E.g., 08/16/2022
E.g., 08/16/2022
Country Resource - Guatemala

Guatemala

GT
  • Population..................................................................................... 17,422,821 (July 2021 est.)
  • Population growth rate .............................................................................. 1.62% (2021 est.)
  • Birth rate................................................................ 22.79 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
  • Death rate............................................................... 4.94 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
  • Net migration rate............................................... -1.69 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
  • Ethnic groups..................................... Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish - in local Spanish called Ladino) 56%, Maya 41.7%, Xinca (Indigenous, non-Maya) 1.8%, African descent .2%, Garifuna (mixed West and Central African, Island Carib, and Arawak) .1%, foreign .2% (2018 est.)

CIA World Factbook

During recent decades, large-scale international migration has been an external escape valve for Guatemala, a response to the country's multiple internal problems. This article examines Guatemalan migration, primarily to the United States, into the post-war era; U.S. government immigration policies affecting Guatemalans; the impacts of migration within Guatemala; and Guatemala/Mexico migration dynamics.

Recent Activity

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Guatemala's long civil war, which spurred large flows of refugees, has given way to high levels of economic migration to the United States and an economy more dependent on remittances. Also, Guatemala’s geography has made it a prime transit country for migrants headed north, as James Smith of Inforpress Centroamericana reports.

Since the 1980s, Mexico has become home to Guatemalan refugees and served as a transit country for Central Americans seeking to reach the United States. Manuel Ángel Castillo of El Colegio de México analyzes Mexico's policies toward its southern neighbors.

The Central America Free Trade Agreement may be the most important economic event in the region in 20 years. However, it seems unlikely to reverse established migration trends, reports Salomon Cohen.

Many migratory streams from Central America — including refugees, economic migrants, and transit flows headed north from South America and elsewhere — have converged in North America since the 1980s. Sarah J. Mahler and Dusan Ugrina of Florida International University outline the region's main trends.

Not long after the United States passed the 1980 Refugee Act, thousands of people began fleeing civil war in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Their treatment in the United States, linked to U.S. foreign policy, spurred the Sanctuary Movement and efforts to grant them refugee status, as Susan Gzesh of the University of Chicago explains.

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The growth of violent gangs such as MS-13, which operates in the United States and Central America, has caught the attention of the U.S. media and law enforcement. However, the role of migration policies in this growth deserves closer attention, finds MPI's Mary Helen Johnson.

In 2004, Central American countries received US$ 7.8 billion in remittances through official channels. Are remittances hurting or helping the region? MPI’s Dovelyn Agunias investigates.

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Reports
August 2015

This report profiles the approximately 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States, examining population growth trends over time by country or region of origin as well as geographic distribution by state and top county destinations. (See related interactive map here.) The report also assesses eligibility and application rates for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, analyzing differences in application rates by national origin.

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Reports
April 2015

Policymakers, the public, and the media were seemingly caught off-guard in spring 2014 when a surge of child migrants from Central America reached the U.S.-Mexico border in unprecedented numbers. Yet the uptick began in 2011. This report examines the causes of this surge and recommends policy solutions to advance both critical protection and enforcement goals in situations of complex, mixed flows.

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Reports
March 2015

Amid aging populations and the growth of chronic diseases, the demand for skilled health-care professionals is on the rise in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This report explores the policy implications, benefits, and challenges of harmonizing nursing qualifications in the region, suggesting that a more collaborative approach could result in greater supply and quality of nurses.

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Reports
August 2013

La migración ha contribuido a dar forma y definir las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y México desde hace más de un siglo, y las relaciones con Centroamérica aproximadamente durante los últimos 30 años. A veces, incluso la migración se convierte en la lente a través de la cual se consideran todos los otros aspectos de esta relación.

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Reports
May 2013

This final report from the Regional Migration Study Group outlines the powerful demographic, economic, and social forces reshaping Mexico and Central America and changing longstanding migration dynamics with the United States. It offers a forward-looking, pragmatic agenda for the region, focusing on new collaborative approaches on migration and human-capital development to strengthen regional competitiveness.

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Reports
February 2013

This report assesses trends in U.S., Central American, and Mexican agriculture and their implications for farm labor markets, including the demand for skills and its effects on education and workforce development. 

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Reports
February 2013

This study explores the intersecting dynamics of evolving demographic trends, shifting epidemiological profiles, and worker migration in five countries in the Americas to develop policy recommendations for health workforce development, specifically for nursing personnel. Countries highlighted are El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the U.S.

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Reports
January 2013

The U.S. government has increased its attention to public security issues in Mexico and Central America since 2007. This report suggest the policy emphasis has begun to shift away from the earlier focus on combating drug trafficking and transnational crime toward addressing the citizen security crisis.

Cover_RMSG Manufacturing
Reports
January 2013

This report examines trends in manufacturing – with a focus on advanced manufacturing – in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and the United States. Although these countries’ manufacturing histories and contexts are different, the sectors are increasingly interdependent, and the sector potentially holds great promise for improving individual livelihoods and overall regional competitiveness.

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Reports
December 2012

Crime and insecurity are undermining economic and social prosperity in Mexico and Central America, eroding public trust in government institutions. This report examines current economic, social, and political costs resulting from insecurity, and future implications.

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