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Introduction - Honduras:
BackgroundOnce part of Spains vast empire in the New World, Honduras became an independent nation in 1821. After two and a half decades of mostly military rule, a freely elected civilian government came to power in 1982. During the 1980s, Honduras proved a haven for anti-Sandinista contras fighting the Marxist Nicaraguan Government and an ally to Salvadoran Government forces fighting leftist guerrillas. The country was devastated by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, which killed about 5,600 people and caused approximately $2 billion in damage.
Location - Honduras:
LocationCentral America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Nicaragua and bordering the Gulf of Fonseca (North Pacific Ocean), between El Salvador and Nicaragua
Geographic coordinates15 00 N, 86 30 W
Map referencesCentral America and the Caribbean
Areatotal: 112,090 sq km
land: 111,890 sq km
water: 200 sq km
Area comparativeslightly larger than Tennessee
Land boundariestotal: 1,520 km
border countries: Guatemala 256 km, El Salvador 342 km, Nicaragua 922 km
Coastline820 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: natural extension of territory or to 200 nm
Climatesubtropical in lowlands, temperate in mountains
Terrainmostly mountains in interior, narrow coastal plains
Elevation extremeslowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Cerro Las Minas 2,870 m
Natural resourcestimber, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, iron ore, antimony, coal, fish, hydropower
Land usearable land: 9.53%
permanent crops: 3.21%
other: 87.26% (2005)
Irrigated land800 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardsfrequent, but generally mild, earthquakes; extremely susceptible to damaging hurricanes and floods along the Caribbean coast
Environment current issuesurban population expanding; deforestation results from logging and the clearing of land for agricultural purposes; further land degradation and soil erosion hastened by uncontrolled development and improper land use practices such as farming of marginal lands; mining activities polluting Lago de Yojoa (the countrys largest source of fresh water), as well as several rivers and streams, with heavy metals
Environment international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography notehas only a short Pacific coast but a long Caribbean shoreline, including the virtually uninhabited eastern Mosquito Coast
People - Honduras:
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 39.3% (male 1,500,949/female 1,439,084)
15-64 years: 57.2% (male 2,142,953/female 2,140,432)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 117,774/female 142,571) (2007 est.)
Median agetotal: 19.7 years
male: 19.4 years
female: 20.1 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate2.091% (2007 est.)
Birth rate27.59 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate5.32 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate-1.36 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.043 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.001 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.826 male(s)/female
total population: 1.011 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 25.21 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 28.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 21.95 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 69.35 years
male: 67.78 years
female: 70.99 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate3.48 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rate1.8% (2003 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aids63,000 (2003 est.)
Hiv aids deaths4,100 (2003 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Honduran(s)
adjective: Honduran
Ethnic groupsmestizo (mixed Amerindian and European) 90%, Amerindian 7%, black 2%, white 1%
ReligionsRoman Catholic 97%, Protestant 3%
LanguagesSpanish, Amerindian dialects
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 80%
male: 79.8%
female: 80.2% (2001 census)
Government - Honduras:
Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Honduras
conventional short form: Honduras
local long form: Republica de Honduras
local short form: Honduras
Government typedemocratic constitutional republic
Capitalname: Tegucigalpa
geographic coordinates: 14 06 N, 87 13 W
time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November; note - these dates become effective in 2007
Administrative divisions18 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Atlantida, Choluteca, Colon, Comayagua, Copan, Cortes, El Paraiso, Francisco Morazan, Gracias a Dios, Intibuca, Islas de la Bahia, La Paz, Lempira, Ocotepeque, Olancho, Santa Barbara, Valle, Yoro
Independence15 September 1821 (from Spain)
National holidayIndependence Day, 15 September (1821)
Constitution11 January 1982, effective 20 January 1982; amended many times
Legal systemrooted in Roman and Spanish civil law with increasing influence of English common law; recent judicial reforms include abandoning Napoleonic legal codes in favor of the oral adversarial system; accepts ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branchchief of state: President Manuel ZELAYA Rosales (since 27 January 2006); Vice President Elvin Ernesto SANTOS Ordonez (since 27 January 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Manuel ZELAYA Rosales (since 27 January 2006); Vice President Elvin Ernesto SANTOS Ordonez (since 27 January 2006)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 27 November 2005 (next to be held in November 2009)
election results: Manuel ZELAYA Rosales elected president - 49.8%, Porfirio Pepe LOBO Sosa 46.1%, other 4.1%
Legislative branchunicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional (128 seats; members are elected proportionally to the number of votes their partys presidential candidate receives to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 27 November 2005 (next to be held in November 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PL 62, PN 55, PUD 5, PDC 4, PINU 2
Judicial branchSupreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (judges are elected for seven-year terms by the National Congress)
Political parties and leadersChristian Democratic Party or PDC [Felicito AVILA]; Democratic Unification Party or PUD [Cesar HAM]; Liberal Party or PL [Patricia RODAS]; National Innovation and Unity Party or PINU [Jorge AQUILAR Paredes]; National Party of Honduras or PN [Porfirio LOBO]
Political pressure groups and leadersCommittee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras or CODEH; Confederation of Honduran Workers or CTH; Coordinating Committee of Popular Organizations or CCOP; General Workers Confederation or CGT; Honduran Council of Private Enterprise or COHEP; National Association of Honduran Campesinos or ANACH; National Union of Campesinos or UNC; Popular Bloc or BP; United Confederation of Honduran Workers or CUTH
International organization participationBCIE, CACM, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (subscriber), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: Ambassador Roberto FLORES Bermudez
chancery: Suite 4-M, 3007 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 966-7702
FAX: [1] (202) 966-9751
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco
honorary consulate(s): Boston, Detroit, Jacksonville
Diplomatic representation from the uschief of mission: Ambassador Charles A. FORD
embassy: Avenida La Paz, Apartado Postal No. 3453, Tegucigalpa
mailing address: American Embassy, APO AA 34022, Tegucigalpa
telephone: [504] 236-9320, 238-5114
FAX: [504] 236-9037
Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and blue with five blue, five-pointed stars arranged in an X pattern centered in the white band; the stars represent the members of the former Federal Republic of Central America - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua; similar to the flag of El Salvador, which features a round emblem encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE EL SALVADOR EN LA AMERICA CENTRAL centered in the white band; also similar to the flag of Nicaragua, which features a triangle encircled by the word REPUBLICA DE NICARAGUA on top and AMERICA CENTRAL on the bottom, centered in the white band
Economy - Honduras:
Economy overviewHonduras, the second poorest country in Central America and one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, with an extraordinarily unequal distribution of income and massive unemployment, is banking on expanded trade under the US-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and on debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. The country has met most of its macroeconomic targets, and began a three-year IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) program in February 2004. The economy relies heavily on a narrow range of exports, notably bananas and coffee, making it vulnerable to natural disasters and shifts in commodity prices, but in recent years has experienced a rapid rise in exports of light manufacturers. Growth remains dependent on the economy of the US, its largest trading partner, and on reduction of the high crime rate, as a means of attracting and maintaining investment.
Gdp purchasing power parity $22.54 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp official exchange rate $8.478 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp real growth rate6% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $3,100 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 13.6%
industry: 31.4%
services: 55% (2006 est.)
Labor force2.589 million (2006 est.)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: 34%
industry: 23%
services: 43% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate27.9% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line53% (1993 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 0.6%
highest 10%: 42.7% (1998)
Distribution of family income gini index55 (1999)
Inflation rate consumer prices 5.7% (2006 est.)
Investment gross fixed 23.7% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $2.002 billion
expenditures: $2.028 billion; including capital expenditures of $106 million (2006 est.)
Public debt67.1% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture productsbananas, coffee, citrus; beef; timber; shrimp
Industriessugar, coffee, textiles, clothing, wood products
Industrial production growth rate7.7% (2003 est.)
Electricity production4.805 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity consumption4.824 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)
Electricity imports356 million kWh (2004)
Oil production0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil consumption37,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil exportsNA bbl/day
Oil importsNA bbl/day
Oil proved reserves0 bbl
Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)
Current account balance-$160 million (2006 est.)
Exports$1.947 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports commoditiescoffee, shrimp, bananas, gold, palm oil, fruit, lobster, lumber
Exports partnersUS 70.3%, Guatemala 3.5%, El Salvador 3.4% (2006)
Imports$4.86 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports commoditiesmachinery and transport equipment, industrial raw materials, chemical products, fuels, foodstuffs
Imports partnersUS 51.7%, Guatemala 6.8%, El Salvador 4.4%, Mexico 4.1%, Costa Rica 4% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$2.778 billion (2006 est.)
Debt external$5.587 billion (2006 est.)
Economic aid recipient$557.8 million (1999)
Currency code lempira (HNL)
Exchange rateslempiras per US dollar - 18.895 (2006), 18.92 (2005), 18.206 (2004), 17.345 (2003), 16.433 (2002)
Communications - Honduras:
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Telephones main lines in use708,400 (2006)
Telephones mobile cellular2.241 million (2006)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: inadequate system
domestic: NA
international: country code - 504; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to Central American Microwave System
Radio broadcast stationsAM 241, FM 53, shortwave 12 (1998)
Television broadcast stations11 (plus 17 repeaters) (1997)
Internet country code.hn
Internet hosts3,973 (2006)
Internet users337,300 (2006)
Transportation - Honduras:
Airports116 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 3 (2006)
Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 105
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 19
under 914 m: 84 (2006)
Railwaystotal: 699 km
narrow gauge: 279 km 1.067-m gauge; 420 km 0.914-m gauge (2006)
Roadwaystotal: 13,603 km
paved: 2,775 km
unpaved: 10,828 km (1999)
Waterways465 km (most navigable only by small craft) (2007)
Merchant marinetotal: 136 ships (1000 GRT or over) 405,984 GRT/557,179 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 11, cargo 61, chemical tanker 5, container 1, liquefied gas 1, livestock carrier 1, passenger 5, passenger/cargo 9, petroleum tanker 29, refrigerated cargo 8, roll on/roll off 4, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 43 (Canada 1, China 3, Egypt 4, Greece 3, Hong Kong 2, Israel 1, Japan 4, South Korea 6, Lebanon 1, Mexico 1, Qatar 1, Singapore 11, Taiwan 2, Tanzania 1, US 1, Vietnam 1) (2006)
Ports and terminalsPuerto Castilla, Puerto Cortes, San Lorenzo, Tela
Military - Honduras:
Military branchesArmy, Navy (includes Naval Infantry), Honduran Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Hondurena, FAH) (2007)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary 2 to 3-year military service (2004)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 1,537,232
females age 18-49: 1,515,120 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 1,100,991
females age 18-49: 1,121,649 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 82,105
females age 18-49: 78,971 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp0.6% (2006 est.)
Disputes internationalInternational Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on the delimitation of bolsones (disputed areas) along the El Salvador-Honduras border in 1992 with final settlement by the parties in 2006 after an Organization of American States (OAS) survey and a further ICJ ruling in 2003; the 1992 ICJ ruling advised a tripartite resolution to a maritime boundary in the Gulf of Fonseca with consideration of Honduran access to the Pacific; El Salvador continues to claim tiny Conejo Island, not mentioned in the ICJ ruling, off Honduras in the Gulf of Fonseca; Honduras claims the Belizean-administered Sapodilla Cays off the coast of Belize in its constitution, but agreed to a joint ecological park around the cays should Guatemala consent to a maritime corridor in the Caribbean under the OAS-sponsored 2002 Belize-Guatemala Differendum; memorials and countermemorials were filed by the parties in Nicaraguas 1999 and 2001 proceedings against Honduras and Colombia at the ICJ over the maritime boundary and territorial claims in the western Caribbean Sea - final public hearings are scheduled for 2007
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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