Honduras has a long history of military rule, corruption, poverty and crime which have rendered it one of the least developed and most unstable countries in Central America.
Until the mid-1980s Honduras was dominated by the military, which enthusiastically supported US efforts to stem revolutionary movements in the region. Since then, civilian leaders have sought to curb the power of the military, with varying degrees of success.
Gang violence, drug wars and extortion are commonplace and the country is notorious for having the world’s highest murder rate per capita.
Inequalities in wealth remain high, with nearly half of the population living below the poverty line. Thousands of Hondurans leave to go to the US each year and the remittances they send home are a crucial source of income for many families.
Once dominated by foreign-owned banana companies, the country remains a major fruit exporter. It is also Central America’s second largest coffee producer.
- Republic of Honduras
- Capital: Tegucigalpa
- Population: 7.9 million
- Area: 112,492 sq km (43,433 sq miles)
- Major languages: Spanish, indigenous languages, English
- Major religion: Christianity
- Life expectancy: 71 years (men), 76 years (women)
- Currency: Lempira