|Population growth rate
||17.70 births per 1,000 residents
|Overall life expectancy
|Men life expectancy
|Women life expectancy
|65 years and above
||0.96 M / F
||47.58 residents per km²
|Managua 1,016,744, León 164,673, Masaya
117,225, Tipitapa 115,572, Chinandega 108,659, Estelí 101,840, Ciudad
Sandino 99,519, Matagalpa 97,513, Granada 96,910
|70% European-indigenous, 18% European, 9% African
origin, 4% indigenous (especially Miskito, Chorotega-Nahua-Mange)
|Catholics (Roman Catholic) 85%, Protestants
|Human Development Index (HDI)
People in Nicaragua
Most Nicaraguans are descendants of relationships
between Spaniards and indigenous peoples. 69 percent of
the population are among them. 17 percent are white,
mostly descendants of Spaniards. 9 percent are of
African origin. They live mainly on the Caribbean coast.
5 percent belong to the indigenous peoples. They also
live in the east of the country. The largest group among
them are the Miskito, who also live across the border in
Honduras. Smaller peoples are the Mayangna (Sumo) in the
northeast and the Rama on the southern Caribbean coast.
There are only about 900 Rama left, most of them live on
the island of Rama Cay. The Mayangna still number about
2000 people. The Chorotega still number 750 people.
Many Nicaraguans have left their country in the hope
of better working and living conditions. It is estimated
that one million people live outside their country. Most
of them emigrated to Costa Rica, the second largest
group lives in the USA.
- Children: Every woman in Nicaragua has an
average of 1.8 children. With us, every woman has an
average of 1.4 children. So the families in
Nicaragua are a bit bigger than ours. A quarter of
the population (25 percent) is under 14 years old.
In Germany, that's only 13 percent.
- City and Country: Slightly more than half
of the population (59 percent) of Nicaragua live in
cities. More and more people are drawn there in the
hope of finding work. This is called rural exodus.
Languages in Nicaragua
Spanish is the official language in Nicaragua. 95
percent of the population speaks Spanish. From the
Spanish (Castilian) spoken in Spain, however, Spanish in
Nicaragua differs in a number of ways. For "you" one
says vos instead of do. It's called Voseo. In
Nicaragua, it has completely supplanted tu.
And while in Spain the c is usually pronounced like
an English th, i.e. between the teeth (as in through ),
in Nicaragua (and throughout Latin America) the c is
pronounced like a sharp s (as in see, that's why this
pronunciation is called Seseo).
A special feature in Nicaragua is that syllables and
words that end in p or t are usually pronounced in
English loanwords, such as k, e.g. Internet such as
Internec or laptop such as Lactoc. There are also a
number of words that one would not understand in Spain,
for example pofi for friend (instead of amigo ). The
Nicaraguans mostly call their language Español and not
Castellano (see also under Spain ).
What languages are there besides Spanish?
Creole English is also widely spoken on the Caribbean
2.2 percent of the population speaks Miskito.
Miskito belongs to the Misumalpan language family. It is
easy to learn: all words are stressed on the first
syllable, there is no plural (plural), nouns have no
gender (no "der, die, das"), there are only three vowels
( a, i and u ) and the vocabulary is small.
The Rama language is dying out, as only around 20
elderly people speak it. The Mayangna language is
Religions in Nicaragua
Soon after the Spanish conquest, missionaries came to
convert the indigenous population to the Catholic faith.
Today 47 percent of the population are Catholic. 37
percent are Protestants. The Miskito and Rama mostly
belong to the Moravian Brethren, an evangelical free
church. They were evangelized in the 18th century.
Around 9 percent do not profess any faith. 7 percent
have a different belief.