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El Salvador achieved independence from Spain in 1821 and from the Central American Federation in 1839. A 12-year civil war, which cost about 75,000 lives, was brought to a close in 1992 when the government and leftist rebels signed a treaty that provided for military and political reforms.
15-64 years: 63% (male 1,802,113/female 2,021,191)
65 years and over: 6.4% (male 173,363/female 215,577) (2011 est.)
male: 23.4 years
female: 26.2 years (2012 est.)
conventional short form: El Salvador
local long form: Republica de El Salvador
local short form: El Salvador
geographic coordinates: 13 42 N, 89 12 W
time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2012)
The smallest country in Central America, El Salvador has the third largest economy, but growth has been modest in recent years. Robust growth in non-traditional exports have offset declines in the maquila exports, while remittances and external aid offset the trade deficit from high oil prices and strong import demand for consumer and intermediate goods. El Salvador leads the region in remittances per capita with inflows equivalent to nearly all export income.
Implementation in 2006 of the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), which El Salvador was the first to ratify, has strengthened an already positive export trend. With the adoption of the US dollar as its currency in 2001, El Salvador lost control over monetary policy and must concentrate on maintaining a disciplined fiscal policy. The current government has pursued economic diversification, with some success in promoting textile production, international port services, and tourism through tax incentives.
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