Demographics of Guatemala
The demographics of Guatemala are diverse, constituting primarily of Mestizos, Amerindians and Europeans. About 60% of the population speak Spanish, with nearly all of the rest speaking Amerindian languages.

According to the CIA World Fact Book, Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish - in local Spanish called Ladino
Ladino may refer to:*Ladino is the name used primarily in Israel for Judaeo-Spanish, a Sephardic language, primarily spoken among Sephardic Jews, or for the written form used in religious texts and translations; compare to Ashkenazic Jews' language, Yiddish*Ladino is also used for the variety of...

) and European made 59.4% of the population, and 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%. Therefore, 40% of the population is Amerindian. Pure European population is not known because the country combines mestizos with whites.

Most of Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

's population is rural, though urbanization
Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....

 is accelerating. The predominant religion is Roman Catholicism, once the main faith of the population, into which many indigenous Guatemalans have incorporated traditional forms of worship. Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 and traditional Maya religions
Maya mythology
Mayan mythology is part of Mesoamerican mythology and comprises all of the Mayan tales in which personified forces of nature, deities, and the heroes interacting with these play the main roles...

 are practiced by an estimated 40% and 1% of the population, respectively.

Though the official language is Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

, it is often the second language among the indigenous population. However, the Peace Accords signed in December 1996 provide for the translation of some official documents and voting materials into several indigenous languages (see summary of main substantive accords).

Racial stratification is complex and fluid in Guatemalan politics, culture and identity. Guatemala City
Guatemala City
Guatemala City , is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Guatemala and Central America...

, the largest city in Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

, is home to over 3 million inhabitants.

Other racial groups include small numbers of Afro-Guatemalan
Afro-Guatemalan are Guatemalans of African descent. Afro-Guatemalans comprise 1-2% of the population. They are of mainly English speaking West Indian and Garifuna population. They are found in the Caribbean coast, in Livingston , Puerto Barrios and Santa Tomas...

s and Garifuna of mixed African and indigenous Caribbean origins who live in the country's Eastern end. Asians, mostly of Chinese descent are descendants of farm workers and railroad laborers in the early 20th century. And thousands who are Middle Easterner descendants: Arabs
Arab diaspora
Arab diaspora refers to Arab immigrants, and their descendants who, voluntarily or as refugees, emigrated from their native lands and now reside in non-Arab countries, primarily in Latin America, and Europe, as well as North America and South Asia, parts of Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and West...

, Lebanese
Lebanese people
The Lebanese people are a nation and ethnic group of Levantine people originating in what is today the country of Lebanon, including those who had inhabited Mount Lebanon prior to the creation of the modern Lebanese state....

, Palestinians, Syrians
Demographics of Syria
Syrians today are an overall indigenous Levantine people. While modern-day Syrians are commonly described as Arabs by virtue of their modern-day language and bonds to Arab culture and history...

 and Turks
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

 came to Guatemala after World War I.

In 1900, Guatemala had a population of just 885,000. Over the course of the twentieth century, the population of the country grew by a factor of fourteen. No other western hemisphere country saw such rapid growth. This has brought on difficulties for Guatemala as more people puts pressure in the nation's economic progress in a country where 70% live in dire poverty, and political stability was weakened by an inability to have effective population growth programs.

Over a million Guatemalan emigrants went to the US
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in the 1980s and 1990s for a better life mostly because of the Civil War. Guatemalans are the 2nd largest national subgroup of Central Americans in the USA numbering 1,081,858 in 2009(after the El Salvadorans).

The largest population of Guatemalans is in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, but there are also established Guatemalan communities in Dallas, Houston, Miami, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, San Diego, San Francisco area, and Washington, DC. There are also Guatemalan immigrants living abroad in Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Europe, Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

 and Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 as well.

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.

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)

Sex ratio

at birth:
1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1.033 male(s)/female

15-64 years:
0.941 male(s)/female

65 years and over:
0.861 male(s)/female

total population:
0.974 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population:
70.88 years

69.03 years

72.83 years (2011 est.)

Total fertility rate

  • 3.27 children born/woman (2011 est.)
  • 4.4 children born/woman (2007 est.)




Ethnic groups

  • Amerindian
    Indigenous peoples of the Americas
    The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

     - K'iche' 9.1%, Kaqchikel 8.4%, Mam
    Mam people
    The Mam are a Native American people in the western highlands of Guatemala and in south-western Mexico.Most Mam live in Guatemala, in the departments of Huehuetenango, San Marcos, and Quetzaltenango...

     7.9% and Q'eqchi'i
    Q'eqchi' people
    Q'eqchi are one of the Maya peoples in Guatemala and Belize, whose indigenous language is also called Q'eqchi'....

     6.3%, other Mayan
    Maya peoples
    The Maya people constitute a diverse range of the Native American people of southern Mexico and northern Central America. The overarching term "Maya" is a collective designation to include the peoples of the region who share some degree of cultural and linguistic heritage; however, the term...

     8.6%, indigenous non-Mayan 0.2% - 40.5%
  • Mestizo
    Mestizo is a term traditionally used in Latin America, Philippines and Spain for people of mixed European and Native American heritage or descent...

     (mixed Amerindian and Spanish - locally called Ladino
    Ladino people
    Ladino is a Spanish term used to describe various socio-ethnic categories in Latin America, principally in Central America.The term Ladino is derived from "latino" and usually refers to the mestizo or hispanicized population...

    ) and White European- 59.4%
  • Other - Garífuna
    The Garinagu are descendants of Carib, Arawak and West African people. The British colonial administration used the term Black Carib and Garinagu to distinguish them from Yellow and Red Carib, the Amerindian population that did not intermarry with Africans...

    , descended from Black Africans
    Afro-Guatemalan are Guatemalans of African descent. Afro-Guatemalans comprise 1-2% of the population. They are of mainly English speaking West Indian and Garifuna population. They are found in the Caribbean coast, in Livingston , Puerto Barrios and Santa Tomas...

     and indigenous peoples from St. Vincent
    Saint Vincent (island)
    Saint Vincent is a volcanic island in the Caribbean. It is the largest island of the chain called Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It is located in the Caribbean Sea, between Saint Lucia and Grenada. It is composed of partially submerged volcanic mountains...

    's, live mainly in Livingston and Puerto Barrios
    Puerto Barrios
    Puerto Barrios is a city in Guatemala, located within the Gulf of Honduras at. The bay in which the harbour is located is called Bahia de Amatique. Puerto Barrios is the departmental seat of Izabal department and the administrative seat of Puerto Barrios municipality.Puerto Barrios was named after...

    , and other blacks and mulatto
    Mulatto denotes a person with one white parent and one black parent, or more broadly, a person of mixed black and white ancestry. Contemporary usage of the term varies greatly, and the broader sense of the term makes its application rather subjective, as not all people of mixed white and black...

    s; Asians
    Asian people
    Asian people or Asiatic people is a term with multiple meanings that refers to people who descend from a portion of Asia's population.- Central Asia :...

    , mostly of Chinese
    Han Chinese
    Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

     descent, and also a growing Korean community in Guatemala City and in nearby Mixco
    Mixco is a municipality in the Guatemala department of Guatemala.Located next to the main Guatemala City municipality, over time it has become part of the Guatemala City Metropolitan Area. Most of Mixco is separated from the city by canyons, for which a multitude of bridges have been created. ...

    , currently numbering about 10,000. - 3.9%


  • Spanish
    Spanish language
    Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

     - 60%
  • Amerindian languages
    Indigenous languages of the Americas
    Indigenous languages of the Americas are spoken by indigenous peoples from Alaska and Greenland to the southern tip of South America, encompassing the land masses which constitute the Americas. These indigenous languages consist of dozens of distinct language families as well as many language...

     (23 officially recognized languages, all from the Mayan language family
    Mayan languages
    The Mayan languages form a language family spoken in Mesoamerica and northern Central America. Mayan languages are spoken by at least 6 million indigenous Maya, primarily in Guatemala, Mexico, Belize and Honduras...

     except Garifuna and Xinca) - 40%:
    • K'iche' (Quiché)
      K'iche' language
      The K’iche’ language is a part of the Mayan language family. It is spoken by many K'iche' people in the central highlands of Guatemala. With close to a million speakers , it is the second-most widely spoken language in the country after Spanish...

    • Kaqchikel
      Kaqchikel language
      The Kaqchikel, or Kaqchiquel, language is an indigenous Mesoamerican language and a member of the Quichean–Mamean branch of the Mayan languages family. It is spoken by the indigenous Kaqchikel people in central Guatemala...

    • Q'eqchi'
    • Mam
      Mam language
      Mam is a Mayan language with almost 480,000 speakers as of 2002, spoken in the Mexican state of Chiapas and the Guatemalan departments of Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango and San Marcos....

    • Garifuna
      Garifuna language
      Garifuna is an Arawakan language spoken in Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize by the Garifuna people. The language is also spoken to a lesser extent in Nicaragua's Mosquito Coast. Historically it was referred to as Carib or Black Carib and Igñeri by Europeans. Garifuna has a vocabulary split between...

    • Xinca
      Xinca language
      The Xinca language is a Mesoamerican language spoken by the indigenous Xinca people from communities in the southern portion of Guatemala, near its border with El Salvador and in the mountainous region to the north...

    • others.


age 15 and over can read and write

total population:


72.54% (2002 census)
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