In 2019 Nicaragua had an average population density of 50 residents per km2. According to Countryaah, the most densely populated are the Managua area and the lowland to the west, while the autonomous Atlantic coast is sparsely populated. Nicaragua, like its neighbors, has a young population. During the 1980s, infant mortality fell sharply, but cuts in the health budget destroyed previous progress and now the country’s infant mortality rate is one of the highest in the region.
In 2019, 59 percent of the population lived in cities. The dominant city is the capital Managua (1 million residents, 2018).
The original population of Nicaragua was made up of burning and cassava-growing Indians, who probably immigrated from the south. During the 900s, a new wave of people from the north came from Mesoamerica, possibly suppressed by more militant cultures such as Maya. Columbus visited Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast in 1502, and later in the same century began the Spanish colonization, which quickly changed the population structure and made Spanish the dominant language in almost the entire country. In the central parts of Nicaragua, the Indians were expelled or assimilated. Only on the Atlantic coast could they maintain their independence and then through intensive contacts with the English.
During the 19th century came the last significant immigration, that of black former slaves from the Caribbean. They came to reinforce the already clear regional cultural conflict in Nicaragua between the West (Spanish) and the East (English/Native American languages), since most of them were English speakers. Only three Native American groups have been preserved as distinct ethnic units, namely Miskito, Sumo and Rama.
Of the population, 17 percent are white (living mainly in cities), 69 percent are misery, 9 percent are African American, and 5 percent are Native Americans.
The official language and mother tongue of most of the population is Spanish (80%). The Indian population mainly speaks some misumalpa language, such as sumo and especially miskito (3%), which is also widely used in elementary school education and as a trade language. There is an English-based Creole language on the Caribbean coast.
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The colonial church legitimized the destruction of Native American religions. In 1550, Bishop Antonio Valdivieso was assassinated because of his defense of Native American rights. After independence in 1824, Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians came to Nicaragua. The Miskito people of the Atlantic coast, who, after 1884, were missionary to men’s hutism, today belong to about 40,000 the Moravian church. 90% of the population are Catholics and 10% Protestants. There is a growing Pentecostal movement. Strong polarization emerged after 1979 between the regime’s anti-Sandinist policies and the support of many Christians for the Sandinist resistance movement.