source : World Fact Book 2008 (October 2008)


   Introduction    Guyana
Definition Field Listing Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 Guyana had become a British possession. The abolition of slavery led to black settlement of urban areas and the importation of indentured servants from India to work the sugar plantations. This 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 reelected in 2001 and again in 2006.
   Geography    Guyana
Definition Field Listing Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing 5 00 N, 59 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing South America
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 214,970 sq km
land: 196,850 sq km
water: 18,120 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing slightly smaller than Idaho
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing total: 2,949 km
border countries: Brazil 1,606 km, Suriname 600 km, Venezuela 743 km
Definition Field Listing 459 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the outer edge of the continental margin
Definition Field Listing tropical; hot, humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; two rainy seasons (May to August, November to January)
Definition Field Listing mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Roraima 2,835 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish
Land use:
Definition Field Listing arable land: 2.23%
permanent crops: 0.14%
other: 97.63% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing 1,500 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
Definition Field Listing 241 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Definition Field Listing total: 1.64 cu km/yr (2%/1%/98%)
per capita: 2,187 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing flash floods are a constant threat during rainy seasons
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing water pollution from sewage and agricultural and industrial chemicals; deforestation
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing 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
   People    Guyana
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 770,794
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 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing 0-14 years: 25.9% (male 101,712/female 97,907)
15-64 years: 68.7% (male 267,239/female 262,188)
65 years and over: 5.4% (male 17,610/female 24,138) (2008 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing total: 28.2 years
male: 27.7 years
female: 28.7 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing 0.211% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 17.85 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 8.29 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order -7.45 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 30.43 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 33.87 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 26.82 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total population: 66.43 years
male: 63.81 years
female: 69.18 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2.03 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2.5% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 11,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1,100 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2008)
Definition Field Listing noun: Guyanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Guyanese
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing East Indian 43.5%, black (African) 30.2%, mixed 16.7%, Amerindian 9.1%, other 0.5% (2002 census)
Definition Field Listing Hindu 28.4%, Pentecostal 16.9%, Roman Catholic 8.1%, Anglican 6.9%, Seventh Day Adventist 5%, Methodist 1.7%, Jehovah Witness 1.1%, other Christian 17.7%, Muslim 7.2%, other 4.3%, none 4.3% (2002 census)
Definition Field Listing English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Urdu
Definition Field Listing definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 98.8%
male: 99.1%
female: 98.5% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Definition Field Listing total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2005)
Education expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 8.3% of GDP (2006)
   Government    Guyana
Country name:
Definition Field Listing conventional long form: Cooperative Republic of Guyana
conventional short form: Guyana
former: British Guiana
Government type:
Definition Field Listing republic
Definition Field Listing name: Georgetown
geographic coordinates: 6 48 N, 58 10 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing 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
Definition Field Listing 26 May 1966 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing Republic Day, 23 February (1970)
Definition Field Listing 6 October 1980
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing based on English common law with certain admixtures of Roman-Dutch law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Definition Field Listing 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing chief of state: President Bharrat JAGDEO (since 11 August 1999); note - assumed presidency after resignation of President Janet JAGAN and was reelected in 2001, and again in 2006
head of government: Prime Minister Samuel HINDS (since October 1992, except for a period as chief of state after the death of President Cheddi JAGAN on 6 March 1997)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president, responsible to the legislature
elections: president elected by popular vote as leader of a party list in parliamentary elections, which must be held at least every five years (no term limits); elections last held 28 August 2006 (next to be held by August 2011); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: President Bharrat JAGDEO reelected; percent of vote 54.6%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing unicameral National Assembly (65 seats; members elected by popular vote, also not more than 4 non-elected non-voting ministers and 2 non-elected non-voting parliamentary secretaries appointed by the president; to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 28 August 2006 (next to be held by August 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - PPP/C 54.6%, PNC/R 34%, AFC 8.1%, other 3.3%; seats by party - PPP/C 36, PNC/R 22, AFC 5, other 2
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing Supreme Court of Judicature, consisting of the High Court and the Judicial Court of Appeal, with right of final appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing Alliance for Change or AFC [Raphael TROTMAN and Khemraj RAMJATTAN]; Guyana Action Party or GAP [Paul HARDY]; Justice for All Party [C.N. SHARMA]; People's National Congress/Reform or PNC/R [Robert Herman Orlando CORBIN]; People's Progressive Party/Civic or PPP/C [Bharrat JAGDEO]; Rise, Organize, and Rebuild or ROAR [Ravi DEV]; The United Force or TUF [Manzoor NADIR]; The Unity Party [Joey JAGAN]; Vision Guyana [Peter RAMSAROOP]; Working People's Alliance or WPA [Rupert ROOPNARAINE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing Amerindian People's Association; Guyana Bar Association; Guyana Citizens Initiative; Guyana Human Rights Association; Guyana Public Service Union or GPSU; Private Sector Commission; Trades Union Congress
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing chief of mission: Ambassador Bayney KARRAN
chancery: 2490 Tracy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-6900
FAX: [1] (202) 232-1297
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing chief of mission: Ambassador David M. ROBINSON
embassy: 100 Young and Duke Streets, Kingston, Georgetown
mailing address: P. O. Box 10507, Georgetown; US Embassy, 3170 Georgetown Place, Washington DC 20521-3170
telephone: [592] 225-4900 through 4909
FAX: [592] 225-8497
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing 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
   Economy    Guyana
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing The Guyanese economy exhibited moderate economic growth in 2001-07, based on expansion in the agricultural and mining sectors, a more favorable atmosphere for business initiatives, a more realistic exchange rate, fairly low inflation, and the continued support of international organizations. Economic recovery since the 2005 flood-related contraction has been buoyed by increases in remittances and foreign direct investment. Chronic problems include a shortage of skilled labor and a deficient infrastructure. The government is 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 nearly 48% of GDP. The bauxite mining sector should benefit in the near term from restructuring and partial privatization, and the state-owned sugar industry will conduct efficiency increasing modernizations. Export earnings from agriculture and mining have fallen sharply, while the import bill has risen, driven by higher energy prices. Guyana's entrance into the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) in January 2006 will broaden the country's export market, primarily in the raw materials sector.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $2.819 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing $1.039 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 5.3% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $3,700 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing agriculture: 31.1%
industry: 21.7%
services: 47.1% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 418,000 (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 9.1% (understated) (2000)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing lowest 10%: 1.3%
highest 10%: 33.8% (1999)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing 43.2 (1999)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 12.3% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 34.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
Definition Field Listing revenues: $446.2 million
expenditures: $531.2 million (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing sugarcane, rice, shrimp, fish, vegetable oils; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products
Definition Field Listing bauxite, sugar, rice milling, timber, textiles, gold mining
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order -26.4% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 807.3 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 750.7 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing 0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 10,500 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 10,070 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order -$157 million (2007 est.)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $683 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing sugar, gold, bauxite, alumina, rice, shrimp, molasses, rum, timber
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing Canada 18.6%, US 16.4%, UK 9.1%, Portugal 7.5%, Trinidad and Tobago 5.1%, France 4.7%, Netherlands 4.6%, Jamaica 4.3% (2007)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $1.006 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing manufactures, machinery, petroleum, food
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing Trinidad and Tobago 25.6%, US 20%, Cuba 7.1%, China 7%, UK 5.3% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing $136.8 million (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $313 million (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $1.2 billion (2002)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $187.3 million (2005)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing Guyanese dollar (GYD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing Guyanese dollars per US dollar - 201.89 (2007), 200.28 (2006), 200.79 (2005), 198.31 (2004), 193.88 (2003)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing calendar year
   Communications    Guyana
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 110,100 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 281,400 (2005)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing general assessment: fair system for long-distance service
domestic: microwave radio relay network for trunk lines; fixed-line teledensity is about 15 per 100 persons; many areas still lack fixed-line telephone services; mobile-cellular teledensity reached 37 per 100 persons in 2005
international: country code - 592; tropospheric scatter to Trinidad; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing AM 3, FM 3, shortwave 1 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing 3 (1 public station; 2 private stations which relay US satellite services) (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing .gy
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 3,000 (2007)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 190,000 (2007)
   Transportation    Guyana
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 93 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing total: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
under 914 m: 6 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing total: 84
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 14
under 914 m: 69 (2007)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 7,970 km
paved: 590 km
unpaved: 7,380 km (2000)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo rivers are navigable by oceangoing vessels for 150 km, 100 km, and 80 km respectively (2006)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 8 ships (1000 GRT or over) 14,364 GRT/17,099 DWT
by type: cargo 6, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 1
registered in other countries: 3 (St Vincent and the Grenadines 2, unknown 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing Georgetown
   Military    Guyana
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing Guyana Defense Force: Army (includes Coast Guard, Air Corps) (2007)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing 18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2008)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing males age 16-49: 220,797 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing males age 16-49: 150,623 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Definition Field Listing male: 6,713
female: 6,451 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1.8% of GDP (2006)
   Transnational Issues    Guyana
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing 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 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; Guyana seeks arbitration under provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to resolve the long-standing dispute with Suriname over the axis of the territorial sea boundary in potentially oil-rich waters
Trafficking in persons:
Definition Field Listing current situation: Guyana is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; most trafficking appears to take place in remote mining camps in the country's interior; some women and girls are trafficked from northern Brazil; reporting from other nations suggests Guyanese women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation to neighboring countries and Guyanese men and boys are subject to labor exploitation in construction and agriculture; trafficking victims from Suriname, Brazil, and Venezuela transit Guyana en route to Caribbean destinations
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - for a second consecutive year, Guyana is on the Tier 2 Watch List for failing to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking, particularly in the area of law enforcement actions against trafficking offenders; the government has yet to produce an anti-trafficking conviction under the comprehensive Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act, which became law in 2005; the government operates no shelters for trafficking victims, but did include limited funding for anti-trafficking NGOs in its 2008 budget; the government did not make any effort to reduce demand for commercial sex acts during 2007 (2008)
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing 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

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Countries of the World - Detailed information about Guyana -
Source : CIA's World Fact Book 2008

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