Statistical information Suriname 2000Suriname

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

Suriname in the World
Suriname in the World


Suriname - Introduction 2000
top of page

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 2000
top of page

Location: Northern South America bordering the North Atlantic Ocean between French Guiana and Guyana

Geographic coordinates: 4 00 N 56 00 W

Map referenceSouth America

Comparative: slightly larger than Georgia

Land boundaries

Coastline: 386 km

Maritime claims

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

Land use

Irrigated land: 600 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: NA

Note: mostly tropical rain forest; great diversity of flora and fauna that for the most part is increasingly threatened by new development; relatively small population most of which lives along the coast

Suriname - People 2000
top of page

Population: 431,303 (July 2000 est.)
Growth rate: 0.65% (2000 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%


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 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%

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

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 0.65% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 21.08 births/1000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 5.69 deaths/1000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: -8.92 migrant(s)/1000 population (2000 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation as timber is cut for export; pollution of inland waterways by small-scale mining activities

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 25.06 deaths/1000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

Total fertility rate: 2.5 children born/woman (2000 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


School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Suriname - Government 2000
top of page

Country name

Government type: constitutional democracy

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: based on Dutch legal system incorporating French penal theory

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or National Assemblee (51 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

Judicial branch: Court of Justice justices nominated for life

Political parties and leaders: Alternative Forum or AF [Rick VAN RAVENSWAY]; Democratic Alternative '91 or DA '91 (a coalition of the AF and BEP formed in January 1991) [Winston JESSURUN]; Democratic Party or DP [Frank PLAYFAIR]; Independent Progressive Democratic Alternative or OPDA [Joginder RAMKHILAWAN]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Desire BOUTERSE]; National Party of Suriname or NPS [Ronald VENETIAAN]; Naya Kadam [Marijke DJWALAPERSAD]; Party for Brotherhood and Unity in Politics or BEP [Caprino ALLENDE]; Party for Renewal and Democracy or BVD [Atta MUNGRA]; Party of National Unity and Solidarity or KTPI [Willy SOEMITA]; Party of the Federation of Land Workers or PVF [Jwan SITAL]; Pertjaja Luhur [Paul SOMOHARDJO]; Progressive Reform Party or VHP [Jaggernath LACHMON]; Progressive Workers' and Farm Laborers' Union or PALU [Ir Iwan KROLIS]; Reformed Progressive Party or HPP [Harry KISOENSINGH]; Suriname Labor Party or SPA [Fred DERBY]; The New Front or NF (a coalition of four parties NPS VHP SPA and Pertjaja Luhur) [Ronald R. VENETIAAN]; The Progressive Development Alliance (a combination of two parties HPP and PVF) [Harry KISOENSINGH]


Diplomatic representation

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 2000
top of page

Economy overview: The economy is dominated by the bauxite industry which accounts for more than 15% of GDP and 70% of export earnings. After assuming power in the fall of 1996 the WIJDENBOSCH government ended the structural adjustment program of the previous government claiming it was unfair to the poorer elements of society. Tax revenues fell as old taxes lapsed and the government failed to implement new tax alternatives. By the end of 1997 the allocation of new Dutch development funds was frozen as Surinamese Government relations with the Netherlands deteriorated. Economic growth slowed in 1998 with decline in the mining construction and utility sectors. Rampant government expenditures poor tax collection a bloated civil service and reduced foreign aid in 1999 contributed to the fiscal deficit estimated at 11% of GDP. The government sought to cover this deficit through monetary expansion which led to a dramatic increase in inflation and exchange rate depreciation. Suriname's economic prospects for the medium term will depend on renewed commitment to responsible monetary and fiscal policies and to the introduction of structural reforms to liberalize markets and promote competition.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: -1% (1999 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: paddy rice bananas palm kernels coconuts plantains peanuts; beef chickens; forest products; shrimp

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

Industrial production growth rate: 6.5% (1994 est.)

Labor force: 100,000
By occupation agriculture: NA%
By occupation industry: NA%
By occupation services: NA%
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 20% (1997)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index


Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 170% (1999 est.)

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: $406.1 million (f.o.b. 1998)
Commodities: alumina aluminum crude oil lumber shrimp and fish rice bananas
Partners: Norway 24% Netherlands 23.8% US 21.7% France 7.3% Japan 4.9% UK (1998 est.)

Imports: $461.4 million (f.o.b. 1998)
Commodities: capital equipment petroleum foodstuffs cotton consumer goods
Partners: US 31.2% Netherlands 17.3% Trinidad and Tobago 16.1% Japan 4.3% UK 4% Brazil (1998)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $175.6 million (1998 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 - 995 (December 1999) 710 (May 1999) 850 (January 1999); central bank midpoint rate: 639.50 (1st Qtr 1999) 401.00 (1998) 401.00 (1997) 401.26 (1996) 442.23 (1995); parallel rate: 1325 (December 1999) 2000 (May 1999) 800 (December 1998) 412 (December 1995)

Suriname - Energy 2000
top of page

Electricity access

Electricity production: 2.008 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity consumption: 1.867 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Suriname - Communication 2000
top of page

Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 3,671 (1995)

Telephone system: international facilities good

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Suriname - Military 2000
top of page

Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $8.5 million (FY97 est.)
Percent of gdp: 1.6% (FY97 est.)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Suriname - Transportation 2000
top of page

National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 46 (1999 est.)

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways





Waterways: 1200 km; most important means of transport; oceangoing vessels with drafts ranging up to 7 m can navigate many of the principal waterways

Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Suriname - Transnational issues 2000
top of page

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/Koetari [Kutari] Rivers (all headwaters of the Courantyne)

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for South American drugs destined mostly for Europe


You found a piece of the puzzle

Please click here to complete it