Suriname - geography
Suriname is extremely sparsely populated and 96% covered by forest; less than
1% of the land is cultivated. The ethnic composition of the population is mixed,
reflecting the Dutch colonial past. After independence, many emigrated to the
Netherlands, and the population fell, but in the 1990's the growth was approximately 1%
per year. 35% are Creoles, 33% of Indian and 16% of Indonesian descent. In
addition, small Chinese and European minorities, while only 3% are descendants
of the native Indians. The Indians came to the country as contract workers in
the 1800's, while the black bush negroes or maroons are
descendants of runaway slaves from the 1700's. They live mainly scattered along
the rivers inland. Incidentally, almost the entire population lives on the north
coast with over 90% in and around Paramaribo.
The climate is tropical with small seasonal variations. The temperature is
26-29 °C, and the rain falls fairly evenly all year round, although somewhat
less in September-November. From north to south, the annual precipitation
decreases from 2500 to 1500 mm. 80% of the area is rainforest. The northern part
of the country is a swampy coastal plain. South of this is a plateau with
Juliana Top (1230 m), the country's highest point. From the plateau flow a large
number of rivers, south to the Amazon and north, among others. Suriname and the
border rivers Corantijn and Marowijne.
Suriname has great natural resources: wood, bauxite (2% of world reserves),
gold and oil. However, political unrest and economic instability have hampered
development, and living standards fell in the 1980's and early 1990's. Export
revenues come mainly from sales of alumina (intermediate) and aluminum, but
falling prices on the world market, together with political problems, have at
times reduced activities in the aluminum sector. The extraction is mainly driven
by American and South African capital. Conflicts between mining interests and
local landowners occur regularly, e.g. in connection with pollution by gold and
diamond production. For use in the production of aluminum, several rivers are
uplifted for electricity production.
Agriculture includes only approximately 60,000 ha along the coast and along the
rivers. Rice is the dominant crop; with irrigation can be harvested twice a
year. To a lesser extent, bananas, sugar cane, coconut and vegetable oil are
harvested in addition to coffee and cocoa, some for export. Of greater
importance for exports are shrimp fishing and breeding in fish farms. The timber
resources are only utilized to a modest extent.
The industry is very limited and consists mainly of processing of
agricultural products, manufacture of rum. Most of the country is
roadless; only at the coast there are passable roads. Inland transport takes
place on the rivers and by plane.
Suriname - language
Almost the entire population speaks the English-based Creole language sranan,
while the official language Dutch as a mother tongue is spoken by less than
1%. Other English-based Creole languages are aukans, Guyanese, kwinti and saramaccan. Immigrant
groups have continued the use of Chinese, English, Hindi and Javanese, while
the Caribbean languages akurio, kalihna, trió and wayana as
well as arawak in the 1990's together were spoken by less than 5000.
Do you know how many people there are in Suriname? Check this site to see
population pyramid and resident density about this country.
Suriname - religion
In Suriname, three world religions are almost equally
represented: Christianity by both Catholics and Protestants (with the
brotherhood as the largest Protestant denomination), a total of approximately 37% of
the population; Hinduism among the majority of Indians, approximately 33%; and Islam among
the Indonesians and a minority of Indians, approximately 22%.
Suriname - Constitution
The Constitution of the Republic of Suriname is from 1987. The legislative
power lies with the National Assembly with 51 members elected by universal
suffrage for five years; it elects a president and a vice president for a
five-year term. The president has the executive power and also heads a
designated, military-dominated cabinet, which is to oversee government action in
accordance with the constitution. It has the right to repeal laws passed by the