Country Choice Interview

Sample Stats Essay

By Sally Sample  |  Quarter 1 Social Studies 2011  |  Mr. Coyle's


Guatemala is a beautiful country with a rich history.  The land, like the US/North America had inhabitants thousands of years before becoming an independent country in the 1800’s.   Guatemala and the United States are both in the “Americas.”  Guatemala is part of central America and the United States is part of North America.  There are  similarities and differences in regards to their size, population, climate, geography, culture, and people

Size & Population
Guatemala is a relatively small country located in Central America. Its area is about 42,042 square miles; its population is about 13, 550,440 people, which leaves it with a population density of about 291 people per square mile. The United States of America is a large country located in North America. The area of the US is about 3,794,100 square miles; its population is about 298,444,215, which gives it a population density of about 81.2 people per square mile.  The capital of Guatemala is Guatemala City, which happens to be the most populated city in Guatemala (994,938 people). The second and third most populated cities are Mixco (473,080 people) and Villa Nueva (406,830 people). The capital of the US is Washington DC, but that is not one of the most populated cities. The three most populated cities in the US are New York  (8,391,881 people), Los Angeles (3,831,868 people), and Chicago (2,851,268 people).

Climate & Geography
     Guatemala’s climate is tropical, hot, and humid. The highest average temperature in Guatemala is 84 degrees Fahrenheit, which occurred in the month of May. The lowest average temperature is 52 degrees Fahrenheit, which occurred in the month of January. The US’s climate varies depending on your location but it is mostly temperate. The highest temperature that occurred in the US is 134 degrees Fahrenheit, which happened in California in the month of July. The lowest temperature was negative 80 degrees, which happened in Alaska in January.  The highest elevation in Guatemala is that of the volcano named Tajumulco, which has an elevation of 13,845 feet. The lowest elevation is the level of the Pacific Ocean which has an elevation of 0 feet. The major landforms in Guatemala consist of 32 volcanos including Tajumulco, Santa Maria (12,375 ft) and Chiquibal (9,514 ft). The largest bodies of water in or around Guatemala include the Gulf of Honduras, the Caribbean Sea, the Pacific Ocean, and Lake Izabal. The highest elevation in the US is that of Mt. McKinley at an elevation of 20,335 feet. The lowest elevation lies at the deepest point in the Death Valley, which has an elevation of -282 feet. The major landforms in the US are the Appalachian, Rocky, and Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges; the Grand Canyon, the Death Valley, the Great Plains, and the Chihuahuan, Great Basin, the Mojave, and the Sonoran deserts. The largest bodies of water in or around the US are the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; and Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario.

Culture, People and Government
     The education system in both the US and Guatemala are very similar. Both systems include primary, secondary, and university levels as well as the minimum of 12 years of schooling at a public, private or home school before being able to attend a university. The literacy rate in Guatemala is 79% in the male population, 68% in the female population, and 69 % in the total population. The literacy rate for the US is much higher at 99% for male, 99% for female, and 99% for the total population.
     The life expectancy in Guatemala is fairly high. For females, the life expectancy is 74 years old. For males it is 67 years old. The infant mortality rate in Guatemala is 28 deaths to 1,000 live births. In the US, the life expectancy numbers are slightly higher. For females, it is 80 years old. For males it is 75. The infant mortality rate is significantly lower in the US with 6.2 deaths to 1,000 live births.  The main languages in Guatemala are Spanish (60% of the population), and various Amerindian languages (40% of the population).  The main religions are Roman Catholic, Protestant, and indigenous Mayan beliefs. The main languages in the US are English (82.1 %), Spanish (10.7 %), Indo-European (3.8 %), Asian and Pacific Island (2.7 %), and other (0.7 %).  The major religions in the US are Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Mormon.  Guatemala’s government is a constitutional democratic republic, which is a similar system to that of the US, in which there are 3 branches of government and all laws are based on a document such as the Constitution. The US government system is a constitution-based federal republic with strong democratic tradition.

    Guatemala is in some situations similar and very different to the US. In any case, both countries are wonderful places to live in and any inhabitants of either country should be proud.


"CIA - The World Factbook."
Welcome to the CIA Web Site — Central Intelligence Agency. Web. 17 Oct. 2010.

"Republic of Guatemala."
CultureGrams Online Database: Subscriber Area Only. Web. 17 Oct. 2010.

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