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HONDURAS
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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 fresh water) as well as several rivers and streams with heavy metals

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, 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: none of the selected agreements

 
People

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Population: 5,861,955 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 42% (male 1,248,291; female 1,204,574)
15-64 years: 55% (male 1,591,995; female 1,615,449)
65 years and over: 3% (male 96,017; female 105,629) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.33% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 31.79 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 7.02 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 41.88 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 65.01 years
male: 63.31 years
female: 66.8 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.12 children born/woman (1998 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

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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 FLORES Facusse (since 27 January 1998); First Vice President William HANDAL; Second Vice President Gladys CABALLERO de Arevalo; Third Vice President Hector Vidal CERRATO Hernandez; note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Carlos Roberto FLORES Facusse (since 27 January 1998); First Vice President William HANDAL; Second Vice President Gladys CABALLERO de Arevalo; Third Vice President Hector Vidal CERRATO Hernandez; 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 30 November 1997 (next to be held NA November 2001)
election results: Carlos FLORES Facusse elected president; percent of vote—Carlos FLORES Facusse (PLH) 53%, Nora de MELGAR (PNH) 42%, other 5%

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 30 November 1997 (next to be held November 2001)
election results: percent of vote by party—PLH 50%, PNH 42%, PINU-SD 4%, PDCH 2%, other 2%; seats by party—PLH 70, PNH 55, PINU-SD 3

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), Raphael PINEDA Ponce, president; National Party of Honduras (PNH), Nora MELGAR, president; National Innovation and Unity Party-Social Democratic Party (PINU-SD), Olban VALLADARES, president; Christian Democratic Party (PDCH)

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 Edgardo DUMAS Rodriguez
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

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Economy—overview: In 1994 the REINA administration inherited an economy in the grips of stagflation due to an unprecedented energy crisis, declining agricultural output, and extravagant public expenditures. In response the REINA administration cut the fiscal deficit and enacted a number of structural reforms including passage of a modern financial sector reform law in 1995 and a central bank reform law in 1996. As a result, Honduras finished 1997 with improved GDP growth and a decreasing rate of inflation. The newly elected FLORES administration faces pressure from the international financial community and the IMF to further decrease the fiscal deficit and implement key reforms, including the privatization of state enterprises such as Hondutel. Tegucigalpa will probably implement tighter fiscal and monetary policies to keep inflation low and meet commitments to the IMF. This may slow GDP growth to 3.5% in 1998. Moreover, wage increases for public-sector employees, agreed to in 1997, will make it difficult for FLORES to make headway on the fiscal deficit and inflation.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$12.7 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 4.5% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,200 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 20%
industry: 19%
services: 61% (1997)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 15% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 1.3 million (1997 est.)
by occupation: agriculture 62%, services 20%, manufacturing 9%, construction 3%, other 6% (1985)

Unemployment rate: 6.3% (1997); underemployed 30% (1997 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: 305,000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 2.8 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 516 kWh (1995)

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

Exports:
total value: $1.3 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: bananas, coffee, shrimp, lobster, minerals, meat, lumber
partners: US 54%, Germany 7%, Belgium 5%, Japan 4%, Spain 3% (1995)

Imports:
total value: $1.8 billion (c.i.f. 1996)
commodities: machinery and transport equipment, industrial raw materials, chemical products, manufactured goods, fuel and oil, foodstuffs
partners: US 43%, Guatemala 5%, Japan 5%, Germany 4%, Mexico 3%, El Salvador 3% (1995)

Debt—external: $4.1 billion (1995)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 lempira (L) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: lempiras (L) per US$1 (end of period)—13.1332 (January 1998), 13.0942 (1997), 12.8694 (1996), 10.3432 (1995), 9.4001 (1994), 7.2600 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year

 
Communications

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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

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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

Highways:
total: 15,400 km
paved: 3,126 km
unpaved: 12,274 km (1996 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: 219 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 545,829 GRT/801,456 DWT
ships by type: bulk 25, cargo 131, chemical tanker 3, container 7, liquefied gas tanker 1, livestock carrier 2, oil tanker 19, passenger 1, passenger-cargo 3, refrigerated cargo 18, roll-on/roll-off cargo 5, short-sea passenger 3, vehicle carrier 1
note: a flag of convenience registry; Russia owns 7 ships, Vietnam 2, Singapore 2, North Korea 1, Brazil 1, Japan 1, Iran 1 (1997 est.)

Airports: 122 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 12
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 2 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 110
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 87 (1997 est.)

 

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