El Salvador is in Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras. The climate is tropical on the coast and temperate in the uplands. The official language is Spanish. It is the language that most official business is conducted, many government officials and business personnel speak English. US English is increasingly spoken in tourist areas, restaurants, bars, taxis, etc.; although visitors should not rely on this. The main religion is Christianity. The economy of El Salvador has been hampered by natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes, but El Salvador currently has a steadily growing economy. The service sector is the largest component of GDP at 64%, followed by the industrial sector at 25%. Agriculture represents only 11% of GDP. Conversations take place at a much closer physical distance and often involve more physical contact than expatriates may be accustomed to at home, however, be aware that stepping back from someone could be regarded as unfriendly. Expatriates are generally expected to wear light cotton suits at work. Expatriate business dress for women is typically standard Western clothing, although short skirts are not recommended. The security risk for expatriates in El Salvador is medium. Risks include petty / street crime and violent crime including murder. Other risks include landmines and explosives near the Honduran border, tropical storms and hurricanes, and those associated with poor infrastructure. The currency of El Salvador is the US Dollar (USD). Although some prices are still quoted in the Salvadoran Colon, payment is expected in dollars. ATMs are widely available. Medical facilities outside San Salvador are generally basic. There are better private clinics and hospitals, but they generally require medical insurance or immediate payment. Cases of Zika and Chikungunya virus have been reported. Dengue fever is common. The population of El Salvador is 6.4 Million (2017 est.), while the inflation rate is 1.67% (Nov 2017).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In El Salvador, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): El Salvador as at 1 January 2018 is very low in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Very Low 2) Clothing: Average 3) Communication: Low 4) Education: Low 5) Furniture & Appliances: Average 6) Groceries: Very Low 7) Healthcare: Low 8) Household Accommodation: Average 9) Miscellaneous: Low 10) Personal Care: Low 11) Recreation & Culture: Low 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very Low 13) Transport: Low El Salvador is for example -23.6% cheaper than USA for groceries, -14.7% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 63.9% more expensive for transport costs than India. The hardship premium for El Salvador for an expat from Australia, is for example 30%, i.e. host location (El Salvador) premium of 40% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%. El Salvador is ranked as a extreme hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in El Salvador? Register subscribe to your home location and El Salvador and run your personalised reports.