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Guyana

  • Capital Georgetown (30°37'N, 97°40'W)
  • International airport(s) Cheddi Jagan International
  • Official language(s) English
  • Currency Guyana Dollar
  • Time UTC -4
  • Region Caribbean
GeographyClimateEconomyCulture
Guyana is located on the northern shores of South America, sharing borders with Brazil, Suriname and Venezuela. Only 25 per cent of Guyana’s 2 933 km frontier is coastline. With an area of around 197 000 km2, Guyana is one of the smallest countries in South America. The low coastal plains, which account for about 5 per cent of the land area accommodates about 90 per cent of the population and lies between 1 m and 1.5 m below sea level at high tide. The shoreline is protected by a complex set of seawalls and sluices, much of it built by the Dutch in the 19th century. Further inland, a sand belt supports dense virgin, hardwood rainforest and is where Guyana's reserves of bauxite, gold and diamonds are principally found. Further inland, the mountainous grasslands support only grazing.

Known as the ‘land of many waters,’ Guyana claims the world’s widest and longest single-drop waterfall - the Kaieteur Falls – which at 251 m are four times higher than Niagara, with an average flow rate of 663 cubic meters per second. Reputedly, Guyana was also home to the famed El Dorado – the lost city of gold.
Guyana enjoys a humid, tropical climate, relieved by northeast trade winds. There are two rainy seasons (May to mid-August and November to January), during which, more than half over half of the average 2 300 mm of rain per year falls in the capital Georgetown. The average monthly temperatures in Guyana range between 25°C in February and 27°C in October. Guyana lies south of the Caribbean hurricane pathway -—
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World Risk Index, Guyana ranks 6th in the list of world’s most at-risk country for natural hazards.
Agriculture, fishing together with mining are among Guyana’s most important economic activities, with sugar, rum, rice and gold production accounting for 70 to 75 per cent of export earnings. The share of agriculture, hunting, forestry, fishing in GDP has been gradually declining over the years and was just below 20 per cent in 2019, while industry accounts for almost one third and services nearly half of GDP. -—
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In 2019, 17 per cent of the labor force was engaged in agriculture, 23 per cent in industry, and 60 per cent in the services sector -—
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. Over 80 per cent of employed women were engaged in service jobs. Despite this high employment share in services, in 2019, inbound tourism expenditure accounted for only 0.6 per cent of GDP -—
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. In 2019, top destinations for exports included Germany, Canada, and Trinidad and Tobago -—
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Guyana boasts six ethnic groups, several religions, with influences from both mainland South America and the Caribbean, and it is the only English-speaking country in South America. At 43.5 m, Saint George’s Cathedral, built in 1892, in Georgetown, was once the tallest wooden church in the world.

The cuisine embodies the ethnic makeup of the country and reflects its history, comprising Amerindian, European, African, East Indian, Portuguese and Chinese dishes. ‘Seven curry’ is a popular dish that is the most important ritual food too. It is served with rice or roti, mashed pumpkin cooked with curry powder and brown sugar, chickpeas, potatoes, curried mangoes and dhal.

Sports is an integral part of Guyanese culture. Cricket, softball, soccer, field hockey, rounders, netball, lawn tennis, table tennis, basketball, squash, boxing, horse racing and rugby are all popular sports. Guyana has produced its share of colourfully named, internationally recognized, athletes, such as, Andrew “Sixhead” Lewis, Wayne “Big Truck” Braithwaite and “Vicious” Vivian Harris, all of whom are world title boxers, and the female boxer Gwendolyn “Stealth Bomber” O'Neil.
Land areakm2
Arable land%
Forest area%
Coastline
lengthkm
Exclusive economic zonekm2
Nearest
neighbourkm
Economic trendsMaritime transportPopulationInternational tradeEnvironmentInformation and communications technology
Gross domestic product
US dollars at constant prices (2015) in millions
GDP per capita

2019

US$

Productive Capacity Index

2018

Economic and environmental vulnerability index

2019

Consumer Price Index growth

2019

%

Unemployment
rate

Total %
Female %, Male %
Main economic sectors, 2019
Percentage of GDP
Tourist arrivals
Thousands of tourists, percentage of GDP
External financial resources
Percentage of GDP
Public debt as % of GDP

2018

%

Fleet size
Number of ships
Ship type20112019
Total fleet1 4071 407
Oil tankers264266
Bulk carriers311333
General cargo16177
Container ships5249
Other types of ships619682
Port performance
Ranked by 2019 data within SIDS group
Indicators2019SIDS Ranking
Number of port calls1 27314
Median time in port (days)18
Average age of vessels1619
Average size (GT) of vessels7 28828
Container port throuput

2019

TEU

Bilateral connectivity index, 2019
Top 5 partners
Liner shipping connectivity index
Maximum China Q1 2006=100
Total population
Thousands of people, share of urban population
Population development indicators
IndicatorsPeriodValue
Poverty headcount (% of population)....
Human development index20180.7
Human assets index202089
Adult literacy rate (15+ years, both sexes %)....
Gender inequality index20190.5
Life expectancy at birth

years

Population density

2019

persons per km2
Dependency
ratio

2019

Child:
Old-age:
Age structure by gender, 2019
Percentage of total population
Merchandise and services trade
US dollars in millions
Indicators20052010201520192019 (% of GDP)
Merchandise exports 553 8801 1511 56730.3
Merchandise imports 7881 3971 4923 01958.4
Services exports14824814500
Services imports20134442300
Trade openness
Goods and services

% of GDP

Export concentration index

2019

Food import
dependency
Average 2015-2019

Top 5 partners in merchandise trade, 2019
Exports in millions US dollars
Merchandise exports by product group, 2019
Services exports by category, 2019
CO2 emissions per capita
Kg per capita
CO2 emissions per GDP
Kg per 2010 US$ of GDP
Renewable energy share in total energy consumption, 2017
Percentage of total energy consumption
Material
footprint
per capita

2016

kg

Terrestrial
protected
area

2018

%

Marine
protected
area

2018

%

Disasters indicators
Data not available
Trade in ICT goods

Exports: %
Imports: %
Trade in ICT services

Exports: %
Imports: %
Share of
internet users

%

Fixed broadband vs Mobile broadband subscriptions
Number of subscriptions per 100 people
Sources
Source of data: -—
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except indicators listed below.
References
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