Population of Guatemala 2017


Current population of Guatemala is 15,460,732 people (July 2017 est.).


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)


Spanish (official) 60%, Amerindian languages 40%

note: there are 23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca


Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan 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 than 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: 34.5% (male 2,719,027/female 2,614,720)
15-24 years: 21.58% (male 1,677,634/female 1,658,941)
25-54 years: 34.12% (male 2,516,456/female 2,759,393)
55-64 years: 5.26% (male 384,967/female 428,198)
65 years and over: 4.54% (male 324,492/female 376,904) (2017 est.)

Dependency Ratios

total dependency ratio: 68.7
youth dependency ratio: 61.1
elderly dependency ratio: 7.6
potential support ratio: 13.1 (2015 est.)

Median Age

total: 21.7 years
male: 21 years
female: 22.4 years (2016 est.)

Population Growth Rate

1.8% (2017 est.)

Birth Rate

24.1 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Death Rate

4.7 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Net Migration Rate

-1.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)

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


urban population: 52.5% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 3.23% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major Urban Areas – Population:

GUATEMALA CITY (capital) 2.918 million (2015)

Sex Ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Mother’s Mean Age at First Birth

20.3 years

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2008/09 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate

88 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate

total: 22 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 23.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 19.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth

total population: 72.3 years
male: 70.3 years
female: 74.4 years (2016 est.)

Total Fertility Rate

2.77 children born/woman (2017 est.)

Contraceptive Prevalence Rate

60.6% (2014)

Health Expenditures

6.2% of GDP (2014)

Physicians Density

0.9 physicians/1,000 population (2009)

Hospital Bed Density

0.6 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking Water Source

urban: 98.4% of population
rural: 86.8% of population
total: 92.8% of population

urban: 1.6% of population
rural: 13.2% of population
total: 7.2% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation Facility Access

urban: 77.5% of population
rural: 49.3% of population
total: 63.9% of population

urban: 22.5% of population
rural: 50.7% of population
total: 36.1% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate

0.5% (2016 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS – Deaths

1,600 (2016 est.)

Major Infectious Disease

degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: dengue fever and malaria

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 (2016)

Obesity – Adult Prevalence Rate

16.4% (2014)

Children Under the Age of 5 Years Underweight

12.6% (2015)

Education Expenditures

3% of GDP (2015)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 81.5%
male: 87.4%
female: 76.3% (2015 est.)

School Life Expectancy (Primary to Tertiary Education)

total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 10 years (2013)

Child Labor – Children Ages 5-14

total number: 929,852
percentage: 21%

note: data represent children ages 5-17 (2006 est.)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24

total: 4.8%
male: 3.6%
female: 7.5% (2015 est.)