About Nicaragua

Basic Data

Land Area

  • 121,428 sq. km; mountainous upland in the central area, with a wide plain on the western coast and tropical forest on the eastern coast


  • 6.2 million (mid-2014 official estimate)

Main Towns¬†(population in ‘000 — 2012 official estimate)

  • Managua (capital): 1,448
  • Matagalpa: 542
  • Chinandega: 423
  • Leon: 404
  • Masaya: 348
  • Nueva Segovia: 243
  • Esteli: 221


  • Semi-tropical; tropical rainforest on the Atlantic coast

Weather in Managua (altitude 83 meters)

  • Hottest month: May (Avg daily min 27C, Avg daily max 32C)
  • Coldest month: January (Avg daily min 23C, Avg daily max 30C)
  • Driest month: January
  • Wettest Month: October


  • The official language is Spanish. Miskito, Mayanga, Garifuna, and English are spoken on the Atlantic coast


  • Metric system, but imperial measures are in popular use. Other measures include: Quintal – 42kg, Manna = 0.7 ha


  • Cordoba (C); avg exchange rates in 2013:( C24.7: US$1)


  • 6 hours behind GMT

Public Holidays

  • January 1st
  • Maundy Thursday
  • Good Friday
  • May 1st (Labor Day)
  • July 19th (1979 Revolution)
  • September 14th (Battle of San Jacinto)
  • September 15th (Independence Day)
  • November 2nd (All Souls’ Day)
  • December 8th (Immaculate Conception)
  • December 25th

Political Structure

Official Name

  • Republic of Nicaragua

Form of State

  • Presidential democracy, with National Assembly

The executive

  • The president is head of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He or she is elected for a period of five years and appoints a cabinet

National Legislature

  • National Assembly: a 92-member unicameral legislature, elected by proportional representation for five years

Legal System

  • Supreme Court, at the apex of a subordinate court system, elected by the National Assembly for five years

National Elections

  • Next elections: November 2016 (presidential and National Assembly)

National Government

  • The president, Daniel Ortega, governs with support of the Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional (FSLN, the Sandinistas), which holds 63 seats in the legislature


Source: Nicaragua Country Report October 2014. Economist Intelligence Unit.

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