Photos of Guyana

A satellite image showing an area along the Guyana coast: water ranges in color from electric blue to navy, vegetation appears bright green, and clouds appear pale blue-green and cast shadows. Darker areas within the vegetation are marshy areas that have expanded due to flooding. Image courtesy of NASA.



Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 Guyana had become a British possession. The abolition of slavery led to settlement of urban areas by former slaves and the importation of indentured servants from India to work the sugar plantations. The resulting ethnocultural divide has persisted and has led to turbulent politics. Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966, and since then it has been ruled mostly by socialist-oriented governments. In 1992, Cheddi JAGAN was elected president in what is considered the country's first free and fair election since independence. After his death five years later, his wife, Janet JAGAN, became president but resigned in 1999 due to poor health. Her successor, Bharrat JAGDEO, was elected in 2001 and again in 2006. Early elections held in May 2015 resulted in the first change in governing party and the replacement of President Donald RAMOTAR by current President David GRANGER. After a December 2018 no-confidence vote against the GRANGER government, national elections will be held before the scheduled spring 2020 date.

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Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela

Geographic coordinates

5 00 N, 59 00 W

Map references

South America


total: 214,969 sq km

land: 196,849 sq km

water: 18,120 sq km

country comparison to the world: 85

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Idaho; almost twice the size of Tennessee

<p>slightly smaller than Idaho; almost twice the size of Tennessee</p>

Land boundaries

total: 2,933 km

border countries (3): Brazil 1308 km, Suriname 836 km, Venezuela 789 km


459 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the outer edge of the continental margin


tropical; hot, humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; two rainy seasons (May to August, November to January)


mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south


highest point: Laberintos del Norte on Mount Roraima 2,775 m

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 207 m

Natural resources

bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish

Land use

agricultural land: 8.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 2.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 6.2% (2018 est.)

forest: 77.4% (2018 est.)

other: 14.2% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

1,430 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

population is heavily concentrated in the northeast in and around Georgetown, with noteable concentrations along the Berbice River to the east; the remainder of the country is sparsely populated

Natural hazards

flash flood threat during rainy seasons

Geography - note

the third-smallest country in South America after Suriname and Uruguay; substantial portions of its western and eastern territories are claimed by Venezuela and Suriname respectively; contains some of the largest unspoiled rainforests on the continent

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Amazon (6,145,186 sq km), Orinoco (953,675 sq km)

People and Society


787,971 (July 2021 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

country comparison to the world: 166


noun: Guyanese (singular and plural)

adjective: Guyanese

Ethnic groups

East Indian 39.8%, African descent 29.3%, mixed 19.9%, Amerindian 10.5%, other 0.5% (includes Portuguese, Chinese, White) (2012 est.)


English (official), Guyanese Creole, Amerindian languages (including Caribbean and Arawak languages), Indian languages (including Caribbean Hindustani, a dialect of Hindi), Chinese (2014 est.)


Protestant 34.8% (Pentecostal 22.8%, Seventh Day Adventist 5.4%, Anglican 5.2%, Methodist 1.4%), Hindu 24.8%, Roman Catholic 7.1%, Muslim 6.8%, Jehovah's Witness 1.3%, Rastafarian 0.5%, other Christian 20.8%, other 0.9%, none 3.1% (2012 est.)

Demographic profile

Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America and shares cultural and historical bonds with the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana's two largest ethnic groups are the Afro-Guyanese (descendants of African slaves) and the Indo-Guyanese (descendants of Indian indentured laborers), which together comprise about three quarters of Guyana's population. Tensions periodically have boiled over between the two groups, which back ethnically based political parties and vote along ethnic lines. Poverty reduction has stagnated since the late 1990s. About one-third of the Guyanese population lives below the poverty line; indigenous people are disproportionately affected. Although Guyana's literacy rate is reported to be among the highest in the Western Hemisphere, the level of functional literacy is considerably lower, which has been attributed to poor education quality, teacher training, and infrastructure.

Guyana's emigration rate is among the highest in the world - more than 55% of its citizens reside abroad - and it is one of the largest recipients of remittances relative to GDP among Latin American and Caribbean counties. Although remittances are a vital source of income for most citizens, the pervasive emigration of skilled workers deprives Guyana of professionals in healthcare and other key sectors. More than 80% of Guyanese nationals with tertiary level educations have emigrated. Brain drain and the concentration of limited medical resources in Georgetown hamper Guyana's ability to meet the health needs of its predominantly rural population. Guyana has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the region and continues to rely on international support for its HIV treatment and prevention programs.

Age structure

0-14 years: 23.91% (male 91,317/female 88,025)

15-24 years: 21.23% (male 81,294/female 77,987)

25-54 years: 39.48% (male 154,825/female 141,385)

55-64 years: 8.37% (male 29,385/female 33,386)

65 years and over: 7.01% (male 21,325/female 31,275) (2020 est.)

This is the population pyramid for Guyana. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends. <br/><br/>For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 53.2

youth dependency ratio: 42.5

elderly dependency ratio: 10.7

potential support ratio: 9.3 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 27.5 years

male: 27.2 years

female: 27.9 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 146

Birth rate

16.64 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 100

Death rate

6.87 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 124

Net migration rate

-7.84 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 218

Population distribution

population is heavily concentrated in the northeast in and around Georgetown, with noteable concentrations along the Berbice River to the east; the remainder of the country is sparsely populated


urban population: 26.9% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.01% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

110,000 GEORGETOWN (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio

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: 1.1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

20.8 years (2009 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Maternal mortality ratio

667 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 9

Infant mortality rate

total: 22.68 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 25.66 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 19.55 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 74

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 71.59 years

male: 69.74 years

female: 73.53 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 163

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 95.6% of population

total: 96.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 38.7% of population

total: 26.5% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

0.8 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Hospital bed density

1.7 beds/1,000 population (2016)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 97.8% of population

rural: 95.4% of population

total: 96% of population

unimproved: urban: 2.2% of population

rural: 4.6% of population

total: 4% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

<200 (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria


definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school

total population: 88.5%

male: 87.2%

female: 89.8% (2015)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 11 years

male: 11 years

female: 12 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 26.5%

male: 20.7%

female: 34.6% (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 45


Environment - current issues

water pollution from sewage and agricultural and industrial chemicals; deforestation

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 20.46 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 2.38 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 1.81 megatons (2020 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 61.3 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 20.4 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 1.363 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

271 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)


tropical; hot, humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; two rainy seasons (May to August, November to January)

Land use

agricultural land: 8.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 2.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 6.2% (2018 est.)

forest: 77.4% (2018 est.)

other: 14.2% (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 109


urban population: 26.9% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.01% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 179,252 tons (2010 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 968 tons (2010 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 0.5% (2010 est.)

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Amazon (6,145,186 sq km), Orinoco (953,675 sq km)


Country name

conventional long form: Cooperative Republic of Guyana

conventional short form: Guyana

former: British Guiana

etymology: the name is derived from Guiana, the original name for the region that included British Guiana, Dutch Guiana, and French Guiana; ultimately the word is derived from an indigenous Amerindian language and means "Land of Many Waters" (referring to the area's multitude of rivers and streams)

Government type

parliamentary republic


name: Georgetown

geographic coordinates: 6 48 N, 58 09 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: when the British took possession of the town from the Dutch in 1812, they renamed it Georgetown in honor of King George III (1738-1820)

Administrative divisions

10 regions; Barima-Waini, Cuyuni-Mazaruni, Demerara-Mahaica, East Berbice-Corentyne, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara, Mahaica-Berbice, Pomeroon-Supenaam, Potaro-Siparuni, Upper Demerara-Berbice, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo


26 May 1966 (from the UK)

National holiday

Republic Day, 23 February (1970)


history: several previous; latest promulgated 6 October 1980

amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage of amendments affecting constitutional articles, such as national sovereignty, government structure and powers, and constitutional amendment procedures, requires approval by the Assembly membership, approval in a referendum, and assent of the president; other amendments only require Assembly approval; amended many times, last in 2016

Legal system

common law system, based on the English model, with some Roman-Dutch civil law influence

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: na


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Mohammed Irfaan ALI (since 2 August 2020); First Vice President Mark PHILLIPS (since 2 August 2020); Vice President Bharrat JAGDEO (since 2 August 2020); Prime Minister Mark PHILLIPS (since 2 August 2020); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Mohammed Irfaan ALI (since 2 August 2020); First Vice President Mark PHILLIPS (since 2 August 2020); Vice President Bharrat JAGDEO (since 2 August 2020)

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president, responsible to the National Assembly

elections/appointments: the predesignated candidate of the winning party in the last National Assembly election becomes president for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 2 March 2020 (next to be held in 2025); prime minister appointed by the president

election results:
2020: Mohammed Irfaan ALI (PPP/C) designated president by the majority party in the National Assembly

2015: David GRANGER (APNU-AFC) designated president by the majority party in the National Assembly

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly (65 seats; 40 members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency and 25 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies - all by closed-list proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 2 March 2020 (next to be held in 2025)

election results: percent of vote by party - PPP/C 50.69%, APNU-AFC 47.34%, LJP 0.58%, ANUG 0.5%, TNM 0.05%, other 0.84%; seats by party - PPP/C 33, APNU-AFC 31, LJP-ANUG-TNM 1; composition - men 43, women 22, percent of women 33.8%; note - the initial results were declared invalid and a partial recount was conducted from 6 May to 8 June 2020, in which PPP/C was declared the winner

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court of Judicature (consists of the Court of Appeal with a chief justice and 3 justices, and the High Court with a chief justice and 10 justices organized into 3- or 5-judge panels); note - in 2009, Guyana acceded to the Caribbean Court of Justice as the final court of appeal in civil and criminal cases, replacing that of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)

judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and High Court chief justices appointed by the president; other judges of both courts appointed by the Judicial Service Commission, a body appointed by the president; judges appointed for life with retirement at age 65

subordinate courts: Land Court; magistrates' courts

Political parties and leaders

A New and United Guyana or ANUG [Ralph RAMKARRAN]
A Partnership for National Unity or APNU [David A. GRANGER]
Alliance for Change or AFC [Raphael TROTMAN]
Justice for All Party [C.N. SHARMA]
Liberty and Justice Party or LJP [Lenox SHUMAN]
National Independent Party or NIP [Saphier Husain SUBEDAR]
People's Progressive Party/Civic or PPP/C [Bharrat JAGDEO]
The New Movement or TNM [joint leadership of several medical doctors]
The United Force or TUF [Manzoor NADIR]
United Republican Party or URP [Vishnu BANDHU]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Samuel Archibald HINDS (since 7 July 2021)

chancery: 2490 Tracy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 265-6900

FAX: [1] (202) 232-1297

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Sarah-Ann LYNCH (since 13 March 2019)

embassy: 100 Young and Duke Streets, Kingston, Georgetown

mailing address: 3170 Georgetown Place, Washington DC 20521-3170

telephone: [592] 225-4900 through 4909

FAX: [592] 225-8497

email address and website:

Flag description

green with a red isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) superimposed on a long, yellow arrowhead; there is a narrow, black border between the red and yellow, and a narrow, white border between the yellow and the green; green represents forest and foliage; yellow stands for mineral resources and a bright future; white symbolizes Guyana's rivers; red signifies zeal and the sacrifice of the people; black indicates perseverance; also referred to by its nickname The Golden Arrowhead

National symbol(s)

Canje pheasant (hoatzin), jaguar, Victoria Regia water lily; national colors: red, yellow, green, black, white

National anthem

name: Dear Land of Guyana, of Rivers and Plains

lyrics/music: Archibald Leonard LUKERL/Robert Cyril Gladstone POTTER

note: adopted 1966


Economic overview

The Guyanese economy exhibited moderate economic growth in recent years and is based largely on agriculture and extractive industries. The economy is heavily dependent upon the export of six commodities - sugar, gold, bauxite, shrimp, timber, and rice - which represent nearly 60% of the country's GDP and are highly susceptible to adverse weather conditions and fluctuations in commodity prices. Guyana closed or consolidated several sugar estates in 2017, reducing production of sugar to a forecasted 147,000 tons in 2018, less than half of 2017 production. Much of Guyana's growth in recent years has come from a surge in gold production. With a record-breaking 700,000 ounces of gold produced in 2016, Gold production in Guyana has offset the economic effects of declining sugar production. In January 2018, estimated 3.2 billion barrels of oil were found offshore and Guyana is scheduled to become a petroleum producer by March 2020.

Guyana's entrance into the Caricom Single Market and Economy in January 2006 broadened the country's export market, primarily in the raw materials sector. Guyana has experienced positive growth almost every year over the past decade. Inflation has been kept under control. Recent years have seen the government's stock of debt reduced significantly - with external debt now less than half of what it was in the early 1990s. Despite these improvements, the government is still juggling a sizable external debt against the urgent need for expanded public investment. In March 2007, the Inter-American Development Bank, Guyana's principal donor, canceled Guyana's nearly $470 million debt, equivalent to 21% of GDP, which along with other Highly Indebted Poor Country debt forgiveness, brought the debt-to-GDP ratio down from 183% in 2006 to 52% in 2017. Guyana had become heavily indebted as a result of the inward-looking, state-led development model pursued in the 1970s and 1980s. Chronic problems include a shortage of skilled labor and a deficient infrastructure.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$10.24 billion (2019 est.)

$9.72 billion (2018 est.)

$9.306 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 163

Real GDP growth rate

2.1% (2017 est.)

3.4% (2016 est.)

3.1% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 130

Real GDP per capita

$13,082 (2019 est.)

$12,478 (2018 est.)

$12,005 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 121

GDP (official exchange rate)

$3.561 billion (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 15.4% (2017 est.)

industry: 15.3% (2017 est.)

services: 69.3% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 71.1% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 18.2% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 25.4% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 47.8% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -63% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

rice, sugar cane, coconuts, pumpkins, squash, gourds, milk, eggplants, green chillies/peppers, poultry


bauxite, sugar, rice milling, timber, textiles, gold mining

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: NA

industry: NA

services: NA

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.3%

highest 10%: 33.8% (1999)


revenues: 1.002 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 1.164 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

52.2% of GDP (2017 est.)

50.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 95

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$237 million (2017 est.)

$13 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 103


$1.439 billion (2017 est.)

$1.38 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 152

Exports - partners

Trinidad and Tobago 31%, Canada 11%, Portugal 11%, Ghana 8%, Norway 6%, United Arab Emirates 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

ships, gold, shipping containers, excavation machinery, aluminum ores, rice (2019)


$1.626 billion (2017 est.)

$1.341 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 175

Imports - partners

United States 26%, Trinidad and Tobago 16%, Singapore 18%, Liberia 11%, China 5%, Norway 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

ships, refined petroleum, excavation machinery, shipping containers, aircraft (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$565.4 million (31 December 2017 est.)

$581 million (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 146

Debt - external

$1.69 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$1.542 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 157

Exchange rates

Guyanese dollars (GYD) per US dollar -

207 (2017 est.)

206.5 (2016 est.)

206.5 (2015 est.)

206.5 (2014 est.)

206.45 (2013 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 91.8% (2018)

electrification - urban areas: 96.9% (2018)

electrification - rural areas: 90% (2018)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 130,497

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 17.52 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 129

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 617,998

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 82.97 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 169

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: revenues gained from newly tapped off-shore oil reserves may provide a boost of Guyana’s infrastructure, including upgrade of aging telecom systems to LTE and fiber broadband; competition in mobile services but monopoly in fixed-line; submarine cable improved broadband availability but service is still slow and expensive; second cable will improve delivery and pricing; government promotes ICT for e-government, e-health, and tele-education, and connection to remote locations (2021) (2020)

domestic: fixed-line teledensity is about 18 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity about 83 per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 592; landing point for the SG-SCS submarine cable to Suriname, and the Caribbean; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

government-dominated broadcast media; the National Communications Network (NCN) TV is state-owned; a few private TV stations relay satellite services; the state owns and operates 2 radio stations broadcasting on multiple frequencies capable of reaching the entire country; government limits on licensing of new private radio stations has constrained competition in broadcast media

Internet users

total: 276,498

percent of population: 37.33% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 168

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 64,889

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 9 (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 132


Airports - with paved runways

total: 11

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 8 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 106

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 16

under 914 m: 89 (2013)


total: 3,995 km (2019)

paved: 799 km (2019)

unpaved: 3,196 km (2019)

country comparison to the world: 155


330 km (the Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo Rivers are navigable by oceangoing vessels for 150 km, 100 km, and 80 km respectively) (2012)

country comparison to the world: 91

Merchant marine

total: 58

by type: general cargo 28, oil tanker 7, other 23 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 113

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Georgetown

Military and Security

Military and security forces

the Guyana Defense Force is a unified service with an Army, Air Corps, Coast Guard, Guyana People's Militia (reserves) (2020)

Military expenditures

1.2% of GDP (2020 est.)

1.7% of GDP (2019)

1.6% of GDP (2018)

1.6% of GDP (2017)

1.5% of GDP (2016)

country comparison to the world: 110

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Guyana Defense Force has approximately 3,000 active personnel (2021)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Guyana Defense Force's limited inventory is mostly comprised of second-hand platforms from a variety of foreign suppliers, including Brazil, China, the former Soviet Union, the UK, and the US; since 2000, Guyana has received small amounts of military equipment from Brazil, China, and the UK (2020)

Military service age and obligation

limited information; 18 years of age or older for voluntary military service; no conscription (2019)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

all of the area west of the Essequibo River is claimed by Venezuela preventing any discussion of a maritime boundary; Guyana has expressed its intention to join Barbados in asserting claims before UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that Trinidad and Tobago's maritime boundary with Venezuela extends into their waters; Suriname claims a triangle of land between the New and Kutari/Koetari Rivers in a historic dispute over the headwaters of the Courantyne

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 23,300 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum, are recognized as refugees, or received alternative legal stay) (2020)

Illicit drugs

transshipment point for narcotics from South America - primarily Venezuela - to Europe and the US; producer of cannabis; rising money laundering related to drug trafficking and human smuggling