El Salvador Military, Economy and Transportation

El Salvador Military


Economic overview: The Salvadoran economy is suffering from a weak tax system, plant closures, the effects of Hurricane Mitch and the devastating 2001 earthquake, and low global coffee prices. On the positive side, inflation has fallen below 10% in recent years, as well as a significant overall increase in exports. The significant deficit in the balance of payments was offset by remittances from Salvadorans living abroad (about $1.6 billion in 2001) and external assistance. Since January 1, 2001, the US dollar has become legal tender on a par with the colón. See cheeroutdoor.com to know more about El Salvador Business.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $24 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 2.5% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $4,000 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 12%; industry: 28%; services: 60% (1999 est.).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 48% (1999 est.).
Percentage distribution of family income or consumption: 10% of the poorest families account for: 1.2%; 10% of the wealthiest families account for: 38.3% (1995).
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 2.5% (2000 est.).
Labor force: 2.35 million people (1999).
Employment structure: agriculture 30%, industry 15%, services 55% (1999 est.).
Unemployment rate: 10%
Budget: revenues: $1.8 billion; expenditures: $2.2 billion, including capital expenditures – NA (1999 est.).
Spheres of economy: production of food and beverages, oil industry, chemical industry, production of fertilizers, textiles, furniture, light metals.
Growth in industrial production: 5% (2000 est.).
Electricity generation: 3.641 billion kWh (1999 est.)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 45.65%; hydropower: 41.01%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 13.34% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 3.638 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 208 million kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 460 million kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: coffee, sugarcane, corn, rice, legumes, oilseeds, cotton, sorghum; beef, dairy products; shrimps.
Export: $2.8 billion (free on board, 2000)
Exports: products from offshore assembly plants, coffee, sugar, shrimp, textiles, chemicals, electricity.
Export partners: USA 63%, Guatemala 12%, Honduras 7%, Costa Rica 4% (1996).
Imports: $4.6 billion (free on board, 2000)
Imports: raw materials, consumer goods, capital goods, fuels, foodstuffs, oil, electricity.
Import partners: USA 52%, Guatemala 9%, Mexico 6%, Costa Rica 3% (1999).
External debt: $4.1 billion (2000 est.). Economic aid recipient: $252 million total; US$57 million (1999 est.).
Economic aid donor:
Currency: Salvadoran colón, US dollar.
Currency code: SVC; USD.
Exchange rate: SVC/USD -8.755 (fixed exchange rate since 1993).
Fiscal year: calendar year.


Telecommunications Telephone lines: 380,000 (1998).
Mobile cellular telephones: 40 163 (1997).
Telephone system: domestic: nationwide microwave radio relay system; international: satellite earth station – 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to the Central American Microwave Communication System.
Broadcast stations: AM -61 (and 24 repeaters), FM – 30, shortwave – 0 (1998).
Radio receivers: 2.75 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 5 (1997).
Televisions: 600,000 (1990).
Internet country code: sv
Internet service providers: 4 (2000).
Number of users: 40,000 (2000).


Transport Railways: total: 562 km; narrow gauge: 602 km (0.914 m gauge); note: the length of tracks that can be used has been reduced to 283 km due to uselessness and insufficient maintenance (2001).
Roads: total: 10,029 km; paved: 1,986 km (including 327 km of expressways); unpaved: 8,043 km (1997 est.).
Waterways: The Lempa River is partly navigable.
Ports and harbours: Acahutla, La Libertad, La Union, Puerto Cutuco, Puerto el Triunfo.
Merchant fleet: none (2000 est.).
Airports: 83 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 4; over 3,047 m: 1; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1; from 914 to 1523 m: 2 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 79; from 914 to 1523 m:17; less than 914 m: 62 (2000 est.). Helipads: 1 (2000 est.).

Armed forces

Branches of the Armed Forces: Army, Air Force, Navy
Conscription age: 18 years.
Total Military Manpower: Male 15 to 49: 1,464,898 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: males aged 15 to 49: 929,263 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year: men: 68,103 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $112 million (1999)
Military spending as part of GDP: 0.7% (1999)

International Issues

International issues International disputes: regarding the maritime boundary in the Gulf of Fonseca, the International Court of Justice, having considered the issue of the boundary line established in 1900 by the mixed Honduran-Nicaraguan boundary commission, recognized the need for a tripartite decision by El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Illicit drugs: cocaine transit point; production of marijuana for local consumption; an increase in domestic drug use.

El Salvador Military