Guyana Travel Information

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Conservation International in Guyana

Facts About Guyana

Background: Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966 and became a republic in 1970. In 1989 Guyana launched an Economic Recovery Program, which marked a dramatic reversal from a state-controlled, socialist economy towards a more open, free market system. Results through the first decade have proven encouraging.
Government type: republic within the Commonwealth
Capital: Georgetown
Currency: 1 Guyanese dollar (G$) = 100 cents

Geography of Guyana

Location: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela
Geographic coordinates: 5 00 N, 59 00 W
total: 214,970 sq km
land: 196,850 sq km
water: 18,120 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 2,462 km
border countries: Brazil 1,119 km, Suriname 600 km, Venezuela 743 km
Coastline: 459 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the outer edge of the continental margin
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: tropical; hot, humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; two rainy seasons (May to mid-August, mid-November to mid-January)
Terrain: mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Roraima 2,835 m
Natural resources: bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish
Land use:
arable land: 2%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 6%
forests and woodland: 84%
other: 8% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 1,300 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: flash floods are a constant threat during rainy seasons
Environment - current issues: water pollution from sewage and agricultural and industrial chemicals; deforestation
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, 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: 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.

More Geography

People of Guyana

Guyana's population is made up of five main ethnic groups--East Indian, African, Amerindian, Chinese, and Portuguese. Ninety percent of the inhabitants live on the narrow coastal plain, where population density is more than 115 persons per square kilometer (380 per sq. mi.). The population density for Guyana as a whole is low--less than four persons per square kilometer. Although the government has provided free education from nursery school to the university level since 1975, it has not allocated sufficient funds to maintain the standards of what had been considered the best educational system in the region. Many school buildings are in poor condition, there is a shortage of text and exercise books, the number of teachers has declined, and fees are being charged at the university level for some courses of study for the first time.

Population: 765,283 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  28.19% 
15-64 years:  66.89%
65 years and over:  4.92% 
Population growth rate: 0.07% 
Birth rate: 17.92 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 8.87 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: -8.38 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 38.72 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  63.31 years
male:  60.52 years
female:  66.24 years 
Total fertility rate: 2.1 children born/woman 
noun: Guyanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Guyanese
Ethnic groups: East Indian 49%, black 32%, mixed 12%, Amerindian 6%, white and Chinese 1%
Religions: Christian 50%, Hindu 33%, Muslim 9%, other 8%
Languages: English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Hindi, Urdu
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 98.1%
male: 98.6%
female: 97.5% (1995 est.)

More about the Population

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Guyana > Map Economy History