Population: Population estimated at 5.4 million in
1988. Rate of annual growth estimated at 2.4 percent in 1980s.
Language: Spanish official language and spoken by
virtually all Salvadorans. Some traces of Indian languages, but
no segment of population linguistically distinct.
Ethnic Groups: In late 1980s; about 89 percent of
population mestizo (Spanish and Indian), 10 percent Indian, and 1
percent unmixed Caucasian.
Education and Literacy: Approximately 69 percent of
population ten years or older considered literate in early 1980s.
Higher rate of literacy in urban than in rural areas. Public
education system included one year of preschool, nine years of
basic education, and three years secondary education. Major
universities National University of El Salvador and Jesuit-run
Central American University Jose Simeon Canas.
Health: Serious malnutrition, particularly among young
children. Malaria, enteritis, and pneumonia most serious
diseases. Medical attention to general population inadequate,
especially in rural areas.
Religion: Overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, although
Protestant missionary groups, especially evangelicals, active and
continued to make significant number of converts.
Data as of November 1988