Central America :: Guatemala
  • Introduction :: Guatemala
  • Background:
    The Maya 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 internal conflict, which had left more than 200,000 people dead and had created, by some estimates, about 1 million refugees.
    GUATEMALA SUMMARY: PDF
  • Geography :: Guatemala
  • 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
    Geographic coordinates:
    15 30 N, 90 15 W
    Map references:
    Central America and the Caribbean
    Area:
    total: 108,889 sq km
    land: 107,159 sq km
    water: 1,730 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 108
    Area - comparative:
    slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries:
    total: 1,667 km
    border countries (4): Belize 266 km, El Salvador 199 km, Honduras 244 km, Mexico 958 km
    Coastline:
    400 km
    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    Climate:
    tropical; hot, humid in lowlands; cooler in highlands
    Terrain:
    two east-west trending mountain chains divide the country into three regions: the mountainous highlands, the Pacific coast south of mountains, and the vast northern Peten lowlands
    Elevation:
    mean elevation: 759 m
    elevation extremes: 0 m lowest point: Pacific Ocean
    4220 highest point: Volcan Tajumulco (highest point in Central America)
    Natural resources:
    petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 41.2% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 14.2% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 8.8% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 18.2% (2011 est.)
    forest: 33.6% (2011 est.)
    other: 25.2% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    3,375 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    the vast majority of the populace resides in the southern half of the country, particularly in the mountainous regions; more than half of the population lives in rural areas
    Natural hazards:

    numerous volcanoes in mountains, with occasional violent earthquakes; Caribbean coast extremely susceptible to hurricanes and other tropical storms

    volcanism: significant volcanic activity in the Sierra Madre range; Santa Maria (3,772 m) has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Pacaya (2,552 m), which erupted in May 2010 causing an ashfall on Guatemala City and prompting evacuations, is one of the country's most active volcanoes with frequent eruptions since 1965; other historically active volcanoes include Acatenango, Almolonga, Atitlan, Fuego, and Tacana; see note 2 under "Geography - note"

    Environment - current issues:
    deforestation in the Peten rainforest; soil erosion; water pollution
    Environment - international agreements:
    party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note:

    note 1: despite having both eastern and western coastlines (Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean respectively), there are no natural harbors on the west coast

    note 2: Guatemala is one of the countries along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean; up to 90% of the world's earthquakes and some 75% of the world's volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire

  • People and Society :: Guatemala
  • Population:
    16,581,273 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    Nationality:
    noun: Guatemalan(s)
    adjective: Guatemalan
    Ethnic groups:
    mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish - in local Spanish called Ladino) and European 60.1%, Maya 39.3% (K'iche 11.3%, Q'eqchi 7.6%, Kaqchikel 7.4%, Mam 5.5%, other 7.5%), non-Maya, non-mestizo 0.15% (Xinca (indigenous, non-Maya), Garifuna (mixed West and Central African, Island Carib, and Arawak)), other 0.5% (2001 est.)
    Languages:
    Spanish (official) 68.9%, Maya languages 30.9% (K'iche 8.7%, Q'eqchi 7%, Mam 4.6%, Kaqchikel 4.3%, other 6.3%), other 0.3% (includes Xinca and Garifuna) (2001 est.)

    note: the 2003 Law of National Languages officially recognized 23 indigenous languages, including 21 Maya languages, Xinka, and Garifuna

    Religions:
    Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Maya beliefs
    Demographic profile:

    Guatemala is a predominantly poor country that struggles in several areas of health and development, including infant, child, and maternal mortality, malnutrition, literacy, and contraceptive awareness and use. The country's large indigenous population is disproportionately affected. Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America and has the highest fertility rate in Latin America. It also has the highest population growth rate in Latin America, which is likely to continue because of its large reproductive-age population and high birth rate. Almost half of Guatemala's population is under age 19, making it the youngest population in Latin America. Guatemala's total fertility rate has slowly declined during the last few decades due in part to limited government-funded health programs. However, the birth rate is still more close to three children per woman and is markedly higher among its rural and indigenous populations.

    Guatemalans have a history of emigrating legally and illegally to Mexico, the United States, and Canada because of a lack of economic opportunity, political instability, and natural disasters. Emigration, primarily to the United States, escalated during the 1960 to 1996 civil war and accelerated after a peace agreement was signed. Thousands of Guatemalans who fled to Mexico returned after the war, but labor migration to southern Mexico continues.

    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 34.55% (male 2,919,281 /female 2,810,329)
    15-24 years: 20.23% (male 1,688,900 /female 1,665,631)
    25-54 years: 35.47% (male 2,878,075 /female 3,002,920)
    55-64 years: 5.28% (male 407,592 /female 468,335)
    65 years and over: 4.46% (male 336,377 /female 403,833) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 68.7 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 61.1 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 7.6 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 13.1 (2015 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 22.5 years
    male: 22 years
    female: 23.1 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Population growth rate:
    1.72% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Birth rate:
    24.6 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Death rate:
    5 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    Net migration rate:
    -1.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Population distribution:
    the vast majority of the populace resides in the southern half of the country, particularly in the mountainous regions; more than half of the population lives in rural areas
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 51.1% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 2.68% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    2.851 million GUATEMALA CITY (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 0.91 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth:
    21.2 years (2014/15 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate:
    88 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 23.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 25.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 20.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 71.8 years (2018 est.)
    male: 69.8 years (2018 est.)
    female: 73.9 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    Total fertility rate:
    2.87 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    60.6% (2014/15)
    Health expenditures:
    6.2% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    Physicians density:
    0.9 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
    Hospital bed density:
    0.6 beds/1,000 population (2014)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 98.4% of population
    rural: 86.8% of population
    total: 92.8% of population
    unimproved: urban: 1.6% of population
    rural: 13.2% of population
    total: 7.2% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 77.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 49.3% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 63.9% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 22.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 50.7% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 36.1% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    0.4% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    46,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    2,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Major infectious diseases:
    degree of risk: high (2016)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2016)
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria (2016)

    note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus

    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    21.2% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
    12.6% (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    Education expenditures:
    2.8% of GDP (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
    total population: 81.5% (2015 est.)
    male: 87.4% (2015 est.)
    female: 76.3% (2015 est.)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 11 years (2013)
    male: 11 years (2013)
    female: 10 years (2013)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 6.1% (2016 est.)
    male: 4.6% (2016 est.)
    female: 9.1% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
  • Government :: Guatemala
  • Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Guatemala
    conventional short form: Guatemala
    local long form: Republica de Guatemala
    local short form: Guatemala
    etymology: name derives from the Maya word meaning "Land of Trees"
    Government type:
    presidential republic
    Capital:
    name: Guatemala City
    geographic coordinates: 14 37 N, 90 31 W
    time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    Administrative divisions:
    22 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Chiquimula, El Progreso, Escuintla, Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Jalapa, Jutiapa, Peten, Quetzaltenango, Quiche, Retalhuleu, Sacatepequez, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Solola, Suchitepequez, Totonicapan, Zacapa
    Independence:
    15 September 1821 (from Spain)
    National holiday:
    Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
    Constitution:
    history: several previous; latest adopted 31 May 1985, effective 14 January 1986; suspended and reinstated in 1994 (2018)
    amendments: proposed by the president of the republic, by agreement of 10 or more deputies of Congress, by the Constitutional Court, or by public petition of at least 5,000 citizens; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Congress membership and approval by public referendum, referred to as "popular consultation"; constitutional articles such as national sovereignty, the republican form of government, limitations on those seeking the presidency, or presidential tenure cannot be amended; amended 1994 (2018)
    International law organization participation:
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship:
    citizenship by birth: yes
    citizenship by descent only: yes
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years with no absences of six consecutive months or longer or absences totaling more than a year
    Suffrage:
    18 years of age; universal; note - active duty members of the armed forces and police by law cannot vote and are restricted to their barracks on election day
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Jimmy Ernesto MORALES Cabrera (since 14 January 2016); Vice President Jafeth CABRERA Franco (since 14 January 2016); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Jimmy Ernesto MORALES Cabrera (since 14 January 2016); Vice President Jafeth CABRERA Franco (since 14 January 2016)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (not eligible for consecutive terms); election last held on 6 September 2015 with a runoff on 25 October 2015 (next to be held in September 2019)
    election results: Jimmy Ernesto MORALES Cabrera elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Jimmy Ernesto MORALES Cabrera (FNC) 23.9%, Sandra TORRES (UNE) 19.8%, Manuel BALDIZON (LIDER) 19.6%, other 36.7%; percent of vote in second round - Jimmy Ernesto MORALES Cabrera 67.4%, Sandra TORRES 32.6%
    Legislative branch:
    description: unicameral Congress of the Republic or Congreso de la Republica (158 seats; 127 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies in the country's 22 departments by simple majority vote and 31 directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 6 September 2015 (next to be held in September 2019)
    election results: percent of vote by party - LIDER 19.1%, UNE 14.8%, TODOS 9.7%, PP 9.4%, FCN 8.8%, EG 6.2%, CREO-PU 5.7%, UCN 5.4%, Winaq-URNG-MAIZ 4.3%, Convergence 3.8%, VIVA 3.7%, PAN 3.4%, FUERZA 2.1%, other 3.5%; seats by party - LIDER 44, UNE 36, TODOS 18, PP 17, FCN 11, EG 7, UCN 6, CREO-PU 5, Convergence 3, PAN 3, VIVA 3, Winaq-URNG-MAIZ 3, FUERZA 2; note - seats by party as of 6 January 2016 - FCN 37, UNE 32, MR 20, TODOS 17, AC 12, EG 7, UCN 6, CREO 5, LIDER 5, VIVA 4, Convergence 3, PAN 3, PP 2, FUERZA 1, PU 1, URNG 1, Winaq 1, independent 1
    note: seats by party as of 6 January 2016 - FCN 37, UNE 32, MR 20, TODOS 17, AC 12, EG 7, UCN 6, CREO 5, LIDER 5, VIVA 4, Convergence 3, PAN 3, PP 2, FUERZA 1, PU 1, URNG 1, Winaq 1, independent 1
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of 13 magistrates including the court president and organized into 3 chambers); note - the court president also supervises trial judges countrywide; Constitutional Court or Corte de Constitucionalidad (consists of 5 titular magistrates and 5 substitute magistrates
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court magistrates elected by the Congress of the Republic from candidates proposed by the Postulation Committee, an independent body of deans of the country's university law schools, representatives of the country's law associations, and representatives of the Courts of Appeal; magistrates elected for concurrent, renewable 5-year terms; Constitutional Court judges - 1 elected by the Congress of the Republic, 1 by the Supreme Court, 1 by the president of the republic, 1 by the (public) University of San Carlos, and 1 by the Assembly of the College of Attorneys and Notaries; judges elected for concurrent, renewable 5-year terms; the presidency of the court rotates among the magistrates for a single 1-year term
    subordinate courts: numerous first instance and appellate courts
    Political parties and leaders:
    Commitment, Renewal, and Order or CREO [Richard LEE Abularach]
    Convergence [Pablo MONSANTO]
    Encounter for Guatemala or EG [Nineth MONTENEGRO Cottom]
    Everyone Together for Guatemala or TODOS [Felipe ALEJOS]
    Force or FUERZA [Jose RADFORD]
    Grand National Alliance or GANA [Fulbio Ludvin PEREZ]
    Guatemalan Liberal Party or PLG [Andres AYAU Garcias]
    Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity or Winaq-URNG [Gregorio CHAY Laynez]
    Let’s Go for a Different Guatemala or VAMOS [Giorgio Eugenio BRUNI]
    National Advancement Party or PAN [Harald JOHANNESSEN]
    National Convergence Front or FCN [Javier HERNANDEZ Franco]
    National Unity for Hope or UNE [Sandra TORRES]
    National Welfare or BIEN [Ruben GARCIA Lopez]
    Nationalist Change Union or UCN [Mario ESTRADA]
    Political Movement Winaq or WINAQ [Sonia GUTIERREZ Raguay]
    Productivity and Labor Party or PPT [Edgar Alfredo RODRIGUEZ]
    Reform Movement or MR [Jose Raul VIGIL Arias]
    Renewed Democratic Liberty or LIDER (dissolved mid-February 2016)
    Unionista Party or PU [Alvaro Hugo RODAS Martini]
    UNITED or UNIDOS [Conrado Antonio MONROY Hernandez]
    Value or VALOR [Ana BERNAT]
    Victoria (Victory) [Manuel de Jesus RIVERA]
    Vision with Values or VIVA [Armando Damian CASTILLO Alvarado]
    International organization participation:
    BCIE, CACM, CD, CELAC, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, Petrocaribe, SICA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Manuel Alfredo ESPINA Pinto (since 8 September 2017)
    chancery: 2220 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 745-4952
    FAX: [1] (202) 745-1908
    consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Lake Worth (FL), Los Angeles, McAllen (TX), Miami, New York, Phoenix, Providence (RI), San Francisco, Silver Spring (MD), Tucson (AZ)
    consulate(s): Del Rio (TX), San Bernardino (CA), Silver Spring (MD), Tucson (AZ)
    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Luis E. ARREAGA (since 4 October 2017)
    embassy: 7-01 Avenida Reforma, Zone 10, Guatemala City
    mailing address: DPO AA 34024
    telephone: [502] 2326-4000
    FAX: [502] 2326-4654
    Flag description:
    three equal vertical bands of light blue (hoist side), white, and light blue, with the coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms includes a green and red quetzal (the national bird) representing liberty and a scroll bearing the inscription LIBERTAD 15 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 1821 (the original date of independence from Spain) all superimposed on a pair of crossed rifles signifying Guatemala's willingness to defend itself and a pair of crossed swords representing honor and framed by a laurel wreath symbolizing victory; the blue bands represent the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea; the white band denotes peace and purity

    note: one of only two national flags featuring a firearm, the other is Mozambique

    National symbol(s):
    quetzal (bird); national colors: blue, white
    National anthem:
    name: "Himno Nacional de Guatemala" (National Anthem of Guatemala)
    lyrics/music: Jose Joaquin PALMA/Rafael Alvarez OVALLE

    note: adopted 1897, modified lyrics adopted 1934; Cuban poet Jose Joaquin PALMA anonymously submitted lyrics to a public contest calling for a national anthem; his authorship was not discovered until 1911

  • Economy :: Guatemala
  • Economy - overview:

    Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America with a GDP per capita roughly half the average for Latin America and the Caribbean. The agricultural sector accounts for 13.5% of GDP and 31% of the labor force; key agricultural exports include sugar, coffee, bananas, and vegetables. Guatemala is the top remittance recipient in Central America as a result of Guatemala's large expatriate community in the US. These inflows are a primary source of foreign income, equivalent to two-thirds of the country's exports and about a tenth of its GDP.

    The 1996 peace accords, which ended 36 years of civil war, removed a major obstacle to foreign investment, and Guatemala has since pursued important reforms and macroeconomic stabilization. The Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) entered into force in July 2006, spurring increased investment and diversification of exports, with the largest increases in ethanol and non-traditional agricultural exports. While CAFTA-DR has helped improve the investment climate, concerns over security, the lack of skilled workers, and poor infrastructure continue to hamper foreign direct investment.

    The distribution of income remains highly unequal with the richest 20% of the population accounting for more than 51% of Guatemala's overall consumption. More than half of the population is below the national poverty line, and 23% of the population lives in extreme poverty. Poverty among indigenous groups, which make up more than 40% of the population, averages 79%, with 40% of the indigenous population living in extreme poverty. Nearly one-half of Guatemala's children under age five are chronically malnourished, one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $138.1 billion (2017 est.)
    $134.4 billion (2016 est.)
    $130.4 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 77
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $75.62 billion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    2.8% (2017 est.)
    3.1% (2016 est.)
    4.1% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $8,200 (2017 est.)
    $8,100 (2016 est.)
    $8,000 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 150
    Gross national saving:
    13.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
    14.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
    13.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 86.3% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 9.7% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 12.3% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: -0.2% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 18.8% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -26.9% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 13.3% (2017 est.)
    industry: 23.4% (2017 est.)
    services: 63.2% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    sugarcane, corn, bananas, coffee, beans, cardamom; cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens
    Industries:
    sugar, textiles and clothing, furniture, chemicals, petroleum, metals, rubber, tourism
    Industrial production growth rate:
    1.8% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Labor force:
    6.664 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 31.4%
    industry: 12.8%
    services: 55.8% (2017 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    2.3% (2017 est.)
    2.4% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    Population below poverty line:
    59.3% (2014 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 38.4% (2014)
    highest 10%: 38.4% (2014)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index:
    53 (2014 est.)
    56 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Budget:
    revenues: 8.164 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 9.156 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    10.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -1.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Public debt:
    24.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
    24.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Fiscal year:
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    4.4% (2017 est.)
    4.4% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    Central bank discount rate:
    7.53% (31 December 2015 est.)
    6.5% (31 December 2010)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    13.05% (31 December 2017 est.)
    13.1% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Stock of narrow money:
    $12.23 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $10.81 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    Stock of broad money:
    $12.23 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $10.81 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $32.31 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $30.44 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Market value of publicly traded shares:

    NA

    Current account balance:
    $1.134 billion (2017 est.)
    $1.023 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    Exports:
    $11.12 billion (2017 est.)
    $10.58 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    Exports - partners:
    US 33.8%, El Salvador 11.1%, Honduras 8.8%, Nicaragua 5.1%, Mexico 4.7% (2017)
    Exports - commodities:
    sugar, coffee, petroleum, apparel, bananas, fruits and vegetables, cardamom, manufacturing products, precious stones and metals, electricity
    Imports:
    $17.11 billion (2017 est.)
    $15.77 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    Imports - commodities:
    fuels, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, grain, fertilizers, electricity, mineral products, chemical products, plastic materials and products
    Imports - partners:
    US 39.8%, China 10.7%, Mexico 10.7%, El Salvador 5.3% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $11.77 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $9.156 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Debt - external:
    $22.92 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $21.45 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
    $16.2 billion (2017 est.)
    $14.6 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Exchange rates:
    quetzales (GTQ) per US dollar -
    7.323 (2017 est.)
    7.5999 (2016 est.)
    7.5999 (2015 est.)
    7.6548 (2014 est.)
    7.7322 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Guatemala
  • Electricity access:
    population without electricity: 1.6 million (2013)
    electrification - total population: 78% (2013)
    electrification - urban areas: 85% (2013)
    electrification - rural areas: 72% (2013)
    Electricity - production:
    12.12 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Electricity - consumption:
    10.1 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Electricity - exports:
    1.858 billion kWh (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    Electricity - imports:
    747 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    4.605 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    41% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    31% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    28% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    Crude oil - production:
    9,666 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    Crude oil - exports:
    9,383 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Crude oil - imports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    83.07 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    1,162 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    89,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    10,810 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    97,900 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    Natural gas - production:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Natural gas - consumption:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Natural gas - imports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    2.96 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    17.15 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
  • Communications :: Guatemala
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 2,461,109 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 16 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 19,986,482 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 129 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: fairly modern network centered in the city of Guatemala (2017)
    domestic: state-owned telecommunications company privatized in the late 1990s opened the way for competition; fixed-line teledensity roughly 10 per 100 persons; fixed-line investments are being concentrated on improving rural connectivity; mobile-cellular teledensity about 125 per 100 persons (2017)
    international: country code - 502; landing point for both the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) and the SAM-1 fiber-optic submarine cable system that, together, provide connectivity to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; connected to Central American Microwave System; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2017)
    Broadcast media:
    4 privately owned national terrestrial TV channels dominate TV broadcasting; multi-channel satellite and cable services are available; 1 government-owned radio station and hundreds of privately owned radio stations (2007)
    Internet country code:
    .gt
    Internet users:
    total: 5,241,952 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 34.5% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 506,000 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
  • Transportation :: Guatemala
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 3 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 8 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 93,129 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 455,520 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    TG (2016)
    Airports:
    291 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 16 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 6 (2017)
    under 914 m: 4 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 275 (2013)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 77 (2013)
    under 914 m: 195 (2013)
    Heliports:
    1 (2013)
    Pipelines:
    480 km oil (2013)
    Railways:
    total: 800 km (2018)
    narrow gauge: 800 km 0.914-m gauge (2018)
    note: despite the existence of a railway network, all rail service was suspended in 2007 and no passenger or freight train currently runs in the country (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    Roadways:
    total: 17,621 km (2016)
    paved: 7,489 km (2016)
    unpaved: 10,132 km (includes 4,960 km of rural roads) (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    Waterways:
    990 km (260 km navigable year round; additional 730 km navigable during high-water season) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    Merchant marine:
    total: 9 (2017)
    by type: oil tanker 1, other 8 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Puerto Quetzal, Santo Tomas de Castilla
  • Military and Security :: Guatemala
  • Military expenditures:
    0.39% of GDP (2016)
    0.43% of GDP (2015)
    0.45% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    Military branches:
    National Army of Guatemala (Ejercito Nacional de Guatemala, ENG, includes Guatemalan Navy (Fuerza de Mar, including Marines) and Guatemalan Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Guatemalteca, FAG)) (2013)
    Military service age and obligation:
    all male citizens between the ages of 18 and 50 are eligible for military service; in practice, most of the force is volunteer, however, a selective draft system is employed, resulting in a small portion of 17-21 year-olds conscripted; conscript service obligation varies from 1 to 2 years; women can serve as officers (2013)
  • Transnational Issues :: Guatemala
  • Disputes - international:
    annual ministerial meetings under the Organization of American States-initiated Agreement on the Framework for Negotiations and Confidence Building Measures continue to address Guatemalan land and maritime claims in Belize and the Caribbean SeaGuatemala persists in its territorial claim to half of Belize, but agrees to Line of Adjacency to keep Guatemalan squatters out of Belize's forested interiorboth countries agreed in 2008 to hold referenda to decide whether to refer the dispute to the ICJ for binding resolution; Guatemala’s referendum is scheduled for 15 April 2018Mexico must deal with thousands of impoverished Guatemalans and other Central Americans who cross the porous border looking for work in Mexico and the US
    Refugees and internally displaced persons:
    IDPs: 242,000 (more than three decades of internal conflict that ended in 1996 displaced mainly the indigenous Maya population and rural peasants; ongoing drug cartel and gang violence) (2017)
    Illicit drugs:
    major transit country for cocaine and heroin; it is estimated that 1,000 mt of cocaine are smuggled through the country each year, primarily destined for the US market; in 2016, the Guatamalan government estimated that an average of 4,500 hectares of opium poppy were being cultivated; marijuana cultivation for mostly domestic consumption; proximity to Mexico makes Guatemala a major staging area for drugs (particularly for cocaine); money laundering is a serious problem; corruption is a major problem