Country Listing

El Salvador Table of Contents

El Salvador


Population: Population estimated at 5.4 million in 1988. Rate of annual growth estimated at 2.4 percent in 1980s.

Language: Spanish official language and spoken by virtually all Salvadorans. Some traces of Indian languages, but no segment of population linguistically distinct.

Ethnic Groups: In late 1980s; about 89 percent of population mestizo (Spanish and Indian), 10 percent Indian, and 1 percent unmixed Caucasian.

Education and Literacy: Approximately 69 percent of population ten years or older considered literate in early 1980s. Higher rate of literacy in urban than in rural areas. Public education system included one year of preschool, nine years of basic education, and three years secondary education. Major universities National University of El Salvador and Jesuit-run Central American University Jose Simeon Canas.

Health: Serious malnutrition, particularly among young children. Malaria, enteritis, and pneumonia most serious diseases. Medical attention to general population inadequate, especially in rural areas.

Religion: Overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, although Protestant missionary groups, especially evangelicals, active and continued to make significant number of converts.

Data as of November 1988