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  • [Country flag of Honduras]

    Honduras

    [Country map of Honduras]

    Geography

    Location: Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Nicaragua and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Nicaragua

    Geographic coordinates: 15 00 N, 86 30 W

    Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

    Area:
    total: 112,090 sq km
    land : 111,890 sq km
    water: 200 sq km

    Area - comparative: slightly larger than Tennessee

    Land boundaries:
    total: 1,520 km
    border countries: Guatemala 256 km, El Salvador 342 km, Nicaragua 922 km

    Coastline: 820 km

    Maritime claims:
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    continental shelf: natural extension of territory or to 200 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: subtropical in lowlands, temperate in mountains

    Terrain: mostly mountains in interior, narrow coastal plains

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
    highest point: Cerro Las Minas 2,870 m

    Natural resources: timber, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, iron ore, antimony, coal, fish

    Land use:
    arable land : 15%
    permanent crops: 3%
    permanent pastures: 14%
    forests and woodland: 54%
    other: 14% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 740 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: frequent, but generally mild, earthquakes; damaging hurricanes and floods along Caribbean coast

    Environment - current issues: urban 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 country's largest source of freshwater) with heavy metals as well as several rivers and streams

    Environment - international agreements:
    party to : Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Desertification

    People

    Population: 5,751,384 (July 1997 est.)

    Age structure:
    0-14 years : 42% (male 1,237,549; female 1,194,598)
    15-64 years: 54% (male 1,549,400; female 1,574,075)
    65 years and over: 4% (male 93,695; female 102,067) (July 1997 est.)

    Population growth rate: 2.55% (1997 est.)

    Birth rate: 32.63 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Death rate: 5.66 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Net migration rate: -1.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Sex ratio:
    at birth : 1.05 male(s)/female
    under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
    total population : 1 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

    Infant mortality rate: 40.2 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population : 68.81 years
    male: 66.38 years
    female: 71.37 years (1997 est.)

    Total fertility rate: 4.26 children born/woman (1997 est.)

    Nationality:
    noun: Honduran(s)
    adjective: Honduran

    Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and European) 90%, Amerindian 7%, black 2%, white 1%

    Religions: Roman Catholic 97%, Protestant minority

    Languages: Spanish, Amerindian dialects

    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 72.7%
    male : 72.6%
    female: 72.7% (1995 est.)

    Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form : Republic of Honduras
    conventional short form: Honduras
    local long form: Republica de Honduras
    local short form: Honduras

    Data code: HO

    Government type: republic

    National capital: Tegucigalpa

    Administrative divisions: 18 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) plus probable Central District (Tegucigalpa); 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

    Independence: 15 September 1821 (from Spain)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 15 September (1821)

    Constitution: 11 January 1982, effective 20 January 1982

    Legal system: rooted in Roman and Spanish civil law; some influence of English common law; accepts ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Carlos Roberto REINA Idiaquez (since 27 January 1994); First Vice President General (Ret.) Walter LOPEZ; Second Vice President Juan DE LA CRUZ Avelar; Third Vice President Guadeloupe JEREZANO; note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Carlos Roberto REINA Idiaquez (since 27 January 1994) First Vice President General (Ret.) Walter LOPEZ; Second Vice President Juan DE LA CRUZ Avelar; Third Vice President Guadeloupe JEREZANO; note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    cabinet: Cabinet
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 28 November 1993 (next to be held NA November 1997)
    election results: Carlos Roberto REINA Idiaquez elected president; percent of vote - Carlos Roberto REINA Idiaquez (PLH) 53%, Oswaldo RAMOS Soto (PNH) 41%, other 6%

    Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (128 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections : last held on 27 November 1993 (next to be held November 1997)
    election results: percent of vote by party - PNH 53%, PLH 41%, PDCH 1.0%, PINU-SD 2.5%, other 2.5%; seats by party - PLH 71, PNH 55, PINU-SD 2

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice (Corte Suprema de Justica), judges are elected for four-year terms by the National Assembly

    Political parties and leaders: Liberal Party (PLH), Carlos FLORES Facusse, president; National Party of Honduras (PNH), Oswaldo RAMOS Soto, president; National Innovation and Unity Party (PINU), Olban VALLADARES, president; Christian Democratic Party (PDCH), Efrain DIAZ Arrivillaga, president

    Political pressure groups and leaders: National Association of Honduran Campesinos (ANACH); Honduran Council of Private Enterprise (COHEP); Confederation of Honduran Workers (CTH); National Union of Campesinos (UNC); General Workers Confederation (CGT); United Federation of Honduran Workers (FUTH); Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras (CODEH); Coordinating Committee of Popular Organizations (CCOP)

    International organization participation: BCIE, CACM, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), MINURSO, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIH, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Roberto FLORES Bermudez
    chancery: 3007 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 966-7702, 2604, 5008, 4596
    FAX: [1] (202) 966-9751
    consulate(s) general : Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)
    consulate(s): Boston, Detroit, and Jacksonville

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador James Francis CREAGAN (29 July 1996)
    embassy : Avenida La Paz, Apartado Postal No. 3453, Tegucigalpa
    mailing address: American Embassy, APO AA 34022, Tegucigalpa
    telephone: [504] 36-9320, 38-5114
    FAX: [504] 36-9037

    Flag description: three 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

    Economy - overview: Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Agriculture employs nearly two-thirds of the labor force and produces two-thirds of exports. Productivity remains low. Manufacturing, mining, and construction account for 30 % of GDP and generate 20% of exports. Basic problems include rapid population growth, high underemployment, inflation, a lack of basic services, a large and inefficient public sector, and the dependence of the export sector mostly on coffee and bananas, which are subject to sharp price fluctuations.

    GDP: purchasing power parity - $11.5 billion (1996 est.)

    GDP - real growth rate: 3% (1996 est.)

    GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,000 (1996 est.)

    GDP - composition by sector:
    agriculture : 28%
    industry: 30%
    services: 42% (1995)

    Inflation rate - consumer price index: 25.4% (1996)

    Labor force:
    total: 1.3 million
    by occupation: agriculture 62%, services 20%, manufacturing 9%, construction 3%, other 6% (1985)

    Unemployment rate: 15%; underemployed about 40% (1996 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $655 million
    expenditures: $850 million, including capital expenditures of $150 million (1997 est.)

    Industries: sugar, coffee, textiles, clothing, wood products

    Industrial production growth rate: 10% (1992 est.)

    Electricity - capacity: 605,900 kW (1995)

    Electricity - production: 2.742 billion kWh (1995)

    Electricity - consumption per capita: 361 kWh (1995 est.)

    Agriculture - products: bananas, coffee, citrus; beef; timber; shrimp;

    Exports:
    total value: $2.401 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
    commodities: bananas, coffee, shrimp, lobster, minerals, meat, lumber
    partners : US 65%, Germany 7%, Japan 7%, Spain 3%, Belgium 2%

    Imports:
    total value: $3.133 billion (c.i.f. 1996)
    commodities: machinery and transport equipment, industrial raw materials, chemical products, manufactured goods, fuel and oil, foodstuffs
    partners : US 50%, Guatemala 5%, Japan 5%, Mexico 3%, El Salvador 3%

    Debt - external: $4.6 billion (1995)

    Economic aid:
    recipient: ODA, $NA

    Currency: 1 lempira (L) = 100 centavos

    Exchange rates: lempiras (L) per US$1 (end of period) - 13.0330 (January 1997), 12.8694 (1996), 10.3432 (1995), 9.4001 (1994), 7.2600 (1993), 5.8300 (1992)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

    Communications

    Telephones: 105,000 (1992 est.)

    Telephone system: inadequate system
    domestic: NA
    international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to Central American Microwave System

    Radio broadcast stations: AM 176, FM 0, shortwave 7

    Radios: 2.115 million (1992 est.)

    Television broadcast stations: 28

    Televisions: 400,000 (1992 est.)

    Transportation

    Railways:
    total: 595 km
    narrow gauge: 190 km 1.067-m gauge; 128 km 1.057-m gauge; 277 km 0.914-m gauge
    note: in 1993, there was a total of 988 km of track (1995)

    Highways:
    total: 15,100 km
    paved: 3,050 km
    unpaved: 12,050 km (1995 est.)

    Waterways: 465 km navigable by small craft

    Ports and harbors: La Ceiba, Puerto Castilla, Puerto Cortes, San Lorenzo, Tela, Puerto Lempira

    Merchant marine:
    total: 251 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 714,755 GRT/1,066,043 DWT
    ships by type: bulk 28, cargo 153, chemical tanker 3, combination bulk 1, container 5, liquefied gas tanker 1, livestock carrier 3, oil tanker 21, passenger 1, passenger-cargo 3, refrigerated cargo 22, roll-on/roll-off cargo 8, short-sea passenger 1, vehicle carrier 1
    note: a flag of convenience registry; Russia owns 8 ships, Vietnam 3, North Korea 2, Greece 1, Japan 1, Singapore 1, Iran 1 (1996 est.)

    Airports: 107 (1996 est.)

    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 88
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
    914 to 1,523 m : 5
    under 914 m: 78 (1996 est.)

    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 19
    914 to 1,523 m: 19 (1996 est.)

    Military

    Military branches: Army, Navy (includes Marines), Air Force, Public Security Forces (FUSEP)

    Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

    Military manpower - availability:
    males age 15-49: 1,370,116 (1997 est.)

    Military manpower - fit for military service:
    males: 816,054 (1997 est.)

    Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
    males : 66,304 (1997 est.)

    Military expenditures - dollar figure: $42.5 million (1997)

    Military expenditures - percent of GDP: about 1.5% (1997)

    Transnational Issues

    Disputes - international: land boundary dispute with El Salvador mostly resolved by 11 September 1992 International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision; with respect to the maritime boundary in the Golfo de Fonseca, ICJ referred to an earlier agreement in this century and advised that some tripartite resolution among El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua likely would be required; maritime boundary dispute with Nicaragua

    Illicit drugs: transshipment point for drugs and narcotics; illicit producer of cannabis, cultivated on small plots and used principally for local consumption