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Suriname

 
Flag of Suriname
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Coordinates:
04.00 N  56.00 W

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Suriname Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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 1990, the military overthrew the civilian government, but a democratically elected government returned to power in 1991.
   Geography    Suriname Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between French Guiana and Guyana
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
4 00 N, 56 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
South America
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 163,270 sq km
land: 161,470 sq km
water: 1,800 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly larger than Georgia
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,707 km
border countries: Brazil 597 km, French Guiana 510 km, Guyana 600 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
386 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; moderated by trade winds
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly rolling hills; narrow coastal plain with swamps
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: unnamed location in the coastal plain -2 m
highest point: Juliana Top 1,230 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
timber, hydropower, fish, kaolin, shrimp, bauxite, gold, and small amounts of nickel, copper, platinum, iron ore
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 0.36%
permanent crops: 0.06%
other: 99.58% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
510 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
deforestation as timber is cut for export; pollution of inland waterways by small-scale mining activities
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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 Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
439,117 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 29% (male 65,412/female 62,069)
15-64 years: 64.7% (male 145,913/female 138,076)
65 years and over: 6.3% (male 12,223/female 15,424) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 26.5 years
male: 26 years
female: 26.9 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.2% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18.02 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.27 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-8.76 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 23.02 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 26.89 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 18.95 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 69.01 years
male: 66.66 years
female: 71.47 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.32 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.7% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5,200 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 500 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Surinamer(s)
adjective: Surinamese
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Hindu 27.4%, Protestant 25.2% (predominantly Moravian), Roman Catholic 22.8%, Muslim 19.6%, indigenous beliefs 5%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
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 Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 88%
male: 92.3%
female: 84.1% (2000 est.)
   Government    Suriname Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Suriname
conventional short form: Suriname
local long form: Republiek Suriname
local short form: Suriname
former: Netherlands Guiana, Dutch Guiana
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional democracy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Paramaribo
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
10 districts (distrikten, singular - distrikt); Brokopondo, Commewijne, Coronie, Marowijne, Nickerie, Para, Paramaribo, Saramacca, Sipaliwini, Wanica
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
25 November 1975 (from Netherlands)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 25 November (1975)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
ratified 30 September 1987
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on Dutch legal system incorporating French penal theory; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN (since 12 August 2000); Vice President Ram SARDJOE (since 3 August 2005); 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 Ram SARDJOE (since 3 August 2005); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president and vice president elected by the National Assembly or, if no presidential or vice presidential candidate receives a two-thirds constitutional majority in the National Assembly after two votes, by a simple majority in the larger United People's Assembly (893 representatives from the national, local, and regional councils), for five-year terms (no term limits); election last held 25 May 2005 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN reelected president; percent of vote - Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN 62.9%, Rabin PARMESSAR 35.4%, other 1.7%; note - after two votes in the parliament failed to secure a two-thirds majority for a candidate, the vote then went to a special session of the United People's Assembly on 3 August 2005
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National Assembly or Nationale Assemblee (51 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 25 May 2005 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - NF 39.73%, NDP 22.2%, VVV 13.79%, A-Com 7.21%, A-1 5.86%, other 7.42%; seats by party - NF 23, NDP 15, VVV 5, A-Com 5, A-1 3
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Cantonal Courts and a Court of Justice as an appellate court (justices are nominated for life)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Alternative-1 or A-1 (a coalition of Amazone Party of Suriname or APS [Kenneth VAN GENDEREN], Democrats of the 21st Century or D-21 [Soewarto MOESTADJA], Nieuw Suriname or NS [Radjen Nanan PANDAY], Political Wing of the FAL or PVF [Jiwan SITAL], Trefpunt 2000 or T-2000 [Arti JESSURUN]); General Interior Development Party or ABOP [Ronnie BRUNSWIJK]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Desire BOUTERSE]; New Front for Democracy and Development or NF (a coalition which includes A-Combination or A-Com [leader NA], Democratic Alternative 1991 or DA-91 which split from the A-1 before the elections of May 2005 and are an independent, business-oriented party [Winston JESSURUN], National Party Suriname or NPS [Ronald VENETIAAN], United Reform Party or VHP [Ram SARDJOE], Pertjaja Luhur or PL [Salam Paul SOMOHARDJO], Surinamese Labor Party or SPA [Siegfried GILDS]); Party for Democracy and Development in Unity or DOE [Marten SCHALKWIJK]; People's Alliance for Progress or VVV (a coalition of Democratic National Platform 2000 or DNP-2000 [Jules WIJDENBOSCH], Grassroots Party for Renewal and Democracy or BVD [Tjan GOBARDHAN], Party for National Unity and Solidarity of the Highest Order or KTPI [Willy SOEMITA], Party for Progression, Justice, and Perseverance or PPRS [Renee KAIMAN], Pendawalima or PL [Raymond SAPOEN]); Progressive Laborers and Farmers Union or PALU [Jim HOK]; Progressive Political Party or PPP [Surinder MUNGRA]; Seeka [Paul ABENA]; Union of Progressive Surinamers or UPS [Sheoradj PANDAY]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Association of Indigenous Village Chiefs [Ricardo PANE]; Association of Saramaccan Authorities or Maroon [Head Captain WASE]; Women's Parliament Forum or PVF [Iris GILLIAD]
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, Caricom, CSN, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDB, IFAD, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITU, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OIC, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Henry Lothar ILLES
chancery: Suite 460, 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 244-7488
FAX: [1] (202) 244-5878
consulate(s) general: Miami
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
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] 472-900
FAX: [597] 425-690
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
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 Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The economy is dominated by the mining industry, which accounts for more than a third of GDP and subjects government revenues to mineral price volatility. 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. Suriname's economic prospects for the medium term will depend on continued 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, in his first term, implemented an austerity program, raised taxes, and attempted to control spending. Economic policies are likely to remain the same during VENETIAAN's second term. Prospects for local onshore oil production are good, as a drilling program is underway. Offshore oil drilling was given a boost in 2004 when the State Oil Company (Staatsolie) signed exploration agreements with Repsol, Mearsk, and Occidental.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2.818 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$1.3 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$4,100 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 13%
industry: 22%
services: 65% (2001)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
156,700 (2004)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 8%
industry: 14%
services: 78%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9.5% (2004)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
70% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9.5% (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $392.6 million
expenditures: $425.9 million (2004)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
paddy rice, bananas, palm kernels, coconuts, plantains, peanuts; beef, chickens; shrimp; forest products
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
bauxite and gold mining, alumina production; oil, lumbering, food processing, fishing
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.5% (1994 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.014 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.873 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
12,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
14,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,370 bbl/day (2003)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,644 bbl/day (2003)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
150 million bbl (2005)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2005)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$881 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
alumina, crude oil, lumber, shrimp and fish, rice, bananas
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Norway 24.8%, Canada 16.4%, US 16.2%, Belgium 9.2%, France 7.8%, UAE 6.8% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$750 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton, consumer goods
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 28.9%, Netherlands 17.4%, Trinidad and Tobago 13.1%, China 6.4%, Japan 5.1%, Brazil 4% (2005)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$504.3 million (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
Netherlands provided $37 million for project and program assistance, European Development Fund $4 million, Belgium $2 million (2003)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Surinam dollar (SRD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Surinamese dollars per US dollar - 2.7317 (2005), Surinamese guilders per US dollar - 2.7336 (2004), 2.6013 (2003), 2.3468 (2002), 2.1785 (2001)
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; in January 2004, the government introduced the Surinamese dollar as replacement for the guilder, tied to a US dollar-dominated currency basket
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Suriname Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
81,300 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
212,800 (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
AM 4, FM 13, shortwave 1 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
3 (plus seven repeaters) (2000)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.sr
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
122 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
30,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Suriname Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
47 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 5
over 3,047 m: 1
under 914 m: 4 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 42
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 36 (2005)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
oil 51 km (2004)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 4,492 km
paved: 1,168 km
unpaved: 3,324 km (2002)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,200 km (most navigable by ships with drafts up to 7 m) (2005)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 1 ships (1000 GRT or over) 1,078 GRT/1,214 DWT
by type: cargo 1 (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Paramaribo
   Military    Suriname Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
National Army (includes small Navy and Air Force elements)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (est.); no conscription
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 111,582
females age 18-49: 103,769 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 77,793
females age 18-49: 72,943 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$7.5 million (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.7% (2003 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Suriname Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
area claimed by French Guiana between Riviere Litani and Riviere Marouini (both headwaters of the Lawa); Suriname claims a triangle of land between the New and Kutari/Koetari rivers in a historic dispute over the headwaters of the Courantyne; Guyana seeks United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) arbitration to resolve the long-standing dispute with Suriname over the axis of the territorial sea boundary in potentially oil-rich waters
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
growing transshipment point for South American drugs destined for Europe via the Netherlands and Brazil; transshipment point for arms-for-drugs dealing

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook