; also Nicas
) are people inhabiting in, originating or having significant heritage from Nicaragua
. Most Nicaraguans live in Nicaragua, although there is also a significant Nicaraguan diaspora
, particularly in Costa Rica
and the United States
with smaller communities in other countries around the world. There are also people living in Nicaragua who are not Nicaraguans because they were not born or raised in Nicaragua nor have they gained citizenship
The most populous city in Nicaragua is the capital city, Managua
, with a population of 1.8 million (2005). As of 2009, over 6.9 million inhabitants live in the Pacific, Central and North regions, 5.1 in the Pacific region alone, while inhabitants in the Caribbean region only reached an estimated 300,000.
According to the UN
, Nicaragua has a population of 7,243,000 (July 1, 2015) with a population growth rate
of 1.31% (during the period 2005-2010) and a birth rate
of 24.9/1,000 population (2005–2010), third highest in the region
. The life expectancy
for Nicaraguans at birth is (2005–2015) 74.45 years; 70.9 for males and 78.0 for females.
Non-genetic phenotype data from the CIA World Factbook
establish that Nicaragua's population self-reports as 69% Mestizos
, and 17% White
with the majority being of full Spanish
descent but also Italian
, or French
make up the majority of Nicaraguans and mainly reside in the western region of the country, combined they make up 86% of the total population.
About 5% of Nicaraguans fully claim Native American ancestry, descendants of the country's indigenous inhabitants. This is often underreported in latin America. Nicaragua's pre-Columbian
population consisted of many indigenous groups. In the western region, the Nahua people (also known as the Pipil-Nicaraos
) were present along with other groups such as the Chorotega people. Nicaragua's central region and the Caribbean coast were inhabited by indigenous peoples who were mostly Chibcha
-related groups that had migrated from South America
, primarily what is today Colombia
. These groups include the present-day Miskitos
. In the 19th century, there was a substantial indigenous minority, but this group was also largely assimilated culturally into the mestizo majority. In the mid-1980s, the government divided the department of Zelaya Department
into two autonomous regions and granted the Indigenous people of this region limited self-rule.
The remainder 9% of Nicaragua's population is black, and mainly reside on the country's sparsely populated Caribbean (or Atlantic) coast. The black population is mostly of West Indian
(Antillean) origin, the descendants of indentured laborers brought mostly from Jamaica
when the region was a British protectorate
. There is also a smaller number of Garifuna
, a people of mixed Carib
Nicaraguan women at a concert in Managua.
Relative to its overall population, Nicaragua has never experienced any large scale wave of immigrants
. The total number of immigrants to Nicaragua, both originating from other Latin American
countries and all other countries, never surpassed 1% of its total population prior to 1995. The 2005 census showed the foreign-born population at 1.2%, having risen a mere .06% in 10 years.
This is not to say that immigrants were not important to the evolution of Nicaraguan society and the Nicaraguan nation.
The founding members of the Deutsche Club in Nicaragua
In the 19th century Nicaragua experienced a wave of immigration, primarily from Europe
. In particular, families from Spain
generally moved to Nicaragua to start a new life. They received free land, monetary incentives, and other perks in exchange for populating unsettled territories and working in the new growing coffee industry. In time immigrants were able to set up newspapers, hotels and banks.
Nicaragua, as well as other Latin American
countries, have a long history of migration to the United States. However, Nicaragua is the only country in its region to have Costa Rica
as the primary destination. Estimates on the basis of the Nicaraguan Health Survey indicated that at least 11% of Nicaraguan households have at least 1 person residing abroad.
Nicaraguans in Costa Rica
Nicaraguan migration to Costa Rica has occurred since the mid-19th century. Unlike other Latin American countries, Nicaraguan migrants' primary destination is not the United States, it is Costa Rica. An estimated 10% (400,000 - 600,000) of the Costa Rican population is made up of Nicaraguans;
some of them migrate for seasonal work opportunities and then return to their country. Costa Rica and Nicaragua signed an agreement regulating seasonal migration in 1998; it allows Nicaraguans with work permits to enter Costa Rica at the western border at Peñas Blancas on the Pan-American Highway
. In the northern part of Costa Rica there are 200,000 Nicaraguans and the Catholic Church
in this area has an active program to protect the rights of migrant workers.
Nicaraguans in the U.S.
Abroad, the United States is home to the second largest number of Nicaraguans outside Nicaragua, particularly in the Miami
area. The estimated number of Nicaraguan Americans in the U.S. was 281,167 in 2006, up from 177,684 in 2000.
The earliest documents of immigration from Nicaragua to the United States was combined in total with those of other Central American
countries. However, according to the U.S. Census Bureau
some 7,500 Nicaraguans legally immigrated from 1967 to 1976. An estimated 28,620 Nicaraguans were living in the U.S. in 1970, 90% of which self-reported as "white" on the 1970 census
. Most Nicaraguan immigrants during the late 1960s were women: there were only 60 male Nicaraguan immigrants for every 100 female immigrants during this period.
In 1998 more than two million Nicaraguans were left homeless due to hurricane Mitch
, as a result many Nicaraguans received permanent residence or temporary protected status (TPS) in the late 1990s.
According to the 1990 U.S. Census
168,659 of the total 202,658 documented Nicaraguans in the U.S. were born in Nicaragua.
In 1992 approximately 10–12% of the Nicaraguan population had emigrated
. These emigrants tended to be disproportionately of working age, better educated, and more often white-collar workers
than nonmigrants. In addition, emigrants were more likely to come from larger premigration households and higher income households.
Areas of greatest concentration in the U.S.
The largest concentration of Nicaraguan Americans in the U.S., about 79,559, is in Miami
, most notably around the areas of Sweetwater
and "Little Managua
". Sweetwater has the highest concentration of Nicaraguan American in the U.S., in 2000 16.63% of Sweetwater residents identified as being of Nicaraguan heritage. This was the highest percentage of Nicaraguan Americans of any place in the country. As a result, Sweetwater is locally known as "Little Managua" after Managua
, the Nicaraguan capital. However, the area of "Little Havana
" in Miami is also colloquially called "Little Managua" even though Sweetwater has a higher number of Nicaraguan Americans.
hosts the second largest concentration, most notably in the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles
and San Francisco
. The number of Nicaraguan Americans living in California was 51,336 in 2000.
It is known that Nicaragua was inhabited by Paleo-Indians
as far back as 6000 years. This is confirmed by archaeological evidences, mainly ceramics and statues made of volcanic stone like the ones found on the island of Zapatera
found on Ometepe
island. At the end of the 15th century, western Nicaragua was inhabited by several different indigenous peoples related by culture to the Mesoamerican civilizations of the Aztec
, and by language to the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area
. However, within three decades an estimated Indian population of one million plummeted to a few tens of thousands, as approximately half of the indigenous people in western Nicaragua died of diseases
brought by the Spaniards
. The central region and the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua were inhabited by indigenous peoples who were mostly Chibcha
-related groups that had migrated from South America
, primarily what is now Colombia
. These groups include the present-day Miskitos
who lived a less sedentary life based on hunting and gathering, as well as fishing and performing slash-and-burn agriculture.
During the 1979 uprising, many middle-class and wealthy families left Nicaragua. The Sandinista revolution
during the 1980s brought a wave of Nicaraguan refugees
into the U.S.,
and the largest wave of documented immigrants. Many Nicaraguans also fled to nearby Costa Rica and other countries. Over 62 percent of the total documented immigration from 1979 to 1988 occurred after 1984.
Many Nicaraguans who immigrated did so to escape poverty, in Santa Clara County
, California, the Nicaraguan public benefits recipients reported that in their families, 43% have one self-employed
person or business owner
, and 14% of the families have two such persons.
However, nearly all of the estimated 200,000 Nicaraguans who fled to the U.S. (and other nearby Central American countries) between 1978 and 1979 returned after the victory of the Sandinistas
Culture and traditions
has strong folklore, music and religious traditions, deeply influenced by European culture
but enriched with Native American sounds and flavors. Nicaraguan culture can further be defined in several distinct strands. The Pacific coast has strong folklore, music and religious traditions, deeply influenced by Iberian
. It was colonized by Spain and has a similar culture to other Spanish-speaking Latin American countries. The Caribbean coast of the country, on the other hand, was once a British protectorate
. English is still predominant in this region and spoken domestically along with Spanish and indigenous languages. Its culture is similar to that of Caribbean nations that were or are British possessions, such as Jamaica
, The Cayman Islands
, etc. The indigenous groups that were present in the Pacific coast have largely been assimilated into the mestizo culture, however, the indigenous people of the Caribbean coast have maintained a distinct identity.
is a mixture of indigenous and European, especially Spanish, influences. Musical instruments include the marimba
and others common across Central America. The marimba of Nicaragua is uniquely played by a sitting performer holding the instrument on his knees. He is usually accompanied by a bass fiddle
and guitarrilla (a small guitar like a mandolin
). This music is played at social functions as a sort of background music. The marimba is made with hardwood plates, placed over bamboo or metal tubes of varying lengths. It is played with two or four hammers. The Caribbean coast of Nicaragua is known for a lively, sensual form of dance music
called Palo de Mayo
which is very much alive all throughout the country. It is especially loud and celebrated during the Palo de Mayo festival in May. The Garifuna
community exists in Nicaragua and is known for its popular music called Punta
Celebrating the annual "Alegria por la vida" Carnaval
Literature of Nicaragua
can be traced to pre-Columbian
times with the myths and oral literature
that formed the cosmogonic view of the world that indigenous people had. Some of these stories are still know in Nicaragua. Like many Latin American
countries, the Spanish conquerors have had the most effect on both the culture and the literature. Nicaraguan literature has historically been an important source of poetry
in the Spanish-speaking world, with internationally renowned contributors such as Rubén Darío
who is regarded as the most important literary figure in Nicaragua, referred to as the "Father of Modernism" for leading the modernismo
literary movement at the end of the 19th century.
Other literary figures include Ernesto Cardenal
, Gioconda Belli
, Claribel Alegría
and José Coronel Urtecho
, among others.
is a satirical drama and was the first literary work of pre-Columbian Nicaragua. It is regarded as one of Latin America's most distinctive colonial-era expressions and as Nicaragua's signature folkloric masterpiece combining music, dance and theater.
The theatrical play was written by an anonymous author in the 16th century, making it one of the oldest indigenous theatrical/dance works of the Western Hemisphere.
The story was published in a book in 1942 after many centuries.
A sign in Bluefields
in English (top), Spanish (middle) and Miskito (bottom).
An English speaking creole from Bluefields.
Spanish is spoken by about 90% of the country's population. In Nicaragua the Voseo
form is common, just as in other countries in Central and South America like Honduras
or coastal Colombia
. Spanish has many different dialects spoken throughout Latin America, Central American Spanish
is the dialect spoken in Nicaragua. In the Caribbean coast many afro-Nicaraguans and creoles speak English and creole English
as their first language. Also in the Caribbean coast, many Indigenous people speak their native languages, such as the Miskito
and Garifuna language
In addition, many ethnic groups
in Nicaragua, such as the Chinese Nicaraguans
and Palestinian Nicaraguans
, have maintained their ancestral languages, which are minority languages, while also speaking Spanish and/or English. These minority languages include Chinese, Arabic, German, and Italian, among others.
The language and pronunciation varies depending on region. Some Nicaraguans pronounce the word vos
with a strong s
sound at the end. In the central part of the country, regions like Boaco
without the s
sound at the end. The result is vo
, similar to vous
in French and voi
The flag of Nicaragua
The flag of Nicaragua
was adopted on August 27, 1971. It is based on the flag of the United States of Central America. The two blue stripes represented the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea; while white symbolizes peace. A modern interpretation indicates that the color blue symbolizes justice and loyalty; while the color white represents virtue and purity. The coat of arms features an equilateral triangle which represents equality. Inside the triangle are five volcanoes, which represent the five members of the federation. The triangle also contains symbols of liberty and peace which is represented by a red Phrygian cap, white rays and a rainbow].
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Last edited on 29 April 2021, at 17:23
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