El Salvador Demographics
El Salvador is comprised mostly of mestizos (people of European and Native American ancestry), whites and indigenous peoples, with 88% of the population claiming mixed ancestry. The mestizo population is mostly of Mediterranean descent, Afro-Salvadoran and Native Indigenous.
12% of the population is of Spanish descent, with small populations of German, Swiss, English, Irish, Italian and Danish ethnicity throughout the country. Only 1% of the country's population is completely indigenous, in part due to mass murders in 1932 during the Salvadoran peasant uprising. This is the only Central American country without a visible African population due to racial intermixing during its colonial days.
El Salvador Religion, Economy and Politics
Most people living in El Salvador practice follow a denomination of Christianity, but the tides are changing in regard to the proportions. As things stand presently, 47.5% of people are Catholic, and 35.1% are Protestant, however Protestantism is growing rapidly as Catholicism declines. An additional 14.5% of people are Atheist or Agnostic, and the remaining 2.9% practice another religion. San Salvador has the second-largest Jewish population in Central America.
Although they are technically considered a developing country, the GDP in El Salvador hasn't been growing as much as one might think, which is largely due to the extreme wealth inequality. One of the largest sources of income for the average Salvadorian are remittances from other Salvadorians working in the United States, making up nearly a fifth of the country's GDP. Other significant sectors include agriculture, manufacturing, and services. The economy is far from one of the world's strongest, but it has been doing much better since 1992 when their 12-year civil war finally ended.
As a presidential representative democratic republic, the people of El Salvador elect their president directly though a general election decided by the majority. The presidential period is five years and they can not be reelected. The rest of the government is split between a cabinet, which includes over a dozen separate departments and the military, the legislative branch made up of 84 deputies, and the judicial branch. The maximum personal income in El Salvador is 30%, and government spending accounts for 21.4% of their GDP.
El Salvador Population History
Indigenous people have been living in the area that is now El Salvador for longer than has been recorded. The native people were conquered in 1540 after years of fighting, to become a colony of Spain. Nearly three centuries later in 1821, El Salvador gained its independence before quickly becoming a member of the United Provinces of Central America.
in 1932 a peasant uprising led by Augustine Farabundo Marti was suppressed by the government, killing roughly 30,000 people. When the right-wing came to power in 1961, there began to be some civil strife, which came to a head between 1979 and 1981 when 30,000 people were killed by right-wing death squads backed by the army.
Two successive earthquakes killed 1,200 people in early 2001.