Country Fact Sheet: Guatemala

The Republic of Guatemala is located 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 still 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.  Click here to search for Businesses Franchising Internationally  

Demographic Data   Economic Data    Cultural & Other Data   
Area (sq. km.)   108,890  GDP (PPP, $bn)   78.42  Capital   Guatemala City 
Population (million)   14.373  GDP Real Growth (%)   3.1  Other Large Cities   Qutzaltenango, Escuintala 
Population Growth %   1.91  PerCap GDP ($)   5,200  Primary Language   Spanish 
% Population Under 15yrs   36.8  Prime Lending Rate (%)   13.6  Urban Population %   49 
Population below poverty 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 Direct Investment($bn)   NA  Education spending  as % of GDP   2.8 
Service Workers (% of population)   48  Debt-External ($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 Doing Business 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 countries.  

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



International Franchising Opportunities

After you have finished researching the international markets, learning international expansion strategies and best practices, and understanding the basics of international franchising law, IFA provides numerous opportunities for franchising internationally.

Click here to search for Businesses Franchising Internationally  


Why will @DunkinDonuts franchise owner Rob Branca attend the FAN Annual Meeting? Register today and join him!…...
recent tweet