El Salvador is one of the smallest, poorest and most densely populated nations in Central America.
Unlike its neighboring countries, El Salvador does not border the Caribbean Sea, and it has no new frontiers into which people may move. Coffee production dominates El Salvador’s economy and provides the majority of the country’s jobs. With 644 people per square mile, El Salvador’s population is three and a half times denser than Guatemala’s and up to 10 times denser than that of other Central American nations. Natural resources are stretched to their breaking points and contribute to housing shortages.
Education is a major concern as well, as many children do not attend school. Adult literacy in cities approaches 80 percent but only about half of the people living in rural areas can read and write.