Bringing Prosperity to Life


Ranked 86th of 149

At a glance


86 th on the Legatum
Prosperity Index™



In the Prosperity Sub-Index rankings, Guatemala performs best on Natural Environment and Social Capital and scores lowest on the Safety & Security sub-index.

Visit our Rankings table to see how Guatemala compares to other countries.

Prosperity Gap

The ‘Prosperity Gap’ takes a country's GDP and uses it as the yardstick to measure a nation's expected Prosperity Index ranking.

Despite limits on the country’s prosperity, Guatemala delivers about as much prosperity as you’d expect given its wealth, and has done since 2007.

In the chart above, each dot represents a country. The curve shows the general tendency with which prosperity increases as GDP per capita increases. If a country falls below the curve, then we can say that compared to all other countries, it is under-delivering prosperity for its citizens. Likewise, if a country rises above the curve, then we can say that it is over-delivering prosperity for its citizens. Learn more about the Prosperity Gap here.

Alternatively, have a look at the Prosperity Gap view on our Rankings table for a full list of countries and to see how each of them are performing on the various sub-indices.


A country with a bloody modern history that includes an almost 40-year civil war in which thousands of soldiers and civilians (including those from native Mayan populations) were killed, Guatemala has come a fair way to forgive but almost certainly never forget a war whose end, brought about by a UN Peace Agreement, commemorated its 20th anniversary this year.

Economically, Guatemala has done its best to improve the environment in which business can grow and the economy can flourish, but practical economic improvements are yet to be seen. Whilst Guatemala has improved its logistics, labour market flexibility, and telecommunications infrastructure, satisfaction with living standards has fallen. Unusually too, this improving business environment has not delivered much economic prosperity. Poverty rates are climbing at the national line and also, albeit less so, at the absolute line of poverty ($1.90 a day). However, other than these figures (which are not to be discounted), many variables in Economic Quality are improving, such as an overall increase in the labour force participation rate, including that of women too.

Guatemala’s global ranking (1 best to 149 worst) in Governance, Education, and Health.
Guatemala has seen a slide in its overall prosperity global rank, largely due to declining Governance, Education, and Health.

As Economic Quality is struggling, so too is Governance, Education, and Health, all of which are vital components of a prosperous society. All three sub-indices rank below 100th. Governance has declined ten ranks due to a drop in the perceptions of honesty and trust in national government and national elections, worsening corruption, and weaker judicial independence. Health suffers a 23 rank fall, as immunisation rates and health satisfaction fall.

Finally, Education has slid marginally from 109th to 110th. Guatemala is one of the only countries in the region to see a decline in both youth and adult literacy, the latter of which has fallen from 91% in 2007 to 78% in 2016. Additionally, years of tertiary schooling per worker is now 0%, a severe limitation on economic and prosperity growth.

Ways to make a change

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How to read this graph:
When comparing multiple countries on a spider chart, data points that appear
further away from the center represent a better performance to the points that are closer to the center.