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Demographics of Guatemala

More than half of Guatemalans are descendants of indigenous Maya nations. Westernized Mayans and mestizos (mixed European and indigenous ancestry) are known as Ladinos. Most of Guatemala's population is rural, though urbanization is accelerating. The predominant religion is Roman Catholicism, into which many indigenous Guatemalans have incorporated traditional forms of worship. Protestantism and traditional Maya religions are practiced by an estimated 40% and 1% of the population, respectively.

Though the official language is Spanish, it is not universally understood among the indigenous population. However, the Peace Accords signed in December 1996 provide for the translation of some official documents and voting materials into several indigenous languages (see summary of main substantive accords).

Population: 12,639,939 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 42% (male 2,735,107; female 2,622,412)
15-64 years: 54% (male 3,411,575; female 3,413,932)
65 years and over: 4% (male 213,791; female 243,122) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.63% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 35.05 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 6.92 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.89 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 47.03 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 66.18 years
male: 63.53 years
female: 68.96 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.66 children born/woman (2000 est.)

noun: Guatemalan(s)
adjective: Guatemalan

Ethnic groups: Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish or assimilated Amerindian - in local Spanish called Ladino), approximately 56%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian, approximately 44%

Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs

Languages: Spanish 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (more than 20 Amerindian languages, including Quiché, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 55.6%
male: 62.5%
female: 48.6% (1995 est.)