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Managua is the capital city of Nicaragua as well as the department and municipality by the same name. It is the largest city in Nicaragua in terms of population and geographic size. Located on the southwestern shore of Lake Xolotlán or Lake Managua, the city was declared the national capital in 1852. Prior to its inception as the capital city, the title had alternated between the cities of León and Granada. The city has a population of about 2,200,000, composed predominantly of mestizos and whites. Managua is the third most populous city in Central America, after Guatemala City and San Salvador respectively. Founded in 1819, the city was given the name: Leal Villa de Santiago de Managua. Its original purpose was to serve as a rural fishing village. Efforts to make Managua the capital of Nicaragua began in 1824, after the Central American nations formally attained their independence from Spain. Managua's location between the rival cities of León and Granada made it a logical and ideal compromise site. Modern-day Managua was built in the 1850s on the site of an indigenous community. The city occupies an area on a fault. Seismologists predict that Managua will continue to experience a severe earthquake every 50 years or less. The city's economy is based mainly on trade and industry. Managua is Nicaragua's chief trading center for coffee, cotton, other crops and industry. It serves as an important industrial, commercial, political and cultural center. Its chief products include beer, coffee, matches, textiles, and shoes. Today, Managua is Nicaragua's main political, social, cultural, educational and economic hub. The city is served by the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport, the country's primary international airport and regional Brasiles Airport and Punta Huete, military airport, recently renewed. (via Freebase)