Guatemala

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

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. Despite having both eastern and western coastlines (Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean respectively), there are no natural harbors on the west coast.

Geography

Area

total: 108,889 sq km

land: 107,159 sq km

water: 1,730 sq km

Climate

tropical; hot, humid in lowlands; cooler in highlands

Natural resources

petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower

People and Society

Population

17,703,190 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish - in local Spanish called Ladino) 56%, Maya 41.7%, Xinca (Indigenous, non-Maya) 1.8%, African descent 0.2%, Garifuna (mixed West and Central African, Island Carib, and Arawak) 0.1%, foreign 0.2% (2018 est.)

Languages

Spanish (official) 69.9%, Maya languages 29.7% (Q'eqchi' 8.3%, K'iche 7.8%, Mam 4.4%, Kaqchikel 3%, Q'anjob'al 1.2%, Poqomchi' 1%, other 4%), other 0.4% (includes Xinca and Garifuna); note - the 2003 Law of National Languages officially recognized 23 indigenous languages, including 21 Maya languages, Xinca, and Garifuna (2018 est.)

Religions

Roman Catholic 41.7%, Evangelical 38.8%, other 2.7%, atheist 0.1%, none 13.8%, unspecified 2.9% (2018 est.)

Population growth rate

1.58% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Guatemala City

Executive branch

chief of state: President Alejandro GIAMMATTEI (since 14 January 2020); Vice President Cesar Guillermo CASTILLO Reyes (since 14 January 2020); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Alejandro GIAMMATTEI (since 14 January 2020); Vice President Cesar Guillermo CASTILLO Reyes (since 14 January 2020)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Congress of the Republic or Congreso de la Republica (160 seats; 128 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies in the country's 22 departments and 32 directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by closed party-list proportional representation vote, using the D'Hondt method; members serve 4-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

growing Central American economy; unique South Korean business relations; high poverty, inequality, and malnutrition; low government revenues impede educational, sanitation, and healthcare efforts; high migration, child labor, and remittances

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$141.5 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$8,400 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, bananas, oil palm fruit, maize, melons, potatoes, milk, plantains, pineapples, rubber

Industries

sugar, textiles and clothing, furniture, chemicals, petroleum, metals, rubber, tourism

Exports

$13.12 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

United States 33%, El Salvador 12%, Honduras 8%, Mexico 5%, Nicaragua 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

bananas, raw sugar, coffee, cardamom, palm oil (2019)

Imports

$19.3 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

United States 36%, China 12%, Mexico 11%, El Salvador 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, broadcasting equipment, packaged medicines, cars, delivery trucks (2019)


Page last updated: Thursday, May 12, 2022