Nicaragua Paving the Way to Faster Growth and Inclusion
Nicaragua remains one of the poorest countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). About 30 percent of the population lived below the official poverty line in 2014, and eight percent were considered extremely poor. GDP per capita stood at about USD 2,087 in 2015, the second lowest in LAC after Haiti. Access to basic services, such as electricity and water and sanitation, is low and largely unequal. Other key social indicators, including access to education, completion rates, and teenage pregnancy, also lag behind the regional average. Since the country’s democratic transition in the early 1990s, Nicaragua has undergone a solid economic recovery from a very low base, due to three main factors. These include i) improved macroeconomic management and debt relief; ii) reforms aiming at transforming Nicaragua back into a market economy; and iii) demographic change. As a result, real GDP growth averaged about 4 percent between 1994 and 2015.