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76% consider that Nicaragua is going in the “wrong direction”

The main concern of families is unemployment and cost of living: 68% would emigrate if they had the opportunity to do so

Foto: Confidencial

Iván Olivares

4 de noviembre 2021


A little more than three fourths of 1,019 Nicaraguans who answered a CID Gallup survey, hired by CONFIDENCIAL, conducted in the third week of October, consider that the country is going in the wrong direction.Seventy-six percent of those consulted consider that Nicaragua is going in the wrong direction, while only 23% believe that the country is on the right path.

Respondents are Nicaraguan citizens over 16 years of age who own a cell phone (50% male, 50% female), contacted by telephone throughout the country. The survey has a margin of error of ±3.1%. Forty-five percent of those who attended the consultation had a primary school education; 44% had a secondary school education, while the remaining 11% reported having a higher level of education.

In the medium term, 30% of those surveyed believe that things will get worse in the next twelve months; 21% believe that things will be the same as they are now - just as good, just as bad - while an optimistic 48% expect the situation to improve in the next year. 

The economy: the main problem

As for the issues that preoccupy families the most, those surveyed reveal that it is not the long-standing political crisis, nor the fear of contracting Covid-19, but rather the economy. 

That is the reason for anxiety within many households, with 39% admitting to worrying about unemployment, and 32% pointing to the high cost of meeting basic needs. 

For 16%, the third reason is the prevalence of crime and violence in their place of residence, while 15% cited the risk of the coronavirus pandemic; 6% the political situation, while other issues such as the poor state of transportation, housing and education received marginal percentages.

When separated by educational level, the data show that those with more years of education are the ones who point to unemployment as their greatest concern. On the other hand, those with less education are the ones who say that they do not have enough money to cover their basic needs.

By age, almost half of the 16-24 age bracket complains about unemployment, while those over 50 report having less money than they need.

The covid-19 pandemic: they don't believe the Government

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which still conditions people's behavior and the global economy, was also a subject of interest with the citizens: only 31% of them consider that the government is doing a “good or very good” job at dealing with the pandemic, while 38% regard it as “bad or very bad” and the remaining 31% rate it as “regular” or give no answer.

Four in ten (41%) report that someone in their household has become ill with covid-19, and 27% of respondents say they have a close family member who has died from the devastating disease.


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Eight out of ten respondents (82%) said they are certain that more people have died than the government recognizes. The government count as of October 25 is 208 deaths, with more than a year reporting only one death per week, while the independent monitoring of the Citizen Observatory COVID-19 registers more than 5887 deaths as of October 20.

In terms of vaccination, only 5% claim to have completed the vaccination schedule (first dose and a booster), while another 10% have already been inoculated for the first time, and are waiting to receive the second injection. The remaining 85% have not received any vaccination.

68% want to emigrate from Nicaragua

Given the national panorama as well as family and personal conditions, the number of people interested in emigrating out of the country is 68%, which is within the trend of previous surveys that show 72% of those consulted expressing their decision to leave the country. 

Less than a third (31%) said that they would not leave Nicaragua, even if they had the opportunity, while the remaining 1% did not know what to answer, or simply did not respond.

Of those who would like to leave, 61% say they would do so because of the economic situation of the country, with 28% wanting to leave to seek a better future;17% because of the political situation; 14% because of the insecurity caused by crime and drug activity, and finally 4% who would do so because they already have other family members who emigrated some time ago, and 4% who would do so because they have other relatives who emigrated some time ago, and 2% who would do so for health reasons.

14% receive government assistance

When asked about people who have benefited from some type of government social program, 14% say that they have been chosen as recipients of some type of government support, while 85% of those surveyed have not received any type of help, nor have they been included in any social program in 2021.

The sectioning of the data shows that the average person who received this type of assistance are males over 50 years of age, with little schooling, while the least benefited was young women with secondary education. This picture emerges from the fact that 20% of the men received some type of support, but only 9% of the women were equally fortunate.

By age, 23% of people who had lived half a century or more were luckier than those between 25 and 29 years of age (only 14% were included in the lists of recipients), along with 12% of those between 16 and 24 years of age.

Measured by level of schooling, among the minority who had received a benefit, 19% had a primary school education; 14% had higher education, and 10% of those who reached secondary school had their income supplemented by some type of government transfer.

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by our staff


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Iván Olivares

Iván Olivares

Periodista nicaragüense, exiliado en Costa Rica. Durante más de veinte años se ha desempeñado en CONFIDENCIAL como periodista de Economía. Antes trabajó en el semanario La Crónica, el diario La Prensa y El Nuevo Diario. Además, ha publicado en el Diario de Hoy, de El Salvador. Ha ganado en dos ocasiones el Premio a la Excelencia en Periodismo Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal, en Nicaragua.