Nicaragua’s population is just under six million. Most Nicaraguans are of mestizo background, i.e. of mixed European and indigenous ancestry. Most identify themselves as Catholic, although Protestantism is growing quickly. Spanish is the official language and is spoken by the vast majority of the population, although there are some indigenous groups on the Caribbean coast that speak other languages. The Caribbean coast is also home to a significant Afro-Latino minority population.
Managua, the nation’s capital, is the second largest city in Central America, with a population of close to two million. It is situated on the southern shore of Lake Managua, and is the nation’s cultural, political and economic hub. Other important cities include León, Granada, Bluefields, Matagalpa, and Jinotega.