[Country map of Guyana]



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

Map references: South America

total area: 214,970 sq km
land area: 196,850 sq km
comparative area: slightly smaller than Idaho

Land boundaries: total 2,462 km, 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

International disputes: all of the area west of the Essequibo River claimed by Venezuela; Suriname claims area between New (Upper Courantyne) and Courantyne/Kutari Rivers (all headwaters of the Courantyne)

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

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

Land use:
arable land: 3%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 6%
forest and woodland: 83%
other: 8%

Irrigated land: 1,300 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: water pollution from sewage and agricultural and industrial chemicals; deforestation
natural hazards: flash floods are a constant threat during rainy seasons
international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83


Population: 723,774 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 33% (female 118,515; male 123,048)
15-64 years: 62% (female 224,484; male 225,543)
65 years and over: 5% (female 17,540; male 14,644) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: -0.81% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 19.41 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 7.34 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -20.19 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 47.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 65.1 years
male: 61.86 years
female: 68.5 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.23 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Guyanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Guyanese

Ethnic divisions: East Indian 51%, black and mixed 43%, Amerindian 4%, European and Chinese 2%

Religions: Christian 57%, Hindu 33%, Muslim 9%, other 1%

Languages: English, Amerindian dialects

Literacy: age 15 and over has ever attended school (1990 est.)
total population: 96%
male: 98%
female: 95%

Labor force: 268,000
by occupation: industry and commerce 44.5%, agriculture 33.8%, services 21.7%
note: public-sector employment amounts to 60%-80% of the total labor force (1985)


conventional long form: Co-operative Republic of Guyana
conventional short form: Guyana
former: British Guiana

Digraph: GY

Type: republic

Capital: Georgetown

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 UK)

National holiday: Republic Day, 23 February (1970)

Constitution: 6 October 1980

Legal system: based on English common law with certain admixtures of Roman-Dutch law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Executive President Cheddi JAGAN (since 5 October 1992); election last held 5 October 1992; results - Cheddi JAGAN was elected president since he was leader of the party with the most votes in the National Assembly elections
head of government: Prime Minister Sam HINDS (since 5 October 1992)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers; appointed by the president, responsible to the legislature

Legislative branch: unicameral
National Assembly: elections last held on 5 October 1992 (next to be held in 1997); results - PPP 53.4%, PNC 42.3%, WPA 2%, TUF 1.2%; seats - (65 total, 53 elected) PPP 36, PNC 26, WPA 2, TUF 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Judicature

Political parties and leaders: People's Progressive Party (PPP), Cheddi JAGAN; People's National Congress (PNC), Hugh Desmond HOYTE; Good and Green Georgetown (GGG), Hamilton GREEN; Working People's Alliance (WPA), Eusi KWAYANA, Rupert ROOPNARINE; Democratic Labor Movement (DLM), Paul TENNASSEE; People's Democratic Movement (PDM), Llewellyn JOHN; National Democratic Front (NDF), Joseph BACCHUS; The United Force (TUF), Manzoor NADIR; United Republican Party (URP), Leslie RAMSAMMY; National Republican Party (NRP), Robert GANGADEEN; Guyana Labor Party (GLP), Nanda GOPAUL

Other political or pressure groups: Trades Union Congress (TUC); Guyana Council of Indian Organizations (GCIO); Civil Liberties Action Committee (CLAC)
note: the latter two organizations are small and active but not well organized


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Ali Odeen ISHMAEL
chancery: 2490 Tracy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-6900, 6901
consulate(s) general: New York

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador George F. JONES
embassy: 99-100 Young and Duke Streets, Kingston, Georgetown
mailing address: P. O. Box 10507, Georgetown
telephone: [592] (2) 54900 through 54909, 57960 through 57969
FAX: [592] (2) 58497

Flag: 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


Overview: Guyana, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, has pushed ahead strongly in 1992-94, with an 8% average annual economic growth rate, led by gold mining, and rice, sugar, and forestry products for export. Favorable factors include recovery in the key agricultural and mining sectors, a more favorable atmosphere for business initiative, a more realistic exchange rate, a sharp drop in the inflation rate, and the continued support of international organizations. Serious underlying economic problems will continue. Electric power has been in short supply and constitutes a major barrier to future gains in national output. The government will have to persist in efforts to manage its large $2.2 billion external debt, control inflation, and to extend the privatization program.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $1.4 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 8.5% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $1,950 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 15.5% (1994 est.)

Unemployment rate: 12% (1992 est.)

revenues: $23.7 million
expenditures: $19.6 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994 est.)

Exports: $475 million (f.o.b., 1994)
commodities: sugar, bauxite/alumina, rice, shrimp, molasses
partners: UK 33%, US 31%, Canada 9%, France 5%, Japan 3% (1992)

Imports: $456 million (c.i.f., 1994 est.)
commodities: manufactures, machinery, petroleum, food
partners: US 37%, Trinidad and Tobago 13%, UK 11%, Italy 8%, Japan 5% (1992)

External debt: $2.2 billion (1994 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 5.6% (1994 est.)

capacity: 110,000 kW
production: 230 million kWh
consumption per capita: 286 kWh (1993)

Industries: bauxite mining, sugar, rice milling, timber, fishing (shrimp), textiles, gold mining

Agriculture: most important sector, accounting for 25% of GDP and about half of exports; sugar and rice are key crops; development potential exists for fishing and forestry; not self-sufficient in food, especially wheat, vegetable oils, and animal products

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for narcotics from South America - primarily Venezuela - to the US and Europe; producer of cannabis

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $116 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $325 million; Communist countries 1970-89, $242 million

Currency: 1 Guyanese dollar (G$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Guyanese dollars (G$) per US$1 - 142.7 (January 1995), 138.3 (1994), 126.7 (1993), 125.0 (1992), 111.8 (1991), 39.533 (1990)

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 100 km NA-m gauge industrial lines for the transport of minerals, including bauxite

total: 7,665 km
paved: 550 km
unpaved: gravel 5,000 km; earth 2,115 km

Inland waterways: 6,000 km total of navigable waterways; Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo Rivers are navigable by oceangoing vessels for 150 km, 100 km, and 80 km, respectively

Ports: Bartica, Georgetown, Linden, New Amsterdam, Parika

Merchant marine:
total: 1 cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,317 GRT/2,558 DWT

total: 54
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 34
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 2
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 14


Telephone system: over 27,000 telephones; fair system for long distance calling
local: NA
intercity: microwave radio relay network for trunk lines
international: tropospheric scatter link to Trinidad; 1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth station

broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 3, shortwave 1
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 0
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Guyana Defense Force (GDF; includes Ground Forces, Coast Guard, and Air Corps), Guyana People's Militia (GPM), Guyana National Service (GNS)

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 198,665; males fit for military service 150,573 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: $NA, NA% of GDP