Guyana Population: 740,685


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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.

    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
Location: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela
Geographic coordinates: 5 00 N, 59 00 W
Area: total: 214,969 sq km
land: 196,849 sq km
water: 18,120 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than Idaho; almost twice the size of Tennessee
Land Boundaries: total: 2,933 km border countries (3): Brazil 1308 km, Suriname 836 km, Venezuela 789 km
Coastline: 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
Climate: tropical; hot, humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; two rainy seasons (May to August, November to January)
Terrain: mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south
Natural resources: bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish
Land use: agricultural land: 8.4% (2011 est.) arable land: 2.1% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 0.1% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 6.2% (2011 est.) forest: 77.4% (2011 est.)
other: 14.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 1,430 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: flash flood threat during rainy seasons
Current Environment Issues: water pollution from sewage and agricultural and industrial chemicals; deforestation
International Environment Agreements: 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
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Nationality: 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.)
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: 740,685 (July 2018 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
Age structure: 0-14 years: 25.38% (male 95,740 /female 92,282)
15-24 years: 21.55% (male 81,676 /female 77,942)
25-54 years: 38.52% (male 149,199 /female 136,129)
55-64 years: 8.15% (male 27,684 /female 32,678)
65 years and over: 6.39% (male 19,336 /female 28,019) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 53.5 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 45.8 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 7.7 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 13.3 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 26.7 years
male: 26.3 years
female: 27 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.48% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 15.4 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 7.4 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -3.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 26.6% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 0.83% annual rate of change (2015-20 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: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.85 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2018 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 rate: 229 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 29.5 deaths/1,000 live births male: 33.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 25.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 68.9 years male: 65.9 years
female: 72.1 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.97 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 33.9% (2014)
Physicians density: 0.8 physicians/1,000 population (2018)
Hospital bed density: 1.6 beds/1,000 population (2014)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 98.2% of population
rural: 98.3% of population
total: 98.3% of population

urban: 1.8% of population
rural: 1.7% of population
total: 1.7% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 87.9% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 82% of population (2015 est.)
total: 83.7% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 12.1% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 18% of population (2015 est.)
total: 16.3% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.7% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 8,200 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: <200 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 20.2% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 8.2% (2014)
Education expenditures: 6.3% of GDP (2017)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school (2015 est.)
total population: 88.5%
male: 87.2%
female: 89.8% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 11 years male: 11 years female: 12 years (2012)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 21.6% male: 17.3% female: 28% (2017 est.)
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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
Capital: 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
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
Independence: 26 May 1966 (from the UK)
National holiday: Republic Day, 23 February (1970)
Constitution: 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 to by the president; other amendments only require Assembly approval; amended many times, last in 2016 (2018)
Legal system: common law system, based on the English model, with some Roman-Dutch civil law influence
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President David GRANGER (since 16 May 2015); Vice Presidents Sydney ALLICOCK, Carl Barrington GREENIDGE, Moses Veerasammy NAGAMOOTOO, and Hemraj RAMJATTAN (since 20 May 2015); Prime Minister Moses Veerasammy NAGAMOOTOO (since 20 May 2015); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President David GRANGER (since 16 May 2015); Vice Presidents Sydney ALLICOCK, Carl Barrington GREENIDGE, Moses Veerasammy NAGAMOOTOO, and Hemraj RAMJATTAN (since 20 May 2015); Prime Minister Moses Veerasammy NAGAMOOTOO (since 20 May 2015)

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 11 May 2015 (next to be held no later than 2020); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: David GRANGER (APNU-AFC) designated president by the majority party in the National Assembly
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Assembly (65 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies and a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 11 May 2015 (next to be held by May 2020)

election results: percent of vote by party - APNU-AFC 50.3%, PPP/C 49.2%, other 0.5%; seats by party - APNU-AFC 33, PPP/C 32; composition - men 44, women 21, percent of women 32.3%
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 Partnership for National Unity or APNU [David A. GRANGER] Alliance for Change or AFC [Raphael TROTMAN] Justice for All Party [C.N. SHARMA] National Independent Party or NIP [Saphier Husain SUBEDAR] People's Progressive Party/Civic or PPP/C [Donald RAMOTAR] The United Force or TUF [Manzoor NADIR] United Republican Party or URP [Vishnu BANDHU]
International organization participation: ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CD, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OIC, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, Petrocaribe, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Riyad David INSANALLY (since 16 Sept 2016)
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: chief of mission: Ambassador Sarah-Ann LYNCH (since 13 March 2019)
embassy: US 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
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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.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $6.301 billion (2017 est.) $6.169 billion (2016 est.) $5.969 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $3.561 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.1% (2017 est.) 3.4% (2016 est.) 3.1% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $8,100 (2017 est.) $8,000 (2016 est.) $7,800 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 10.5% of GDP (2017 est.) 15% of GDP (2016 est.) 8.8% of GDP (2015 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.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 15.4% (2017 est.) industry: 15.3% (2017 est.) services: 69.3% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: sugarcane, rice, edible oils; beef, pork, poultry; shrimp, fish
Industries: bauxite, sugar, rice milling, timber, textiles, gold mining
Industrial production growth rate: -5% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 313,800 (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: n/a
industry: n/a
services: n/a
Unemployment rate: 11.1% (2013) 11.3% (2012)
Population below poverty line: 35% (2006 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.3%
highest 10%: 33.8% (1999)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 44.6 (2007) 43.2 (1999)
Budget: revenues: 1.002 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 1.164 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 28.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -4.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 52.2% of GDP (2017 est.) 50.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2% (2017 est.) 0.8% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$237 million (2017 est.) $13 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $1.439 billion (2017 est.) $1.38 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: sugar, gold, bauxite, alumina, rice, shrimp, molasses, rum, timber
Exports - partners: Canada 24.9%, US 16.5%, Panama 9.6%, UK 7.7%, Jamaica 5.1%, Trinidad and Tobago 5% (2017)
Imports: $1.626 billion (2017 est.) $1.341 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: manufactures, machinery, petroleum, food
Imports - partners: Trinidad and Tobago 27.5%, US 26.5%, China 8.9%, Suriname 6.1% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $565.4 million (31 December 2017 est.) $581 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $1.69 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $1.542 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $610.9 million (31 December 2012 est.) $440.4 million (31 December 2011 est.) $339.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
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.)
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Electricity - production: 1.01 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 790.1 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 428,000 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 89% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 11% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 14,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 13,720 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 2.131 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 643,210
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 87 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: reliable international long distance service; 100% digital network; national transmission supported by fiber optic cable and rural network by microwaves; more than 150,000 lines; many areas still lack fixed-line telephone services; 2019 budget allocates funds for ICT (Information and Communications Technology)  development (2018)

domestic: fixed-line teledensity is about 20 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity about 87 per 100 persons (2018)

international: country code - 592; SIP trunking  to most providers; international calls via diverse fiber optic cables; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
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 country code: .gy
Internet users: total: 262,425
percent of population: 35.7% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 117 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
under 914 m: 8 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 106
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 16 (2013)
under 914 m: 89 (2013)
Roadways: total 3,995 km
(2019) paved: 799 km (2019)
unpaved: 3,196 km (2019)
Waterways: 330 km (the Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo Rivers are navigable by oceangoing vessels for 150 km, 100 km, and 80 km respectively) (2012)
Merchant marine: total 55

by type: general cargo 26, oil tanker 7, other 22 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Georgetown
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Military branches: Guyana Defense Force: Army (includes Air Corps, Coast Guard) (2012)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age or older for voluntary military service; no conscription (2014)
Military expenditures: 1.42% of GDP (2016) 1.46% of GDP (2015) 1.28% of GDP (2014) 1.18% of GDP (2013) 1.18% of GDP (2012)
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 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
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
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