Guatemala is a country in Central America which received its independence in 1821 from the colonial presence of the Spanish Empire. Guatemala borders El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Belize by land. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the south, and covers an area of 108,889 square kilometers. It is one of the most populous countries in Central America. Before Spain conquered Guatemala in the 16th Century, the country was home to the Mayan people. The Maya were prosperous and built cities, pyramids, and palaces, the ruins of which remains to this today. Different Mayan ethnic groups make up a minority of Guatemala’s population today. The largest ethnicity in Guatemala is the Mestizos, who are of mixture of Spanish and Amerindian ancestry. Amerindians make up the second largest ethnicity at an estimated 41%, the biggest Amerindian population in Central America. The largest cities in Guatemala, according to population size, include Ciudad de Guatemala,Villa Nueva, Mixico, and Petapa, among others.
The Biggest Cities In Guatemala
Ciudad de Guatemala
Ciudad de Guatemala, also known as Guatemala City, is the capital city of Guatemala. It is also the most populous city in all of Central America with a population of 0.99 million people as per 2015 statistics. It was established in 1776 after an earthquake destroyed the then capital city, Antigua Guatemala. The city was also hit by an earthquake in 1917 and 1918, after which it was rebuilt using modern architecture.
Today’s Guatemala City is a mixture of traditional and modern influences spread out across a lush valley. It is an economic center, complete with most of the country’s industries, banks, and government offices. The city also boasts modern transport infrastructure such as rail, highways, and La Aurora International Airport. Guatemala City’s economy has in part, relied on tourism. It is a historical city, boasting Mayan medieval architecture. Its famous volcanoes, such as Pacaya Volcano are also major tourist attractions. Industries in Guatemala City, which are nearly half of all Guatemala industries, employ a large number of its population.
Villa Nueva is the second most populous Guatemalan city, housing a population of 0.48 million in 2015. The city is located 14.9 kilometers from Guatemala City and nears the regions of Villa Canales, Mixco, and Petapa. The population largely relies on Villa Nueva’s industries, mainly metallurgy, textiles, and plastics. The agricultural sector also provides employment to some of its people and contributes to the city’s economy. Agricultural produce includes rice, vegetables, and dairy produce.
Mixco city had a population of 0.47 million people as of 2015, making it the third most populous Guatemalan city. It is located near Guatemala City and is part of the Capital City’s Metropolitan. Mixco is linked to the capital city through bridges because of the presence of canyons which separate the two cities. The city enjoys relatively constant temperature through the year. The city is a bustling tourism hub mainly because of the remains of the Mayan civilizations. Structures such as temples, pyramids, and ball courts are now protected ruins and serve as a source of income for the city through tourism.
The city of Petapa has an elevation of 1,229 meters (4023.1 feet) above sea level, and had a population of 0.18 million people in 2015. It is the fourth largest city in the country, and lies near the regions of Villa Nueva, Mixco, and Amatitlan. It is a municipal area in the larger Guatemala department. The economy of Petapa mainly relies on agriculture and its industries.
Population Trends For Guatemala's Future
Other significantly populated cities in Guatemala, according to 2015 statistics, include Quetzalaltenango and its 0.15 million residents, followed by San Juan Sakcatepequez (0.13 million), Chimaltenango (0.12), Escuintla (0.12 million), Villa Canales (0.11 million), and Chinautla (0.11 million). The birth rate in Guatemala has been decreasing in the recent years due to access to family planning. However, Guatemala boasts of a large relatively young demographic and its population is set to increase steadily, reaching an estimated 18.06 in the year 2020.