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Nicaragua (/ - -, - /, ⓘ; Spanish: [nikaˈɾaɣwa] ⓘ), officially the Republic of Nicaragua (Spanish: República de Nicaraguaⓘ), is the largest country in Central America, bordered by Honduras to the north, the Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Managua is the country's capital and largest city. As of 2015,[update] it was estimated to be the third largest city in Central America. Nicaragua's multiethnic population of six million includes people of mestizo, Indigenous, European and African heritage. The main language is Spanish. Indigenous tribes on the Mosquito Coast speak their own languages and English.
Republic of Nicaragua
República de Nicaragua (Spanish)
|Motto: En Dios confiamos (Spanish)|
"In God We Trust"
|Anthem: Salve a ti, Nicaragua (Spanish)|
"Hail to Thee, Nicaragua"
and largest city
|Recognised regional languages|
|Government||Unitary presidential republic under an authoritarian dictatorship|
|Independence from Spain, Mexico and the Federal Republic of Central America|
|15 September 1821|
|25 July 1850|
• from the First Mexican Empire
|1 July 1823|
• from the Federal Republic of Central America
|31 May 1838|
|19 July 1979|
• Current constitution
|9 January 1987|
|130,375 km2 (50,338 sq mi) (96th)|
• Water (%)
• 2023 estimate
|51/km2 (132.1/sq mi) (155th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2023 estimate|
|$51.022 billion (115th)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2023 estimate|
|$17.353 billion (127th)|
• Per capita
|HDI (2021)|| 0.667|
medium · 126th
|Time zone||UTC−6 (CST)|
|ISO 3166 code||NI|
Originally inhabited by various indigenous cultures since ancient times, the region was conquered by the Spanish Empire in the 16th century. Nicaragua gained independence from Spain in 1821. The Mosquito Coast followed a different historical path, being colonized by the English in the 17th century and later coming under British rule. It became an autonomous territory of Nicaragua in 1860 and its northernmost part was transferred to Honduras in 1960. Since its independence, Nicaragua has undergone periods of political unrest, dictatorship, occupation and fiscal crisis, including the Nicaraguan Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s and the Contra War of the 1980s.
The mixture of cultural traditions has generated substantial diversity in folklore, cuisine, music, and literature, particularly the latter, given the literary contributions of Nicaraguan poets and writers such as Rubén Darío. Known as the "land of lakes and volcanoes", Nicaragua is also home to the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve, the second-largest rainforest of the Americas. The biological diversity, warm tropical climate and active volcanoes make Nicaragua an increasingly popular tourist destination. Nicaragua co-founded the United Nations and is also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
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