Suriname Population: 597,927


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First explored by the Spaniards in the 16th century and then settled by the English in the mid-17th century, Suriname became a Dutch colony in 1667. With the abolition of African slavery in 1863, workers were brought in from India and Java. The Netherlands granted the colony independence in 1975. Five years later the civilian government was replaced by a military regime that soon declared Suriname a socialist republic. It continued to exert control through a succession of nominally civilian administrations until 1987, when international pressure finally forced a democratic election. In 1990, the military overthrew the civilian leadership, but a democratically elected government - a four-party coalition - returned to power in 1991. The coalition expanded to eight parties in 2005 and ruled until August 2010, when voters returned former military leader Desire BOUTERSE and his opposition coalition to power. President BOUTERSE was reelected unopposed in 2015.

    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
Location: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between French Guiana and Guyana
Geographic coordinates: 4 00 N, 56 00 W
Area: total: 163,820 sq km
land: 156,000 sq km
water: 7,820 sq km

Size comparison: slightly larger than Georgia
Land Boundaries: total: 1,907 km border countries (3): Brazil 515 km, French Guiana 556 km, Guyana 836 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
Natural resources: timber, hydropower, fish, kaolin, shrimp, bauxite, gold, and small amounts of nickel, copper, platinum, iron ore
Land use: agricultural land: 0.5% (2011 est.) arable land: 0.4% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 0.1% (2011 est.) forest: 94.6% (2011 est.)
other: 4.9% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 570 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: flooding
Current Environment Issues: deforestation as timber is cut for export; pollution of inland waterways by small-scale mining activities
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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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) 27.4%, "Maroon" (their African ancestors were brought to the country in the 17th and 18th centuries as slaves and escaped to the interior) 21.7%, Creole (mixed white and black) 15.7%, Javanese 13.7%, mixed 13.4%, other 7.6%, unspecified 0.6% (2012 est.)
Languages: Dutch (official), English (widely spoken), Sranang Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes called Taki-Taki, is the native language of Creoles and much of the younger population and is lingua franca among others), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese
Religions: Protestant 23.6% (includes Evangelical 11.2%, Moravian 11.2%, Reformed .7%, Lutheran .5%), Hindu 22.3%, Roman Catholic 21.6%, Muslim 13.8%, other Christian 3.2%, Winti 1.8%, Jehovah's Witness 1.2%, other 1.7%, none 7.5%, unspecified 3.2% (2012 est.)
Population: 597,927 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 24.11% (male 73,466 /female 70,704)
15-24 years: 17.36% (male 52,876 /female 50,913)
25-54 years: 44.42% (male 135,282 /female 130,327)
55-64 years: 7.94% (male 23,377 /female 24,085)
65 years and over: 6.17% (male 16,019 /female 20,878) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 50.7 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 40.6 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 10.1 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 9.9 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 30.2 years
male: 29.8 years
female: 30.6 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 1% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 15.6 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 66.1% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 0.9% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 239,000 PARAMARIBO (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 155 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 23.7 deaths/1,000 live births male: 27.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 19.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 72.8 years male: 70.3 years
female: 75.3 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.9 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 47.6% (2010)
Physicians density: 1.23 physicians/1,000 population (2018)
Hospital bed density: 3.1 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 98.1% of population
rural: 88.4% of population
total: 94.8% of population

urban: 1.9% of population
rural: 11.6% of population
total: 5.2% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 88.4% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 61.4% of population (2015 est.)
total: 79.2% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 11.6% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 38.6% of population (2015 est.)
total: 20.8% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.3% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 4,800 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: <200 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 26.4% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 6.4% (2010)
Education expenditures: n/a
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 95.6%
male: 96.1%
female: 95% (2015 est.) Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 13.4% male: 9% female: 21.9% (2015 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Suriname
conventional short form: Suriname
local long form: Republiek Suriname
local short form: Suriname
former: Netherlands Guiana, Dutch Guiana
etymology: name may derive from the indigenous "Surinen" people who inhabited the area at the time of European contact
Government type: presidential republic
Capital: name: Paramaribo
geographic coordinates: 5 50 N, 55 10 W
time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 10 districts (distrikten, singular - distrikt); Brokopondo, Commewijne, Coronie, Marowijne, Nickerie, Para, Paramaribo, Saramacca, Sipaliwini, Wanica
Independence: 25 November 1975 (from the Netherlands)
National holiday: Independence Day, 25 November (1975)
Constitution: history: previous 1975; latest ratified 30 September 1987, effective 30 October 1987 amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the total membership; amended 1992 (2018)
Legal system: civil law system influenced by Dutch civil law; note - the Commissie Nieuw Surinaamse Burgerlijk Wetboek completed drafting a new civil code in February 2009
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Desire Delano BOUTERSE (since 12 August 2010); Vice President Ashwin ADHIN (since 12 August 2015); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Desire Delano BOUTERSE (since 12 August 2010); Vice President Ashwin ADHIN (since 12 August 2015)

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected by the National Assembly; president and vice president serve a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 25 May 2015 (next to be held in May 2020)

election results: Desire Delano BOUTERSE reelected president unopposed; National Assembly vote - NA
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Assembly or Nationale Assemblee (51 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by party-list proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 25 May 2015 (next to be held in May 2020)

election results: percent of vote by party - NDP 45.5%, V7 37.2%, A-Com 10.5%, DOE 4.3%, PALU 0.7%, other 1.8%; seats by party - NDP 26, V7 18, A-Com 5, DOE 1, PALU 1; composition - men 38, women 13, percent of women 25.5% note: seats by party as of April 2017 - seats by party - NDP 26, VHP 9, ABOP 5, PL 3, NPS 2, BEP 2, DOE 1, PALU 1, independent 2
Judicial branch: highest courts: High Court of Justice of Suriname (consists of the court president, vice president, and 4 judges); note - appeals beyond the High Court are referred to the Caribbean Court of Justice; human rights violations can be appealed to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with judgments issued by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights judge selection and term of office: court judges appointed by the national president in consultation with the National Assembly, the State Advisory Council, and the Order of Private Attorneys; judges serve for life

subordinate courts: cantonal courts
Political parties and leaders: Alternative Combination or A-Com (coalition includes ABOP, KTPI, Party for Democracy and Development) Brotherhood and Unity in Politics or BEP [Celsius WATERBERG] Democratic Alternative '91 or DA91 [Angelique DEL CASTILLO] General Liberation and Development Party or ABOP [Ronnie BRUNSWIJK} National Democratic Party or NDP [Desire Delano BOUTERSE] National Party of Suriname or NPS [Gregory RUSLAND] Party for Democracy and Development in Unity or DOE [Carl BREEVELD] Party for National Unity and Solidarity or KTPI [Willy SOEMITA] People's Alliance (Pertjaja Luhur) or PL [Paul SOMOHARDJO] Progressive Workers' and Farmers' Union or PALU [Jim HOK] Surinamese Labor Party or SPA [Guno CASTELEN] Progressive Reform Party or VHP [Chandrikapersad SANTOKHI] Victory 7 or V7 [Chandrikapresad SANTOKHI] (formerly the New Front for Democracy and Development or NF; an electoral coalition of NPS, VHP, DA91, PL, SPA formed only for the May 2015 election)
International organization participation: ACP, AOSIS, Caricom, CD, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OIC, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, Petrocaribe, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): royal palm, faya lobi (flower);
national colors: green, white, red, yellow
National anthem: name: "God zij met ons Suriname!" (God Be With Our Suriname)
lyrics/music: Cornelis Atses HOEKSTRA and Henry DE ZIEL/Johannes Corstianus DE PUY

note: adopted 1959; originally adapted from a Sunday school song written in 1893 and contains lyrics in both Dutch and Sranang Tongo
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Niermala Sakoentala BADRISING (since 21 July 2017)
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: chief of mission: Ambassador Karen Lynn WILLIAMS (since 20 November 2018)
embassy: 165 Kristalstraat, Paramaribo
mailing address: US Department of State, PO Box 1821, Paramaribo
telephone: [597] 472-900
FAX: [597] 410-972
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Suriname’s economy is dominated by the mining industry, with exports of oil and gold accounting for approximately 85% of exports and 27% of government revenues. This makes the economy highly vulnerable to mineral price volatility. The worldwide drop in international commodity prices and the cessation of alumina mining in Suriname significantly reduced government revenue and national income during the past few years. In November 2015, a major US aluminum company discontinued its mining activities in Suriname after 99 years of operation. Public sector revenues fell, together with exports, international reserves, employment, and private sector investment. Economic growth declined annually from just under 5% in 2012 to -10.4% in 2016. In January 2011, the government devalued the currency by 20% and raised taxes to reduce the budget deficit. Suriname began instituting macro adjustments between September 2015 and 2016; these included another 20% currency devaluation in November 2015 and foreign currency interventions by the Central Bank until March 2016, after which time the Bank allowed the Surinamese dollar (SRD) to float. By December 2016, the SRD had lost 46% of its value against the dollar. Depreciation of the Surinamese dollar and increases in tariffs on electricity caused domestic prices in Suriname to rise 22.0% year-over-year by December 2017. Suriname's economic prospects for the medium-term will depend on its commitment to responsible monetary and fiscal policies and on the introduction of structural reforms to liberalize markets and promote competition. The government's over-reliance on revenue from the extractive sector colors Suriname's economic outlook. Following two years of recession, the Fitch Credit Bureau reported a positive growth of 1.2% in 2017 and the World Bank predicted 2.2% growth in 2018. Inflation declined to 9%, down from 55% in 2016 , and increased gold production helped lift exports. Yet continued budget imbalances and a heavy debt and interest burden resulted in a debt-to-GDP ratio of 83% in September 2017. Purchasing power has fallen rapidly due to the devalued local currency. The government has announced its intention to pass legislation to introduce a new value-added tax in 2018. Without this and other measures to strengthen the country’s fiscal position, the government may face liquidity pressures.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $8.688 billion (2017 est.) $8.526 billion (2016 est.) $8.988 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $3.419 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.9% (2017 est.) -5.1% (2016 est.) -2.6% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $14,900 (2017 est.) $14,800 (2016 est.) $15,900 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 46.6% of GDP (2017 est.) 55.6% of GDP (2016 est.) 53.6% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 27.6% (2017 est.) government consumption: 11.7% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 52.5% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 26.5% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 68.9% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -60.6% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 11.6% (2017 est.) industry: 31.1% (2017 est.) services: 57.4% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: rice, bananas, seabob shrimp, yellow-fin tuna, vegetables
Industries: gold mining, oil, lumber, food processing, fishing
Industrial production growth rate: 1% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 144,000 (2014 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 11.2%
industry: 19.5%
services: 69.3% (2010)
Unemployment rate: 8.9% (2017 est.) 9.7% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line: 70% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: n/a
highest 10%: n/a
Budget: revenues: 560.7 million (2017 est.)
expenditures: 827.8 million (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 16.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -7.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 69.3% of GDP (2017 est.) 75.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 22% (2017 est.) 55.5% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$2 million (2017 est.) -$169 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $2.028 billion (2017 est.) $1.449 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: alumina, gold, crude oil, lumber, shrimp and fish, rice, bananas
Exports - partners: Switzerland 38%, Hong Kong 21.9%, Belgium 10.1%, UAE 7.2%, Guyana 6.1% (2017)
Imports: $1.293 billion (2017 est.) $1.203 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton, consumer goods
Imports - partners: US 30.6%, Netherlands 14.8%, Trinidad and Tobago 11.4%, China 7.6% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $424.4 million (31 December 2017 est.) $381.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $1.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $1.436 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: (31 December 2009 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: n/a
Exchange rates: Surinamese dollars (SRD) per US dollar - 7.53 (2017 est.) 6.229 (2016 est.) 6.229 (2015 est.) 3.4167 (2014 est.) 3.3 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 1.967 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 1.75 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 504,000 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 61% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 38% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 17,000 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 820 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 84.2 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 7,571 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 13,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 14,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 10,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 2.075 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 795,871
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 134 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: international facilities are good; state-owned fixed-line and broadband services; competition in the mobile sector; fixed-line effective along the coastline and poor in the interior (2018)

domestic: fixed-line 15 per 100 and mobile-cellular teledensity 134 telephones per 100 persons; microwave radio relay network is in place (2018)

international: country code - 597; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Broadcast media: 2 state-owned TV stations; 1 state-owned radio station; multiple private radio and TV stations (2019)
Internet country code: .sr
Internet users: total: 265,964
percent of population: 45.4% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 55 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 6
(2013) over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
under 914 m: 5 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 49
914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2013)
under 914 m: 45 (2013)
Pipelines: 50 km oil (2013)
Roadways: total 4,304 km
(2003) paved: 1,119 km (2003)
unpaved: 3,185 km (2003)
Waterways: 1,200 km (most navigable by ships with drafts up to 7 m) (2011)
Merchant marine: total 10

by type: general cargo 5, oil tanker 3, other 2 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Paramaribo, Wageningen
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Military branches: Suriname Army (National Leger, NL): Army, Navy, Air Force (2019)
Military service age and obligation: 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2019)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: 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 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea arbitration to resolve the longstanding dispute with Suriname over the axis of the territorial sea boundary in potentially oil-rich waters
Illicit drugs: growing transshipment point for South American drugs destined for Europe via the Netherlands and Brazil; transshipment point for arms-for-drugs dealing
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