Library

 
View Text Low Bandwidth Version
Download Publication
South America :: Suriname
Page last updated on June 17, 2016
 
No Photos available for Suriname
  no photos available
  • Introduction :: SURINAME

  • 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 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.
  • Geography :: SURINAME

  • Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between French Guiana and Guyana
    4 00 N, 56 00 W
    South America
    total: 163,820 sq km
    land: 156,000 sq km
    water: 7,820 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 92
    slightly larger than Georgia
    total: 1,907 km
    border countries (3): Brazil 515 km, French Guiana 556 km, Guyana 836 km
    386 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    tropical; moderated by trade winds
    mostly rolling hills; narrow coastal plain with swamps
    mean elevation: 246 m
    elevation extremes: lowest point: unnamed location in the coastal plain -2 m
    highest point: Juliana Top 1,230 m
    timber, hydropower, fish, kaolin, shrimp, bauxite, gold, and small amounts of nickel, copper, platinum, iron ore
    agricultural land: 0.5%
    arable land 0.4%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 0.1%
    forest: 94.6%
    other: 4.9% (2011 est.)
    570 sq km (2012)
    122 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.67 cu km/yr (6%/4%/90%)
    per capita: 1,396 cu m/yr (2006)
    NA
    deforestation as timber is cut for export; pollution of inland waterways by small-scale mining activities
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, 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
    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
  • People and Society :: SURINAME

  • noun: Surinamer(s)
    adjective: Surinamese
    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%
    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), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese
    Hindu 27.4%, Protestant 25.2% (predominantly Moravian), Roman Catholic 22.8%, Muslim 19.6%, indigenous beliefs 5%
    Suriname is a pluralistic society consisting primarily of Creoles (persons of mixed African and European heritage), the descendants of escaped African slaves known as Maroons, and the descendants of Indian and Javanese contract workers. The country overall is in full, post-industrial demographic transition, with a low fertility rate, a moderate mortality rate, and a rising life expectancy. However, the Maroon population of the rural interior lags behind because of lower educational attainment and contraceptive use, higher malnutrition, and significantly less access to electricity, potable water, sanitation, infrastructure, and health care.
    Some 350,000 people of Surinamese descent live in the Netherlands, Suriname's former colonial ruler. In the 19th century, better-educated, largely Dutch-speaking Surinamese began emigrating to the Netherlands. World War II interrupted the outflow, but it resumed after the war when Dutch labor demands grew - emigrants included all segments of the Creole population. Suriname still is strongly influenced by the Netherlands because most Surinamese have relatives living there and it is the largest supplier of development aid. Other emigration destinations include French Guiana and the United States. Suriname's immigration rules are flexible, and the country is easy to enter illegally because rainforests obscure its borders. Since the mid-1980s, Brazilians have settled in Suriname's capital, Paramaribo, or eastern Suriname, where they mine gold. This immigration is likely to slowly re-orient Suriname toward its Latin American roots.
    579,633 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    0-14 years: 25.66% (male 75,791/female 72,934)
    15-24 years: 17.48% (male 51,657/female 49,662)
    25-54 years: 44.3% (male 130,726/female 126,048)
    55-64 years: 6.81% (male 19,291/female 20,198)
    65 years and over: 5.75% (male 14,395/female 18,931) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 50.8%
    youth dependency ratio: 40.4%
    elderly dependency ratio: 10.4%
    potential support ratio: 9.6% (2015 est.)
    total: 29.1 years
    male: 28.7 years
    female: 29.4 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    1.08% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    16.34 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    6.13 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    0.56 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    urban population: 66% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 0.78% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    PARAMARIBO (capital) 234,000 (2014)
    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: 0.96 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    155 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    total: 26.17 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 30.48 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 21.65 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    total population: 71.97 years
    male: 69.57 years
    female: 74.48 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    1.97 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    47.6% (2010)
    3.1 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    improved:
    urban: 98.1% of population
    rural: 88.4% of population
    total: 94.8% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 1.9% of population
    rural: 11.6% of population
    total: 5.2% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 88.4% of population
    rural: 61.4% of population
    total: 79.2% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 11.6% of population
    rural: 38.6% of population
    total: 20.8% of population (2015 est.)
    1.02% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    3,800 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    200 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    degree of risk: very high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne disease: dengue fever and malaria (2013)
    26.1% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    5.8% (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    NA
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 95.6%
    male: 96.1%
    female: 95% (2015 est.)
    total number: 6,094
    percentage: 6% (2006 est.)
    total: 15.3%
    male: 11.6%
    female: 21.7% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
  • Government :: SURINAME

  • 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
    presidential republic
    name: Paramaribo
    geographic coordinates: 5 50 N, 55 10 W
    time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    10 districts (distrikten, singular - distrikt); Brokopondo, Commewijne, Coronie, Marowijne, Nickerie, Para, Paramaribo, Saramacca, Sipaliwini, Wanica
    25 November 1975 (from the Netherlands)
    Independence Day, 25 November (1975)
    previous 1975; latest ratified 30 September 1987, effective 30 October 1987; amended 1992 (2016)
    civil law system influenced by Dutch civil law; note - the Commissie Nieuw Surinaamse Burgerlijk Wetboek completed drafting a new civil code in February 2009
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Suriname
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    18 years of age; universal
    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 on 25 May 2020)
    election results: Desire Delano BOUTERSE reelected president; National Assembly vote - NA
    description: unicameral National Assembly or Nationale Assemblee (51 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by 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 .7%, other 1.7%; seats by party - NDP 26, V7 18, A-Com 5, DOE 1, PALU 1
    highest resident court(s): High Court of Justice of Suriname (consists of the court president, vice president, and 4 judges); note - Suriname can appeal beyond its High Court to the Caribbean Court of Justice, with final appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)
    judge selection and term of office: court judges appointed by the national president after consultation with the High Court; judges appointed for life
    subordinate courts: cantonal courts
    Alternative Combination or A-Com (a coalition that includes ABOP, KTPI, PDO)
    Brotherhood and Unity in Politics or BEP [Celsius WATERBERG]
    Democratic Alternative '91 or DA91 [Winston JESSURUN]
    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 or PDO [Waldy NAIN]
    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 Worker and Farmer's Union or PALU [Jim HOK]
    Surinamese Labor Party or SPA [Guno CASTELEN]
    United Reform Party or VHP [Chandrikapersad SANTOKHI]
    Victory 7 or V7 (formerly the New Front for Democracy and Development or NF) (a coalition including NPS, VHP, DA91, PL, SPA) [Chandrikapresad SANTOKHI]
    Association of Indigenous Village Chiefs [Ricardo PANE]
    Association of Saramaccan Authorities or Maroon [Head Captain WASE]
    Women's Parliament Forum or PVF [Iris GILLIAD]
    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
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Sylvana Elvira SIMSON (since 1 September 2015)
    chancery: Suite 460, 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 244-7488
    FAX: [1] (202) 244-5878
    consulate(s) general: Miami
    chief of mission: Ambassador Jay N. ANANIA (since 1 October 2012)
    embassy: Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat 129, Paramaribo
    mailing address: US Department of State, PO Box 1821, Paramaribo
    telephone: [597] 472-900
    FAX: [597] 410-972
    five horizontal bands of green (top, double width), white, red (quadruple width), white, and green (double width); a large, yellow, five-pointed star is centered in the red band; red stands for progress and love; green symbolizes hope and fertility; white signifies peace, justice, and freedom; the star represents the unity of all ethnic groups; from its yellow light the nation draws strength to bear sacrifices patiently while working toward a golden future
    royal palm, faya lobi (flower); national colors: green, white, red, yellow
    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
  • Economy :: SURINAME

  • The economy is dominated by the mining industry, with exports of oil, gold, and alumina accounting for about 85% of exports and 27% of government revenues, making the economy highly vulnerable to mineral price volatility.
    Economic growth has declined annually from just under 5% in 2012 to 1.5% in 2015. In January 2011, the government devalued the currency by 20% and raised taxes to reduce the budget deficit. As a result of these measures, inflation receded to less than 4% in 2015.
    Suriname's economic prospects for the medium term will depend on continued commitment to responsible monetary and fiscal policies and to the introduction of structural reforms to liberalize markets and promote competition. The government's reliance on revenue from extractive industries will temper Suriname's economic outlook, especially if gold prices continue their downward trend.
    $9.09 billion (2015 est.)
    $9.077 billion (2014 est.)
    $8.913 billion (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 161
    $5.192 billion (2015 est.)
    0.1% (2015 est.)
    1.8% (2014 est.)
    2.8% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    $16,300 (2015 est.)
    $16,200 (2014 est.)
    $16,200 (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 100
    24.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
    24.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
    25.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    household consumption: 52%
    government consumption: 11.2%
    investment in fixed capital: 11.9%
    investment in inventories: 26.5%
    exports of goods and services: 24.2%
    imports of goods and services: -25.8% (2015 est.)
    agriculture: 6.2%
    industry: 48.7%
    services: 45.1% (2015 est.)
    rice, bananas, palm kernels, coconuts, plantains, peanuts; beef, chickens; shrimp; forest products
    bauxite and gold mining, alumina production; oil, lumbering, food processing, fishing
    2% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    165,600 (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    agriculture: 11.2%
    industry: 19.5%
    services: 69.3% (2010)
    8.9% (2014 est.)
    8.5% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    70% (2002 est.)
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $1.061 billion
    expenditures: $1.455 billion (2015 est.)
    21% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    -7.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    calendar year
    6.9% (2015 est.)
    3.4% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    10% (2013)
    9% (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    12.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
    12.28% (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    $1.55 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $1.409 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    $3.461 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $2.885 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    $2.424 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $2.029 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    $NA
    -$808 million (2015 est.)
    -$415 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    $1.829 billion (2015 est.)
    $2.149 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    alumina, gold, crude oil, lumber, shrimp and fish, rice, bananas
    US 32.1%, UAE 16.8%, Belgium 13.4%, Canada 10%, France 6.2%, Netherlands 4.3% (2014)
    $2.06 billion (2015 est.)
    $1.966 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton, consumer goods
    US 31.3%, Netherlands 16.6%, China 10.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 6.9%, Japan 4.2% (2014)
    $625.2 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $778.8 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    $1.067 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $983 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    Surinamese dollars (SRD) per US dollar -
    3.3 (2015 est.)
    3.3 (2014 est.)
    3.3 (2013 est.)
    3.3 (2012 est.)
    3.2683 (2011 est.)
  • Energy :: SURINAME

  • 1.75 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    1.572 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    412,000 kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    54.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    45.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    15,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    88.97 million bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    15,980 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    17,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    8,884 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    10,070 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    2.268 million Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
  • Communications :: SURINAME

  • total subscriptions: 84,900
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 15 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    total: 927,800
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 162 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    general assessment: international facilities are good
    domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity 185 telephones per 100 persons; microwave radio relay network
    international: country code - 597; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2010)
    2 state-owned TV stations; 1 state-owned radio station; multiple private radio and TV stations (2007)
    AM 4, FM 23, shortwave 3 (2008)
    3 (plus 7 repeaters) (2000)
    .sr
    188 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    total: 212,900
    percent of population: 37.1% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
  • Transportation :: SURINAME

  • 55 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    total: 6
    over 3,047 m: 1
    under 914 m: 5 (2013)
    total: 49
    914 to 1,523 m: 4
    under 914 m: 45 (2013)
    oil 50 km (2013)
    total: 4,304 km
    paved: 1,130 km
    unpaved: 3,174 km (2003)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    1,200 km (most navigable by ships with drafts up to 7 m) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    major seaport(s): Paramaribo, Wageningen
  • Military and Security :: SURINAME

  • Suriname Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Naval Forces, Air Forces (2010)
    18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription; personnel drawn almost exclusively from the Creole community (2012)
  • Transnational Issues :: SURINAME

  • 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
    current situation: Suriname is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking and men, women, and children subjected to forced labor; women and girls from Suriname, Guyana, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic are subjected to sex trafficking in the country, sometimes in interior mining camps; migrant workers in agriculture and on fishing boats and children working in informal urban sectors and gold mines are vulnerable to forced labor; traffickers from Suriname exploit victims in the Netherlands
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Suriname does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Suriname was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; authorities increased the number of trafficking investigations, prosecutions, and convictions as compared to 2013, but resources were insufficient to conduct investigations in the country’s interior; more trafficking victims were identified in 2014 than in 2013, but protective services for adults and children were inadequate, with a proposed government shelter for women and child trafficking victims remaining unopened (2015)
    growing transshipment point for South American drugs destined for Europe via the Netherlands and Brazil; transshipment point for arms-for-drugs dealing
GO TOP