Statistical information Suriname 1990Suriname

Map of Suriname | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Suriname in the World
Suriname in the World

World Nomads

Suriname - Introduction 1990
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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 brought about a democratic election.

Suriname - Geography 1990
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries: 1,707 km total; Brazil 597 km, French Guiana 510 km, Guyana 600 km

Coastline: 386 km

Maritime claims
Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; moderated by trade winds

Terrain: mostly rolling hills; narrow coastal plain with swamps


Natural resources: timber, hydropower potential, fish, shrimp, bauxite, iron ore, and modest amounts of nickel, copper, platinum, gold
Land use

Land use: NEGL% arable land; NEGL% permanent crops; NEGL% meadows and pastures; 97% forest and woodland; 3% other; includes NEGL% irrigated

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Suriname - People 1990
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Population: 396,813 (July 1990), growth rate 1.4% (1990)

Nationality: noun--Surinamer(s; adjective--Surinamese

Ethnic groups: 37.0% Hindustani (East Indian), 31.0% Creole (black and mixed), 15.3% Javanese, 10.3% Bush black, 2.6% Amerindian, 1.7% Chinese, 1.0% Europeans, 1.1% other

Languages: Dutch (official; English widely spoken; Sranan Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes called Taki-Taki) is native language of Creoles and much of the younger population and is lingua franca among others; also Hindi Suriname Hindustani (a variant of Bhoqpuri), and Javanese

Religions: 27.4% Hindu, 19.6% Muslim, 22.8% Roman Catholic, 25.2% Protestant (predominantly Moravian), about 5% indigenous beliefs

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 27 births/1000 population (1990)

Death rate: 6 deaths/1000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: - 7 migrants/1000 population (1990)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: mostly tropical rain forest

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 40 deaths/1000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 66 years male, 71 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 2.9 children born/woman (1990)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 65%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Suriname - Government 1990
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Suriname

Government type: republic

Capital: Paramaribo

Administrative divisions: 10 districts (distrikten, singular--distrikt; Brokopondo, Commewijne, Coronie, Marowijne, Nickerie, Para, Paramaribo, Saramacca, Sipaliwini, Wanica

Dependent areas

Independence: 25 November 1975 (from Netherlands; formerly Netherlands Guiana or Dutch Guiana)

National holiday: Independence Day, 25 November (1975)

Constitution: ratified 30 September 1987

Legal system: NA

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal at age 18

Executive branch: Chief of State and Head of Government--President Ramsewak SHANKAR (since 25 January 1988; Vice President and Prime Minister Henck Alfonsus Eugene ARRON (since 25 January 1988)

Legislative branch: National Army (including Support Battalion, Infantry Battalion, Mechanized Cavalry Unit, Military Police Brigade, Navy which is company-size, small Air Force element)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACP, ECLA, FAO, GATT, G-77, IBA, IBRD, ICAO, IDB--Inter-American Development Bank, IFAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTERPOL, ITU, NAM, OAS, PAHO, SELA, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: Ambassador Willem A. UDENHOUT; Chancery at Suite 108, 4,301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC 20,008; telephone (202) 244-7,488 or 7,490 through 7,492; there is a Surinamese Consulate General in Miami; US--Ambassador Richard HOWLAND; Embassy at Dr. Sophie Redmonstraat 129, Paramaribo (mailing address is P. O. Box 1821, Paramaribo; telephone p597o 72,900 or 76,459

Flag descriptionflag of Suriname: 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

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Suriname - Economy 1990
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Economy overview: The economy is dominated by the bauxite industry, which accounts for about 80% of export earnings and 40% of tax revenues. The economy has been in trouble since the Dutch ended development aid in 1982. A drop in world bauxite prices that started in the late 1970s and continued until late 1986, was followed by the outbreak of a guerrilla insurgency in the interior. The guerrillas targeted the economic infrastructure, crippling the important bauxite sector and shutting down other export industries. These problems have created both high inflation and high unemployment. A small gain in economic growth of 3.6% was registered in 1988 due to reduced guerrilla activity and improved international markets for bauxite.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: accounts for 11% of both GDP and labor force; paddy rice planted on 85% of arable land: and represents 60% of total farm output; other products--bananas, palm kernels, coconuts, plantains, peanuts, beef, chicken; shrimp and forestry products of increasing importance; self-sufficient in most foods

Industries: bauxite mining, alumina and aluminum production, lumbering, food processing, fishing

Industrial production growth rate: - 3.1% (1986)

Labor force: 104,000 (1984)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 27% (1988)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $466 million; expenditures $716 million, including capital expenditures of $123 million (1989 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $425 million (f.o.b., 1988 est.)
Commodities: alumina, bauxite, aluminum, rice, wood and wood products, shrimp and fish, bananas
Partners: Netherlands 28%, US 22%, Norway 18%, Japan 11%, Brazil 10%, UK 4%

Imports: $365 million (f.o.b., 1988 est.)
Commodities: capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton, consumer goods
Partners: US 34%, Netherlands 20%, Trinidad and Tobago 8%, Brazil 5%, UK 3%

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $65 million (1989 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Surinamese guilders, gulden, or florins (Sf.) per US$1--1.7850 (fixed rate)

Suriname - Energy 1990
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Suriname - Communication 1990
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Suriname - Military 1990
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Military expenditures
Percent of gdp: 7.2% of GDP, or $91 million (1990 est.)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Suriname - Transportation 1990
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 47 total, 43 usable; 6 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 1 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways





Waterways: 1,200 km; most important means of transport; oceangoing vessels with drafts ranging from 4.2 m to 7 m can navigate many of the principal waterways

Merchant marine: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 6,472 GRT/8,914 DWT; includes 2 cargo, 1 container

Ports and terminals

Suriname - Transnational issues 1990
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Disputes international: claims area in French Guiana between Litani Rivier and Riviere Marouini (both headwaters of the Lawa; claims area in Guyana between New (Upper Courantyne) and Courantyne/Kutari Rivers (all headwaters of the Courantyne)

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Undercover Tourist

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