Population: 735 554

GDP: 3 020 000 000.00 $




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 reelected in 2001 and again in 2006. Donald Ramotar was elected president in 2011.




Population: 735,554


Nationality: noun: Guyanese (singular and plural) adjective: Guyanese


Ethnic groups: East Indian 43.5%, black (African) 30.2%, mixed 16.7%, Amerindian 9.1%, other 0.5%.


Languages: English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Urdu.


Religions: Protestant 30.5% (Pentecostal 16.9%, Anglican 6.9%, Seventh Day Adventist 5%, Methodist 1.7%), Hindu 28.4%, Roman Catholic 8.1%, Muslim 7.2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.1%, other Christian 17.7%, other 1.9%, none 4.3%, unspecified 0.9%.



GDP: $ 3 020 000 000.00 (2013)

Military Organization


Guyana Defense Force: Army (includes Air Corps, Coast Guard).

Conflicts and Disputes



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; Guyana seeks arbitration under provisions of the UNCLOS to resolve the long-standing dispute with Suriname over the axis of the territorial sea boundary in potentially oil-rich waters.



Guyana is 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.

Geographical Information and Map


Capital: Georgetown


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


Geographic coordinates:

5 00 N, 59 00 W



total: 214,969 sq km

land: 196,849 sq km

water: 18,120 sq km


Land boundaries:

total: 2,933 km

border countries: Brazil 1,308 km, Suriname 836 km, Venezuela 789 km


Coastline: 459 km


Natural resources: bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish