Key Points

• Guatemala has the third highest adolescent birthrate in Central America—114 births for every 1,000 women aged 15–19 each year.

• Only two-fifths of 20–24-year-old women have completed primary school. The proportion is one in four in rural areas and one in 10 among indigenous women.

• One-half of young women enter into a union (formal or consensual) before their 20th birthday. Three-quarters of those with no schooling do so, compared with one-quarter of those with a primary education or more.

• Forty-four percent of 20–24-year-olds were mothers by age 20; the proportion is highest among young women with no education (68%) and among indigenous women (54%).

• The great majority of 15–19-year-old women in union—83%, with little variation by residence or ethnicity—do not want to have a child in the next two years. However, only 18% are using an effective contraceptive.

• Although 70% of 15–24-year-olds who recently gave birth made at least one prenatal care visit, roughly half of the least educated and of indigenous women made none. Moreover, only half of 15–24-year-old mothers had professional medical care at their most recent delivery; the proportion is even lower among the least educated and indigenous women (one-quarter).