El Salvador Country Overview
Where is El Salvador located? El Salvador, translated from the Spanish name “the Savior”, is a country in Central America. It is both the smallest country in this part of America and the most densely populated. The time zone map, where you can see the world time zones and also the countries in which they apply, shows that the time zone in which El Salvador is located is called “Central Standard Time”. There is a time shift of 6 hours to the coordinated world time (UTC). This means that the clocks there are always 6 hours earlier than those of world time. In summer, a time change to daylight saving time is common.
Bordering Countries of El Salvador
According to abbreviationfinder, El Salvador is a small nation located in Central America, bordered by Guatemala to the west and Honduras to the north and east. The country has a total area of 21,041 square kilometers and a population of approximately 6.4 million people. El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America, with a coastline of 307 kilometers along the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Fonseca, which it shares with Nicaragua and Honduras.
To the south, El Salvador borders the Pacific Ocean along its entire coastline, providing access to many beaches as well as fishing opportunities in both deep sea and inshore waters. Along its coastline are many rivers which provide vital freshwater resources for local communities. The most important river is the Rio Lempa which runs through much of El Salvador’s interior before emptying into the Gulf of Fonseca near La Union port on its eastern border with Honduras.
El Salvador’s western border with Guatemala is over 300 kilometers long and runs through mountainous terrain for much of its length. This region includes one of El Salvador’s most important national parks – Cerro Verde National Park – which protects an important part of the country’s biodiversity including endangered species such as jaguars, ocelots and Baird’s tapir. There are also several volcanoes located along this border including Ilamatepec (Santa Ana), Chaparrastique (San Miguel) and Izalco (Sonsonate).
On El Salvador’s northern border with Honduras lies Lake Ilopango – an important source of hydroelectric energy for both countries – as well as several mountain ranges such as Sierra de Cinquera, Sierra de Apaneca-Ilamatepec and Sierra de Balsamo-Lempa ranges which form part of El Salvador’s protected areas system. To the east lies an extensive coastal plain that encompasses many mangrove swamps and coral reefs in addition to numerous estuaries that provide valuable habitat for fish species such as snapper, grouper, mackerel and swordfish among others.
Overall, El Salvador is surrounded by a diverse landscape that includes mountains, rivers, lakes, coastlines, mangroves swamps and coral reefs providing opportunities for tourism development while also protecting vital ecosystems that are crucial for local livelihoods such as fishing activities on both coasts or subsistence farming in rural areas inland from these coasts.
As of 2023, the latest population of El Salvador is 6,481,102, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).
|Population growth rate
|16.20 births per 1,000 people
|65 years and above
|Gender ratio (Male to Female)
|308.02 residents per km²
|90% of European indigenous descent, 10% indigenous people (above all Pipil); over 2 million Salvadorans live abroad
|Catholics (Roman Catholic) 57.1% Protestants 21.2 Jehovah’s Witnesses 1.9% Mormons 0.7% Others 2.3% No religious affiliation 16.8%
|Human Development Index (HDI)
|124th out of 194
People in El Salvador
The residents of El Salvador are called Salvadorans in German. The vast majority of the population (86.3 percent) are descendants of Europeans (mostly Spaniards) and indigenous peoples. Whites make up 12.7 percent of the population. Only 0.2 percent are indigenous.
These indigenous peoples represented in El Salvador are the Cacaopera (Kakawira), Pipil and Lenca. Cacaopera live mainly in the northeast, in the Morazán district. Their language died out when the last speaker died in 1974. The Pipil people belong to the Nahua people, whose groups have in common that they speak Nahuatl. The best known Nahua ethnic group were the Aztecs. The Pipil live mainly in the west of the country, the Lencain the East. There are even more Lenca living in neighboring Honduras than in El Salvador.
0.1 percent in the country are black. Compared to other countries, this group is so small in El Salvador because blacks were banned from immigration in the 1930s. 0.6 percent belong to other races.
Among the indigenous peoples, the Cacaopera are represented with 31.3 percent, the Pipil with 26.6 percent and the Lenca with 15.1 percent. 27 percent belong to other indigenous peoples, for example immigrated from Guatemala.
Many Salvadorans – it is assumed that there are 3 million, or half of the country’s population – live outside their country. They left their country during the civil war until 1992 or left in the 1990s and from 2000 because the economic situation deteriorated. Most Salvadorans abroad live in the United States. The money you send home makes a significant contribution to the country’s economic performance.
- Children: Every woman in El Salvador has an average of 2 children. With us, every woman has an average of 1.4 children. So the families in El Salvador are a bit bigger than ours.
- Urban and rural areas: More than half of El Salvador’s population, namely 73 percent, live in the city. About a third of all residents live in the region of the capital San Salvador.
Languages in El Salvador
Spanish is the official language in El Salvador. It is actually spoken by almost all residents. Of the indigenous languages, only the Nawat, the language of the Pipil, has survived so far. However, in 2007 only 97 people stated Nawat as their mother tongue. The language is threatened with extinction. The languages of Lenca and Cacaopera have already died out.
If the nawat dies out, El Salvador would be the second country after Uruguay on the American mainland where an indigenous language is no longer spoken. The reason for this is that all indigenous languages of El Salvador were suppressed and persecuted in the 1930s.
Spanish in El Salvador
However, Spanish in El Salvador differs from the Spanish (Castilian) spoken in Spain. The Salvadoran variant is called caliche. For example, for “her” one says ustedes (instead of vosotros). In addition, one often says instead of tú (du) vos. This peculiarity is called Voseo.
And while in Spain the c is usually pronounced like an English th, i.e. between the teeth (as in through), in El Salvador the c is pronounced like a sharp s (as in see).
Religions in El Salvador
The majority of 54 percent of El Salvador’s residents are Catholics. 31 percent are Protestants. In 2013, 10 percent said they did not belong to any church. The remaining 5 percent belong to other religions, for example Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims, Jews or Mormons.