OFFICIAL NAME: Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
CAPITAL: Georgetown
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Unitary Multiparty Republic
AREA: 214,970 Sq Km (83,000 Sq Mi)

Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Guyana is located on the northeast coast of South America. It is bound by Suriname to the east, Venezuela to the west, Brazil to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the north. The country is divided into three geographical zones. (1.) The coastal plain which is made up of alluvial mud from the Amazon River and a barrier of swamps. (2.) The forest zone which is an eroded plateau from which the Pakaraima Mountains and Kaieteurian Plateau rise. (3.) The savannah zone which is grass covered and includes the Rupununi Valley in the extreme southwest. The country's four principal rivers are the Corentyne, Berbice, Demerara and Essequibo. Major Cities (pop. est.); Georgetown 248,500, Linden 27,200, New Amsterdam 17,700 (1992). Land Use; forested 84%, pastures 6%, agricultural-cultivated 3%, other 7% (1993).

CLIMATE: Guyana has a subtropical climate with two wet seasons and two dry seasons. The wet seasons are from April to July and November to January while the dry seasons are from August to November and February to March. Humidity is high throughout the year and temperatures are influenced by the NE trade winds. Average annual precipitation in Georgetown is 2,280 mm (90 inches) with less rainfall occurring on the higher plateau. Average temperature ranges in Georgetown are from 23 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Fahrenheit) to 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) all year.

PEOPLE: Guyana has seven definable ethnic groups which are as follows, East Indians who account for 51% of the population while mixed Afro-Indians account for 11%, AmerIndians for 5%, of which the Caribs represent 3.7% and the Portuguese, Chinese, Afro-Guyanese who account for 31% while other Europeans account for 2% of the population.

DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 3.5 persons per sq km (9 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 28.3% urban, 71.7% rural (1989). Sex Distribution; 49.5% male, 50.5% female (1990). Life Expectancy at Birth; 64.0 years male, 69.0 years female (1989). Age Breakdown; 33% under 15, 33% 15 to 29, 19% 30 to 44, 9% 45 to 59, 5% 60 to 74, 1% 75 and over (1990). Birth Rate; 25.0 per 1,000 (1989). Death Rate; 6.0 per 1,000 (1989). Increase Rate; 19.0 per 1,000 (1989). Infant Mortality Rate; 41.0 per 1,000 live births (1989).

RELIGIONS: Mostly Christians which account for 42% of the population, of which 30% are Protestants and 11% are Roman Catholics. Additionally, 37% of the population are Hindus and 9% are Muslims.

LANGUAGES: The official language is English, although Hindustani, Hindi, Creole and Chinese are also widely used by the elderly immigrants.

EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: no formal schooling 8.1%, primary 72.8%, secondary 17.3%, higher 1.8% (1980). Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over 96.4% (1990).

MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: After World War II Britain increased its efforts to prepare British Guiana for internal self government. As a result a new constitution was adopted in 1953 and elections were held in April 1953 which were won by Dr Cheddi Jagan. However, in Oct. 1953 the British suspended the constitution and removed the Jagan administration because their policies threatened to turn British Guiana into a communist state. In 1961 British Guiana was nearing independence and a new constitution gave the colony control over its national affairs, although Britain still controlled its defense and foreign relations. British Guiana gained complete independence as Guyana on May 26, 1966 with Forbes Burnham as the country's first Prime Minister. On Feb. 23, 1970 Guyana was declared a cooperative republic with a nonexecutive President. Pres. Burnham was reelected in 1968 and 1973. In 1976 Pres. Burnham embarked on a nationalization program of the country's foreign owned enterprises and in July 1978 a referendum gave the National Assembly the power to amend the constitution. On Nov. 18, 1978 over 900 people, mostly Americans, poisoned themselves following the leadership of Jim Jones and his People's Temple sect. On Aug. 6, 1985 Burnham died and was succeeded by the first Vice President, Desmond Hoyte. In 1987 and 1988 Pres. Hoyte began a program of reversing some of Burnham's policies which included the liberalization of the economy as well as seeking Western aid and investment. In 1990 and 1991 general elections were postponed and Pres. Hoyte promised extensive electoral reforms as observer teams from the Carter Center estimated some 130,000 of the 340,000 people were missing from electoral rolls. On Nov. 28, 1991 Pres. Hoyte declared a State of Emergency and promised elections would be held at the earliest realistic date. In July 1992 Guyana signed a tax information exchange agreement with the USA. After elections held on Oct. 5, 1992 Cheddi Jagan pf the People's Progressive Party (PPP) was elected to office with 52% of the vote while Pres. Hoyte's People's National Congress (PNC) achieved 44% of the vote. Following which Pres. Jagan appointed Sam Hinds Prime Minister and announced his new government would encourage private initiative, although it would slow down the privatization program of state enterprises. In Mar. 1993 the former PNC government Prime Minister, Hamilton Green, sued the PNC for violation of his constitutional rights by expelling him from the party following which he formed his own party the Forum for Democracy. In April 1993 the former PNC President, Desmond Hoyte, was rushed to the USA for a triple bypass heart operation. In July 1993 the government announced that it would consider privatization of 16 state enterprises including those of the sugar and bauxite mining industry. In Oct. 1993 discussions over the long standing territorial dispute with Venezuela continued. Also during the year the British government forgave Guyana's entire US $80 million debt while the Paris Club of creditor nations also forgave some US $40 million in bilateral debt and rescheduled the remainder of the next 23 years.

CURRENCY: The official currency is the Dollar (GD) divided into 100 Cents.

ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $285,000,000 (1993). Public Debt; USD $1,727,000,000 (1993). Imports; USD $350,000,000 (1994). Exports; USD $369,000,000 (1994). Tourism Receipts; USD $36,000,000 (1993). Balance of Trade; USD $19,000,000 (1994). Economically Active Population; 270,074 or 35.7% of total population (1987). Unemployed; 12.9% (1992).

MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are the USA, the UK, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, Canada and Jamaica.

MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Bauxite, Diamonds, Fish, Gold, Oranges, Rice, Semi Precious Gem Stones, Shrimp, Sugar, Timber.

MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Alumina Products, Forestry, Mining, Sugar Refining, Timber Milling.

MAIN EXPORTS: Alumina, Bauxite, Gold, Rice, Rum, Shrimp, Sugar, Timber.

TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 88 km (55 mi) (1988), passenger-km N/A., cargo ton-km N/A. Roads; length 8,890 km (5,524 mi) (1985). Vehicles; cars 22,000 (1989), trucks and buses 9,000 (1989). Merchant Marine; vessels 75 (1990), deadweight tonnage 10,951 (1990). Air Transport; passenger-km 185,000,000 (114,954,000 passenger-mi) (1988), cargo ton-km 2,600,000 (1,781,000 short ton-mi) (1988).

COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 2 with a circulation of 80,000 (1992). Radio; receivers 386,000 (1994). Television; receivers 15,000 (1994). Telephones; units 41,000 (1993).

MILITARY: 1,600 (1995) total active duty personnel with 86.6% army, 7.2% navy and 6.2% air force while military expenditure accounts for 2.0% (1992) of the Gross National Product (GNP).

Countries Navbar

© 1993-2011, Latimer Clarke Corporation Pty Ltd. All Rights Reserved
Use of these site materials or portion thereof is restricted
Atlapedia is a trademark and in worldwide use

See our Legal Notice for Copyright and Linking conditions of use
Best viewed at 1024x768 or higher

Big Game