Statistical information Guatemala 1990Guatemala

Map of Guatemala | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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Guatemala in the World

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Guatemala - Introduction 1990
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Background: Guatemala was freed of Spanish colonial rule in 1821. During the second half of the 20th century it experienced a variety of military and civilian governments as well as a guerrilla war.

Guatemala - Geography 1990
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries: 1,687 km total; Belize 266 km, El Salvador 203 km, Honduras 256 km, Mexico 962 km

Coastline: 400 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: not specific
Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; hot, humid in lowlands; cooler in highlands

Terrain: mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau (Peten)


Natural resources: crude oil, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle
Land use

Land use: 12% arable land; 4% permanent crops; 12% meadows and pastures; 40% forest and woodland; 32% other; includes 1% irrigated

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Note: no natural harbors on west coast

Guatemala - People 1990
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Population: 9,097,636 (July 1990), growth rate 2.6% (1990)

Nationality: noun--Guatemalan(s; adjective--Guatemalan

Ethnic groups: 56% Ladino (mestizo--mixed Indian and European ancestry), 44% Indian

Languages: Spanish, but over 40% of the population speaks an Indian language as a primary tongue (18 Indian dialects, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi)

Religions: predominantly Roman Catholic; also Protestant, traditional Mayan

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 37 births/1000 population (1990)

Death rate: 9 deaths/1000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: - 3 migrants/1000 population (1990)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: numerous volcanoes in mountains, with frequent violent earthquakes; Caribbean coast subject to hurricanes and other tropical storms; deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 61 deaths/1000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 60 years male, 65 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 5.1 children born/woman (1990)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 50%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Guatemala - Government 1990
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Guatemala

Government type: republic

Capital: Guatemala

Administrative divisions: 22 departments (departamentos, singular--departamento; Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Chiquimula, El Progreso, Escuintla, Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Jalapa, Jutiapa, Peten, Quezaltenango, Quiche, Retalhuleu, Sacatepequez, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Solola, Suchitepequez, Totonicapan, Zacapa

Dependent areas

Independence: 15 September 1821 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day, 15 September (1821)

Constitution: 31 May 1985, effective 14 January 1986

Legal system: civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal at age 18, compulsory for literates, voluntary for illiterates

Executive branch: Chief of State and Head of Government--President Mario Vinicio CEREZO Arevalo (since 14 January 1986; Vice President Roberto CARPIO Nicolle (since 14 January 1986)

Legislative branch: Army, Navy, Air Force

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice (Corte Suprema de Justicia)

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: CACM, CCC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAC, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IDB--Inter-American Development Bank, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IRC, ISO, ITU, IWC--International Wheat Council, OAS, ODECA, PAHO, SELA, UN, UNESCO, UPEB, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: Ambassador Rodolfo ROHRMOSER V; Chancery at 2,220 R Street NW, Washington DC 20,008; telephone (202) 745-4,952 through 4,954; there are Guatemalan Consulates General in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, and San Francisco; US--Ambassador Thomas F. STROOCK; Embassy at 7-01 Avenida de la Reforma, Zone 10, Guatemala City (mailing address is APO Miami 34,024; telephone p502o (2) 31-15-41

Flag descriptionflag of Guatemala: 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) 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 and a pair of crossed swords and framed by a wreath

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Guatemala - Economy 1990
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Economy overview: The economy is based on agriculture, which accounts for 25% of GDP, employs about 60% of the labor force, and supplies two-thirds of exports. Industry accounts for about 20% of GDP and 15% of the labor force. The economy has reentered a slow-growth phase, but is hampered by political uncertainty. In 1988 the economy grew by 3.7%, the third consecutive year of mild growth. Government economic reforms introduced since 1986 have stabilized exchange rates and have helped to stem inflationary pressures. The inflation rate has dropped from 36.9% in 1986 to 15% in 1989.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: accounts for 25% of GDP; most important sector of economy and contributes two-thirds to export earnings; principal crops--sugarcane, corn, bananas, coffee, beans, cardamom; livestock--cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens; food importer

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

Industrial production growth rate: 3.5% (1988 est.)

Labor force:
2,500,000; 57.0% agriculture, 14.0% manufacturing, 13.0%
services, 7.0% commerce, 4.0% construction, 3.0% transport, 0.8% utilities, 0.4% mining (1985)

Labor force

Unemployment rate: 13%, with 30-40% underemployment (1988 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $771 million; expenditures $957 million, including capital expenditures of $188 million (1988)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $1.02 billion (f.o.b., 1988)
Commodities: coffee 38%, bananas 7%, sugar 7%, cardamom 4%
Partners: US 29%, El Salvador, FRG, Costa Rica, Italy

Imports: $1.5 billion (c.i.f., 1988)
Commodities: fuel and petroleum products, machinery, grain, fertilizers, motor vehicles
Partners: US 38%, Mexico, FRG, Japan, El Salvador

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $3.0 billion (December 1989 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: free market quetzales (Q) per US$1--3.3913 (January 1990), 2.8261 (1989), 2.6196 (1988), 2.500 (1987), 1.875 (1986), 1.000 (1985; note--black-market rate 2.800 (May 1989)

Guatemala - Energy 1990
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Guatemala - Communication 1990
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Guatemala - Military 1990
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Military expenditures
Percent of gdp: 1% of GDP, or $115 million (1990 est.)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Guatemala - Transportation 1990
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 451 total, 391 usable; 11 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 3 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 19 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: crude oil, 275 km



Waterways: 260 km navigable year round; additional 730 km navigable during high-water season

Merchant marine: 1 cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,129 GRT/6,450 DWT

Ports and terminals

Guatemala - Transnational issues 1990
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Disputes international: claims Belize, but boundary negotiations are under way

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of opium poppy and cannabis for the international drug trade; the government has engaged in aerial eradication of opium poppy; transit country for cocaine shipments

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