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  • Population: 12,728,111 (July 2007)
  • Birth Rate: 29.09 births/1,000 population
  • Death Rate: 5.27 deaths/1,000 population
  • Infant Mortality Rate total: 29.77 deaths/1,000 live births
  • Population below poverty line: 56.2% (2004)
  • Est. # people living with HIV/AIDS: 61,000; 0.9% adult (15-49) prevalence rate (2005)
  • Unemployment rate: 3.2% (2005)
  • Literacy Rate (age 15 + can read & write): 69.1% total population
  • Estimated 370,000 children (0-17) orphaned (2005)
  • Type of Government: Representative democracy
  • Language(s): Spanish (60%); Amerindian languages (40%)
  • Religion: Roman Catholic, Protestant, and indigenous Mayan beliefs
  • Guatemala is located in Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Mexico, and bordering the Caribbean Sea between Honduras and Belize.
  • UNICEF estimates that there are more than 370,000 orphans in Guatemala and at least 5,000 children live on the streets of the capital, abandoned by mothers who are too poor to keep them.
  • Only 24 percent of the population attends Secondary school (1996-2005).
  • Only 58 percent of municipalities have a secondary school.
  • Five out of 10 students who enter primary school in urban areas complete primary school, as opposed to only two out of 10 in rural areas.
  • Some 67 percent of indigenous children suffer from chronic malnutrition.
  • 27 percent of all children under 5 are underweight.
  • The distribution of income remains highly unequal with about 56% of the population below the poverty line.
  • The indigenous population, the Maya, make up about half of the population. Mayan languages are spoken alongside Spanish, the official tongue. Many Guatemalans are of mixed Amerindian-Hispanic origin.
  • Guatemalans live in one of the most inequitable societies in the region. Poverty is particularly widespread in the countryside and among indigenous communities. Illiteracy, infant mortality and malnutrition are among the highest in the region, life expectancy is among the lowest and, in common with many of its neighbors, the country is plagued by organized crime and violent street gangs.