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Suriname-CIA WFB Map (2004).png
 
Introduction Suriname
Background: Independence from the Netherlands was granted in 1975. Five years later the civilian government was replaced by a military regime that soon declared a socialist republic. It continued to rule through a succession of nominally civilian administrations until 1987, when international pressure finally forced a democratic election. In 1989, the military overthrew the civilian government, but a democratically-elected government returned to power in 1991.
 
Geography Suriname
Location: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between French Guiana and Guyana
Geographic coordinates: 4 00 N, 56 00 W
Map references: South America
Area: total: 163,270 sq km
water: 1,800 sq km
land: 161,470 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly larger than Georgia
Land boundaries: total: 1,707 km
border countries: Brazil 597 km, French Guiana 510 km, Guyana 600 km
Coastline: 386 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical; moderated by trade winds
Terrain: mostly rolling hills; narrow coastal plain with swamps
Elevation extremes: lowest point: unnamed location in the coastal plain -2 m
highest point: Juliana Top 1,230 m
Natural resources: timber, hydropower, fish, kaolin, shrimp, bauxite, gold, and small amounts of nickel, copper, platinum, iron ore
Land use: arable land: 0.37%
permanent crops: 0.06%
other: 99.57% (2001)
Irrigated land: 490 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: NA
Environment - current issues: deforestation as timber is cut for export; pollution of inland waterways by small-scale mining activities
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: smallest independent country on South American continent; mostly tropical rain forest; great diversity of flora and fauna that, for the most part, is increasingly threatened by new development; relatively small population, mostly along the coast
 
People Suriname
Population: 436,935 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 30.2% (male 67,588; female 64,223)
15-64 years: 63.7% (male 142,656; female 135,819)
65 years and over: 6.1% (male 11,914; female 14,735) (2004 est.)
Median age: total: 25.8 years
male: 25.4 years
female: 26.3 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.31% (2004 est.)
Birth rate: 18.87 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate: 6.99 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate: -8.81 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 24.15 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 19.85 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
male: 28.24 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 69.1 years
male: 66.77 years
female: 71.55 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.37 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.2% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 3,700 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 500 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Surinamer(s)
adjective: Surinamese
Ethnic groups: Hindustani (also known locally as "East Indians"; their ancestors emigrated from northern India in the latter part of the 19th century) 37%, Creole (mixed white and black) 31%, Javanese 15%, "Maroons" (their African ancestors were brought to the country in the 17th and 18th centuries as slaves and escaped to the interior) 10%, Amerindian 2%, Chinese 2%, white 1%, other 2%
Religions: Hindu 27.4%, Muslim 19.6%, Roman Catholic 22.8%, Protestant 25.2% (predominantly Moravian), indigenous beliefs 5%
Languages: Dutch (official), English (widely spoken), Sranang Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes called Taki-Taki, is native language of Creoles and much of the younger population and is lingua franca among others), Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93%
male: 95%
female: 91% (1995 est.)
 
Government Suriname
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Suriname
conventional short form: Suriname
local short form: Suriname
former: Netherlands Guiana, Dutch Guiana
local long form: Republiek Suriname
Government type: constitutional democracy
Capital: Paramaribo
Administrative divisions: 10 districts (distrikten, singular - distrikt); Brokopondo, Commewijne, Coronie, Marowijne, Nickerie, Para, Paramaribo, Saramacca, Sipaliwini, Wanica
Independence: 25 November 1975 (from Netherlands)
National holiday: Independence Day, 25 November (1975)
Constitution: ratified 30 September 1987
Legal system: based on Dutch legal system incorporating French penal theory
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN (since 12 August 2000); Vice President Jules Rattankoemar AJODHIA (since 12 August 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN (since 12 August 2000); Vice President Jules Rattankoemar AJODHIA (since 12 August 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly
elections: president and vice president elected by the National Assembly or, if no presidential or vice presidential candidate receives a constitutional majority in the National Assembly after two votes, by the larger People's Assembly (869 representatives from the national, local, and regional councils), for five-year terms; election last held 6 May 2000 (next to be held NA May 2005)
election results: Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN elected president by the National Assembly; percent of legislative vote - Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN 72.5%; Rashied DOEKHIE (NDP) 19.6%; total votes cast - Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN (New Front) 37 votes, Rashied DOEKHIE (NDP) 10 votes
note: widespread demonstrations during the summer of 1999 led to the call for elections a year early
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Nationale Assemblee (51 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NF 33, MC 10, DNP 2000 3, DA '91 2, PVF 2, PALU 1
note: widespread demonstrations during the summer of 1999 led to the call for elections a year early
elections: last held 5 May 2000 (next to be held NA May 2005)
Judicial branch: Court of Justice (justices are nominated for life)
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Alternative '91 or DA '91 (a coalition of the Alternative Forum or AF and Party for Brotherhood and Unity in Politics or BEP, formed in January 1991) [Winston JESSURUN]; Democratic National Platform 2000 or DNP 2000 (coalition of two parties, Democratic Party and Democrats of the 21st Century) [Jules WIJDENBOSCH]; Independent Progressive Democratic Alternative or OPDA [Joginder RAMKHILAWAN]; Millennium Combination or MC (a coalition of three parties, Democratic Alternative, Party for National Unity and Solidarity, and National Democratic Party) [leader NA]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Desire BOUTERSE]; Naya Kadam or NK [leader NA]; Party for Renewal and Democracy or BVD [Tjan GOBARDHAN]; Party of National Unity and Solidarity or KTPI [Willy SOEMITA]; Pertjaja Luhur [Paul SOMOHARDJO]; Progressive Workers' and Farm Laborers' Union or PALU [Ir Iwan KROLIS]; The New Front or NF (a coalition of four parties Suriname National Party or NPS, Progressive Reform Party or VHP, Suriname Labor Party or SPA, and Pertjaja Luhur) [Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN]; The Progressive Development Alliance (a combination of three parties, Renewed Progressive Party or HPP, Party of the Federation of Land Workers or PVF, and Suriname Progressive People's Party or PSV) [Harry KISOENSINGH]
Political pressure groups and leaders: General Liberation and Development Party or ABOP [Ronnie BRUNSWIJK]; Mandela Bushnegro Liberation Movement [Leendert ADAMS]; Tucayana Amazonica [Alex JUBITANA, Thomas SABAJO]; Union for Liberation and Democracy [Kofi AFONGPONG]
International organization participation: ACP, Caricom, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDB, IFAD, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OIC, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Henry Lothar ILLES
FAX: [1] (202) 244-5878
consulate(s) general: Miami
telephone: [1] (202) 244-7488
chancery: Suite 460, 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Marsha E. BARNES
embassy: Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat 129, Paramaribo
mailing address: Department of State, 3390 Paramaribo Place, Washington, DC, 20521-3390
telephone: [597] 472900
FAX: [597] 420800
Flag description: five horizontal bands of green (top, double width), white, red (quadruple width), white, and green (double width); there is a large, yellow, five-pointed star centered in the red band
 
Economy Suriname
Economy - overview: The economy is dominated by the bauxite industry, which accounts for more than 15% of GDP and 70% of export earnings. Suriname's economic prospects for the medium term will depend on renewed commitment to responsible monetary and fiscal policies and to the introduction of structural reforms to liberalize markets and promote competition. The government of Ronald VENETIAAN has begun an austerity program, raised taxes, and attempted to control spending. However, in 2002, President VENETIAAN agreed to a large pay raise for civil servants, which threatens his earlier gains in stabilizing the economy. The Dutch Government has agreed to restart the aid flow, which will allow Suriname to access international development financing. The short-term economic outlook depends on the government's ability to control inflation and on the development of projects in the bauxite and gold mining sectors.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.752 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,000 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 13%
industry: 22%
services: 65% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line: 70% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 17% (2002 est.)
Labor force: 100,000
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture NA, industry NA, services NA
Unemployment rate: 17% (2000)
Budget: revenues: $393 million
expenditures: $403 million, including capital expenditures of $34 million (1997 est.)
Agriculture - products: paddy rice, bananas, palm kernels, coconuts, plantains, peanuts; beef, chickens; forest products; shrimp
Industries: bauxite and gold mining, alumina production, oil, lumbering, food processing, fishing
Industrial production growth rate: 6.5% (1994 est.)
Electricity - production: 1.959 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 1.822 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production: 10,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption: 10,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports: NA (2001)
Oil - imports: NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves: 37 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2002)
Exports: $495 million f.o.b. (2002)
Exports - commodities: alumina, crude oil, lumber, shrimp and fish, rice, bananas
Exports - partners: US 23.3%, Norway 18.4%, Belgium 12.5%, France 10.1%, Trinidad and Tobago 7.1%, Iceland 4.7%, Italy 4.3%, Netherlands 4.2% (2003)
Imports: $604 million f.o.b. (2002)
Imports - commodities: capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton, consumer goods
Imports - partners: US 31.5%, Netherlands 18.2%, Trinidad and Tobago 12.5%, China 6.8%, Japan 6.4% (2003)
Debt - external: $321 million (2002 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: Netherlands provided $37 million for project and program assistance, European Development Fund $4 million, Belgium $2 million (1998)
Currency: Surinamese guilder (SRG)
Currency code: SRG
Exchange rates: Surinamese guilders per US dollar - NA (2003), 2,346.75 (2002), 2,178.5 (2001), 1,322.47 (2000), 859.437 (1999)
note: during 1998, the exchange rate splintered into four distinct rates; in January 1999 the government floated the guilder, but subsequently fixed it when the black-market rate plunged; the government currently allows trading within a band of SRG 500 around the official rate
Fiscal year: calendar year
 
Communications Suriname
Telephones - main lines in use: 79,800 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 168,100 (2003)
Telephone system: general assessment: international facilities are good
domestic: microwave radio relay network
international: country code - 597; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 13, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios: 300,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 3 (plus seven repeaters) (2000)
Televisions: 63,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .sr
Internet hosts: 18 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 2 (2000)
Internet users: 20,000 (2002)
 
Transportation Suriname
Highways: total: 4,492 km
paved: 1,168 km
unpaved: 3,324 km (2000)
Waterways: 1,200 km (most navigable by ships with drafts up to 7 m) (2003)
Pipelines: oil 51 km (2004)
Ports and harbors: Albina, Moengo, New Nickerie, Paramaribo, Paranam, Wageningen
Merchant marine: total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 2,421 GRT/2,990 DWT
by type: cargo 1, container 1 (2004 est.)
Airports: 46 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 5
over 3,047 m: 1
under 914 m: 4 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 41
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 35 (2004 est.)
 
Military Suriname
Military branches: National Army (includes small Navy and Air Force elements)
Military manpower - military age and obligation: 18 years of age (est.); no conscription
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 124,260 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 72,576 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $7.5 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 0.7% (2003)
This page was last updated on 1 January 2003



This is a snapshot of the CIA World Fact Book as it existed on 26 March 2005