Honduras is located in the middle of Central America. It has coastlines along both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, Honduras shares borders with Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. This country covers an area of 43,278 square miles and has a population of approximately 8.249 million. Of these individuals, approximately 36.8% are under the age of 15, 58.9% are between 15 and 65, and 4.3% are over the age of 65. The population of Honduras is spread throughout the country with many people living in urban areas. This article takes a look at some of the most populated cities in this nation.
The 3 Biggest Cities In Honduras
The most populated city in Honduras is Tegucigalpa, which has a population size of 1,126,534. This city is both the capital of the country and of the Francisco Morazán department where it is located. Tegucigalpa lies in the southern highland region on one side of the Choluteca River. On the other side of the river is its sister city Comayaguela.
Because of its political importance, Tegucigalpa hosts 25 foreign embassies and 16 consulates. It is also home to the state-owned energy and telecommunications companies and the National Autonomous University of Honduras.
The economy of this city contributes 19.3% of the national gross domestic product (GDP). Its economy is based on the following sectors: commerce (42.86% of the economy), manufacturing (16.13%), hospitality (14.43%), banking and real estate (10.12%), social and personal services (8.94%), health services (3.9%), and others (3.6%). Of the businesses in Tegucigalpa, 73.2% are micro-enterprises whereas large companies make up only .28%.
San Pedro Sula
San Pedro Sula is the second most populated city in Honduras with a population of 638,259. The entire metropolitan area, however, has approximately 1.44 million residents. This city is the capital of the Cortés Department. It is located in the northwestern region of the country in the Sula Valley and only 62 miles south of the Caribbean Sea.
San Pedro Sula was founded in 1590 and had a population size of around 800 people. Over the next 300 years, this grew to around 10,000. The cultivation and exportation of bananas began to develop during the 19th century, attracting the attention of many new residents. Not only did the banana industry foster rapid growth in San Pedro Sula but also led to the construction of the Interoceanic Railroad. This railroad connected the city to Puerto Cortés on the coast.
The economy of this city continues to rely somewhat on banana production, although it was hard hit by Hurricane Mitch of 1998. The hurricane devastated Honduras, particularly along the Atlantic coastline and today, the banana industry of San Pedro Sula continues to work toward recovery. Other important industries of this city include commercial exports and financial services. The economy here contributes approximately 66% of the national GDP.
The third most populated city of Honduras is Choloma, which has a population size of 222,828. Choloma is located in the Cortés department, between San Pedro Sula and Puerto Cortés. This city lies along the banks of the Balaliam River (also known as the Choloma River). This was once the site of an indigenous community. The city as it is known today was founded in 1804, although it was not named Choloma until around 1933.
Because of its close proximity to San Pedro Sula, the railway, and the port city, Choloma has become an important manufacturing center.
Other large cities in Honduras can be found in the chart below.
Environmental Threats Due To Urbanization
Most of the cities in Honduras were founded during Spanish colonial times. Therefore, these cities have old infrastructure and were not planned to sustain significant population growth. Because the population has grown faster than the municipalities can keep up with, the largest cities have problems with increasing marginal neighborhoods and growing poverty. These unplanned neighborhoods often lack proper water and sewage systems, which results in pollution of surrounding waterways, soil, and groundwater. Additionally, the road infrastructure is not sufficient for the growing amount of traffic. This leads to traffic congestion which, in turn, results in increased air pollution. Some of the local governments of these cities are working with the federal government to improve the existing infrastructure and reduce the number of people living in poverty.