8h)
Economy 2021
Nominal GDP (billion USD) 14.01
Economic growth (%) 10.3
Inflation (%) 7.2
Unemployment (%) 4.8

Although Nicaragua is officially a presidential republic, the country has been ruled by President Daniel Ortega since 2007, who, together with his wife and Vice President Rosaria Murillo, holds all political power in his hands. In November 2021, Nicaragua held general elections, which were preceded by persecution and arrests of opposition candidates. Most Western countries, including the USA and the EU, called these elections undemocratic, however, Ortega was elected president for the fifth time in these elections and thus formally secured his stay in power at least until 2027. The legislative body in Nicaragua is the National Assembly, which has 90 deputies. This body is currently fully under the control of Ortega’s Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).

Nicaragua remains the second poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean (half of the population below the poverty line; a quarter below the extreme poverty line). The trade balance is significantly in deficit, which is caused by the export of products with mainly low added value (especially clothes, coffee, etc.) and, conversely, by the import of consumer goods, technology and oil. The largest trading partner is the USA, followed by Mexico and the states of Central America.

Nicaragua has shown negative economic growth figures since 2018 and has faced an outflow of foreign capital due to the political crisis. This year, for the first time, Nicaragua recorded economic growth of even 10% of GDP, which was mainly caused by higher exports, but also by an increased inflow of foreign capital. It should be noted that despite the recovery of the Nicaraguan economy, the current political environment is not very conducive to any major foreign investments.

Basic information about the territory

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

Official name of the country:  Nicaragua (República de Nicaragua)
President of the Republic:  José Daniel Ortega Saavedra

Composition of the Government:

Vice-President: Rosario Murillo Zambrana
Minister of Special Affairs: Moisés Omar Halleslevens Acevedo
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Denis Rolando Moncada Colindres
Minister of Industry and Trade: José de Jesús Bermúdez Carvajal
Minister of Transport and Infrastructure: Óscar Salvador Mojica Obregón
Minister of Defense: Rosa Adelina Barahona Castro
Minister of the Environment: Fanny Sumaya Castillo
Minister of Health: Martha Verónica Reyes Álvarez
Minister of the Interior: María Amelia Coronel Kinloch
Minister of Finance: Iván Acosta Montalván
Minister of Energy and Mining: Salvador Mansell Castrillo
Minister of Education: Lilliam Esperanza Herrera Moreno
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry: Edward Centeno
Minister of Family, Children and Adolescents: Johana Vanessa Flores Jiménez
Minister of Youth: Luciem Nahira Guevara Aguero
Minister of Affairs of Women: Jessica Padilla
Minister of Labor: Alba Luz Torres Briones

Although Nicaragua is officially a presidential republic, the country has been ruled by President Daniel Ortega since 2007, who, together with his wife and Vice President Rosaria Murillo, holds all political power in his hands. In November 2021, general elections were held in Nicaragua, which were preceded by persecution and arrests of opposition candidates. Most Western countries, including the USA and the EU, called these elections undemocratic, however, Ortega was elected president for the fifth time in these elections and thus formally secured his stay in power at least until 2027. The legislative body in Nicaragua is the National Assembly, which has 90 deputies. This body is currently fully under the control of Ortega’s Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).

Political tendencies
President Daniel Ortega, along with his wife and Vice President Rosaria Murillo, will continue to exercise absolute power over Nicaragua at the cost of international isolation. A deepening of relations with China is expected, with which Nicaragua established diplomatic relations at the end of 2021 and where it will now try to find a new outlet for its products. However, a weak business environment, severe logistical constraints and a high level of political risk will continue to keep the growth potential of the Nicaraguan economy low. Check diseaseslearning to learn more about Nicaragua political system.

Foreign policy of the country

Political events in Nicaragua also affect the country’s foreign policy. The events leading up to the November elections and the election itself were condemned by the vast majority of Western democratic countries, including the EU, USA, Canada and Great Britain, which at the same time imposed sanctions on a number of Nicaraguan politicians and high-ranking officials in response. Nicaragua also announced its intention to withdraw from the Organization of American States (OAS) in late 2021, and in April 2022 recalled its representatives from the organization and closed the OAS office in Nicaragua. The country is thus becoming more and more isolated internationally, and it is unlikely that under the current circumstances, for example, it would be able to obtain financial support from the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund. Check themotorcyclers for Nicaragua defense and foreign policy.

Nicaragua’s relations with its Central American neighbors are less antagonistic; which is unlikely to change in the future, also because the Nicaraguan government does not want to risk losing funds from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), which is currently its main creditor.

In the current state of international isolation, Nicaragua has found an ally that can help compensate for possible financial losses. At the beginning of December 2021, the Ortega regime broke off diplomatic relations with Taiwan and established official diplomatic relations with China, with which it soon concluded several agreements on mutual economic cooperation, and it can be expected that this move will help it to seek possible alternative financing.

Population

Population and population density:
According to the latest data, Nicaragua has approximately million inhabitants (2021) and a population density of 50 inhabitants/km 2. 58.5% of the population lives in cities. The annual increase is 1.13%, with an average of 1.87 children per woman. The average life expectancy is 74 years.

Demographic composition:
The largest group of the population consists of mestizos (69%), followed by whites (17%), blacks (9%) and Indians (5%).

Official language:
The official language is Spanish, which is spoken by 95.3% of the population. Amerindian languages, possibly English, are also found on the Caribbean coast. The second most widely spoken language is Miskito (2.2%).

Religion:
In the country, the majority of the population professes the Roman Catholic religion (50%), Protestant – evangelicals (33.1%), the Moravian Church (1.6%) and other religions are also represented.