El Salvador is characterized by deep gaps between the poor and the rich and a history of violence. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of SLV and acronym for El Salvador. The civil war of 1980-92 left a country with major problems and needs for investment in infrastructure and social programs. More than a third of the population is estimated to live in poverty, a poverty that exists both in cities and in rural areas where many lack access to water and sewage. Violence and high crime have, after the peace agreement, grown to become one of the most difficult problems. Much of the violence stems from fighting between youth gangs and El Salvador is one of the countries in the world with the highest number of murders per capita and year.
About 60 percent of the population is estimated to work in the informal sector and is therefore not covered by social protection programs. Check to see El Salvador population.
Public health care is administered by the Institute of Social Insurance (Instituto Salvadoreño del Seguro Social). The social insurance system guarantees old age, disability and sickness pension as well as child allowance and free health care for children and the elderly, but a large part of the Salvadoran people are not covered by the system. To be connected requires that you have a job, but some groups are still excluded, for example, farm workers. The retirement age is 60 years for men and 55 years for women. Health care’s share of government spending is about 15.5 percent (2012). Malaria, typhoid and dysentery are common diseases, and the shortage of doctors and other healthcare professionals is great. In 2010, in El Salvador, there were 1.6 doctors per 1,000 residents. Most hospitals are run by public authorities, but the resources are unevenly distributed regionally. Rural health has improved since a reform program was launched in the early 1990s.
The number of local health clinics has doubled and fees have been abolished for the poorest, which has led to reduced maternal mortality. Abortion is totally prohibited in all circumstances, even if the pregnant woman’s life is at risk. Doctors who perform abortions can be sentenced to 12 years and get rid of their credentials. The ban leads to many deaths in connection with illegal abortions.
HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
The already large Salvadoran population has undergone a further increase in recent years, rising from 5. 047. 925 pop. from 1992 to 6,032. 000 of 1998. The demographic increase is mainly due to natural dynamics: the birth rate remains very high (22 ‰ in 1996) compared to the death rate that has been declining for some time (5, 1 ‰ in 1993); the average density, 287 residents / km ², is the highest in the area. The process of urbanization of the population is also growing: in the early nineties it was almost 3 % per year, and led the urban population to represent 46 % of the total (1998).
Having been one of the epicenters of the conflicts that bloodied Central America in the 1980s, the El Salvador represents the scene of important migratory phenomena, with significant flows of refugees to the United States and to some neighboring countries. Although the bloody civil war, resulting from the conflict between the government army and the Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional, has ended, the reconciliation process cannot yet be said to be over and the pacification has ended up further highlighting the seriousness of the problems in which, for some time, the country has been debating.
The economic and social situation is characterized by considerable disparities and contradictions: a scenario that the repercussions of the internal conflict, with the huge military expenses of the past years, have only aggravated and that relegates this country to 112th place in the UN ranking of the human development index (1996). The crisis of two of the main export products, coffee and cotton, heavily depreciated during the 1980s on international markets, has accentuated foreign debt and dependence on the United States, El Salvador’s main trading partner. The increase in the tourism sector, which has begun in recent years, is a very important opportunity for development, now that the internal situation allows the country, endowed with remarkable landscape and natural beauties, to open up to international tourist flows. As in other Central American states, massive privatizations are underway in the El Salvador and a liberal policy is pursued which favors the opening of economic systems to foreign exchanges and attempts to reduce the enormous public debt. But this structural transformation is requiring enormous social costs, and although the Salvadoran economy has experienced some development in recent years, it continues to benefit only a small percentage of the population. According to UN estimates, over the50 % of families living in rural areas remain in conditions of extreme poverty; Significant shortcomings continue to characterize public services, both from a qualitative and quantitative point of view, in particular in the fields of education and sanitation. The infant mortality rate remains very high (32 ‰ in 1997), as well as that of illiteracy (29 % in 1995). The urgency of social and economic reforms faces structural obstacles, such as the chronic deficit of the trade balance, the high rate of inflation and the inequality in the distribution of land ownership. This latter aspect, combined with massive demographic pressure, has resulted in the use of unsuitable land for agriculture as well as an alarming process of deforestation, factors that are causing accelerated environmental degradation. In November 1998 the whole Central American region, and especially the El Salvador, was hit by a tropical cyclone of particular intensity, Hurricane Mitch, which resulted in heavy floods and extensive mud avalanches. The consequences were tragic: there were thousands of victims in the country, and very serious damage occurred in the settlement fabric, in the flora and fauna and, in general, in the national economy.