Central America is the region that connects North American and South America. Central America is its own region, but many people believe that it is the southernmost region of North America. Central America is located south of Mexico and northwest of Colombia. This region is also bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
Central America is made up of seven different nations. Those nations are:
Based on estimates taken in 2016, the combined population of all Central American nations is 47,448,333. This population is spread over an area of 202,230 square miles. With the total land area and total population, you can calculate the population density, which is a relatively low 240 people per square mile.
When you consider land area, Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America. When looking at population, the largest nation in this region is Guatemala, which has a population of over 16.58 million inhabitants. The most densely populated nation in the region is El Salvador.
On the flip side, the smallest country by area is El Salvador. The nation with the lowest population is Belize, which has nearly 377,000 inhabitants. Belize is the only Central American nations with a population less than 1 million. Belize also is the least densely populated nation in the region.
The largest metro area is Guatemala City, which had a population of 5.7 million at the time of the 2010 census. This represents over one-quarter of the total national population. Other major metro areas include San Salvador in El Salvador, Panama City in Panama, and San Jose in Costa Rica.
All nations with the exception of Belize have Spanish as their official language. Belize’s official language is English. However, these aren’t the only languages spoken in Central America. Other languages spoken include Xinca, Garifuna, and Mayan languages.
Central America is very ethnically diverse, and there are many ethnic groups living throughout the region. This includes Mestizos, Mayans, Whites, Chinese, and Europeans – just to name a few of the groups that call this area home. Over 95% of the region practices Christianity. Roman Catholicism has been one of the most popular religions since the 16th century.
Central America can be a difficult region of the world to define. The region of Central America is ever so often confused with Latin America, and the reason for this is that certain countries coincide with both Latin America and Central America. These are the countries that are considered to be Central America and Latin America...
The countries that make up Central America include…
- Costa Rica
- The Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- French Guiana
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Barthelemy
- Saint Martin
The countries that are considered to be part of Central America are…
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
The most interesting thing about Central America is that it’s one of the few regions around that is not wholly defined and identified as the same across the globe. For instance, when you think about the United States of America, there is no question as to which states are included in the USA. There are fifty states that make up the United States, and they include…
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
As you can see, it’s clear as day that these are the fifty states within the United States. And there’s no question that the following sixty-one countries are part of the continent of Africa…
- Burkina Faso
- The Canary Islands
- Cape Verde
- The Central African Republic
- Côte d'Ivoire
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo
- The Equatorial Guinea
- The Republic of the Congo
- Saint Helena
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- The Western Sahara
The Central American countries, on the other hand, are not as set in stone as the states in America or the countries on the continent of Africa. Central America is harder to elaborate on, because the definition of Central America differs depending on the context through which you are looking at or speaking from, as you can see in the examples below.
The Central American Countries in Terms of the United Nations
According to the United Nations, the countries that are viewed as part of Central America only include the countries that are part of North America, with the exception of the United States and Canada. So, in other words, through the eyes of the United Nations, Central America is seen as the countries beneath the southernmost border of the United States, and it includes all countries extending to the most southern point of South America.
Central American Countries According to Middle America
Through the eyes of Middle American views, Central America is thought of as, first and foremost, being inclusive of every part of Mexico. All of the countries that lie to the south of Mexico are understood to be part of Central America, as are the South American countries of Venezuela and Colombia. The entirety of the Caribbean Sea are viewed as Central American countries, too. As you can see, this viewpoint defines Central America as involving all of the states in between -- or in the middle of -- North America and South America, with the addition of the two aforementioned South American countries.
The Ibero-American View of Central America
Ibero-American people are the countries that are defined as being part of North, South, Middle, or Central American countries but identify either Portuguese, Spanish, or both languages as being the most commonly spoken languages in the countries.
The Outlook of Central America from the Context of the Federal Republic of Central America
According to the views of the Federal Republic of Central America, the countries of Central America are inclusive of any countries that fall between Mexico and Colombia. The Federal Republic of Central America thinks of Central America as literally including the countries that are centrally in between North America and South America. This are of the world involves…
- El Salvador
- Costa Rica
What Portugal Defines Central America As
Portugal’s government views Central America as being the countries that are situated between North America and South America, as well as the archipelago of the Antilles, as well as the Caribbean country of the Dominican Republic.
Capital city: Belmopan Most spoken language: English Population size: 389,139 people Percentage of global population: 0.01% Total area: 8,807 square miles Population density: forty-four people per square mile
Capital city: San Jose
Most spoken language: Spanish Population size: 4,993,125 people Percentage of global population: 0.06% Total area: 19,714 square miles Population density: two hundred fifty-four people per square miles
Capital city: San Salvador Most spoken language: Spanish Population size: 6,441,036 people Percentage of global population: 0.08% Total area: 8,000 square miles Population density: eight hundred six people per square mile
Capital city: Guatemala City Most spoken language: Spanish Population size: 17,531,375 people Percentage of global population: 0.23% Total area: 41,375 square miles Population density: four hundred twenty-five people per square mile
Capital city: Tegucigalpa Most spoken language: Spanish Population size: 9,547,717 people Percentage of global population: 0.12% Total area: 43,201 square miles Population density: two hundred twenty-one people per square mile
Capital city: Managua Most spoken language: Spanish Population size: 6,342,123 people Percentage of global population: 0.08% Total area: 46,464 square miles Population density: one hundred thirty-seven people per square mile
Capital city: Panama City Most spoken language: Spanish Population size: 4,217,420 people Percentage of global population: 0.05% Total area: 28,703 square miles Population density: one hundred forty-seven people per square mile