Urban Guatemala Demographic Analysis

Older age groups are on par with young adults in use of and access to television and radio but fall behind in terms of internet use and access.

Young adults (here defined as those 16-29) are the most important age group in terms of media and communications use and access in urban Guatemala. Below is a snapshot of their media and communication habits.

Household Access

Television and radio access are near universal for all age groups in urban Guatemala. Cable television is most accessible to the young and middle-aged populations. Landline phones seem to be a fading trend; older respondents are more likely to have it and household access reduces as one’s age does.

Chart 1


On the other hand, mobile phones are far more common with younger and middle aged respondents, and access rates fall substantially as age increases, as can be seen in chart 2. The same can be said for MP3 players and i-Pods.

Chart 2


Household access to computers and internet connections and sophisticated phones such as Blackberries and i-Phones is still very rare across all age groups, with the oldest respondents being particularly disadvantaged.

General Frequency of Use

Chart 3


The number of people using ICTs (mobile phones and the internet) on a frequent basis declines with age, as can be seen in chart 3. The same can be said for newspapers.

Similarly, when weekly sources of news are examined, we also see this use decreasing with age (in Chart 4).

Chart 4


Internet Activities

Internet use was dominated by those 15-29 and 30-44. The older age groups did not have adequate access for further statistical analysis (possibly due to lack of technical literacy or expense).

Chart 5


As far as access points are concerned, young adults are more likely to access the web at internet cafés, whereas older respondents are more likely to have web access at the work place and at home (chart 5).

See Chart 6 and 7 for a breakdown of internet activities for both age groups. Although only 27 percent of those 30-44 are internet users, a larger proportion of them are likely to access audio content and YouTube videos as compared to young adults, who are more likely to play games online and listen/watch podcasts. They are also more likely to access social networking websites.

Chart 6


Financial transactions on the web are more common for middle age Guatemalans, possibly as they may have higher disposable incomes.

Chart 7


Blogging was common for both age groups. However since the sample size of internet users who were 30-44 was so small; we could not significantly say what kind of blogs appealed to them. For young adults, news blogs were most popular (chart 8)

Chart 8


As table 1 shows, social networking websites (especially Hi5) are overwhelmingly accessed in greater proportions by younger respondents. Middle aged respondents are more likely to access Guatemalan websites, such as web portals of national newspapers and television channels. The popular international search engines such as Google and Yahoo are the most surfed websites and they are popular with both age groups.

Mobile Phone Activities

Chart 9

Chart 10


Eighty eight percent of urban young adults and 87% percent well as those 30-44 in Guatemala use mobile phones at least once a month, making them the biggest overall users of any age group. However, charts 9 and 10 show that young adults are far more likely to usee more non-voice activities such as accessing the internet on their cell phones, downloading videos, listening to the radio and almost every other activity as shown.

Of those respondents who did not have internet access on their mobile phones, close to half in the youngest three 3 age groups said that their device was not advanced enough to be internet enabled. In addition, close to 15 percent of all age groups also said the web service was too expensive. However, what is more worrying is that 22 percent of young adults (the highest proportion than any other age group) said that they were not interested in the service.

Chart 11

In particular, FM frequency is the most popular for all age groups. Convergence of mediums through activities such as listening to the radio on the internet, which is becoming more common in nations with greater connectivity, is yet to become very popular in urban Guatemala. On the other hand, stations on the MW/AM frequency are more popular with older age groups.