Fast Facts

Georgetown; 231,000
214,969 square kilometers (83,000 square miles)
English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Hindi, Urdu
Christian, Hindu, Muslim
Guyanese dollar
Life Expectancy:
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $3,800
Literacy Percent:
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.


  • 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

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