- Size: Second largest country of Central America; area of 112,088 square kilometers.
- Topography: About 80 percent of country consists of interior highlands, extremely rugged and
mountainous with numerous intermontane valleys. Long and narrow Caribbean lowlands widen in northeast, with numerous narrow
river valleys reaching into interior mountains. Small Pacific lowlands along the Golfo de Fonseca.
- Climate: Entire country lies within tropics, but much regional variation because of mountains. Caribbean
lowlands generally hotter and more humid than rest of country. More temperate conditions at higher elevations. Rainfall
varies; Caribbean lowlands, especially in northeast, wettest. Distinct wet and dry season in Pacific lowlands and interior
highlands. May to September wettest months.
- Population: In 1992 population estimated at nearly 5.1 million. Rate of annual growth 2.8 percent. Most of
population lives in western part of interior highlands and Caribbean lowlands; northeastern Honduras sparsely settled.
Population about half rural but rapidly urbanizing.
- Education and Literacy: Literacy reportedly at about 60 percent in 1990 but varies widely regionally.
Few people complete primary school.
- Health and Welfare: High degree of malnutrition; high infant and child mortality rates. Major diseases:
malaria, enteric diseases and typhoid, influenza, tuberculosis, and pneumonia. Life expectancy: nearly sixty-five years
in 1992. Medical care minimal for most of population.
- Language: Spanish official language and spoken as primary or secondary language by almost all
of population. English also used on Caribbean coast. Miskito of northeastern Honduras speak native language, as do
Black Caribs of Caribbean coast.
- Ethnic Groups: Approximately 90 percent of population mestizo. Caribbean coast population most diverse, with
mestizo, Creole, and Black Carib. Northeastern Honduras population primarily Miskito.
- Religion: Predominantly Roman Catholic, although Protestant denominations growing rapidly.
- Salient Features: One of poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere. Economy dependent on two agricultural
commodities, bananas and coffee. Small manufacturing sector. Poorly developed infrastructure. Heavily dependent on foreign
- Gross Domestic Product (GDP): US$3.3 billion in 1992 (US$650 per capita).
- Agriculture: Main products: bananas and coffee. Also cattle, corn, cotton, dry beans, sorghum, sugarcane, and
- Industry: Mainly agricultural product processing and simple assembly operations; most items light consumer
goods. Food, beverages, and tobacco products constitute 50 percent of production.
- Energy: Domestic needs met by petroleum imports, mainly from Mexico and Venezuela, as well as by hydroelectric
electricity generation. Electrification low and uneven, heavily concentrated in urban areas and western and northern parts of
- Foreign Trade: Exports valued at US$843 million in 1992. Exports: bananas, coffee, shrimp and lobster, sugar,
minerals, wood products, and refrigerated beef. Imports valued at US$983 million in 1992. Major commodities: machinery,
manufactured equipment, and raw or intermediate materials, such as petroleum. Major trading partners: United States, European
Union, Central American Common Market, Japan, Mexico, and Venezuela.
- Foreign Aid: Most economic assistance provided by United States. Received substantial amounts of military aid
from the United States in 1980s.
Source: The Library of Congress - Data as of December 1993
Map courtesy of www.theodora.com/maps used with permission.