Fast Facts

Population:
751,000
Capital:
Georgetown; 231,000
Area:
214,969 square kilometers (83,000 square miles)
Language:
English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Hindi, Urdu
Religion:
Christian, Hindu, Muslim
Currency:
Guyanese dollar
Life Expectancy:
63
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $3,800
Literacy Percent:
99
Flag: Guyana
Map: Guyana

Tropical rain forest shrouds more than 80 percent of this English-speaking former British colony on the north coast of South America. During 150 years of rule, Britain imported Africans and East Indians as laborers, and Guyana forged close trade ties with the Caribbean. Since independence in 1966, Guyanese have supported a parliamentary system. Sugar, bauxite, rice, and gold lead among exports. Guyana's high debt burden to foreign creditors and territorial disputes with Suriname and Venezuela continue to hamper the government.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Bauxite, sugar, rice milling, timber, textiles
  • Agriculture: Sugar, rice, wheat, vegetable oils; beef; shrimp
  • Exports: Sugar, gold, bauxite/alumina, rice, shrimp

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

Related Features

  • Picture of bumblebee poison dart frog/guyana banded dart frog, Guyana, South America

    Best Trips of 2014

    National Geographic Traveler presents the New Year's must-see places. From Argentina to Oz, this list reflects what’s authentic, culturally rich, sustainable-minded, and of course superlative in the world of travel today.

  • Photo: Central America Guatemala Tikal Mayan temple ruins

    Best Tours in Central and South America

    See our roundup of the best guided expeditions in Central and South America for 2011.

  • Photo: machu picchu with hikers

    Trek the Salcantay Route to Machu Picchu

    Get inspired with our Ultimate Adventure Bucket List, a collection of 40 trips that range from totally extreme to actually doable.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

2014 Traveler Photo Contest

  • Picture of people on the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

    Enter Today to Win!

    Submit your best shots for a chance to be featured in our weekly galleries and to win a grand prize trip for two to Alaska.