Although poverty has decreased in recent
years, Nicaragua is still one of Latin America's poorest
countries. There has been good growth in the economy in
recent years, but income is unevenly distributed. The
poorest fifth of the population has less than four per
cent of income.
About one-third of Nicaraguans live in poverty,
according to the World Bank. The middle class is small,
the largest individual socio-economic group consists of
those who, by only a small margin, are above the poverty
line and who thus easily fall into poverty again.
Poverty is most widespread in rural areas, especially
among indigenous peoples on the Atlantic coast.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Nicaragua, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
In 2007, the government introduced toll-free care and
education and has started a number of projects to reduce
poverty, including the food program Noll hunger (Hambre
Cero). This has led to reduced malnutrition among
especially the children and lower maternal mortality. In
addition, the availability of water, sewage and toilets
has increased, but conditions are worse in rural areas
in the cities. Between 1990 and 2010, the proportion of
malnourished Nicaraguans decreased from 55 to 20
percent, according to the United Nations Food Agency FAO.
The availability of health care has increased with
the efforts of the Sandin Government, but even here the
resources are unevenly distributed. The range of health
care is poorer in the countryside, and in some isolated
parts of the Atlantic coast there are no healthcare
facilities at all.
Nicaragua is a male-dominated society. Women are
discriminated against in terms of salary and influence
in society, although the proportion of women in politics
has increased sharply with the Sandin government.
Violence against women is very common, but few of the
crimes are reported and of those who do so, barely a
fifth lead to legal satisfaction games. When it comes to
domestic violence, many cases are settled. In the
mid-1990s, specially trained women commissioners began
to be placed at some of the country's police stations to
encourage more people to report abuse, rape and other
violence against women. Later, more women commissioners
have been trained and are now found in most of the
In 2012, 85 women were murdered, an increase of 9
compared to the previous year. In Latin America, the
term femicidiosis about the murder of women is
used precisely because they are women. These murders are
characterized by brutality and hatred of women, and are
common in Nicaragua.
A new law against female violence entered into force
in 2012, where new criminal categories such as
femicidios, workplace violence, property offenses
against women and violence in connection with the
exercise of authority. The punishment was sharpened for
violence based on gender; For example, women's murder
can result in up to 30 years in prison. In addition,
special courts, specialized in violence against women,
should be set up. However, women's organizations have
warned that the government has not allocated sufficient
resources to enable the law to be applied.
In 2011, Nicaragua had Latin America's highest
proportion of teenage pregnancies. Every fourth pregnant
woman was between 15 and 19 years old. In addition, the
number of pregnant girls between the ages of 10 and 14
has increased in recent years.
Since 2007, there has been a total ban on abortion.
Women undergoing abortion risk up to four years in
prison, and doctors who participate in an abortion can
be sentenced to up to ten years in prison and revoked
identification. Illegal abortions are common and the
medical complications cause many deaths and complicated
pregnancies. The UN has called on Nicaragua to abolish
the ban on abortion in terms of women's human rights.
Women are discriminated against in working life,
where they have less pay than men, even for the same
work, and where fewer women are managers. In politics,
women have gained greater influence with the new Sandini
government. Just over 40 percent of the MPs and about
the same proportion of government members are women.
Violence and sexual abuse of children are common and
sex tourism occurs. It is estimated that there are about
15,000 street children in the country's cities, many of
them sniffing glue to get rid of themselves. Alcohol and
other drugs are also common among adolescents. A few
youths from the criminal gang maras - which are common
in Honduras and El Salvador - have made their way into
Nicaragua, but police are pursuing intensive
intelligence efforts to prevent the violent gang from
rooting in Nicaragua.
People with disabilities or other disabilities are
discriminated against in access to education, work and
opportunities to access the streets and buildings.
According to WHO, almost half a percent of children with
disabilities participated in compulsory compulsory
school in 2011.
Homosexuality was illegal until 2007. In society there
is a conservative view of homosexuality and
discrimination is widespread.
Women are discriminated against and, for example,
lack the right to have an abortion even if their lives
are in danger. Human rights organizations that fight for
women's sexual and reproductive rights are sometimes
counteracted and rejected by the government. Violence
against women and children is a major problem, although
efforts are being made to combat it. Indigenous peoples
are also discriminated against in terms of access to
health care, education and community service. Many
children also live in difficult conditions.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
16 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
0.2 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
82.3 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
74.4 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
7.8 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 188 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
46 percent (2018)
The hurricane causes great havoc
About 200 people are killed, homes are destroyed and over 200,000 become
homeless as Hurricane Felix advances across northeast Nicaragua. Half of the
country's agricultural harvest goes to nothing.
Imprisoned ex-president gets freedom of movement
Former President Arnoldo Alemán, who in 2003 was sentenced to 20 years in
prison for corruption, gets the right to move freely throughout the country (see
Modern History). Alemán was already allowed to live freely in the capital and
its surroundings. The Ministry of the Interior is now lifting the previous
restrictions, but it is generally considered that Ortega is behind the decision.
This shows that the pact between the Sandinists and Aléman's PLC is still in
force, something that has been repeatedly criticized by human rights
organizations and the opposition (see Political system).
A change of law gives the president more power
Shortly after taking office, Ortega presents a proposal in the National
Assembly to give the President more direct control over the country's military
and police. The proposal is adopted with the support of the conservative PLC. At
the same time, the National Assembly approves a law that allows the President,
through decrees, that is to pass laws without the approval of the National
Assembly, to form several citizens' councils, which, among other things, are
allowed to submit proposals for a new government policy (see Political system).
FSLN back in office
FSLN and Ortega take office after the election victory.
Ortega and FSLN win the election
The Socialist Party FSLN wins both the presidential and parliamentary
elections. Daniel Ortega, who sat in power from 1985 to 1990, takes home the
victory in the presidential election in the first round with 38 percent of the
vote. Two Eduardo Montealegre from ALN receive 29 percent and third Edmundo
Jarquín from MRS 6 percent. In the election to the National Assembly, FSLN
receives 38 of the 90 seats, while PLC receives 25, ALN receives 22 and MRS 5