Central American Countries and Regions

Central America is called the narrow and elongated part of America that forms the land connection between South and North America. When within the “double continent” America separates the continents South and North America, Central America is counted as North America.

Surface: 523 km²
Population: 40.5 million

Sometimes the term Central America is used only for the five states of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. These states can be counted as an economic-political entity, but the delimitation also has a historical background; Belize, formerly British Honduras, did not become independent until 1981, and Panama was part of Colombia until 1903.

Countries included in Central America

  • Belize
  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama

Central America Overview

In a geographical sense, Central America refers to the land bridge between North and South America. Geographically, Central America begins in the north at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico, in the south it extends, depending on the definition, to the Isthmus of Darién in southern Panama or the Atratos Basin in Colombia. To the east is the Caribbean Sea and to the west the Pacific Ocean. Central America can be viewed both as an independent land mass and as the southernmost region of the North American continent.

Usually the areas of Mexico and Colombia are excluded and only the states Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama are counted as Central America. This definition follows the common past of the states Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, which formed the Central American Confederation after the Spanish colonial rule. Depending on the definition of the borders, Central America has between 510,000 km² and 750,000 km² and between 40 and 50 million residents. The largest city in the region is Guatemala City with almost three million residents.

Central America, together with the West Indies and part of Mexico, forms the Central America region.

Central America Location

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