Guyana

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

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

789,683 (2022 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%, 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.)

Population growth rate

0.24% (2022 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 South American export economy; COVID-19 disruptions and commodity price drops; high emigration and remittances; widespread poverty; recently discovered oil and gas reserves; formalizing financial sector; large bauxite and gold resources

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$14.69 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$18,700 (2020 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

Exports

$1.8 billion (2019 est.)

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)

Imports

$4 billion (2019 est.)

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)


Page last updated: Thursday, Jun 02, 2022