Map Guatemala
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Guatemala


Background: The Mayan civilization flourished in Guatemala and surrounding regions during the first millennium A.D. After almost three centuries as a Spanish colony, Guatemala won its independence in 1821. During the second half of the 20th century, it experienced a variety of military and civilian governments, as well as a 36-year guerrilla war. In 1996, the government signed a peace agreement formally ending the conflict, which had left more than 100,000 people dead and had created, by some estimates, some 1 million refugees.
Location: Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Mexico, and bordering the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea) between Honduras and Belize
Area land: 107,159 sq km
Area water: 1,730 sq km
Coastline: 400 km
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Guatemala
Country name conventional short form: Guatemala
Country name former: Republic of Guatemala
Population: 13,824,463 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 38.1% (male 2,678,340/female 2,582,472); 15-64 years: 58% (male 3,889,573/female 4,130,698); 65 years and over: 3.9% (male 252,108/female 291,272) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 1.986% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 26.96 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 4.98 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -2.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female; total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 26.02 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 28.26 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 23.67 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 70.88 years; male: 69.03 years; female: 72.83 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 3.27 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.8% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 62,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 2,600 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Guatemalan(s); adjective: Guatemalan;
Ethnic groups: Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish - in local Spanish called Ladino) and European 59.4%, K'iche 9.1%, Kaqchikel 8.4%, Mam 7.9%, Q'eqchi 6.3%, other Mayan 8.6%, indigenous non-Mayan 0.2%, other 0.1% (2001 census);
Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs;
Languages: Spanish (official) 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 69.1%; male: 75.4%; female: 63.3% (2002 census);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $70.31 billion (2010 est.); $68.8 billion (2009 est.); $68.39 billion (2008 est.);

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $40.77 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 2.2% (2010 est.); 0.6% (2009 est.); 3.3% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $5,200 (2010 est.); $5,200 (2009 est.); $5,300 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 13.3%; industry: 24.4%; services: 62.3% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 56.2% (2004 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.3%; highest 10%: 42.4% (2006);
Labor force: 4.26 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 50%; industry: 15%; services: 35% (1999 est.);
Unemployment rate: 3.2% (2005 est.);
Budget: revenues: $4.897 billion; expenditures: $6.124 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: sugar, textiles and clothing, furniture, chemicals, petroleum, metals, rubber, tourism;
Industrial production growth rate: 2.6% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 8.425 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 7.115 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 131.9 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - imports: 8.11 million kWh (2007 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.


El Periódico

(Independent), Guatemala City

Prensa Libre

(independent), Guatemala City

Guatemala in the News

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Displaying 5 to 8 of 9 items.

Stopping The Ríos Montt Bandwagon

'Ríos Montt is not a president for the 21st century; he is a step backward, a reminder of the authoritarian regimes of the early 20th century,' Pablo Rodas-Martini writes for Guatemala's El Periódico.

Ríos Montt, Running Despite Everything

In July, Guatemala’s Constitutional Court cleared the way for former dictator Gen. José Efraín Ríos Montt to stand as a presidential candidate in November elections. Guatemalans have reacted angrily to the court’s ruling. The Mexican newsmagazine Proceso reports.

Guatemala: Stubborn Stain of Corruption

Public confidence in the administration of President Alfonso Portillo has eroded steadily as allegations of government corruption have multiplied in recent months, raising fears that Guatemala’s 1996 peace accord and fragile democratic institutions could be undermined by heightened political confrontation and violence. Robert Taylor reviews the Guatemalan press.

Mexico's Southern Border: a Virtual Line

World Press Review - Mexico City's newsmagazine Proceso claims that Mexico's border with Guatemala is non-existant.