El Salvador, the most densely-populated state on the mainland of the Americas, is a small and highly-industrialised country.
In the 1980s, El Salvador was ravaged by a bitter civil war stoked by gross inequality between the overwhelming majority of the population and a small and wealthy elite that left around 70,000 people dead.
A United Nations-brokered peace agreement ended the civil war in 1992, ushering in important political reforms, but the country still suffers from the legacy of a divided society.
Violent “mara” street gangs have left El Salvador with one of the world’s highest murder rates.
- REPUBLIC OF EL SALVADOR
- Capital: San Salvador
- Population 6.3 million
- Area 21,041 sq km (8,124 sq miles)
- Major language Spanish
- Major religion Christianity
- Life expectancy 68 years (men), 77 years (women)
- Currency US dollar & Salvadoran colon