Statistical information Suriname 2001Suriname

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 2001
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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. In 1989 the military overthrew the civilian government but a democratically elected government returned to power in 1991.

Suriname - Geography 2001
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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

Total: 163,270 km²
Land: 161,470 km²
Water: 1,800 km²
Comparative: slightly larger than Georgia

Land boundaries
Total: 1,707 km
Border countries: (3) 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

Extremes lowest point: unnamed location in the coastal plain -2 m
Extremes highest point: Juliana Top 1,230 m

Natural resources: timber hydropower fish kaolin shrimp bauxite gold and small amounts of nickel copper platinum iron ore
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 0%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 0%
Forests and woodland: 96%
Other: 4% (1993 est.)
Note: there are 94,927 hectares of arable land, 7,195 hectares of permanent crops, and 15,000 hectares of permanent pastures

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 2001
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Population: 433,998 (July 2001 est.)
Growth rate: 0.6% (2001 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

Noun: Surinamer
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 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
0-14 years: 31.62% (male 70,314; female 66,924)
15-64 years: 62.71% (male 138,969; female 133,193)
65 years and over: 5.67% (male 11,194; female 13,404) (2001 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 0.6% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 20.53 births/1000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 5.68 deaths/1000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: -8.87 migrant(s)/1000 population (2001 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation as timber is cut for export; pollution of inland waterways by small-scale mining activities
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
International agreements signed but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male/female
Total population: 1.03 male/female (2001 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 24.27 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 71.63 years
Male: 68.97 years
Female: 74.42 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.47 children born/woman (2001 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: 1.26% (1999 est.)
People living with hivaids: 3,000 (1999 est.)
Deaths: 210 (1999 est.)

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 93%
Male: 95%
Female: 91% (1995 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Suriname - Government 2001
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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: 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
Chief of state: President Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN (since 12 August 2000); Vice President Jules Rattankoemar AJODHIA (since 12 August 2000); 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 Jules Rattankoemar AJODHIA (since 12 August 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly
Elections: president and vice president elected by the National Assembly or, if no presidential or vice presidential candidate receives a constitutional majority vote in the National Assembly after two votes, by the larger People's Assembly (869 representatives from the national, local, and regional councils), for five-year terms; election last held 6 May 2000 (next to be held NA May 2005)
Note: widespread demonstrations during the summer of 1999 led to the calling of elections a year early
Election results: Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN elected president; percent of legislative vote - 72.5; National Assembly elected the president - Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN (New Front) 37 votes, Rashied DOEKHIE (NDP) 10 votes

Legislative branch
Elections: last held 5 May 2000 (next to be held NA May 2005)
Election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NF 33, MC 10, DNP 2000 3, DA '91 2, PVF 2, PALU 1
Note: widespread demonstrations during the summer of 1999 led to the calling of elections a year early

Judicial branch: Court of Justice (justices are nominated for life)

Political parties and leaders: Democratic Alternative '91 or DA '91 (a coalition of the Alternative Forum or AF and Party for Brotherhood and Unity in Politics or BEP formed in January 1991) [S. RAMKHELAWAN]; Democratic National Platform 2000 or DNP 2000 (coalition of two parties Democratic Party and Democrats of the 21st Century) [Jules WIJDENBOSCH]; Independent Progressive Democratic Alternative or OPDA [Joginder RAMKHILAWAN]; Millennium Combination or MC (a coalition of three parties Democratic Alternative Party for National Unity and Solidarity and National Democratic Party) [leader NA]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Desire BOUTERSE]; Naya Kadam or NK [leader NA]; Party for Renewal and Democracy or BVD [Tjan GOBARDHAN]; Party of National Unity and Solidarity or KTPI [Willy SOEMITA]; Pertjaja Luhur [Paul SOMOHARDJO]; Progressive Workers' and Farm Laborers' Union or PALU [Ir Iwan KROLIS]; The New Front or NF (a coalition of four parties Suriname National Party or NPS Progressive Reform Party or VHP Suriname Labor Party or SPA and Pertjaja Luhur) [Ronald R. VENETIAAN]; The Progressive Development Alliance (a combination of three parties Renewed Progressive Party or HPP Party of the Federation of Land Workers or PVF and Suriname Progressive People's Party or PSV) [Harry KISOENSINGH]


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)
In the us chancery: Suite 460, 4,301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,008
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 244-7,488
In the us fax: [1] (202) 244-5,878
In the us consulates general: Miami
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel A. JOHNSON
From the us embassy: Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat 129, Paramaribo
From the us mailing address: Department of State, 3,390 Paramaribo Place, Washington, DC, 20,521-3,390
From the us telephone: [597] 472,900
From the us fax: [597] 420,800

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 2001
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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. The new government of Ronald VENETIAAN has begun an austerity program raised taxes and attempted to control spending. the exchange rate has responded by stabilizing. The Dutch Government has restarted the aid flow which will allow Suriname to access international development financing.

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: 13%
Industry: 22%
Services: 65% (1998 est.)

Agriculture products: paddy rice bananas palm kernels coconuts plantains peanuts; beef chickens; forest products; shrimp

Industries: bauxite and gold mining alumina 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
Lowest 10: NA%
Highest 10: NA%

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $393 million
Expenditures: $403 million, including capital expenditures of $34 million (1997 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 78% (2000 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: $443 million (f.o.b. 1999)
Commodities: alumina crude oil lumber shrimp and fish rice bananas
Partners: US 23% Norway 19% Netherlands 11% France Japan UK (1999)

Imports: $525 million (f.o.b. 1999)
Commodities: capital equipment petroleum foodstuffs cotton consumer goods
Partners: US 35% Netherlands 15% Trinidad and Tobago 12% Japan UK Brazil (1999)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $512 million (2000 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates
Note: beginning in July 1994, the central bank midpoint exchange rate was unified and became market determined; 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; the government currently allows trading within a band of SRG 500 around the official rate

Suriname - Energy 2001
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 1.937 billion kWh (1999)
By source fossil fuel: 25.92%
By source hydro: 74.08%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 0% (1999)

Electricity consumption: 1.801 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (1999)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (1999)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Suriname - Communication 2001
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 4,090 (1997)

Telephone system
General assessment: international facilities are good
Domestic: microwave radio relay network
International: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .sr

Internet users: 10,000 (2000)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Suriname - Military 2001
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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 2001
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 46 (2000 est.)
With paved runways total: 5
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1
With paved runways under 914 m: 3 (2000 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 41
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 5
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 35 (2000 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 5
Over 3047 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 3 (2000 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 41
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 5
Under 914 m: 35 (2000 est.)



Total: 166 km (single track)
Standard gauge: 80 km 1.435-m gauge
Narrow gauge: 86 km 1.000-m gauge
Note: Suriname railroads are not in operation (2000)


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

Merchant marine
Total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 3,432 GRT/4,525 DWT
Ships by type: cargo 1, container 1, petroleum tanker 1 (2000 est.)

Ports and terminals

Suriname - Transnational issues 2001
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Disputes international: area disputed by French Guiana between Riviere Litani and Riviere Marouini (both headwaters of the Lawa); area disputed by Guyana between New (Upper Courantyne) and Courantyne/Koetari [Kutari] rivers (all headwaters of the Courantyne)

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Qatar Airways

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