Guatemala 2018

The population of Guatemala in 2018 was estimated to be around 17.6 million people. The majority of the population is comprised of people of Mayan descent with a smaller percentage of other ethnicities. The economy is largely reliant on exports, manufacturing, and services such as agriculture and tourism. Foreign relations remain strong with Guatemala’s neighbors in Central America as well as other countries in Europe and beyond. According to extrareference, Guatemala has been a presidential republic since 1985. In 2018, President Jimmy Morales was re-elected for a second consecutive term after winning 68% of the popular vote in presidential elections held that year.

Yearbook 2018

Guatemala. In mid-October, the National Congress voted no to waive President Jimmy Morale’s immunity for the third time, preventing him from being put on trial for illegal campaign funding in conjunction with the 2015 election campaign. After that, Congress voted for changes in criminal law that, among other things, absolve party secretaries from responsibility for just illegal campaign finance. Shortly before, the Supreme Court had approved a request from the UN-supported Commission on Impunity (CICIG) and the National Prosecutor’s Office to investigate Morale’s handling of campaign funds in 2015. The transparency in public business was also strongly questioned by President Morale’s decision not to renew CICIG when its mandate expires. out in September 2019. At the same time, he dismissed CICIG’s chief Iván Velásquez and banned him from staying in Guatemala.

According to, Guatemala City is the capital city of Guatemala, a country located in North America. Human Rights Watch highlighted CICIG, which has reported most of Guatemala’s ex-presidents since 1996 for corruption, as one of the most successful anti-corruption agencies in Latin America. CICIG also enjoys great public confidence. In September, a series of demonstrations were held with thousands of participants in protest of President Morales, and both the Minister of Labor and the Minister of Finance resigned. However, the decisions of Congress in October ended up in the media shadow of the so-called migrant caravans of refugees from Central America, many of them from Guatemala, through Mexico towards the US border.

Guatemala Guatemala City Tourist Attractions 2

On April 15, a referendum was held on how to resolve the old border dispute with Belize. Of the voters, 96% said yes to the proposal to have the matter submitted to the International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ).

One of Central America’s most active volcanoes, Volcán de Fuego, only four miles from the capital Guatemala City, received no less than five eruptions during the year. The June 3 outbreak was the strongest in 44 years, with more than a hundred fatalities and major damage to farmland in the region. President Morales issued state of emergency in three surrounding provinces but became the object of protests and demonstrations due to delayed handling of the disaster.


Inflation rate 4.40%
Unemployment rate 2.3%
Gross domestic product (GDP) 138,100,000,000 USD
GDP growth rate 2.80%
GDP per capita $ 8,200
GDP by sector
Agriculture 13.30%
Industry 23.40%
Service 63.20%
State budget
Revenue 3.847 billion
Expenditure 4.435 billion
Proportion of the population below the national poverty line 54%
Distribution of household income
Top 10% 42.4
Lower 10% 1.3
Industrial production growth rate 3.20%
Investment volume 15.1% of GDP
National debt 24.70% of GDP
Foreign exchange reserves $ 10,050,000,000
Tourism 2014
Visitors 1,455,000
Revenue $ 1,564,000,000

The economic structure of Guatemala is still mainly linked to the primary sector (where almost 60 % of the active population is employed), dominated by agriculture. In larger properties latifondistiche (almost 70 % of the land area is owned by 2, 6 % of landowners, private and foreign corporations) are produced, with rational methods and high degree of mechanization, especially coffee (216,000 t in 1997), bananas (681,000 t) and sugar cane (15,800,000 t). Cattle breeding is anything but negligible (1,800,000 capo), which is practiced in modern farms concentrated in the coastal plains of the Pacific Ocean side, in particular in the departments of Escuintla and Petén. The Indians essentially live by cultivating with traditional and archaic methods what is necessary for their subsistence (corn, beans, vegetables).

After the long stagnation of the years of the civil war (which ended in 1996), the industry and the tertiary sector have started to grow again. The sectors that have developed more in recent years include the mechanical, petrochemical and agri-food sectors; there is a notable growth in construction, with a boom that occurred essentially in the metropolitan region of Guatemala, where the majority of investments are concentrated, including those made with money from drug trafficking which has found fertile ground for expansion here.

In recent years tourism has also undergone a considerable increase thanks to the improvement of the internal situation and the extraordinary landscape, archaeological and monumental heritage of the country. The increase in tourist flows has had significant consequences on the territorial physiognomy of some localities, with the proliferation of infrastructures and services concentrated primarily in the capital, in the region of Lake Atitlán and in the colonial town of Antigua. This sector already constitutes a valid help for the national economy, as a precious source of foreign currency, and could constitute it even more in the future, provided that local administrations know how to manage it with foresight.

The current situation of Guatemala, however, is marked by such imbalances, contradictions and emergencies, that it appears very difficult to achieve a widespread improvement in the living conditions of the population in a short time; an improvement that comes about only when economic growth and human development move together and mutually reinforce each other.

Furthermore, Guatemala – like other Central American countries – is periodically hit by hurricanes of considerable intensity; last, in chronological order, and one of the most devastating, was Hurricane Mitch, which in November 1998 caused thousands of victims and enormous damage to infrastructures and housing and production assets.

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