In 2000 the department of Jalapa had an estimated population of 390,500. The majority is ladino, of predominant European decent, with sizable minorities of K'iche' and Pocomam Maya. The main agricultural products are cattle, sorghum, tobacco, onion and maize corn.
Jalapa is also the name of the department capital city. Other municipalities in Jalapa include San Pedro Pinula, San Luis Jilotepeque, San Marcos Chaparrón, San Carlos, Alzatate Monjas, and Mataquescuin.