Country Profile

Basic Facts

(Updated on the 20th of August 2007, based on information found on Reuters, BBC, the Economist, and the CIA’s website.)

CIA map

Geography and Politics

  • 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 size: 108430 sq. km
  • Capital: Guatemala
  • Geographical notes: The country holds no natural harbours on the west coast. Natural hazards include numerous active volcanoes, and occasional violent earthquakes. The Caribbean coast is also extremely susceptible to hurricanes and other tropical storms.
  • Government type: Constitutional democratic republic


  • Population: 12,728,111 (July 2007 est.)
  • Ethnic groups: Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish - also 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 and popular religions mixed with indigenous Mayan belief systems.
  • Languages: Spanish about 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca)

UNDP Human Development Index (2004)

  • HDI Rank: 118
  • Life expectancy at birth (years): 67.6
  • Adult literacy rate (% ages 15 and older): 69.1
  • Gender-related development index (GDI) rank: 90
  • GDP per capita (PPP US$): 4,313

Economy (2006)

  • GDP (purchasing power parity): $61.38 billion
  • GDP - real growth rate: 4.6%
  • GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 22.1%; industry: 19.1%; services: 58.7%
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