Guyana

Country Summary

Introduction

Background

Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 Guyana had become a British possession. Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966, and since then has been ruled mostly by socialist-oriented governments. Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America and shares cultural and historical bonds with the Anglophone Caribbean.

Geography

Area

total: 214,969 sq km
land: 196,849 sq km
water: 18,120 sq km

Climate

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

Natural resources

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

People and Society

Population

791,739 (2023 est.)

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.)

Languages

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

Religions

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

Population growth rate

0.28% (2023 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Georgetown

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)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly (70 seats; 40 members directly elected in a single nationwide constituencies, 25 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies - all by closed-list proportional representation vote, 2 non-elected ministers, 2 non-elected parliamentary secretaries, and the speaker; members serve 5-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

small, hydrocarbon-driven South American export economy; major forest coverage being leveraged in carbon credit offsets to encourage preservation; strengthening financial sector; large bauxite and gold resources

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$17.64 billion (2021 est.)
$14.693 billion (2020 est.)
$10.24 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$21,900 (2021 est.)
$18,400 (2020 est.)
$12,800 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

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

Industries

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

Remittances

8.01% of GDP (2020 est.)
7.35% of GDP (2019 est.)
6.97% of GDP (2018 est.)

Exports

$4.64 billion (2021 est.)
$2.799 billion (2020 est.)
$1.805 billion (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

United States 40%, Singapore 14%, United Arab Emirates 6%, United Kingdom 6%, Barbados 6% (2021)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, gold, rice, aluminum ores, railway shipping containers, rums   (2021)

Imports

$6.611 billion (2021 est.)
$3.756 billion (2020 est.)
$5.025 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

Singapore 33%, United States 19%, Trinidad and Tobago 12%, China 8%, Brazil 2% (2021)

Imports - commodities

floating drilling platforms, refined petroleum, valves, construction vehicles, cars (2021)

Exchange rates

Guyanese dollars (GYD) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
208.5 (2021 est.)
208.5 (2020 est.)
208.5 (2019 est.)
207.717 (2018 est.)
206.5 (2017 est.)


Page last updated: Tuesday, February 13, 2024