Nicaragua is a unitary republic, divided for administrative purposes into fifteen departments (Spanish: departamentos) and two autonomous regions (Spanish: regiones autónomas):

ISO Map Department or autonomous region Capital Population (2015) Area (km2) Pop. density (km−2)
NI-BO Boaco Department, Nicaragua.svg Boaco Boaco 178,582 4,176.68 41.8
NI-CA Carazo Department, Nicaragua.svg Carazo Jinotepe 190,769 1,081.40 172.8
NI-CI Chinandega Department, Nicaragua.svg Chinandega Chinandega 429,557 4,822.42 87.7
NI-CO Chontales Department, Nicaragua.svg Chontales Juigalpa 185,866 6,481.27 24
NI-ES Esteli Department, Nicaragua.svg Estelí Estelí 224,331 2,229.69 90
NI-GR Granada Department, Nicaragua.svg Granada Granada 206,009 1,039.68 162
NI-JI Jinotega Department, Nicaragua.svg Jinotega Jinotega 438,413 9,222.40 36
NI-LE Leon Department, Nicaragua.svg León Department León 410,860 5,138.03 69
NI-MD Madriz Department, Nicaragua.svg Madriz Somoto 164,146 1,708.23 78
NI-MN Managua Department, Nicaragua.svg Managua Managua 1,484,462 3,465.10 365
NI-MS Masaya Department, Nicaragua.svg Masaya Masaya 364,168 610.78 475
NI-MT Matagalpa Department, Nicaragua.svg Matagalpa Matagalpa 561,282 6,803.86 69
NI-NS Nueva Segovia Department, Nicaragua.svg Nueva Segovia Ocotal 253,489 3,491.28 60
NI-RI Rivas Department, Nicaragua.svg Rivas Rivas 177,668 2,161.82 72
NI-SJ Rio San Juan Department, Nicaragua.svg Río San Juan San Carlos 127,225 7,543.30 13
NI-AN RAAN, Nicaragua.svg North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region Bilwi[note 1] 480,874 33,105.98 10
NI-AS RAAS, Nicaragua.svg South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region Bluefields 385,102 27,260.02 11

Autonomous regions

In 1987, the new constitution established the Charter of Autonomy (limited self-government) for the former department of Zelaya, comprising the entire eastern half of the country. The department was divided into two autonomous regions (communities). The Charter of Autonomy is largely based on the model used by Spain. The communities are governed by a Governor and a Regional Council.

See also


  1. ^ Regarding the capital of the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region: Bilwi is the city, Puerto Cabezas is the municipality.