General information: El Salvador gained independence in 1821 (until 1821 – a colony of Spain), until 1839 – as part of the Central American Federation. A 12-year civil war that claimed 75,000 lives ended in 1992 when the government and far-left rebels signed an agreement to implement military and political reforms.
Location: Central America, Pacific coast between Guatemala and Honduras.
Geographical coordinates: 13° 50′ N. latitude, 88° 55′ W e.
Reference map: Central America and the Caribbean.
Area: total: 21,040 km2; land surface area: 20,720 km2; water surface area: 320 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than Massachusetts.
Land borders: total: 545 km; with neighboring states: with Guatemala 203 km, with Honduras 342 km.
Coastline: 307 km.
Maritime claims: territorial waters: 200 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April); tropical on the coast; moderate on the plateau.
Relief: mostly mountains with a narrow coastal strip and a central plateau.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m; highest point: Mount El Pital 2,730 m.
Natural resources: hydropower, geothermal energy, oil, fertile land.
Land use: arable land: 27%; cultivated land: 8%; pastures: 29%; forests and plantations: 5%; others: 31% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 1,200 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: El Salvador is known as the “Land of Volcanoes”; periodic and at times extremely destructive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Current environmental issues: deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; soil pollution with toxic waste; damage from Hurricane Mitch.
International environmental agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Law of the Sea.
Note to the section “Geography”: the smallest (by area) country in Central America and the only one that does not have access to the Caribbean Sea.
Population: 6,237,662 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 37.68% (male 1,198,623; female 1,151,584); 15 to 64 years old: 57.27% (male 1,693,865; female 1,878,254); over 65: 5.05% (male 142,345; female 172 (2001 est.).
Population growth: 1.85% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 28.67 newborns/1,000 people (2001 est.
Mortality: 6.18 deaths/1000 people (2001 est.)
Migration: -3.95 people/1000 people (2001 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female ; under 15: 1.04 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.9 male/female; over 65: 0.82 male/female; general population: 0.95 male/female (2001 est.)
Child mortality: 28.4 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 70.03 years; men: 66.43 years; women: 73.81 years (2001 est.).
Total fertility rate: 3.34 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.6% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 20,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 1,300 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Salvadoran; adjective: Salvadoran.
Ethnic groups: mestizo 90%, Indians 1%, whites 9%.
Believers: Catholics 86%; note: Protestant groups are active throughout the country; by the end of 1992 there were about 1 million evangelical Protestants in El Salvador.
Language(s): Spanish, Nahua (a dialect of the Aztec language among some Indians).
Literacy: definition: persons aged 10 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 71.5%; men: 73.5%; women: 69.8% (1995 est.).
conventional long form: Republic of El Salvador;
Common short form: Salvador; local long form: Republica de El Salvador local short form: El Salvador
State structure: republic.
Capital: San Salvador.
Administrative division: 14 departments: Ahuachapan, Cabañas, Cuscatlán, La Libertad, La Paz, Morazán, La Unión, San Vicente, San Miguel, San Salvador, Santa Ana, Sonsonate, Usulutan, Chalatenango.
Independence: September 15, 1821 (until 1821 – a colony of Spain).
National holiday: Independence Day, September 15 (1821).
Constitution: adopted December 23, 1983
Legal system: based on civil and Roman law, with common law features; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; subject to the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: President Francisco FLORES Perez (since 1 June 1999); Vice President Carlos QUINTANILLA Schmidt (since 1 June 1999); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
head of government: President Francisco FLO-RES Pérez (since 1 June 1999); Vice President Carlos QUINTANILLA Schmidt (since June 1, 1999); note – the president is both head of state and head of government; See a2zgov.com to know more about El Salvador government and politics.
government: cabinet of ministers appointed by the president; elections: president and vice president are elected on the same list by popular vote for five years; elections last held 7 March 1999 (next to be held in March 2004); election results: Francisco FLORES Pérez elected president; percentage of votes won: Francisco FLORES Pérez (ARENA) 52%, Facundo GUARDADO (FMLN) 29%, Ruben ZAMORA (CDU) 7.5%, others (with less than 3% each) 11.5%.
Legislature: unicameral Legislative Assembly (84 seats; members are elected by direct universal suffrage for 3 years); elections: elections last held 12 March 2000 (next to be held in March 2003); election results: distribution of votes between parties: ARENA 36.1%, FMLN 35.14%, PCN 8.76%, PDC 7.08%, CD 5.32%, PAN 3.75%, USC 1.47%, PLD 1.29%; distribution of seats among parties: ARENA 28, FMLN 31, PCN 14, PDC 5, CD 3, PAN 1, independents 2.
Judiciary: Supreme Court, judges are elected by the Legislative Assembly.
Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Party (PDC) (Rene AGUILUZ, general secretary); Democratic Rally (CD) (includes PSD, MS MPSC) (Ruben SAMORA, General Secretary); Democratic Party (PD) (Jorge MELENDEZ [Jorge MELENDEZ]); Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) (Xoce Fabio CASTILLO [Jose Fabio CASTILLO]); Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) (Kirio Waldo SALGADO, president); National Action Party (PAN) (Gustavo Rogelio SALINAS, General Secretary); Party of National Reconciliation (PCN) (Ciro CRUZ Zepeda, president); National Republican Alliance (ARENA) (Walter ARAUJO);
Political pressure groups and their leaders: trade union organizations: El Salvador Electrical Industries Union (SIES); Federation of Construction Industry, Transport and Other Related Activities (FE-SINCONTRANS); National Confederation of Salvadoran Workers (CNTS); National Union Confederation of Salvadoran Workers (UNTS); Port Union of El Salvador (SIPES); Salvadoran Work Center (CTS); Electrical Corporation Workers Union (STCEL); business organizations: National Association for Small Business (ANEP); Salvadoran Assembly of Industrial Associations (ASIC); Salvadoran Industrial Association (ASI).
Participation in international organizations: ALL, САСМ, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent) , ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), MINURSO, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Rene Antonio LEON Rodriguez; office: 2308 California Street NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 265-9671; consulates general: Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco; Consulate: Boston.
US Diplomatic Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Rose M. LIKINS; embassy: Final Boulevard Santa Elena, Antiguo Cuscatlan, San Salvador; mailing address: Unit 3116, APO AA 34023; phone:  278-4444; fax:  278-6011.
Description of the flag: three equal horizontal stripes of blue (top and bottom) and white with the national emblem in the center of the white stripe; the coat of arms is a round emblem with a bordering inscription REPUBLICA DE EL SALVADOR EN LA AMERICA CENTRAL; similar to the flags of Nicaragua and Honduras.