The Republic of Guatemala is in Central America bordering Mexico, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, the North Pacific Ocean, and the Gulf of Honduras. It is about the size of Tennessee and covers an area of 108,890 sq. kilometers. Guatemala’s total population is about 13.28 million making it the most populous country in Central America. The population is growing at a rate of 2.066% with 49% living in urban areas. The capital of Guatemala City has a population of about 2.5 million with other major cities including Quetzaltenango and Escuintla. The people are governed by a constitutional democratic republic and are a mix of Roman Catholic, Protestant, and traditional Mayan. The primary language used is Spanish, but about 40% of the population speaks indigenous Amerindian languages with 23 being officially recognized. The local currency used is the Guatemalan Quetzal.

Guatemala’s economy has improved greatly in the past decade since the signing of peace agreements in 1996. The Central American Free Trade Agreement established in 2006 has also boosted the economy and has begun attracting more foreign investment. There remain concerns over lack of skilled workers and poor infrastructure in the area along with the corruption and high levels of drug trafficking. Its main trade partner is the US accounting for more than 40% of its exports and 35% of its imports. Other major trade partners include Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, China, and Costa Rica. Its primary imports are fuels, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, grain, fertilizers, and electricity. Exports consist of coffee, sugar, petroleum, apparel, bananas, fruits, and vegetables. Guatemala’s GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) is $68.02 billion and is growing at a real rate of 3.8% with an inflation rate of 4%. Guatemala ranked 91 out of 185 countries in the World Bank Group’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking.

Demographic Data Economic Data Cultural & Other Data
Area (sq. km.) 108,890 GDP (PPP, $bn) 78.42 Capital Guatemala City
Population (million) 14.373 GDP RealGrowth (%) 3.1 Other Large Cities Quetzaltenango, Escuintla
PopulationGrowth % 1.91 per Cap GDP ($) 5,200 Primary Language Spanish
% PopulationUnder 15yrs 36.8 Prime LendingRate (%) 13.6 UrbanPopulation % 49
Population belowpoverty line (%) 54 Inflation Rate% 4 Urban Growth % 3.4
Agricultural Workers(% of population) 38 Unemployment% 4.1 Literacy(% of population) 69.1
Industrial Workers(% of population) 14 Foreign DirectInvestment($bn) NA Education spendingas % of GDP 2.8
Service Workers(% of population) 48 Debt-External($bn) 16.17 CPI Score (1-100)* 33
Labor Force (mil) 5.57 Exports ($bn) 9.864 Corporate Income Tax % 31
    Imports ($bn) 15.57 Ease of DoingBusiness Ranking ** 91

Click the links below for articles with more information on Franchising in Guatemala

Viva Global Expansion! Trade Mission to Latin America (2012)

Latin American Market Sizzles with U.S. Franchisors (2012)

Doing Business in Guatemala(2010)

US Commercial Service Market Report Central America(2008)

News from Around the World: Latin America(2008)

Franchising in Panama and Central America(2007)

The Future of Latin America(2007)

* CPI Score is published by Transparency International and relates to the perceptions of the degree of corruption as seen by business people and country analysts and ranges between 100 (highly clean) and 0 (highly corrupt).

**Ease of Doing Business Ranking is determined by the World Bank Group and is ranked out of a possible 185

Most recent statistics have been taken from the CIA World Factbook unless noted otherwise.