State type
Type of government
Republicano democrático representativo
Administrative Division

National Level

Gobierno Central

Intermediate/Regional Level

Regiones 8

Departamentos 22

Local Level

Municipios 340

Official names of subnational and local governments

Para el ordenamiento territorial y el funcionamiento de los Consejos Regionales de Desarrollo Urbano y Rural, se establecen regiones, las cuales deben integrarse preferentemente en razón de la inter-relación entre centros urbanos y potencial de desarrollo del territorio circundante. ...

Art. 3

National Urban Policy

  • The updated National Housing and Human Settlements Policy, with a 2032 horizon, is the guiding and articulating instrument for the sector's interventions to achieve impacts that increase access to decent, safe and healthy housing for families living in poverty. Stopping and reducing the housing deficit is a State issue, which needs to articulate the sector, develop mechanisms to implement the Housing Law 09-2012 and other instruments such as the National Development Plan, the Country Strategic Results and the Sustainable Development Goals. In its essence, the PNVAH 2020-2032 is integrated by 7 objectives, 9 strategic goals, 6 public policy guidelines, 5 axes and 10 program proposals, all to achieve 1 strategic result that indicates that "by 2032, the housing needs of 635 thousand Guatemalan families in conditions of poverty and extreme poverty will have been met".

    National urban policy type:
    Partial - Housing and Habitat Policy
    Policy temporality:
  • Guatemala is a unitary presidential republic territorially divided into departments and municipalities; however, only the municipalities are constitutionally recognized as a subnational government. The departments, which are grouped into regions, are deconcentrated institutions whose authorities are appointed by the central government.

    Guatemala initiated a decentralization process in 2002 which emphasized municipal autonomy, which is constitutionally recognized, especially in administrative matters and the rights of indigenous peoples. Currently, the municipalities continue to depend heavily on transfers from the central government, which represent the greatest income, followed by their own tax revenues, the most important of which is the single tax on real estate.

  • Land use planning in Guatemala takes place at different levels through the National, Regional and Municipal Urban and Rural Development Councils.  Land use planning in the country is traditionally oriented to municipal management. Municipalities have land use and urban planning instruments, such as Regulatory Plans and Land Use Plans. From a national perspective, the National Development Plan: K'atun, Our Guatemala 2032 is an important step forward in this area: it attempts to address the notions of land use and urban planning, which is reflected in the following national public policies.