Mostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau
Tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April); tropical on coast; temperate in uplands
Population: 6,125,512 (July 2014 est.)
Languages: Spanish (official), Nahua (among some Amerindians)
Roman Catholic 57.1%, Protestant 21.2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.9%, Mormon 0.7%, other religions 2.3%, none 16.8% (2003 est.)
The smallest country in Central America geographically, El Salvador has the fourth largest economy in the region. With the global recession, real GDP contracted in 2009 and economic growth has since remained low, averaging less than 2% from 2010 to 2013.
A gap between great wealth and extreme poverty has been a feature of Salvadoran society since colonial times. About 2% of the people own 60% of the nation's productive land. The middle class, about 8% of the population, includes professionals, government employees, teachers, and small business owners. Many army officers come from such a background. The vast majority of the people are laborers or peasants who own or rent small plots of land.
US Military Presence/Support