In Spanish, Guatemala City is called Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción which translates to New Guatemala of the Assumption. Nicknames for Guatemala City include “Guate” and “Guatemala”, while the country Guatemala’s nickname is Land of the Eternal Spring for its beauty and warm climate. Guatemala was derived from the native Maya term meaning many trees.
Guatemala City is found in the south-central region of Guatemala. The Central American nation shares land borders with Mexico to its north and west, Belize to its northeast, Honduras to its east and El Salvador to its southeast.
Guatemala City was the site for a Guinness World Record for the longest sawdust carpet stretching over 1.45 miles (2.329 kilometers). Based on Guatemalan traditions, sawdust carpets are featured at Easter celebrations.
Ominously, Guatemala City recorded a homicide rate of 43.48 victims per 100,000 people annually in 2019. That murder rate puts Guatemala City at number 29 among cities not at war and with at least 300,000 residents.
Guatemala City is plagued by sinkholes caused by an underlying geological flooring consisting of weak volcano pumice. In 2010, one of these sinkholes swallowed a house plus a three-floor factory. Other natural risks faced in Guatemala City are earthquakes and air filled with ash from volcanoes.
From an international trade perspective, Guatemala exported US$11.2 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. Guatemala’s most valuable exports are bananas (7.5% of its global total), sugar (6.2%), coffee (5.9%), cardamoms (5.8%), crude palm oil (3.2%),electrical energy (2.3%), ferro-nickel (2.2%), knitted or crocheted cotton jerseys, pullovers and coats (1.9%) then drugs or medicines (1.7%) according to the International Trade Center.
Capital Facts for Guatemala City, Guatemala: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: National Palace (Palacio Nacional), Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana) and the Reformador Tower (Torre del Reformador)
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
- Jimmy Morales, president & former comic actor (born Mar. 18, 1969)
- Álvaro Arzú, former president (born Mar. 14, 1946)
- Gaby Moreno, singer-songwriter & guitarist (born Dec. 16, 1981)
- Marco Pappa, soccer player & footballer (born Nov. 15, 1987)
- Gloria Álvarez, political commentator & talk show host (born Mar. 9, 1985)
- Alejandro Maldonado, former acting president (born Jan. 6, 1936)
- Ted Hendricks, former NFL linebacker (born Nov. 1, 1947)
- Soluna Samay, singer-songwriter (born Aug. 27, 1990)
- Roxana Baldetti, former vice-president (born May 13, 1962)
- Regina José Galindo, body art performer (born Aug. 27, 1974)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches mostly targeting published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a Guatemala resident: Guatemalan
Population: 2,934,900 (Guatemala City) at July 6, 2020
Density: 15,899 people per square mile (6,140 per square kilometer)
Population: 17,921,000 (Guatemala) at July 6, 2020
Density: 433 people per square mile (167 per square kilometer)
Median age for all Guatemalans: 22.9 years old
GDP: US$153.3 billion for 2019 (Guatemala)
GDP per person: $8,705
Note: The above country-level GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars. Credible city GDP statistics for Guatemala City were unavailable.
Official currency used in Guatemala City: Guatemalan quetzal
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data). Accessed on February 13, 2017
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Central America and the Caribbean: Guatemala. Accessed on February 13, 2017
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas. Accessed on February 13, 2017
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition. Accessed on February 13, 2017
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition. Accessed on February 13, 2017
Guinness World Records, Longest sawdust carpet. Accessed on February 13, 2017
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on February 13, 2017
Official Government Website, Municipality of Guatemala City. Accessed on February 13, 2017
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags. Accessed on February 13, 2017
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Guatemala City. Accessed on February 13, 2017
Wikipedia, Guatemala City metropolitan area. Accessed on February 13, 2017
Wikipedia, Guatemala. Accessed on February 13, 2017
Wikipedia, List of cities by murder rate.
WorldOMeter, Guatelmala Population.
Guatemala won its freedom from Spain on September 15, 1821. Guatemalans celebrate Independence Day as a public holiday each September 15.
Guatemala City and plus seven surrounding municipalities (Amatitlán, Chinautla, Mixco, San Miguel Petapa, Santa Catarina Pinula, Villa Canales and Villa Nueva) encompass 184.6 miles (478 square kilometers). That land area’s population count was 2.9 million people on article publication date.
At the country level, Guatemala’s land area covers 41,375 square miles (107,160 square kilometers). The national population count was 17.9 million inhabitants at July 6, 2020.
Population density is concentrated within the Guatemala City land mass via an average 15,899 residents per square mile (6,140 per square kilometer).
Zooming out to Guatemala’s national land boundaries, population density dilutes to an average 433 inhabitants per square mile (167 per square kilometer).