Area: 163,194 sq. km. (63,037 sq. mi.); slightly larger than
Cities: Capital--Paramaribo (pop. 243,556). Other cities--Nieuw
Terrain: Varies from coastal swamps to savanna to hills.
Nationality: Noun--Surinamer(s). Adjective--Surinamese.
Population (2004 census): 492,829.
Annual growth rate (2004): 1.30%.
Ethnic groups: Hindustani (East Indian) 27%, Creole 18%, Javanese
15%, Maroon 15%, Mixed 12.5%, Amerindians 3.7%, Chinese 1.8%
(percentages from 2004 census).
Religions: Hindu, Muslim, Roman Catholic, Dutch Reformed, Moravian,
several other Christian denominations, Jewish, Baha'i.
Languages: Dutch (official), English, Sranan Tongo (Creole
language), Hindustani, Javanese.
Education: Years compulsory--ages 6-12. Literacy--90%.
Health: Infant mortality rate (2000)--27.1/1,000. Life
expectancy (2003)--71 yrs.
Work force (100,000): Government--35%; private sector--41%;
parastatal companies--10%; unemployed--14%.
Type: Constitutional democracy.
Constitution: September 30, 1987.
Independence: November 25, 1975.
Branches: Executive--president, vice president, Council of
Ministers. Legislative--elected 51-member National Assembly
made up of representatives of political parties. Judicial--Court
Administrative subdivisions: 10 districts.
Political parties: Governing Coalition--National Party of
Suriname (NPS), Progressive Reform Party (VHP), Pertjaja Luhur,
Suriname Workers Party (SPA). Other parties in the National
Assembly--Democratic Alternative '91 (DA 91), Democratic
National Platform (DNP) 2000, Political Wing of the FAL (Federation
of Agricultural Workers), Progressive Workers and Farmers Union (PALU),
National Democratic Party (NDP), Democratic Party (DP), Javanese
Indonesian Peasants Party (KTPI), Independent Progressive Democratic
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
GDP (2004 est.): U.S. $1.885 million.
Annual growth rate real GDP (2004 est.): 4.2%.
Per capita GDP (2004 est.): $4,300.
Natural resources: Bauxite, gold, oil, iron ore, other minerals;
forests; hydroelectric potential; fish and shrimp.
Agriculture: Products--rice, bananas, timber, and citrus
Industry: Types--alumina, oil, fish, shrimp, gold, lumber.
Trade (2001): Exports--$479 million (U.S.$): alumina, wood
and wood products, rice, bananas, fish, and shrimp. Major markets--U.S.
(about 25%), Norway, Netherlands, and other European countries.
Imports--$501 million: capital equipment, petroleum, iron and
steel products, agricultural products, and consumer goods. Major
suppliers--U.S. (about 40%), Netherlands, EU (about 30%), and
Caribbean (CARICOM) countries (20%).