Statistical information Suriname 1995Suriname

Map of Suriname | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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Suriname in the World
Suriname in the World

Economy Bookings

Suriname - Introduction 1995
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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 1995
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Location: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between French Guiana and Guyana

Geographic coordinates

Map referenceSouth America

Total area total: 163,270 km²
Land: 161,470 km²
Comparative: slightly larger than Georgia

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

Coastline: 386 km

Maritime claims
Exclusive 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 small amounts of nickel, copper, platinum, gold
Land use

Land use
Arable land: NEGL%
Permanent crops: 0%
Meadows and pastures: 0%
Forest and woodland: 97%
Other: 3%

Irrigated land: 590 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Note: mostly tropical rain forest; great diversity of flora and fauna which for the most part is not threatened because of the lack of development; relatively small population most of which lives along the coast

Suriname - People 1995
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Population: 429,544 (July 1995 est.)
Growth rate: 1.58% (1995 est.)

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 European and African ancestry) 31%, Javanese 15.3%, "Bush Black" (also known as "Bush Creole" whose ancestors were brought to the country in the 17th and 18th centuries as slaves) 10.3%, Amerindian 2.6%, Chinese 1.7%, Europeans 1%, other 1.1%

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

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

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 34% (female 70,845; male 74,330)
15-64 years: 61% (female 130,153; male 133,693)
65 years and over: 5% (female 10,897; male 9,626) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.58% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 24.72 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 5.91 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -3 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation as foreign producers obtain timber concessions
Current issues natural hazards: NA
Current issues international agreements: party to - Endangered Species, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Law of the Sea

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 30.2 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 69.76 years
Male: 67.24 years
Female: 72.41 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.73 children born/woman (1995 est.)

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: age 15 and over can read and write (1990 est.)
Total population: 95%
Male: 95%
Female: 95%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Suriname - Government 1995
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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

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)

National holiday: Independence Day, 25 November (1975)

Constitution: ratified 30 September 1987

Legal system: NA

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state and head of government: President Ronald R. VENETIAAN (since 16 September 1991); Prime Minister Jules R. AJODHIA (since 16 September 1991); election last held 6 September 1991 (next to be held NA May 1996); results - elected by the National Assembly - Ronald VENETIAAN (NF) 80% (645 votes), Jules WIJDENBOSCH (NDP) 14% (115 votes), Hans PRADE (DA '91) 6% (49 votes)
Cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers; appointed by the president from members of the National Assembly
Note: Commander in Chief of the National Army maintains significant power

Legislative branch: unicameral
National Assembly Assemblee Nationale: elections last held 25 May 1991 (next to be held NA May 1996); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (51 total) NF 30, NDP 10, DA '91 9, independents 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACP, CARICOM, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, GATT, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS (associate), ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT (nonsignatory user), INTERPOL, IOC, ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Willem A. UDENHOUT
In the us chancery: Suite 108, 4,301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,008
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 244-7,488, 7,490 through 7,492
In the us FAX: [1] (202) 244-5,878
In the us consulates general: Miami
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Roger R. GAMBLE
From the us embassy: Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat 129, Paramaribo
From the us mailing address: P. O. Box 1821, Paramaribo
From the us telephone: [597] 472,900, 477,881, 476,459
From the us FAX: [597] 410,025

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 1995
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Economy overview: The economy is dominated by the bauxite industry, which accounts for 15% of GDP and about 70% of export earnings. Paramaribo has failed to initiate the economic reforms necessary to stabilize the economy or win renewed Dutch aid disbursements. The government continues to finance deficit spending with monetary emissions. As a result, high inflation, high unemployment, widespread black market activity, and hard currency shortfalls continue to mark the economy.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: -0.8% (1994 est.)

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 15% of GDP and 25% of export earnings; 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: 3.5% (1992 est.), accounts for 18% of GDP

Labor force: NA
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $300 million
Expenditures: $700 million, including capital expenditures of $70 million (1994 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: $443.3 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
Commodoties: alumina, aluminum, shrimp and fish, rice, bananas
Partners: Norway 33%, Netherlands 26%, US 13%, Japan 6%, Brazil 6%, UK 3% (1992)

Imports: $520.5 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
Commodoties: capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton, consumer goods
Partners: US 42%, Netherlands 22%, Trinidad and Tobago 10%, Brazil 5% (1992)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $180 million (March 1993 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; parallel rate 510 (December 1994), 109 (January 1994)

Suriname - Energy 1995
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 1.4 billion kWh
Consumption per capita: 3,123 kWh (1993)

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 1995
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 27,500 telephones; international facilities good
Local: NA
Intercity: microwave radio relay network
International: 2 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth stations

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Suriname - Military 1995
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Military expenditures: $NA, NA% of GDP

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Suriname - Transportation 1995
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 46
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1
With paved runways under 914 m: 38
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 7

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 1
Under 914 m: 38

Airports with unpaved runways
914 to 1523 m: 7





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

Merchant marine
Total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,421 GRT/2,990 DWT
Ships by type: cargo 1, container 1

Ports and terminals

Suriname - Transnational issues 1995
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Disputes international: claims area in French Guiana between Litani Rivier and Riviere Marouini (both headwaters of the Lawa Rivier; claims area in Guyana between New (Upper Courantyne) and Courantyne/Koetari Rivers (all headwaters of the Courantyne)

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe

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