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Guatemala Population by Race

Guatemala has an ethnic, cultural, racial, and linguistically diverse country. Its home to indigenous communities, mestizos, Afro-descendants, and Ladinos, each contributing to Guatemala’s unique social fabric.

The mestizo population, resulting from the blending of Indigenous and European ancestry, constitutes the majority in Guatemala and has played a significant role in shaping the nation’s identity. Indigenous peoples, including Maya, Garifuna, and Xinca, make up a substantial portion of the population and have preserved their distinct languages, customs, and traditions throughout history. 

The Afro-descendant community, with roots in the African slave trade, has contributed to Guatemala’s vibrant music, dance, and culinary traditions. A small percentage of Asians are also part of the Guatemala’s population.

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Guatemala Racial Percentage

According to the 2018 Census conducted by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), 56% of the population is Ladino reflecting mixed indigenous and European heritage. Europeans’ ancestry is mostly from German and Spanish settlers, and others derive from Italians, British, French, Swiss, Belgians, Dutch, Russians, and Danes. 

Indigenous people account for 41.7% of the population. Indigenous are mainly Maya people, namely K’iche’ (11.0% of the total population), Q’eqchi (8.3%), Kaqchikel (7.8%), Mam (5.2%), and “other Maya” (7.6%). 2% of the national population is indigenous non-Maya. Xinka another non-Maya Indigenous accounts for  1.77% of the population.

10% of the population is descended primarily from Black Africans who lived and intermarried with indigenous peoples. Other minor groups include Asians, mostly of Chinese descent, and  also Arabs of Lebanese and Syrian descent

Race & EthnicityPopulation 2018Percentage
Ladino (mixed indigenous and European)8,346,12056.01%
Maya (Indigenous)6,207,50341.66%
Xinka (Non-Maya Indigenous)264,1671.77%
Afro-descendant/ Creole/Afro mestizo27,6470.19%
Garifuna (African and indigenous )19,5290.13%

Source: https://www.censopoblacion.gt 

also read about Religion in Guatemala

Race and Ethnicity in Guatemala 2024